Three Points: Landon Donovan and Jaime Penedo star as LA Galaxy defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0
VANCOUVER, B.C. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points to LA’s 1-0 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Landon Donovan continued his assault on Jeff Cunningham’s MLS all-time leading goal scorer mark with his 131th career MLS regular season goal in third minute of LA’s 1-0 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Donovan found the back of the net in the third minute when A.J. DeLaGarza won possession in midfield and fired a pass to Robbie Keane, which deflected to Donovan with space to run. The Galaxy forward then lashed a shot past Vancouver’s David Ousted to give his team an early 1-0 lead. Donovan now has seven goals and seven assists this season, with four goals and two assists in three matches since returning from the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The 31-year-old now finds himself two goals behind Jaime Moreno for second in MLS history and three goals from matching Cunningham's all-time record.
While it is all but assumed that Donovan will eventually break the record, the question now is, can he do so by the end of the season? With his recent form, it’d be hard to bet against the forward as his partnership with Robbie Keane continues to pay dividends for the club and the two individuals. e has created an effective tandem with Robbie Keane early on. Although he is likely to miss some time as a result of upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, Donovan will have a fair shot to break Cunningham’s record this season.
Jaime Penedo may have locked down the LA Galaxy starting goalkeeper job for the remainder of the season with a stellar performance in LA’s 1-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Penedo made five saves against the Whitecaps, but no stop was greater than his save in the 82nd minute off a Jordan Harvey shot. The play was a candidate for Save of the Year as a Kekuta Manneh bounced a shot off the post leaving Penedo out of position, however, the Panamanian made an incredible reaction as he stretched out—halfway across the goal mouth—to palm away a chance from Harvey that appeared destined for the back of the net.
Throughout the season, the Galaxy have been unable to come up with the big stop to preserve points, but due to Penedo’s confident showing, the three points were sealed. With his performance complete, it is unlikely that he surrenders the Galaxy’s starting ‘keeper job.
FIRST ROAD WIN SINCE MAY
Due to Penedo’s saves, Donovan’s goal, and an all-around complete performance from the entire squad, the Galaxy were able to earn their first win away from StubHub Center since May.
The Galaxy’s last road win came against Chivas USA in the SuperClasico on June 23, but the club had not picked up the full three points away from StubHub Center since May 15 when they defeated the Philadelphia Union 4-1 at PPL Park. LA’s win in Vancouver had one other similarity to that match in the City of Brotherly Love as LA was able to earn a lead in the third minute that eventually led to a win.
The victory sets the Galaxy up well for the stretch run as LA will play just three more road matches in regular season play against D.C. United (Sept. 14), Portland Timbers (Sept. 29), and Seattle Sounders FC (Oct. 27). If LA can continue to pick up road victories, then not only will the Galaxy be able to qualify for the postseason, but a run at the Supporters’ Shield is likely as well.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com