VANCOUVER, Canada – Goalkeeper Josh Saunders knows that his last few performances have left something to be desired, but in the closing minutes of the LA Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps, the ‘keeper showed why he is considered one of the finest in MLS.
WATCH: Saunders saves the draw
After conceding a pair of first half goals, Saunders provided a stellar performance in the second half, making four saves on the night and allowing LA to erase a two goal deficit and earn a point in Vancouver. Perhaps his finest came in the closing minutes of stoppage time as Vancouver midfielder Barry Robson unleashed a blistering free kick into the upper left corner that an out-stretched Saunders batted away with a one-handed stop.
Admittedly the victim of a string of inconsistent results of late, Saunders believes that the comeback in Vancouver was an important confidence builder, not only for himself, but also the team as a whole.
“It's the fact that our team just believes all the way through the game. The guys played extremely well and we fought really hard through to the end of the game and I was able to come up with a couple save,” Saunders told reporters after the match. “I wish I'd come up with the first one but that's just the way it goes. I can't say enough about the guys coming and fighting back for us.”
THREE POINTS: LA Galaxy draw Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2
Following Saunders' performance, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was full of praise for his goalkeeper.
“I think at the end of the game, he had to make some big saves and he did,” said Arena. “He made three very good saves and positioned our team to get a point. It was a big game for Josh to come through at the end and contribute.”
With the Galaxy rising to climb up the standings, Saunders understands that he must continue to step up his game for LA to continue their ascent.
“[My play is] not good enough in my own mind. [If I] come up with another save here and yes we would win more games, but for me, I come up with that and we'd probably win the game. Not good enough and I want to continue to get better,” Saunders said. “You just build off it. You learn from the negatives and you learn from the positives so it's just one of those things where you continue to work and don't let your guard down.”
Read Adam Serrano’s LAGalaxy Insider blog at lagalaxy.com/insider