Galaxy rise to the occasion

LA meet perhaps toughest challenge yet, ready for more in Seattle

Early on in the 2010 MLS season, the Los Angeles Galaxy have had several challenges, from tight fields on the road to injuries to incorporating new players into the starting lineup.

But Wednesday’s challenge was unique as the Galaxy had to travel to Colorado and play with just three days in between games. And not even that was enough to slow down LA.

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The Galaxy continued their torrid pace with a 1-0 win over the Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, as the club overcame what may have been its toughest challenge of the season thus far.

“It speaks to our professionalism,” Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant told MLSsoccer.com over the phone after the match. “That’s kind of what these games are all about. We had a short turnaround and playing on the road, and it comes down to your mentality and whether the guys are ready.”

The Galaxy improved their record to 6-0-1 and won for the second time on the road. This match also marked the first time the Galaxy notched a victory at DSG Park, where the team had been 0-2-1 before Wednesday.

From the start, the Galaxy were the aggressors. Galaxy forwards pressured Colorado ‘keeper Matt Pickens throughout the early stages of the game, but Pickens’ strong goalkeeping and less-than-lethal finishing kept the Galaxy from taking a quick lead.

But LA got an early goal anyway, when Alan Gordon buried a header from a Landon Donovan free kick in the 21st minute. The early flurry was part of the Galaxy’s plan.

“We didn’t want to come in and kind of sit back and let them take the game to us,” Dunivant said. “So we did a good job of putting together some sequences, combination plays, getting the ball out from side to the other. We had a lot of good chances, so that was good. It put them on their heels a little bit. The fact that we came to them really set the tone for us.”

The Galaxy will continue their toughest week of the young MLS season on Saturday when the club visits Seattle. The team will head to the Pacific Northwest on Thursday to prepare for a tough Sounders team.

As if the Galaxy needed more on their side, though, Wednesday’s result has given them even more confidence than they’d enjoyed through six games.

“We have a lot of confidence right now,” Dunivant said. “We won at Houston and we won at Colorado and those are two of the toughest places to get results in the league. That in itself gives us a lot of confidence. When you win games 1-0, 2-0 on the road, that’s what it’s all about. Putting away your chances.”