CARSON, Calif. — That LA Galaxy team the nation saw losing to Portland 3-0 a few days ago is an aberration.
At least, that’s what Galaxy players said Saturday after a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over FC Dallas that put the club six points clear once again in the Western Conference table.
It was a far different performance than the one that played out on national television just three days prior.
“Everyone knows we let ourselves down,” Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said of the 3-0 loss to Portland. “We let the manager down, we let the owners down and we let ourselves down and the fans. It was up to us to prove to ourselves, to everybody, that was watching the other night that that’s not us, the way we play.”
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Playing a lackluster match and losing against a team that has had its share of struggles was difficult for the Galaxy to accept, but the loss perhaps spurred the players to a better performance against one of the league’s best teams of the 2011 season thus far.
The performance had to be better if the team wanted any shot of success on Saturday.
“We don’t want to play like we did on Wednesday against Portland,” Galaxy captain Landon Donovan said. “If we’re going to play like that, we’re not going to win many games. This was a much better performance and it was a big step in the right direction towards winning the Supporters’ Shield again.”
The victory helped push the Galaxy to 48 points and kept FC Dallas on 42 points. Seattle beat Sporting KC on Wednesday and sit on 41 points, perhaps making the result more significant. However, the players were not exactly bent on taking the victory but rather on showing well.
“We wanted to get the three points but I think our performance was more important tonight after we let ourselves down in Portland,” Beckham said. “That was the biggest thing.”
FC Dallas had beaten the Galaxy in their last two meetings. On May 1, LA fell to FC Dallas 2-1 in a match that featured an hour-long delay due to an electrical storm at Pizza Hut Park. A year ago, FCD kept the Galaxy from reaching MLS Cup 2010 with a stunning 3-0 win at the Home Depot Center.
Was the match then also tinged with a bit of revenge?
“It had nothing to do with Dallas as a team,” Beckham said. “Tonight was about our team. We know they’re a good team, we know they were going to come in here, play and play hard but tonight was about us showing character.”
The Galaxy received strong efforts from numerous players, from Omar Gonzalez who scored the game’s first goal and was constantly thwarting FC Dallas attacks, to Juninho, who cleaned up with his own tidy play and banged in the game-winner in the 62nd minute, to Beckham, who served up three set pieces that led to all of the home team's goals.
“Character-wise, it was a very good performance all around the pitch,” Beckham said. “Everyone worked hard for each other and that’s the only reason we won.”