CARSON, Calif. – Alan Gordon is back home.
The LA Galaxy acquired the 32-year-old target forward from the San Jose Earthquakes on Monday in exchange for allocation money. A Galaxy first round draft pick in 2004, Gordon returns to the club after a three and-a-half year sojourn where he spent time with Chivas USA, Toronto FC and most recently the San Jose Earthquakes.
During his time away, Gordon terrorized the Galaxy with seven goals in all competitions against his former club. But in San Jose, Gordon enjoyed a career renaissance as he helped form the “Bash Brothers” partnership with Steven Lenhart that resulted in 13 goals for the striker during the Earthquakes’ Supporters’ Shield winning season in 2012.
“I’m thrilled to be back. It’s been a few years and obviously this is the team to be on. I’m thrilled to be back in Southern California and with an elite organization,” said Gordon. “This has always been my first club. I was here for a lot of years and it does feel like home.”
Even though Gordon is pleased to be back in Southern California, he understands that his return may garner mixed reactions from Galaxy fans after a lengthy spell with the club’s archrivals, but he’s eager to do what he can to win back that support.
“I guess I should have kept my shirt on,” said Gordon referencing his celebration after most of his goals against the Galaxy. “It’s all part of it. I’ve been getting heat here since I started. Hopefully I can have some good moments and win back the crowd.”
Gordon may need to win back the StubHub Center crowd but he won’t have to win back the locker room where seven players remain on the roster since his first stint with the club. While a member with the Galaxy from 2004 to 2010, Gordon notched 16 goals and 12 assists in 58 starts.
Although his statistical output wasn’t always the highest, Gordon made quite an impact in the LA locker room.
“When I first came in the team, he was here and he was a great guy in the locker room then and I’m sure that he’ll be great now,” said Omar Gonzalez who played his first year-and-a-half in MLS as Gordon’s teammate. “Now we won’t have to go against him anymore and he can help us out. I think that he’ll play a big role for us.
Added Gordon’s longtime teammate Landon Donovan, “We’ve become a little bit thin at forward over the last few months and we need someone who has the ability to come in and change a game. We’ve had a number of guys who have helped us this year and it’s always good to have another guy who can do that. [Gordon] gives Bruce options and if Bruce decides that he wants to play a different way in a game then he can put Alan on the field. I think that he can really contribute and help us win a championship this year.”
Before Gordon can contribute to the Galaxy, the 32-year-old admits that he’ll need to return to match fitness after not making an Earthquakes game day squad since July 19.
“The only way to get game fit is to get minutes so I’m obviously not game fit because I haven’t played a lot of minutes, but I’m fit and ready to play,” said Gordon.
But once he does return to fitness, Gordon believes that Galaxy fans will see a new and improved forward.
“I’m a little bit more polished, I’m more experienced and I think that I’m a better goal scorer than I was. When I was here first, I was young, but I think that my travels helped me grow a lot,” said Gordon. “I think that I’ve improved everywhere. I think that I’ve polished up my finishing and I feel that every part that I’m better.”