Galaxy Routs Chivas in SuperClasico

Donovan ties Jeff Cunningham’s all-time goals record in win
by Jamie Pham   |   Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Galaxy of Angels – column on Los Angeles Galaxy (LA Galaxy) & the LA soccer scene.

The Los Angeles Galaxy made a statement Sunday afternoon as they went on to destroy Chivas USA 5-0, even without their manager, Bruce Arena.

Though they were playing the 2nd worse team in MLS, they proved that the Landon Donovan/Robbie Keane duo is a force to reckon with when they are healthy and firing on all cylinders.

The 1st goal came early in the game in the 6th minute when Gyasi Zardes was attacking down the left flank and played a ball in the box that trickled through Chivas USA’s defense all the way to Donovan, who cut the ball back to the middle of the box where Keane was able to score from the penalty spot.

The 2nd goal happened almost identically in the 23rd minute when Zardes was again on the left flank and passed the ball to Donovan who slid the ball in at the far post.

3 minutes later, Zardes wanted to get in on the action and maneuvered the ball by 2 defenders and blasted the ball past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy with a brilliantly left-footed strike.

Donovan recorded his 2nd goal of the match and also his 134th of his career, tying Jeff Cunningham’s all-time record, in the 41st minute when he chipped the ball from a few yards outside the box over Kennedy.

Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo was not tested in the match, as Chivas did not have a shot on goal until the 82nd minute when defender Carlos Bocanegra took a rip from well outside the box.

LA ended the afternoon with yet another goal in the 90th minute when former Chivas USA member, Laurent Courtois, played the ball over the top from close to midfield all the way to the final 3rd to Keane who shot the ball to the far post.

It wasn’t obvious the Galaxy dominated the game, even though they handled 60% of the possession and held their rivals to only 1 shot on goal (3 off target) the entire match.

The Galaxy did most of their attacking from the left side of the field as they have been doing the last few matches with the right flank being better than last week against Portland as Michael Stephens completed 59 out of 68 passes. Zardes had quite a game with a goal and 2 assists and his crosses were immaculate on Sunday.

“Gyasi has been like a caged lion for us in terms of getting some points on the board,” said Galaxy associate head coach Dave Sarachan. “We spent some time in training, and hopefully it paid off a little bit for him, on recognizing moments where he can really use his speed to get by guys. Today, I thought he did an excellent job of finding those moments to find some space to use his speed to beat the defenders.”

Omar Gonzalez left the match at halftime due to a left abductor issue. Jurgen Klinnsman called him, along with Donovan, up the US Men’s National Team earlier in the day, and Keane was also called up for Ireland and Penedo for Panama.

They will be missing the match against Montreal next Wednesday and will rejoin the team when they play the San Jose Earthquakes at home on the 20th.

After this match, Keane is a clear cut MLS MVP candidate as he has registered 15 goals and 10 assists in only 20 games this season.

When asked about tying Cunningham’s record, Donovan responded with, "If this had happened earlier in my career, I would have thought about it more. But we're in a playoff race right now, so for us, it's about winning. It would be nice to get (the record) out of the way so there's no attention on it."

LA is currently tied with the Colorado Rapids, who also blew out the Seattle Sounders this weekend with a 5-1 win, for 4th place in the Western Conference. They only have 3 regular season games left (Montreal, San Jose, and Seattle) and 1 CONCACAF Champions League game against Isido Metapan (in El Salavador).

NEXT UP: October 16 — Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Montreal Impact, StubHub Center, Carson, Calif., 10:30 p.m. EST, TWC SportsNet and MLS Live.

Jamie PHAM

Pasadena City College
Club Domestic:
LA Galaxy
Club Foreign:
Former tour manager turned sports blogger, Jamie spends loads of time reviewing the Los Angeles sports scene and is a big MLS and USMNT supporter.