COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Landon Donovan has sought to define his final season not in kind words and gestures from long time opponents but by victories, and in the LA Galaxy’s biggest win to date, it was Donovan leading the way.
Playing his final game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Donovan served as the catalyst for the Galaxy’s second half comeback as he notched an assist on LA’s rally starting second goal before notching the game winner in the 80th minute. The goal was vintage Donovan as Robbie Keane’s pass unlocked the defense, with Donovan making a brilliant run and easy to finish to help LA complete their comeback.
“It went into Alan [Gordon], and he made a good pass into Robbie, and when Robbie gets the ball like that with that kind of time, I’m going to run as hard as I can, cause I know he’s going to put it into a good spot,” said Donovan. “I picked my head up and saw Clint [Irwin], so I wanted to make sure I had a good touch by him, and then get it off quickly. I’m glad it hit the net.”
Following the match, Arena admitted that in the last three games, Donovan’s performances have been less than stellar, but against the Rapids, he showcased the skill that made him an American soccer great.
“Landon dug deep. I haven’t seen that type of passion out of Landon in a game in a long time,” Arena said. “He wanted to win and he wanted to be an important part of our team to win this game. He did a terrific job.”
Unlike Saturday’s ceremony in Columbus that was spoiled by LA’s worst defeat of the year, Donovan was in a more pleasant mood about Wednesday’s proceedings that saw him presented with a slew of gifts including a ski pass, wine and other goodies.
“I’ve spend a lot of time in this city over my career. I remember playing in Mile High back in 2001, and to see this beautiful facility, and their organization (Colorado Rapids), the way they’ve it has turned around is satisfying for me as someone who has been in this league for so long,” he said. “I’m incredibly appreciative of what happened in Columbus and what happened today. There is absolutely no obligation for anyone to do that, but it shows a lot of class and a lot of respect that I greatly appreciate.”
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- The LA Galaxy battled back from a two goal deficit in the second half to earn a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena's thoughts on the result are below.
(On the team's second half comeback...)
ARENA: "They responded. We are fortunate that we got a few good goals and I think that once we got the second goal, they were certainly under pressure. The third goal was obviously big and then I thought that we'd have a chance to get the fourth one. Obviously a big second half for our team."
(On the reason that the team started so slowly...)
ARENA: "As they say, sh** happens. You can never predict these things in sports. You see all the time in athletics that sometimes there are out results and sometimes teams come out flat for whatever reason. Tonight was certainly the case with us, so it was a tale of two halves.
(On the role Alan Gordon played in the comeback...)
ARENA: "He helped. He's an experienced player and scored a good goal. He knows what to do in these types of games so it's good to have that option. We had some guys who were dangerous on the field when we needed to get some goals. To combine Alan with Robbie [Keane], Landon [Donovan], and Gyasi [Zardes] gives us some good options."
DENVER -- The LA Galaxy will have an opportunity to get back in the win column on Wednesday when they take on the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
The game will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes at 6:00 pm PT. Remember to send in questions for the pregame and postgame shows using the hashtag "#GalaxyInsider."
*Dick's Sporting Goods Park has been a house of frustrations for the Galaxy as of late and on Wednesday, the team will look to notch their first win at DSG Park since April 2012.
*The Galaxy will likely be without the services of left back Robbie Rogers on Wednesday due to a quadriceps injury, which should allow Todd Dunivant to slide back into the LA Galaxy starting XI.
*Gyasi Zardes has been red hot as of late with four goals in each of his last four games, but can he extend his streak against the Rapids.
*The future is bright for the Colorado Rapids because of young attacker Dillon Serna and the 20-year-old has a fan in Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan.
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
ROBBIE KEANE vs. JARED WATTS
With Drew Moor and Shane O'Neill on the mend, the Rapids will likely rely upon Watts, who slided in against D.C. United. A converted midfielder, expect Watts to get plenty of pressure from Keane and Gyasi Zardes early and often.
WHAT THEY SAID:
“I think that we’re trying to be aggressive and I’m trying to be aggressive as well. We’re playing well in that way, but we need to be better as an entire team defensively in how we play. That will be better against Colorado, there’s no doubt about that, but we are creating chances and we’re scoring goals.” – Landon Donovan on rebounding from a poor performance against Columbus.
Galaxy 2 (Keane, Zardes) Colorado 1 (Serna)
DENVER -- The LA Galaxy will hope to put their disappointing 4-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew behind them when they take on the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday.
In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's "By the Numbers," we look at LA's moribund record at Dick's Sporting Goods Park as of late.
Check it out below.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Landon Donovan is hanging up his boots at season’s end, but the long time U.S. international knows that MLS is in safe hands because of players like Colorado Rapids youngster Dillon Serna.
A favorite in youth soccer circles, Serna has enjoyed a strong first full season in MLS with three goals and three assists in 20 appearances for the Rapids. Serna's finest strike came in last Sunday’s 4-2 defeat to D.C. United when the 20-year-old launched a 35-yard volley that sailed into the back of the United net.
