Los Angeles Galaxy crush Toronto, 3-0

October 5, 2014

LA Galaxy v. Toronto FC / Photo: Scott Mitchell

Carson, Calif. --  Following an impressive 4-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls last weekend, the Los Angeles Galaxy were again at home Saturday in front of 24,064 of their fans at the StubHub Center to face a dangerous Toronto FC team featuring Michael Bradley and Dominic Oduro.  With the MLS regular season coming to a close, both teams had plenty at stake, with Toronto FC fighting for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and LA battling for first with Seattle.

Both teams traded possession at the outset with Toronto FC initially looking like the stronger team.

However, in the 13th minute, Robbie Keane got the ball out wide to Landon Donovan.  Landon passed to Juninho at the center of the pitch and Juninho let fly from 25 yards out.  His shot beat goalkeeper Joe Bendik, but hit the crossbar on the upper corner of goal and the game remained scoreless.

Despite losing Robbie Rogers to a leg injury soon after Juninho's shot, the Galaxy seemed to pick up steam and started controlling the possession with a more solid offensive attack.

In the 22nd minute, LA displayed great passing, culminating with Marcelo Sarvas wisely passing through the center to Keane, who then controlled the ball with one touch and scored to the far corner for a 1-0 lead.

"In my view, he deserves to be Most Valuable Player in the league," said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena of Keane.

Just as the confetti and cheers had started to subside, a second Galaxy goal was going into the net in the 25th minute when Donovan passed out wide to A.J. DeLaGarza, who crossed the ball to Keane at the top of the 18-yard box.  Keane was all alone waiting for the ball and ready for the strike.  Keane one-timed the shot with such force and precision that Bendik had no chance, and the Galaxy were comfortably up 2-0 midway through the first half.

LA Galaxy v. Toronto FC / Photo: Scott Mitchell

The play was historically significant because it was Donovan's 136th MLS assist, making him the league's record-holder for both goals and assists.  He has had 15 assists in his last 13 appearances, including a 3-assist game last weekend versus New York.

“The assist record wasn’t on my radar until the last, probably, month or so,” said Donovan, who was playing in his second-to-last regular season home game.

Donovan’s record-breaking assist stretched his career-best to 19 assists in a single season. He leads all MLS players this season.

"It’s an unbelievable achievement," said Keane.  "To have the goals and the assist record, doesn't matter where you are, it's an incredible achievement.”

Toronto FC answered with a quality shot from Luke Moore, but Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo shut the door on the shot to the near corner.  The first half ended 2-0 in favor of LA, and left Toronto searching for answers.

In the 56th minute, Toronto tried to rally when Dominic Oduro dribbled the ball up the side and passed off to Luke Moore.  Moore had a decent look at goal from within the 18-yard box, but too much power sent it into the stands.

Toronto was again attacking in the 64th minute when Moore sent a dangerous pass across the front of goal, but Omar Gonzalez aggressively cleared the ball out of the area.

Tempers soon started to flare between the teams, as Marcelo Sarvas got shoved to the ground.  He and Jonathan Osorio were both given yellow cards.

In the 77th minute, Sarvas sent a long ball that Keane perfectly controlled.  Keane was up against the goalkeeper and a defender, and with a great effort he was able to get a shot off, but Bendik got a hand to it for the save.

Landon Donovan / Photo: Scott Mitchell

Alan Gordon later subbed in for Donovan as the game entered its final minutes, and gave LA a 3-0 lead in stoppage time with a super shot from 25 yards out to end the game.  It was Gordon's fifth goal with the Galaxy this year.

“We keep saying it every time he comes on – when he comes on he scores," said Keane of Gordon.  "It just seems normal for him to come in and score a goal. It’s always good to have someone like that on your team. He works hard in training every day. He’s a big part of this team. He’s a big part of we are doing. If things aren’t going well for us, he’s a player that can come on and change things. His energy – the way he runs around. He’s a big man. Very, very good in the air. As you saw today, he’s really good with his feet also.”

LA will travel to Dallas next Sunday, and then will host the Seattle Sounders the following weekend for their last regular season home game.  With the win, the Galaxy are now 17-5-9 on the season.

Galaxy News and Notes

  • LA Galaxy lead MLS in goals scored with 66 on the year, and have also given up the fewest goals in MLS, allowing just 31.  The Galaxy continue to hold the best goal differential in MLS with +35.

  • The Galaxy have the best record at home in MLS, going 12-1-3 in 16 matches as the host at StubHub Center. The Galaxy have more than tripled their opponents at home tallying 42 goals to 12.

  • Sarvas will miss the Galaxy’s next game due to yellow card accumulation after receiving a yellow card in the 66th minute.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for TheDailySportsHerald.com

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