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Landon Donovan scores two late goals as Los Angeles Galaxy defeats D.C. United, 2-1

Landon Donovan scored in the 81st and 86th minutes, rallying the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-1 victory over D.C. United at Home Depot Center.

In a meeting between MLS's top club and a D.C. team heading toward its worst season in history, United (5-17-3) went ahead in the 60th minute on teenage midfielder Andy Najar's one-timer from 12 yards off a scramble in the penalty area. D.C. had a golden chance to stretch the lead, but Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made an outstanding save on Pablo Hernandez.

It then all went bad for United. United's Dejan Jakovic and Clyde Simms, who had just entered the match, hesitated and looked to one another on a ball played outside the penalty area. Jakovic failed to control it, conceding possession to Donovan, who steered around charging keeper Troy Perkins and easily finished into an open net.

In the 85th, Ricketts stopped Branko Boskovic's unimaginative effort on a breakaway. Thirty-nine seconds later, the Galaxy (15-5-5) went ahead. Tristan Bowen served a right-side cross that bounced at the six-yard box. Donovan had beaten Jordan Graye at the back post and floated an angled header over Perkins.

"Again, we didn't make the plays that mattered down the stretch," United interim coach Ben Olsen said. "It's been a long season and this one is as tough as we have had."

Video links are available here.

By Steve Goff  |  September 19, 2010; 12:56 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags: D.C. United  
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Another argument to bring in McBride as coach...he may be able to teach Santino how to score in the box (and that using your head is ok to do in soccer).

It's so frustrating to watch a player with so much energy and potential totally screw up on key plays.

However Santino wasn't the problem (and I thought both Najar and Santino had good games) it was a defensive-midfield who not only couldn't hold a 1-0 lead in LA they gave Donovan the ball just outside the box for the first goal and just watched as he came in for the winning goal.

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 19, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I was at the game and have a few comments:

Allsopp is Australian for 'useless'.

With players like Boskovic and plays like the Simms/Jakovic debacle, it's surprising Benny has any hair left.

The atmosphere at a Galaxy game is okay, but doesn't come close to RFK.

Oh, and Donovan and Beckham can play.

Posted by: wichne | September 19, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

We played well enough until we got the lead. Then LA woke up, particularly Donovan.

Even still, we should have iced the game . . twice, but our DP blew an easy chance with a schoolgirl effort . .

Too little to offer in the final third . . again.

At least we'll be able to sell Najar for a pretty penny one day.

Posted by: delantero | September 19, 2010 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Good game for 75 minutes. Really blew it at the end. Oh well, the viewing party in Flagstaff was a success (I have to be happy about something).

Seriously though, Hernandez was a positive as was Najar. I am not that down on Graye, I think if he learns to be a 90 minute player he is a top defender in the league. Who cares if he sucks now, we are going to finish with the lowest total points ever in a MLS season, mind as well get his mistakes out now.

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 19, 2010 2:22 AM | Report abuse

And the last 10 minutes collapse had been coming. You cant miss all the chances DC missed in the second half and expect our defense to hold out for a victory. It was painfully obvious we were going to concede late on after Hernandez missed an easy breakaway. Quality always prevails, especially when you don't capitalize on their mistakes...

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 19, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow did the wheels come off on that ride.
Vamos United.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | September 19, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow did the wheels come off on that ride.
Vamos United.

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | September 19, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

2nd year in a row we've gone into the 81st minute with a lead over the Galaxy, 2nd year in a row we've come out without a win.

Draw last year (remember the "hand ball" that hit Wallace in the thigh?) and a loss this year.

Good teams make their own luck, bad teams find ways not to win.

This is the theme to the season. Finding a way not to win..

Posted by: ARickey | September 19, 2010 2:49 AM | Report abuse

I might not be so down on Graye if it seemed like he was actually learning something. But he keeps making the same stupid mistakes over and over. Maybe we could steal Delagarza from LA. He seemed to have some potential but doesn't get into their lineup.

