Goal of the Year: Landon Donovan at Vancouver Whitecaps

WHO: Landon Donovan

WHEN: Saturday, August 24

WHERE: at Vancouver Whitecaps FC – BC Place

WHAT: The Galaxy’s 1-0 win over the Whitecaps on August 24 at BC Place in Vancouver may best be remembered for Jaime Penedo’s miraculous diving save off of Jordan Harvey, but if it was not for Landon Donovan’s blistering third minute goal, Penedo’s save would have save a single point for LA as opposed to two.

In a match that had serious postseason ramifications, further fuel was added to the fire just a few days earlier when Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted, fresh off making his MLS debut, had claimed that he could “stop any attacker in this league.” The third different Vancouver goalkeeper to face the Galaxy in 2013, Ousted would have his bravado tested by perhaps the best attacking duo in MLS, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan.

The Galaxy had barely controlled the ball before starting the move that ended with Ousted picking the ball out of his net. A.J. DeLaGarza, who was starting at right back, intercepted a pass at midfield and dribbled forward past a defender before passing to the feet of Keane. Vancouver defender Johnny Leveron reached his right foot in front of the Irishman to poke the ball away, but only as far as Donovan. With the ball at his feet and open space in front of him, Donovan attacked the defense, taking one shot before lashing a left-footed blast from 25 yards out that beat Ousted, who was leaning to his left, to his right.

Thanks to the goal, and Penedo’s save at the same end late in the second half, the Galaxy had their second victory of an eventual three-game winning streak, which would equal their longest of the season and cement the club’s postseason aspirations. 

To see the rest of the candidates for LA Galaxy Goal of the Year, go to LAGalaxy.com/GOTY.