CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy couldn’t ask Alan Gordon for much more.
But he says he’s got more to give.
The veteran forward, acquired two weeks ago from San Jose, scored the equalizer three minutes after he came off the bench in LA’s 4-3 comeback win a week ago at Colorado, provided some mop-up duty in last weekend’s 2-0 romp over Vancouver, then gave a strong effort in his first start with the Galaxy (11-5-7) since 2010 in a 4-1 drilling of the Eastern Conference leading D.C. United.
Gordon, who played for LA from 2004 until he was traded to Chivas USA in 2010, scored just 67 seconds into Wednesday night’s showdown of Western and Eastern powers and nearly netted another, winning high praise from his coach and teammates.
"I’m trying to figure out how he couldn’t play in San Jose, but I’m glad they didn’t see what we see," Galaxy catalyst Landon Donovan said in the winning locker room. "It’s pretty obvious how good he’s been and what an impact he makes. I think he should be starting on a lot of teams in this league, including San Jose, and it’s interesting to see that they would let him go.
"We’re happy to have him, he’s been excellent – his work rate, his attitude – the guys love him, and he’s scoring important goals for us, too."
Gordon, who got the call Wednesday night in place of Robbie Keane – the Irishman is nursing a minor, unidentified injury – made just six starts, played just 665 minutes and scored no goals in the first 5½ months this year for the Earthquakes after tallying 13 times in their Supporters’ Shield-winning campaign two years ago. He’s buoyed by the opportunity he’s been given.
"The offense is clicking, there’s a lot of special players, so it’s kind of like gold for a target striker like myself," he said. "There’s going to be chances out there, and all we have to do as forwards is focus on putting it away. ... Chances are going to be there, and I’ve been fortunate to put two away."
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He finished swiftly in the 68th minute at Colorado, after Omar Gonzalez nodded Marcelo Sarvas’ cross into the goalmouth. Against D.C., he fired into an open net after the ball pinged his way after Taylor Kemp dispossessed Sarvas in the United box.
Eight minutes later, he was one-on-one with D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid at the left post, but he fired high and wide.
"I should have done a little bit better," he said, "but I’ll get sharper and sharper as my minutes increase going forward."
Head coach Bruce Arena is pleased.
"He’s an improved player from the last time we saw him with the Galaxy," Arena said. "I think his experiences in San Jose were good, and I thought he and [Gyasi] Zardes worked very well together for the first time. That was a real positive, and, obviously, Alan has [the two goals]. That’s all good, too."
Gordon, who scored seven times in 10 games against the Galaxy during his four years elsewhere, said he’s made a "seamless" transition to LA.
"I feel at home. I feel like I’ve been here all year, and it’s only been two weeks," he said. "… It’s a fresh start for me, it’s a new chapter, it’s exciting. I have something to prove.
"I have fans to that have hard feelings against me, so I’m working my hardest to win them back. And I’m working hard to earn respect from my teammates. Every time you get a fresh start, you go out with a clean slate, and this has been a good start."