Posted by: fedssocr | September 19, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

What's two steps worse than "pear-shaped"?

Posted by: benonthehill | September 19, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

As Real Salt Lake marches towards its best regular season ever and a likely advancement to the knock-out stage of CONCACAF, it might help to look at a few things.

If anyone doesn’t believe that Garth Lagerwey should not be MLS executive of the year, then they likely do not know much about this organization, probably due to its location an a western time zone.

KP had Garth right under his nose as a part-time team broadcaster and could have hired him at any time over the years 2006 - 2008 when he made his choice that Kasper was better qualified for the GM position.

It took a true sports visionary like Dave Checketts, who is the smartest and sharpest one in the room when the MLS Board of Governors meets, sitting a lot farther away from Garth than KP did to realize that intelligence has a role in a position like this. (Duke vs Maryland, GU Law vs. R. J Bentley's - those are the match-ups: do the math).

As the summer of 2007 wound down, KP was becoming ill, ultimately needing heart surgery in early 2008, when Garth was hired by RSL. KP was more impressed with the quality of the spongebaths that Kasper was giving him than he was in his brain power.

Yes, I know DCU is playing hard and has a strong will to win. They are not mailing it in as the teams did in late 2001 when they just didn’t want to play for the great Rongeni anymore nor are they on vacation as they were in late 2003 as the Ray and John Comedy Show was heading into syndication.

The problem is that the players who are out there are just not good enough. They work very hard, but they are not good enough to play at his level. The responsibility goes nowhere but to KP and Kasper. The persons responsible for bringing in the players for this team must be trusted to make sound decisions. Those two have proven over the last three years that they are not worthy of this trust, nor the handsome sums of money that Will pays them. We who love DCU would be foolish to think that the performance of this team is going to be any different in the future if those two are the ones making player personnel decisions.

Posted by: lgm6986 | September 19, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

There it is.

Posted by: seahawkdad | September 19, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

To think that Tommy Soehn got 30 more points out of this club!

The Simms/Jakovic miscommunication that lead to the first goal was outright pathetic. And both players are going to continue to form the foundation going forward, I would think.

And Graye not tightly marking the best American player in league for the 2nd goal is straight out of the JV squad. He's cost us a few games this season.

But, on the brightside we did compete well enough with one of the top squads in the league until then!

Posted by: delantero | September 19, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I fell asleep soon after DC took the lead and woke up when Donovan was being interviewed postgame!

Replays make Simms look like the main culprit on the giveaway that allowed the man once again known as Lannycakes to tie the game.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | September 19, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

At this point - I think I will donate my tickets and go see UVA vs Eastern Michigan in football.

I'll see a few of you back in 2011.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | September 19, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I saw the last ten minutes of the first half before going to bed. DCU looked good--as good as I've seen them this year. Yeah, it was a loss, but I'm surprised at the degree of negativity here. There are good things happening.

Posted by: glfrazier | September 19, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

That darn 10 minute mark, 80th to 90th minutes the D becomes weak. All season.

Good game United from what I heard it was a good show.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | September 19, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Well said, Frazier.

Posted by: DaninFL | September 19, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

And the last 10 minutes collapse had been coming. You cant miss all the chances DC missed in the second half and expect our defense to hold out for a victory. It was painfully obvious we were going to concede late on after Hernandez missed an easy breakaway. Quality always prevails, especially when you don't capitalize on their mistakes...

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 19, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Hernandez was robbed. Ricketts guessed and made a save at full extension. Now Boskovich...he really should have done better.

Posted by: wjones2 | September 19, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Going back to the Sanneh thread and the Milwaukee Rampage lets bring Digital Takawira in as our DP striker!

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 19, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

As I wrote during the game last night, I thought DCU was playing better than they had all year -- at least for the first 60 minutes. Then, LA's quality (and DC's relative lack of it) showed through. A winnable game, but not an embarrassment like so many other games this year.

