Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
Down 2-0 at Real Salt Lake, Landon Donovan and the Galaxy decided to rally around each other and put an end to all the losing. It worked.
In a conference call this afternoon with reporters, Mike Magee was asked to reflect back on the Janus style season style season the LA Galaxy had. When asked whether he thought there was a specific turning point, Magee said:
"One game that stood out in my eyes was the game in Salt Lake. We went down 2-0 early. I remember a sense of urgency in the locker room at half time and we saw certain guys step up and build a sense of belief we hadn’t had all year. That game we came back and won 3-2. For me personally it was the first time we came together and really battled for each other."
The game in question took place on June 20th. The LA Galaxy had just broken a seven match unbeaten streak with a 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers. That was just the fourth win of the LA Galaxy season with the second half of the season just a few beats away.
The Galaxy had gotten Landon Donovan back, but Robbie Keane was still away at the Euros. With A.J. DeLaGarza and David Junior Lopes on the back line the Galaxy did give up two early goals; both through the middle and assisted by Fabian Espindola from outside the box.
Magee said the club found a sense of urgency; certainly their backs were up against it. However, the story of that game wasn't that the Galaxy found a sense of urgency. It was Landon Donovan deciding the Galaxy were going to win.
Donovan was able to get a goal back for the Galaxy before halftime. After the break Donovan came out and set up Magee for the equalizer, then scored the match winner after the hour mark. All three goals came from the left side. Donovan kept his head, found a weakness, and torched RSL to get the Galaxy back in it.
That's what the Galaxy have gotten from Donovan over all these years. He's the beating heart of the club and can get the team back in things seemly by will alone. If the team decided there at Salt Lake to battle for each other, it was Donovan who marshaled them.
"We have an extremely competitive group with a lot of leadership," Magee said. "We were getting sick of saying we were sick of losing. It came a time where everyone started holding each other accountable. And after that it has a trickle-down effect."
Robbie Keane upon his return lent a lot of that too, and certainly David Beckham was a veteran voice in the locker room through the lot of it. From that match at RSL on, the Galaxy would win 12 of 20 with only four losses. Sick of losing indeed.