Donovan’s 3 assists leads Galaxy past Seattle 4-0
May 8, 2010, 5:39 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 9:50 am
(AP Photo/The News Tribune,Joe Barrentine)
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
To Landon Donovan, the question is without debate: Los Angeles teammate Edson Buddle should be part of the U.S. national team training camp for the World Cup.
Donovan looked ready for South Africa with three assists, then scored his first goal of the season off an assist from Buddle in the Galaxy’s impressive 4-0 rout of the Seattle Sounder FC on Saturday.
In his next-to-last appearance for the Galaxy before joining the national team, Donovan set up the first three Los Angeles goal before chipping a perfectly placed pass from Buddle past Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller in the 67th minute.
So far this season, it’s been the other way with Donovan setting up Buddle. But the reversal of roles only displayed the chemistry the pair have developed. When asked if Buddle should be joining him at training camp, Donovan said, “Yes, absolutely.”
“While a lot of attention goes to Edson everybody else is doing a lot of things right to put him in position,” Donovan said. “Today, he did a lot of things right to put other people in the right position.”
Jovan Kirovski gave L.A. a 1-0 lead midway through the first half with a swerving goal from 25 yards that handcuffed Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller. Omar Gonzalez and Todd Dunivant added second-half headers as the Galaxy ran their regular season unbeaten streak to 11.
Donovan Ricketts posted his sixth shutout of the season for Los Angeles (7-0-1), which showed some goal scoring diversity for the first time this season.
Before Wednesday’s 1-0 win in Colorado, nine of the Galaxy’s 10 goals had been scored by Buddle, who is pushing for a national team invite. Buddle gets one more chance to impress U.S. coach Bob Bradley when the Galaxy host Toronto next Saturday, and appreciated Donovan’s support.
“(Landon) sees me day in and day out and his words speak volumes. I think everyone in America … respects his opinion,” Buddle said. “We’ll see what happens from there.”
Donovan certainly looked ready. The leader of the U.S. squad that opens World Cup play June 12 against England set a new MLS career high with his three assists. He leads the league with nine assists in just eight games and checked out in the 71st minute to a mix of cheers and boos that will almost certainly be all cheers from afar a month from now.
“We know that we are the better team and we wanted to be aggressive. We didn’t’ want to sit back and let them dictate the game,” Donovan said. “They had the ball a little bit in the first half but we never felt they were going to threaten us.”
Making his first start of the season, Kirovski took a chance on a drive from distance midway through the first half when Seattle controlled most of the play. The slicing shot, off a pass from Donovan, glanced off Keller’s left hand and inside the far post, silencing yet another Seattle sellout crowd.
Kirovski’s goal was just the third this season for Los Angeles scored by someone other than Buddle. The Galaxy added two more in the second half. Gonzalez rose above the Seattle defense to head Donovan’s corner kick off the underside of the crossbar and past a helpless Keller in the 52nd minute. Five minutes later, Seattle’s Peter Vagenas whiffed on clearing Donovan’s free kick. The loose ball bounced in the penalty area and Dunivant’s dive redirected past Keller.
The victory was Los Angeles’ first over Seattle in three meetings and put the Galaxy 13 points clear of the Sounders with the Western Conference standings.
“It’s not time to panic, but time for some people to wake up and for character to step forward,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “Some guys we’ve asked to step up and it hasn’t happened so changes are forthcoming.”