Recap: Galaxy stars on fire as LA ease past Sporting
CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy’s big three cranked up the offense on Saturday as Landon Donovan, Juan Pablo Ángel and David Beckham all found the back of the net in a 4-1 rout of Sporting Kansas City at the Home Depot Center.
Donovan had two goals in a span of two minutes to offset an Omar Gonzalez own-goal as the Galaxy snapped a three-match winless skid. Sporting KC, meanwhile, remained winless in their last six matches, dating back to their previous visit to HDC when the club opened the season with a 3-2 win over Chivas USA. They have yet to win since.
Donovan’s goals were historic. He now has 110 career MLS goals, good for fourth in the all-time table.
Sporting KC got on the scoreboard first courtesy of a gift from the Galaxy. Milos Stojcev swung a ball into the front of the net from the right flank. Galaxy defender Gonzalez swung at the ball but got only enough of it to re-direct it into the corner of the net.
However, the Galaxy fought back and got the equalizer before the end of the half. LA defender Todd Dunivant did well to fight for a ball on the right side of the penalty area. The ball bounced back to Beckham, who was taken down inside the box. Referee Baldomero Toledo immediately pointed to the spot as the Galaxy were awarded a spot kick.
Donovan calmly buried the penalty kick and with it surpassed FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake striker Jason Kreis on the MLS all-time scoring chart. Donovan’s 109th career goal moved him into the fourth spot on the list, behind Jaime Moreno, Jeff Cunningham and Ante Razov.
Perhaps the Galaxy realized at halftime that their opponent had one of the league’s most porous defenses — Sporting KC are the only team in MLS not to have a shutout this season. It took just seconds for the Galaxy to claim their first lead of the match. Donovan and Chad Barrett combined on a give-and-go that put LA on top. Donovan fed Barrett in the middle of the box and Barrett sent the ball back onto Donovan’s path. Donovan easily found the back of the net, beating a helpless Eric Krongberg.
Ángel replaced Miguel López early in the second half and quickly found the back of the net. Barrett sent Ángel through as the former New York star raced past Sporting KC’s defense. Ángel easily beat Eric Kronberg and picked up his second goal of the season in the process.
Late in the match, Beckham put an exclamation mark on the victory when he buried a free kick from the left side of the penalty area. The goal was Beckham’s first of the season and also gave the Galaxy four goals for the first time in 2011.
KC -- own goal (Omar Gonzalez) 39
LA -- Landon Donovan 6 (penalty kick) 44
LA -- Landon Donovan 7 (Chad Barrett 2) 46
LA -- Juan Pablo Angel 2 (Chad Barrett 3) 64
LA -- David Beckham 1 (unassisted) 87
LA -- Juninho (caution; Reckless Tackle) 80
Sporting KC -- Eric Kronberg, Roger Espinoza (Chance Myers 57), Aurelien Collin, Julio Cesar, Michael Harrington, Davy Arnaud, Milos Stojcev (Ryan Smith 65), Stephane Auvray, Kei Kamara (C.J. Sapong 67), Teal Bunbury, Graham Zusi.
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Besler, Kevin Ellis, Craig Rocastle, Jimmy Nielsen.
LA Galaxy -- Josh Saunders, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Juninho (Michael Stephens 85), Mike Magee, Chad Barrett (Chris Birchall 81), Miguel Lopez (Juan Pablo Angel 61).
Substitutes Not Used: Gregg Berhalter, Paolo Cardozo, Frankie Hejduk, Brian Perk.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: -Ian Anderson; Kevin Duliba
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Cloudy and 54 degrees