Three Points: Landon Donovan bags a hat trick in 3-3 road draw with FC Dallas
FRISCO, Texas –LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points to the Galaxy’s 3-3 draw with FC Dallas.
LANDON DONOVAN PLAYS HAT TRICK HERO
Landon Donovan continued his torrid run of form on Sunday with his third hat trick as a member of the Galaxy and his first since 2008.
Donovan played the role of savior on Sunday as each time his team needed him, he was able to race to action and lead the Galaxy out of danger. With the Galaxy reeling after conceding a Matt Hedges goal in the 15th minute, Donovan put LA level just moments before halftime by nodding a goal past Chris Seitz. Once the Galaxy went down yet again on a questionable Blas Perez strike, Donovan once again put LA through with a volley from nearly 20-yards out. The Galaxy forward put his team ahead in the 82nd minute with a strike in the far post, but LA was unable to hold the lead.
With his three goals against Dallas, Donovan is just five goals away from breaking Jeff Cunningham’s all-time regular season goal total of 134. Donovan’s fourth hat trick means that he is only one away from tying the league’s all-time hat trick lead which is held by Stern John and Diego Serna.
OFFSIDE GOALS CAUSE TROUBLE FOR LA
The LA Galaxy were able to earn a valuable point away from StubHub Center on Sunday, but a pair of non-calls by assistant referees Kevin Duliba and Brian Dunn left a sour taste in LA’s mouth.
The first goal by Perez was the most hotly contested of the bunch as television replays showed that the Panamanian defender was a step in front of the Galaxy’s Brazilian defender Leonardo as Michel took his free kick. On the third goal, replays showed both Dallas center backs George John and Matt Hedges offside as Michel took his free kick. What makes the pair offside, however, is not simply their positioning, but the intent of the free kick taker, who fired the ball in their direction.
Although Dallas’ last two goals appear to be unjust for LA, the Galaxy defense will need to tighten and prevent the types of situations that lead to these types of issues.
SET PIECES NEED IMPROVEMENT ON ATTACKING AND DEFENSIVE ENDS
Yes, two of the goals that the LA Galaxy conceded should have been ruled offside by the officiating crew according to replays, but the fact that all three goals allowed by LA came on set pieces is a worrying trend for the Galaxy.
LA have now conceded 10 times this year on dead ball opportunities. For LA to right the ship, they must be able to improve their individual man-marking as both goal scorers Blas Perez and Matt Hedges were able to find space in order to test, and beat, Galaxy ‘keeper Carlo Cudicini. However, the issue can also be addressed before the set piece occurs as both Dallas free kicks that led to Perez goals were caused due to costly fouls that allowed FCD their opportunity.
On the attacking end, the Galaxy were barren against Dallas as they were unable to create much from their seven corners and three free kicks. To date, the Galaxy have scored just four goals this season off either corners or direct/indirect free kick opportunities.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com