Categorized | MLS, MLS Match Reports

Galaxy win third in a row against Whitecaps

Posted on 24 June 2012 by iyeo

What a week for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Playing three matches in a one-week span, that latter two against the two of the top three teams in the Western Conference, the Galaxy emerged from its busy week unscathed. First came a 3-2 win on the road against Real Salt Lake in which it erased a two-goal deficit, then came Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps, as the Galaxy jumped on the third-place Whitecaps early and often and coming out with a 3-0 win on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.

“That was an exceptional first half,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “We’re slowly becoming a good team and it was a very important week.”

Mike Magee, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan found the back netting for the Galaxy in their third straight win and it’s also its second shutout in a week let alone the season. More importantly for Los Angeles, they are slowly but surely climbing up the Western Conference standings, as their nine points in the last three matches puts them in playoff position with a 6-8-2 record and 20 points. Vancouver (7-4-5, 26 points) saw its five-match unbeaten streak come to a crashing end.

” I think that the movement of their front players was by far the best I’ve seen since I’ve been in the MLS,” Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie said. “They caused us a lot of problems and I think that we certainly caused a few of our own mistakes, but I’d also like to give credit to LA because I thought in the first half they played very, very well and made it very difficult for us and punished us.”

The Galaxy got its first chance in the 16th minute, as David Beckham sent a corner to the outer part of the penalty area, Juninho sent in a header, but was deflected, center back David Junior Lopes tried a shot, but was stuffed while Donovan’s attempt was also deflected, but continued forward and was stopped by keeper Joe Cannon, but Mike Magee was in the right place at the right time, which was inside the six, and he sent the rebound shot past Cannon near post to give Los Angeles the early lead.

The Galaxy weren’t done yet. In the 31st minute, Landon Donovan sprinted towards the 18 from the right side and fed a short ball to Robbie Keane. Keane, who was playing his first game for the Galaxy since returning from Irish national team duty at Euro 2012, evaded numerous Whitecaps defenders in the penalty box before sending a shot that beat Cannon far post to widen LA’s lead. The only difference in the moment was that instead of his customary cartwheel celebration, Keane went to the Galaxy bench and displayed a shirt that read in the back “RIP James Nolan,” which Keane described as a tribute to an Irish soccer fan who tragically passed away during Euro 2012.

“It was just a gesture because the Irish people are very close and they stick with each other through good times and bad times,” Keane said. “He was a big, big soccer fan and it was a shame so it was just a show of respect really.”

The Galaxy continued to apply pressure, as Donovan perfectly tracked down a ball sent forward by Magee and broke for goal, but his shot on goal bounced off the near post. Donovan got his redemption courtesy of Keane in the 40th minute, as Keane, after getting behind the Whitecaps backline, sent a ball off the hands off Vancouver center back Jay DeMerit and made it an easy call to the penalty spot for referee Allen Chapman. Donovan finished off the Galaxy’s big first half when he sent the penalty into the back net.

“A great end to the week,” Donovan said. “I think we deserved what we got tonight because we put in a lot of work. It was nice to be rewarded for that.”

The Galaxy will have a full week off before another big match, this one next Saturday against the Western Conference’s new leader, the San Jose Earthquakes, who took on its current position after its 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake.

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