The LA Galaxy defeated the Colorado Rapids 2-0 at The Home Depot Center, pulling even with Real Salt Lake in the point column while owning the tiebreaker. The match saw the debut of Christian Wilhelmsson, and he scored the Galaxy's insurance goal in the '58. It also saw the return of Landon Donovan who got the assist on the Galaxy's opening goal.
"I said earlier in the week we're greedy, we want more," said Landon Donovan. "If we're gonna pass Seattle, pass Salt Lake, and get near San Jose we're going to need a little bit of help, but we also play all those teams. We wanna keep pushing and we'll see where the chips lie at the end."
The Galaxy certainly have been greedy as of late, going 7-1-2 since July 4th. LA was in sixth place then, they currently sit in third. Yes the Galaxy will need a little help along the way, but they're also masters of their own fate since they do play all three of those teams. Picking up the points they're supposed to in September should put the club in a position to make the October run.
The Galaxy opened scoring in the 15', though they dominated the entire opening phase of the match. On yet another stretch of the Galaxy controlling possession in the offensive zone, Marcelo Sarvas eventually sent the ball in to Landon Donovan who squeezed it between defenders to Robbie Keane who was making a run into the box and was able to slide it past Matt Pickens.
The go ahead goal came after halftime, in the 58' with Marcelo Sarvas again getting the play rolling. He played the ball into Christian Wilhelmsson who used quick feet to keep it past several challenges, then changing direction. The change of direction had Matt Pickens just enough out of position to put the shot out of reach. Before tonight, Sarvas didn't have an MLS assist. He also made a great sliding save late in the match to preserve Saunder's clean sheet after Sarvas was completely beaten by Conor Casey.
Wilhelmsson looked good in his MLS debut, leaving the match shortly after his goal for Hector Jimenez. His style is similar to Keane's, in that what he lacks in grace he makes up for in tenacity. He's got more of a motor than Keane however, which should result in some great runs from the midfield.
Landon Donovan lost some gas toward the end, but otherwise provided the same spark he always does. David Beckham's presence is always missed, but the Galaxy did fine sticking with a ground attack run through Donovan and Sarvas. The Galaxy were able to carve up the Colorado back line, mostly because Colorado gave them all the space they wanted.
The Galaxy have the trip to Puerto Rico, which could all but wrap up the group for the Galaxy as a victory would eliminate Puerto Rico, then they return home to face Toronto FC. September wraps up with a trip to Colorado, which is all to say that the Galaxy should have an easy road finishing out the month.
They handled things tonight against Colorado with relative ease. This is the effort Galaxy fans have come to expect over the last four years, it has returned, and it could mean big things again.