It was a game that featured all the positive trends which one should expect to see in a Los Angeles Galaxy (14-5-5, 47pts.) win. The Galaxy scored the first goal, which means now they are 14-0-0 when scoring the first goal.
Said goal was scored by Edson Buddle, who remains on top of the goals scored column for the season with his 14th goal, and making it now 9-0-1 for the Galaxy when Edson Buddle scores. Landon Donovan picked up two assists, giving him 14 on the season as he remains on top of that statistical column.
Donovan told SBN Los Angeles after the game:
Bruce talked me a lot this week about winning my matchup, and being the best player in my part of the field. That wasn't good enough. I want to be the best player on the field when I play, every night, that's my objective. Tonight I thought I did that and that needs to be the sort of effort I put out. I think, if I do that we're going to win a lot of games.
Now the Galaxy find themselves three points ahead in the Western Conference race, and three points ahead in race for the Supporters Shield with Columbus (13-6-5, 44pts) remaining on top of the East. After watching their lead dwindle down, the Galaxy managed to remain in first place for the 24th straight week, they've been at the top of the table since opening day.
And as the Galaxy starters do a cheer with the Angel City Brigade, it's nice to think, winning sure is better than losing. Fans at the Home Depot Center had a lot to cheer for, as besides that Edson Buddle goal, they also got to see Kovalenko put an easy one in the back of the net. The Galaxy seemed able to cut through the back of the Crew with little problem, as Kovalenko practically walked the goal in. Bruce Arena had to say:
I was pleased with our overall performance tonight, I think our players played quite well in the first half, and obviously two good goals, and the third goal was certainly important but it's a much improved performance for our team tonight, hopefully it gives us the confidence to continue to move forward and try to be a better team as we move into post-season play.
The Galaxy's third goal came from Jovan Kirovski, his first of the season, off an assist from Cazumba, also his first of the season. Coach Arena said:
Wherever we play Jovan he brings his experience and a brain on the field. My analysis of our team is we needed to have some smarter players on the field and Jovan brings that, a very experienced player, technically he's quite good. We know he's probably not going to win a lot of foot races, but to have another smart player on the field that understands what needs to be done each and every minute is critical.
The other treat of the night was the 2010 debut of David Beckham. If HDC had a roof, the Galaxy fans would have torn it off as the screams were louder than any for the three goals. Every touch was a celebration, and despite looking a little tenuous at times, Beckham was certainly going at it, earning a yellow card for picking up a fallen player, claiming said player was faking.
Juninho also made his return tonight after missing two games for personal reasons. His presence in midfield was certainly a boost to a Galaxy team which seemed to have much more ease in getting the ball forward.
The clean sheet was spoiled in 84', when Andres Mendoza, who came on as a sub, put one past Ricketts who had to come out to face him.
Edson Buddle was removed after half time, but coach Arena assured everyone that it was just a precautionary measure. There was some question if Buddle was even going to play tonight, so they didn't want to push him if they didn't have to.
He passed the fitness test and was ready to go, we just wanted to be smart and make sure we have him for the rest of the season.