CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy made quick work of the Colorado Rapids on Friday night, winning a penalty kick, with a red card attached, just seconds after the opening whistle, then adding two more goals before the break en route to an emotional 6-0 rout.
Landon Donovan converted two penalties and assisted two more goals, climbing within four of Steve Ralston’s career MLS assists record, and Gyasi Zardes and Baggio Husidic added two goals apiece as LA (14-5-7) romped to their fifth straight victory for the first time since 2007.
Donovan converted from the spot in the fifth minute, Husidic doubled the advantage after a half-hour and Zardes scored in first-half stoppage. Donovan netted another penalty kick at the start of the second half, Zardes added a late header, and Baggio scored from a Donovan feed as the Galaxy climbed within two points of Seattle’s leads in the Western Conference and overall standings.
A victory Wednesday night at Montreal would send the Galaxy, who are 10-2-2 since the World Cup break, atop the Western table and could give them the lead in the Supporters’ Shield race, depending on how D.C. United does Saturday at Vancouver and Wednesday at New York.
Colorado (8-13-6) never recovered from an awful start and lost lost their seventh in a row and their eighth in nine games. The Galaxy outshot the Rapids, 20-6, held 73.8 percent possession and 91 percent passing accuracy.
It was an emotional victory for the Galaxy, who wore black armbands and held a moment of silence to honor Luca Wyatt DeLaGarza, defender A.J. DeLaGarza’s infant son, who died Thursday from a congenital heart condition. Fans also stood and applauded during the 21st minute of the match, then the Angel City Brigade led a “Luca! DeLaGarza!” chant through the stadium. Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni, who played last season in LA, also wore a black armband emblazoned with Luca’s name.
DeLaGarza and his wife, Megan, were not at the game.
The Galaxy made two changes from their lineup in last weekend’s victory over Chivas USA, with Brian Rowe stepping into the nets, with Jaime Penedo away with Panama’s national team, and Todd Dunivant returning at left back. Dunivant exited for a returning Stefan Ishizaki in the 26th minute with a groin injury after a midfield collision with Nick LaBrocca.
It was over, for all intents, just 33 seconds into the game. Dunivant sent a low cross from the left wing into the goalmouth, Rapids goalkeeper Joe Nasco couldn’t take the ball off Alan Gordon’s feet, and he grabbed Gordon’s ankles, taking down the big forward as he tried to shoot.
Marc Burch cleared the ball off the line, but referee Baldomero Toledo whistled for a penalty kick and showed Nasco the red card – the fastest expulsion in MLS history.
Husidic made it 2-0 in the 30th minute. Marcelo Sarvas took a pass from Donovan well above the Rapids box, then played it forward for Gordon, who with the outside of his right foot sent it behind him and into the box. Zardes dummied the ball and Husidic curled it past Irwin and inside the right post.
Zardes easily finished in stoppage when Donovan redirected a Husidic pass into his path in Colorado’s box, and Donovan made it 4-0 two minutes into the second half after Chris Klutefouled Zardes in the box. Zardes nodded home an Ishizaki cross in the 75th minute and Husidic added the sixth in the 86th.
The Galaxy could have had a few more, but LaBrocca headed an Omar Gonzalez header from a Donovan corner kick off the goal line in the 13th, Gordon fired wide on an open net from Ishizaki’s blast into the goalmouth in the 59th, and Husidic hit the left post in the 72nd.
Colorado’s best chances came from former Galaxy forward Edson Buddle, who forced a diving stop from Rowe in the 63rd minute and a point-blank save six minutes later.
The Galaxy follow their game at Montreal with a date the following Sunday at San Jose. The Rapids are home next Saturday against Portland.
LA Galaxy 6, Colorado Rapids 0
Friday, Sept. 5 – 7:30 p.m. PT
MLS Regular Season
StubHub Center – Carson, Calif.
LA – Landon Donovan (PK) 5’
LA – Baggio Husidic (Assisted by Alan Gordon, Marcelo Sarvas) 30’
LA – Gyasi Zardes (Assisted by Landon Donovan, Baggio Husidic) 45’+2
LA – Landon Donovan (PK) 47’
LA – Gyasi Zardes (Assisted by Stefan Ishizaki) 75’
LA – Baggio Husidic (Assisted by Landon Donovan, Marcelo Sarvas) 86’
COL – Joe Nasco (ejection) 1’
LA – Baggio Husidic (caution) 30’
LA – Stefan Ishizaki (caution) 50’
COL – Marc Burch (caution) 57’
COL – Thomas Piermayr (caution) 70’
COL – Marlon Hairston (caution) 84’
LA Galaxy: Brian Rowe; Dan Gargan, Omar Gonzalez (Tommy Meyer 69’), Leonardo, Todd Dunivant (Stefan Ishizaki 26’); Baggio Husidic, Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas, Landon Donovan ©; Alan Gordon (Chandler Hoffman 74’), Gyasi Zardes.
Substitutes Not Used: Brian Perk, James Riley, Rafael Garcia, Jose Villarreal.
TOTAL SHOTS: 20; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; FOULS: 13; OFFSIDE: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 5.
Colorado Rapids: Joe Nasco, Marvell Wynne, Thomas Piermayr, Chris Klute, Marc Burch, Dillon Serna (Clint Irwin 4’), Jose Mari, Deshorn Brown, Nick LaBrocca (Marlon Hairston 52’), Dillon Powers (Vicente Sanchez 52’), Edson Buddle.
Substitutes Not Used: Grant Van de Casteele, Gabriel Torres, Carlos Alvarez, Charles Eloundou.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 8; OFFSIDE:2; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 1.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee’s Assistants: Fabio Tovar and Baboucarr Jallow
4th Official: Juan Guzman