The Los Angeles Galaxy looked to be back to their underachieving ways. Against last place D.C. United, the Galaxy had failed to score, bringing in David Beckham just after halftime, and had conceded the go ahead goal to D.C.
At that point Landon Donovan had enough, and put the game on his shoulders. In the 81’ and the 86’ Landon Donovan was putting balls in the back of the net. The 81’ goal came when Landon stole the ball off a defenders foot and put the ball easily in the back of the net, faking out the keeper. The 86’ goal came off a Tristan Bowen volley, that Donovan headed into the back of the net.
"We didn't play well tonight," Landon Donovan said. "I don't know why, I wish I had an answer for it. We didn't compete like we did the last few weeks, we didn't pass the ball well....we had a bunch of not good performances."
He went on to say:
"The way I play is, I kind of feel the game out and see what the game needs. Last week we had the quality we needed, we had guys in front of the goal who made plays. Tonight we were lacking that. So, when that happens, I take it upon myself to be more aggressive in that way. That was what game needed tonight."
The Galaxy can afford to have the occasional game where Landon takes the game on his back, but obviously doing that every week is going to tire him out. Hopefully down the stretch the Galaxy have more games like last week and less like this one. All in all, a lackluster game that got saved by a great player doing great things.
The Galaxy trailed in the shot column, outshooting the Galaxy 14-11. Lucky for the Galaxy, Donovan Ricketts had a fantastic game saving 5 of the United's 6 shots on goal. The one shot Ricketts did let in came in the 60' off a melee in front of the goal. Kurt Morsink had an attempt from the left side of the goal that Ricketts stopped at a dive. Unfortunately the Galaxy defender in the box went down with him, and Andy Najar had little trouble putting the ball into an open net.
The underperformance of the Galaxy can be seen in some of the tactical mistakes they made. Omar Gonzalez will be missing next Friday's game against New York, after he was yellow carded for a tactical foul while on yellow card warning. Landon Donovan earned a yellow card in the 87' for delaying a restart.
"I thought we played hard tonight and DC United played incredibly hard," Bruce Arena said. "[Giving them] the first goal didn't make it easy on us. We had to fight and scrap and that's one of the few times this year we've been in that position and came out with the three points"
It was actually the first time all year the Galaxy had managed to win when conceding the first goal. The Galaxy are now 1-5-2 in such situations.
"We didn't deliver the last pass well," Bruce Arena continued. "We had a bunch of opportunities in this game, when we got behind there were some good spots in the final third of the field and we really didn't deliver a good pass."
David Beckham was enthusiastic about his increased minutes:
"It was a good workout for myself...more minutes on the field and that's what I need."
Certainly the crowd at Home Depot Center was pleased with his performance, cheering every time he touched the ball.
Next for the Galaxy is a home game against New York Red Bulls, Friday night on ESPN 2.