Even though the U.S. Under-20 midfielder may not be old enough to drink, he has a fan in Donovan.
“He’s done well. It’s exciting for this league to have all sorts of young Homegrown Players do well,” Donovan told LA Galaxy Insider. “That’s the future of this league in my opinion and to see another one like him do well is very good. It’s very early for him and he still has a lot to prove, but he has done well.”
With Robbie Rogers on the mend, left back Todd Dunivant aiming to return to the LA Galaxy starting lineup
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Veteran left back Todd Dunivant made his first MLS appearance since April during the LA Galaxy's 4-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew last Saturday and now he may be in line to start Wednesday’s clash with the Colorado Rapids.
Incumbent left back Robbie Rogers started the match against the Crew despite suffering a quadriceps injury earlier in the week, but was forced to exit the defeat midway through the second half. After Rogers’ injury, the Galaxy switched to a 3-5-2 formation as they looked to erase a one goal deficit, but after falling behind 4-1 in the 84th minute, Dunivant was inserted into the match.
The minutes were the first for Dunivant since the left back suffered an abdominal tear in April. Dunivant has been in full training since early August and recently went nearly 80 minutes for LA Galaxy II on Aug. 9.
“It wasn’t the best circumstances [to return] because we’re down three goals, but it was great to get back on the field and get some minutes,” Dunivant told LA Galaxy Insider at training at Ohio State on Monday. “It’s not easy as a defender to get minutes because there’s not a lot of circumstances where it makes sense to insert a defender so I was happy to be on the field, but it would have been nice if the score was the other way around.”
With Rogers admittedly “day to day,” Dunivant may have a chance to make his first start against the Rapids on Wednesday where the Colorado native is expected to have more than 80 friends and family in attendance.
Although the 33-year-old admits that he’d be overjoyed to return to the field, he knows the decision will ultimately be made by head coach Bruce Arena.
“It’s a great opportunity, but we’ll see what Bruce decides. I’m definitely ready to go and I’m anxious to get back on the field,” said Dunivant. “We’ve been on a great run and I want to be able to contribute to that.”
If both players are healthy, who should get the start at left back: Todd Dunivant or Robbie Rogers?
Share your thoughts below.
A.J. DeLaGarza insists that staying on the road could benefit the LA Galaxy as they look to overcome Crew loss
COLUMBUS, Ohio— Typically after a road match, the LA Galaxy immediately return to Southern California, but this time around the script has been flipped.
The Galaxy fell 4-1 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday in their worst defeat of the 2014 regular season. LA suffered their biggest margin of defeat, but rather than fly cross-country to return home, the club will remain in Columbus for two days before heading to Colorado for Wednesday’s clash with the Rapids.
Following the team’s crushing defeat, there was understandable concern that the loss may put a damper on the Galaxy’s week-long road trip, but defender A.J. DeLaGarza insists that the opposite is true.
“We can’t let this loss linger. We have a game in a couple of days and it might be good for us all to be together. We get to all go through this together and not just head home [separately],” he said. “We’re going to go have dinner together and do whatever we can to get the morale back up so that we don’t let this game affect us for the rest of the season.”
Galaxy captain Robbie Keane agreed that LA will need to put the loss behind them quickly ahead of Wednesday’s match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“The good thing about the season is that there is always a game around the corner,” Keane said. “We have a game on Wednesday and have to pick ourselves up fairly quickly…let’s see what we’re made of [against the Rapids].”
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The LA Galaxy suffered their worst defeat of the season, but the club received a silver lining as Gyasi Zardes continued his torrid scoring streak.
Zardes scored in the 49th minute of the Galaxy’s 4-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew to bring his goal total to 10 on the season. The 22-year-old second-year forward has now scored in four straight matches to go with nine goals in his last 10 games.
“It’s my teammates, definitely. It’s not just me,” Zardes said of his scoring streak after the match. “It’s the whole combination of play and when we combine I just make that hard run into the box and my teammates just put it right there on my foot and I just put it on frame.”
Despite adding to his scoring goal run, Zardes was unlucky not to add a second in the 83rd minute. With the Galaxy down 3-1, Zardes was unable to get to a Robbie Keane pass that had the forward alone in front of an empty net.
“There were various times in the game when we had opportunities,” Zardes said. “The only difference is they put away their opportunities as opposed to us.”
Although Zardes kept up his scoring streak, don’t expect him to celebrate or dwell on the defeat to the Crew—he’s already set his sights on Wednesday’s match against the Colorado Rapids.
“We are definitely forgetting about this game and just working hard to prepare for Wednesday,” said Zardes.
Soccer has caught the attention of America over the past month and now MLS kicks back into full swing with a slate of games this weekend.
MLSsoccer.com gets you excited for the action with this hype video.