Recap: LA Galaxy top DC United 2-1
from a trip to RFK Stadium on Sunday night, as strikes from and gave the
Californians a 2-1 victory over luckless .
Paced by the hard running of teenager
United fought gamely but could not overcome the gulf in quality between
themselves and the league’s frontrunners, who now own an impressive
6-2-2 record away from the Home Depot Center.
Donovan and Buddle were given a far friendlier welcome than usual by
the RFK crowd, as the home fans saluted their World Cup efforts with
rousing applause during pregame introductions.
It didn’t take long for Donovan to threaten
LA’s No. 10 curled an instinctive shot over the crossbar after the D.C.
goalkeeper muffed his take of a Galaxy cross.
created havoc in the Galaxy penalty box with an in-swinging free kick a
few minutes later, but no one in a black jersey could apply the final
touch. That opportunity marked one of the home side’s few dangerous
forays forward in the early going as the Galaxy edged the midfield
battle and kept the ball well.
Buddle looked sure to score in the 22nd minute, when he beat a diving
Perkins to ’s low
near-post cross. The striker, however, could not corral the deflected
ball in time as Julius Jones tracked back to block Buddle’s angled shot
towards the empty net.
United came close moments later when
chased the loose ball into the L.A. box, clipping his half-volley high
and wide of ’ goal.
The visitors broke through seven minutes before halftime on a strike
that was well-earned by Buddle, albeit with a healthy dollop of luck.
Franklin hit a centering pass behind his teammate’s run, allowing a
backtracking to arrive
first. King’s clearance, though, was perfectly read by Buddle and the LA
man took it back into his own path and advanced into the United box. slid in to
block the U.S. international’s first shot but couldn’t rise quickly
enough to keep him from striking the rebound through Perkins’ legs for a
1-0 Galaxy advantage.
Quaranta quickly earned a dangerous set piece as the Black-and-Red
tried to respond, but Ricketts gloved Hernández’s bending free kick.
That triggered a furious D.C. rally in the final seconds of the half
as Quaranta and King saw on-target efforts blocked or saved and LA were
fortunate to carry their lead into intermission.
The Galaxy nearly doubled their lead in the opening minutes of the
second half thanks to the quick feet of Donovan. Dribbling at down the
left channel, the U.S. star swiveled onto his left and served a great
diagonal ball to the far post, but Alan Gordan was barely late.
That miss was soon punished as D.C. equalized on a quality free-kick
goal in the 54th minute. The left-footed Hernández curled in a
delivery from the right flank and, when Buddle mistimed his leap, young
Andy Najar took full advantage to thump a firm header past Ricketts.
The deadlock proved short-lived, however. Franklin seized a United
turnover and lined up to take a crack from 20 yards out. James raced
over to block, but he did so with his hands and referee Jasen Anno
whistled for a penalty kick and awarded James a yellow card.
Donovan stepped up to the spot and rifled his finish inside the right
post beyond Perkins’ outstretched fingers.
D.C. coach Curt Onalfo made two late changes as
in central defense and Branko Boskevic came on for King. But with the
exception of a few late set pieces, miscommunication and missed passes
handicapped United’s offensive chemistry and Los Angeles rode out the
final sequences to earn their 12th victory of the season.
LA -- Edson Buddle 11 (unassisted) 38
DC -- Andy Najar 3 (Pablo Hernandez 1) 54
LA -- Landon Donovan 2 (penalty kick) 58
DC -- Carey Talley (caution; Reckless Foul) 84
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts,
Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle ( 77), ( 89).
D.C. United -- Troy Perkins, Devon McTavish, Dejan
Jakovic (Carey Talley 69), Julius James, , Andy Najar, Stephen King (Branko
Boskovic 73), Clyde Simms, ( 46), Santino Quaranta, Pablo
Referee: Jasen Anno
Paul Scott; Peter Manikowski
4th Official: Andrew
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 92 degrees