Galaxy finally get long-sought offensive explosion
CARSON, Calif. – It took the LA Galaxy seven games to score their sixth goal of the season, but it took less than 70 minutes to get half that on Saturday.
The Galaxy scored three goals in a little more than an hour as the club seemed to solve their offensive issues that saw their goal production fade. A 3-0 win over Portland at The Home Depot Center, though, sent a clear signal that things are just fine offensively.
Helping fuel their attack was the opening stages of the match, which the Galaxy could not have scripted out better, as Chad Barrett and Landon Donovan scored in the first eight minutes of the match.
“Certainly a good win for our team,” LA coach Bruce Arena said. “The story line is the two early goals. To be up by [two] goals in the first 10 minutes of the game is important.”
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
Donovan converted a penalty kick in the eighth minute and banged in a header in the 67th minute to put an exclamation mark on the rout. The win was the Galaxy’s most lopsided victory since 4-1 drubbing of Houston in June 2010. Barrett helped set the perfect tone for the club just four minutes in, when he took a ball from Donovan and did what he said he should be doing and finished off the play.
“I didn’t think twice about taking that shot tonight and that’s what you need to do if you want to consistently score goals,” Barrett said. “I had other opportunities tonight and I could have buried a couple more, but I’m very happy to score that goal early.”
On his goal, Barrett took a ball from Donovan and had space in front of him.
“It was a little bit behind me and I just wanted to play it into my path … and it kind of just popped up to me, popped up to my chest,” Barrett said. “I played it in front of me nice and … I thought, ‘I’m going to hit this first-time.’”
Playing a goal up so early in the match helped the team gain more confidence.
“Chad scored a great goal to start and it obviously sets it up well tonight and we’ve not had that in the last few games,” said midfielder David Beckham. “We’ve had disappointing starts early on in the season, so it’s good to get off to a good start, good to get off the way we did.”
Minutes later, Donovan was brought down inside the penalty area and was awarded a penalty kick. He converted the spot kick and the Galaxy led 2-0 with just eight minutes gone. Donovan, who missed the last three games with a knee injury, said having a strong early start to the match helped all around.
“[The early goal] kind of helps everyone’s confidence, it takes some pressure off, adrenaline gets going a little more so it all played out very well,” he said.
Juan Pablo Angel did not start for the second consecutive match, which may have caught some onlookers by surprise. However, Arena said his rationale was simple: Don’t fix something that doesn’t need fixing.
“I thought our forwards in our last game played well so I didn’t want to make a change,” Arena said.
Ángel, though, replaced Miguel López at the start of the second half after the Argentine picked up a minor injury during the first half of the match. While it took Ángel some time to settle in, he eventually showed what he could do when he found Donovan on the left post in the 67th minute.
“As he was kind of dribbling towards the end line, I didn’t know if he was going to cut back or give it to Chad and I just decided to take a chance and run into the box,” Donovan said. “That’s something I haven’t done enough of lately, really committing to getting into the box and it paid off. If you’re aggressive, you get rewarded.”
WATCH: Landon Donovan Postgame Interview