CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy have been desperate for a comprehensive performance this season, a victory where they can say that they dominated from start to finish. In their 24th game in all competitions this season, they got pretty darn close to it, besting FC Dallas 2-0 at StubHub Center.
READ: Match Recap
Despite playing on short rest, Galaxy controlled the match throughout as they defeated FC Dallas—who were playing their third match in 10 days—behind goals from Marcelo Sarvas and Hector Jimenez. The win is LA’s second straight victory and their third in four matches. The victory also gave the Galaxy their ninth clean sheet in all competitions—eight belonging to starting goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.
LA bossed the stat sheet as they dominated in attempts on goal (23 to 6), possession (54.8% to 45.2%), and passing accuracy (81.8% to 79.7%). Following the Galaxy victory, head coach Bruce Arena, who has been demanding a complete showing from his squad after several late games collapses admitted that his team was “close, but not quite there.”
“Tonight was one of our better games on the year. I thought we played very well on both ends of the field. Passing was much improved from the previous couple games. Our movement of the ball was very good. I think we again created chances, finished a couple tonight, could have finished a few more,” he said. “Rock solid on defending restarts against a team that’s outstanding in the area of attacking restarts. So, I think tonight was a real good win for our team and this week was obviously a good week, so hopefully we can continue to get better.”
At the forefront of LA’s success was stellar play from midfielder Marcelo Sarvas, who led the charge for the Galaxy.
Combining well in the final third, the Brazilian completed 46 of his 54 passing attempts as he routinely assisted LA’s drive forward. But Sarvas made his most profound impact in the 65th minute when he made a well-timed run in the box and found himself on the end of a cross by Robbie Keane to give LA a lead which they never relinquished.
“It was a really good game to win. The team came in to win. We scored to make it 1-0 which made it easier for us,” said Sarvas. “But we are happy, three points [tonight] and six points this week and most importantly we’re climbing the standings and are now closer to our objective of being in first place.”
Fellow standout Keane, who moved into the league lead in assists with eight on Sunday, agreed that Sarvas has been key to LA’s success as of late.
“Marcelo’s been great in the last few games and totally deserves that goal,” said Keane. “He’s been doing well. Full credit to him, he’s been one of our best performers in the last month or so.”
The win puts the Galaxy four points behind Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake, who currently hold the lead in the race for the MLS Supporters’ Shield. STANDINGS
After a tumultuous half season that saw the club deal with their fair share of late game breakdowns and disappointing results, to sit within striking distance of the top spot in the league is a positive sign heading into the coming months.
“I try to tell you guys that you have to be a little bit patient,” Arena said during his postgame press conference. “Hopefully we can position ourselves first of all to be in the playoffs and second of all, to challenge in the conference for the first spot. But there is a lot of soccer ahead, but we need to be patient and grow along the way.
“Hopefully we’re doing this at the right time.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com