Los Angeles Galaxy 4-1 Philadelphia Union: Der Landon Ist Eine Legende


May 25, 2014; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane (7) hugs forward Landon Donovan (10) after Donovan scored his 136th MLS goal in the second half of the game against the Philadelphia Union at StubHub Center. Galaxy won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps it was destiny for Jurgen Klinsmann to drop Landon Donovan from the USA Men’s National Team following their camp. Or maybe it was a setup of the most clever order by the Kaiser himself. Whatever conspiracy you fancy, there is only one fact: Donovan is Major League Soccer’s all-time leading goal scorer. The end.

Donovan took center stage as Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy took John Hackworth’s Philadelphia Union to the cleaners, 4-1, on a crisp May afternoon at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Here are six things we learned, followed by player ratings, for this historic match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Philadelphia Union.

1. Leonardo? That was quick

Galaxy defender Leonardo had a mediocre season and was guilty of coughing up a number of goals. However, he wanted to prove that he could be of use, in whatever way possible, for Los Angeles. He opened up his scoring account in a big way, in just the second minute. Watch this free kick from Donovan that finds the Brazilian’s head. Not the best of headers, but a goal is a goal.

2. Galaxy continue to press

Philadelphia were now forced to chase the game, and in the fifth minute, a shot from Brian Carroll sailed high and wide right. In the eighth minute, Gyasi Zardes tried his luck, but Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath was there to collect. In the 12th minute, Robbie Keane hit the crossbar and in the 14th minute, Maurice Edu’s shot missed wide left. The 17th minute Juninho also fire high and wide right. Keane tried it again in the 29th minute but his shot was saved by MacMath.

3. Donovan finally delivers with No. 135

Juninho was cautioned in the 31st minute for a rough challenge on the other Leonardo in the game, Philadelphia’s Leonardo Fernandes. Match referee Jorge Gonzalez nearly put himself in hot water by pulling out the red card by accident. Nonetheless, both teams would finish the match at full strength. Donovan wanted to get the record in the 37th minute of play but his shot was blocked. A shot from the Union’s Vincent Nogueira was skied in the 41st minute. In the end, at the break, Leonardo’s goal was the difference.

But the second half would be a different story. In the 49th minute, Landon Donovan finally passed Jeff Cunningham. The message was sent to Jurgen Klinsmann: “Ignore me, and I will make my own history in spite of you.” Watch. And enjoy.

4. Robbie Keane joins the party

So now with the record set, the focus was on the Galaxy to put the clamps down on Philly. Conor Casey was brought in for Antoine Hoppenot in the 52nd minute to get some fresh legs for the Union. That was after Hoppenot’s last attempt on goal was saved by Jaime Penedo. A.J. DeLaGarza looked to make it 3-0 but MacMath denied him, Juninho and Keane in the 53rd. Now MacMath was feeling the pressure because the Galaxy were emboldened to add more salt to the wound.

Juninho had another attempt blocked in the 54th minute and Keane’s shot in the 55th missed wide right. Keane tried it again in the 60th minute of play but it was blocked. Andrew Wenger came in to replace Danny Cruz in the 61st minute for Philadelphia, while Stefan Ishizaki came in for Kenney Walker in the 64th minute. Keane finally got on the scoresheet in the 64th following a shot from Carroll and a howler by Union defender Sheannon Williams to make it 3-0 LA. Talk about not paying attention, Philly, but Los Angeles have been there before. Case examples: Leonardo and Omar Gonzalez.

5. It’s No. 136 for Landon

Keane wanted to get a brace in the 66th minute but missed wide left. Nogueira’s next chance in the 67th minute was blocked. Leonardo Fernandes was hoping to pull one back that save minute but was denied by Penedo. Galaxy defender Tommy Meyer fancied a go at goal in the 69th but skied his attempt. Zardes was hoping to get on the scoresheet in the 69th minute but missed wide right. 73 minutes in, youngster Raul Mendiola entered the fray to relieve Juninho. Zach Pfeffer came in to replace Fernandes in the 75th minute of play.

In the 76th minute, Williams was hoping to atone for his gaffe in the back, but his header sailed wide right. In the 81st minute, Donovan got his first brace of the season to put an exclamation point to the Galaxy’s efforts on Saturday. Ishizaki robbed Carroll in broad daylight, then Keane and Donovan teamed up to give LD No. 136. Take a look.

6. Philadelphia salvage some pride at the end

In the 83rd minute, with the game in hand, Donovan was replaced by Samuel Rosa to get some fresh bodies in. As for the Union, they were hoping to at least get one goal back and give themselves something to think about heading into the next match. Wenger’s shot in the 83rd missed wide left, and Keane nearly got his brace in the 84th minute but missed wide right.

It was Mendiola’s inexperience that paid the price for preventing the shutout, as his foul in the box allowed Maurice Edu to convert and score his third goal of the season. Take your lumps, rookie. The Union had two more chances to keep the game respectable but failed to deliver. Williams was hoping to get on the scoresheet in the 90th minute but missed wide right and Nogueira’s opportunity in third minute of second half stoppage time was blocked.

Team Statistics

(Los Angeles Galaxy in yellow, Philadelphia Union in blue)

9Shots on Target3
7Shots off Target6
4Blocked Shots3
1Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
386Total Passes409
78 %Passing Accuracy79 %
48.1 %Possession51.9 %
49Duels Won44
13Tackles Won8

Los Angeles Galaxy Player Ratings

Jaime Penedo 7, A.J. DeLaGarza 7, Dan Gargan 7, Leonardo 8, Tommy Meyer 7, Baggio Husidic 6, Gyasi Zardes 6, Juninho 6.5, Kenny Walker 6, Landon Donovan 10, Robbie Keane 9, Stefan Ishizaki 5, Raul Mendiola 3, Samuel Rosa NR

Philadelphia Union Player Ratings

Zac MacMath 1, Amobi Okugo 2, Fabinho 3, Raymon Gaddis 3, Sheannon Williams 2, Brian Carroll 1, Danny Cruz 3, Leonardo Fernandes 4, Maurice Edu 7, Vincent Nogueira 6, Antoine Hoppenot 4, Conor Casey 4, Andrew Wenger 4, Zach Pfeffer NR