CARSON, Calif. – Don’t look now, but the LA Galaxy may have officially kicked into high gear with their most complete performance of the season in a 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.
Once again, it was the forward tandem of Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan who provided the scoring as Donovan put LA up in the 26th minute before the Irishman notched a brace, scoring on either side of halftime, to give LA a 3-0 win over their archrivals. Throughout the match, the Galaxy were in the driver’s seat as Donovan and Keane created dangerous opportunities for themselves and their teammates.
With LA now unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions—the last four all being victories—there’s no doubt that the Galaxy are peaking at the right time.
“We’re playing well. The team is playing well and full of confidence. I think we are defending really well,” said Donovan. “We are attacking well, we’re moving the ball well, everything’s clicking, and I think we felt that when we had our whole team together that this was possible so we’re real happy how things are going and want to keep making a push and catch Salt Lake.”
The offense has been a common storyline during LA’s unbeaten run, but over the past three matches, the Galaxy defense has held firm as well. Saturday’s shutout against San Jose was the Galaxy’s third consecutive shutout in all competitions.
Perhaps what makes the shutout run so impressive is that a number of players have shined including goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, who is a perfect 4-0-0 in his four starts since joining the club in early August. Against the Earthquakes, Penedo made just two saves, but he showed poise and command of his penalty area that had left back Todd Dunivant raving about his performance.
“He hasn’t put a foot wrong. There’s a lot of confidence in him with this team. He’s been strong out of his box, he talks well, and he’s made some massive saves when we’ve needed him. You can’t ask for anything more from your goalkeeper,” said Dunivant. “There’s a good fit right now. He’s come in from day one and proven his worth and staked his claim. We have a lot of good goalkeepers and for him to come in and play so well is a testament to him. You can’t get anything but confidence from that kind of performance and having someone like that back there.”
However, the Panamanian international was quick to put the spotlight back on his teammates.
“I still need to recognize my teammates that played well for an entire 95 minutes. I’m there to just help the team and it shows on the scoreboard,” said Penedo. “We have a good team with quality players. Right now, we’re just thinking of winning and that just helps.”
Now the Galaxy turn the page to their match against the Colorado Rapids next week, where they’ll be shorthanded without the services of Donovan, Gonzalez, Keane and Penedo due to international duty. Although the task will be a test of LA’s depth, LA’s captain is confident that the team’s reserves can step into the fold.
“Big test for the players now that are going to be here [to face Colorado on Sept. 7] because the international players are going away,” said Keane. “It’s a good opportunity for the younger lads to stake a claim, keep it going and hopefully get points on the board for us.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com