COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Los Angeles Galaxy got a first-half goal from Alan Gordon and benefited from yet more set-piece failures by the Colorado Rapids to eke out a 1-0 win on Wednesday night.
With the victory, the Galaxy won their first-ever match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and continued their unblemished start to the season.
The loss snapped the Rapids seven game undefeated streak at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, dating back to August 1, 2009.
Veteran LA striker Alan Gordon was left wide open on the left hand side of the penalty area in the 21st minute to head home Landon Donovan’s free kick for the only goal of the game. The Rapids have conceded seven goals this season, six of them coming off set pieces.
Once the goal went in, the Rapids began to dominate the game after LA had been by far the more threatening team in the opening 20 minutes. In the second half, despite the occasional chance for the ever-dangerous Edson Buddle, LA rarely threatened other than a couple of counterattacks.
With World Cup spots up for grabs, the game was billed as a battle between Buddle and Conor Casey, but it was Omar Cummings who time and again revealed himself as Colorado’s main attacking threat.
Running with confidence at the LA defenders all night, the Jamaican created a number of chances for himself and his teammates but none of the Rapids could finish. Cummings’ battle with Gregg Berhalter in particular was contentious.
Buddle was, for the most part, extremely well-shepherded by Julien Baudet in central defense but still managed to get a number of shots in on goal. It was credit to both players that Buddle got in as many shots as he did while Baudet was doing such an excellent job. The Frenchman was also an offensive threat at times.
Again, Claudio Lopez was called into action off the bench to try and be the game-changer, but even his mercurial skills weren’t enough to break the strong LA defense down. The Rapids mounted a late charge in the dying minutes but couldn’t find the target. Their last chance was a Jeff Larentowicz free kick in injury time, which sailed over the bar.
With the win, the LA Galaxy move to 7-0-1 on the season, further stretching their lead in the Western Conference. LA are now nine points ahead of both Colorado and Houston, who also lost 1-0 Wednesday in their game against Dallas.
LA -- Alan Gordon 1 (Landon Donovan 6) 21
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, A.J. DeLaGarza (Bryan Jordan 81), Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Michael Stephens, Christopher Birchall, Juninho (Jovan Kirovski 62), Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle, Alan Gordon (Clint Mathis 71).
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Danny Earls, Marvell Wynne, Julien Baudet, Drew Moor, Mehdi Ballouchy (Claudio Lopez 71), Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson (Colin Clark 46), Conor Casey, Omar Cummings.
Subs not used: Ian Joyce, Scott Palguta, Michael Holody, Quincy Amarikwa, Ross LaBaues
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-59-degrees