Galaxy Finds Road to Victory
After Landon Donovan scored the Galaxy’s third goal Saturday, the midfielder made an emphatic gesture to his teammates and seemingly anyone willing to listen.
“It’s over,” Donovan yelled, although exactly what he was referring to was uncertain.
But one thing’s over for sure -- the Galaxy’s road woes.
Donovan scored two goals, including one on a header in the 67th minute, about 60 seconds after D.C. United had tied the score, to lead the Galaxy to a 3-2 victory at RFK Stadium in Washington that gave L.A. its first Major League Soccer win outside Southern California since June 27, 2004, at Chicago.
The Galaxy’s only “road” wins since then had been against expansion Chivas USA, once as the visiting team at the Home Depot Center and the other at the Coliseum.
The victory improved the Galaxy’s record to 10-9-5 and moved L.A. into a second-place tie in the Western Conference with FC Dallas, six points behind the San Jose Earthquakes.
“Obviously, it’s a long time coming,” said Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who made four saves, including a sprawling one in the 90th minute off a Dema Kovalenko one-timer. "... It’s great to be back on a winning streak, on the road, and having that as an option.”
Cobi Jones, who had a role in two goals, became the Galaxy’s all-time assist leader with his 81st after making the right-footed cross from the left wing to Donovan for the winner. Jones’ assist moved him ahead of Mauricio Cienfuegos.
“I wanted to get into a good position so I ran into the box,” said Donovan, who has nine goals this season. “Any forward can score on that. He just put a perfect ball in.”
In the 28th minute, Jones helped put the Galaxy ahead, 1-0, when he sent a cross from the right wing that deflected off the left leg of United’s Bobby Boswell into the net. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando never had a chance to react.
But D.C. United (11-7-5), which saw the end of its four-game winning streak, countered nine minutes later when Bryan Namoff scored the first goal of his career with a flick header past Hartman off a free kick by Christian Gomez.
The Galaxy regained the lead in the 53rd minute when Donovan curled a spectacular right-footed free kick over a defensive wall and off the crossbar past Rimando for a 2-1 lead.
Jaime Moreno’s penalty kick in the 66th minute, which Hartman got a piece of before it went in, tied the score again before Donovan’s goal seemed to break United’s spirit and eventually the Galaxy’s road winless streak.
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Profile of a streak
The Galaxy’s 3-2 victory at D.C. United on Saturday was its first MLS victory outside Los Angeles since a 1-0 decision over Chicago on June 27, 2004. A look at the road winless streak:
Goals scored 9
Goals allowed 30
Times shut out 10
Leads lost 3
Note: The Galaxy had two “road” victories over Chivas USA during the streak, May 28 at the Home Depot Center and Aug. 10 at the Coliseum.
Barrero reported from Los Angeles.