The star forward scored in just the fourth minute Saturday night to pad his career scoring record and lead the
Donovan, 32, announced Aug. 7 that he would retire after this season, his 14th in
His latest came when teammate
In the 32nd minute, as the Galaxy attacked the Whitecaps' goal with a flurry of passes, midfielder Marcelo Sarvas took the final pass and converted with a score from the corner of the six-yard box to widen the Galaxy's lead to 2-0.
The Galaxy nearly scored again in the 57th minute when defender Omar Gonzalez took Donovan's corner kick and headed a sinking line drive from 12 yards out. But Vancouver midfielder Pedro Morales — who was standing alongside Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted — blocked the shot with his foot.
Vancouver's best scoring attempt came in the 81st minute when
With the victory, the Galaxy — seeking its fifth MLS championship — is squarely in playoff contention with two months left in the regular season.
The top five teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs, and after Saturday night's game the Galaxy (11-5-7) was fourth in the Western Conference, seven points ahead of the fifth-place Whitecaps (7-5-12).
The Galaxy also was only two points behind Seattle,
A turning point in the Galaxy's season might have been the club's come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rapids last Wednesday.
The Galaxy had been soundly beaten in the prior game, a 4-1 loss to the
Arena then gave his players a tongue-lashing during halftime, a scolding that Donovan later said he couldn't repeat without the threat of being fined by the league.
The Galaxy then scored three times in the second half in Colorado to defeat the Rapids — the last a goal by Donovan in the 80th minute — and the team maintained the momentum Saturday night against Vancouver.
Saturday's game against Vancouver started a busy stretch for the Galaxy, which will play three games in nine days, all of them at StubHub Center. The Galaxy next faces