On the subject of Jordan Graye -- yeah, he lost his man at a crucial moment. However, I think y'all are blind if you didn't notice his improvement. I'd say he was the steal of the draft, coming in the fourth round. He was definitely making his mark in a positive way throughout most of the game. As he starts to hit balls with more conviction and get more playing time (he didn't have a lot of it in college), he may turn into one of the better right backs in the league.

I still don't get the Boskovic signing. If he has so little confidence in his right foot that he didn't attempt the obvious move to get past Ricketts on the near post, I don't know how he gets a DP deal. He also was playing in a very withdrawn position most of the time. If you're David Beckham (or even Rafa Marquez), you can seriously impact the game from that position and you would be worth a DP slot. I just don't see it here.

Posted by: fischy | September 19, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to see some of the questions/answers that are asked/given during those season ticket holder Q-n-A sessions.

Hope lots of DCU fans are mad as hell and aren't gonna take it anymore.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 19, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Quaranta has a good work rate and is less backpass-happy this season, but it is time to end the denial. He just ain't much of a soccer player. najar plays him a lovely ball ito space in the box, and what does Q do? instead of a one-timer for a sure goal, he boneheadedly tries to walk the ball into the net and get closed down. The ball then bounces to Hernandez or somebody, who also gets stuffed. Amazingly and luckily, the ball bounces to najar and he buries for the goal. Q's crosses were terible. His FK's were terrible. As usual.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 19, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

We have been patient fans with the Santino Quaranta project for the better part of a decade now. True he has a lot of heart. But honestly, how many teams in the league would have him start? Maybe half?
Look up and down our roster. How many players would be starters on other teams? Our player selection has been awful.

Posted by: dsheon1 | September 19, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

DCU played well last night, at least for 80 minutes anyway. We had opportunities to put the game away and we did not do it, yet again. As others have stated, quality eventually shines through and it did for LA last night. Unfortunately for Benny and DCU, his subs did not work out as planned. I know what he was trying to do, preserve the lead by withdrawing our useless forward and trying to be more compact in the midfield, but it just did not come off. It looked like we gave LA more space to operate instead of denying passing lanes. We switch off twice late in the match resulting in two goals and it's the same old story once again. As I have said many times over the past few seasons unfortunately this squad is not good enough. It is good to see the effort from the boys, but the quality is lacking.

Posted by: uknowmeas-GQ | September 19, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

It has to be said also that coaching cost us the game last night as much as anything else. We went into an 11 guys behind the ball shell around the 70th minute. You can't do that against LA. You have to maintain as much possession as possible at least till the 80th minute, then go into hang-on-for-dear-life mode if you have to. But Bennie threw in the towel. Again. Awful.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 19, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Mildly disagree with the negative assessments of Quaranto in 2010. True: he messed up a sure goal on the sequence that resulted in Najar's goal. True: his freekicks are consistently bad enough that I miss Mark Burch. True: there are MLS teams on which he'd start occasionally, rather than always. But he'd be a luxury the times he came off the bench.

It might be nostalgia, but I think Tino brings a lot to the field every game, and I think he's really been let down by his teammates. There's been no one to take any pressure off him and no one who's looked like a threat to push Tino down the pecking order. That's not his fault. There's potential in the team, but we've all put a big red circle around its numerous weaknesses. I find it hard to believe anyone blowing up the roster (either speculatively on this blog or in reality in the dark corners of RFK) would not keep Tino.

Posted by: DWE4 | September 19, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Vamos United!

Posted by: Ivanovich84 | September 19, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

I thought Graye had a pretty good game. LA certainly tested him enough during the game. And be fair - it was Landon Donovan who lost him for that last goal.

As for Quaranta, I don't understand why there is still no chemistry between the midfield and the forwards. They've been playing together all season - they should be able to anticipate each other's actions. You could say Q's crosses are terrible; you could say the forwards are making the wrong runs. Everyone's frustrated. But I don't think you can lay it all on Q.

Posted by: wichne | September 20, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

My question for the coaching staff is why is GRAYE even on this team, let alone starting? How many games has he single handedly cost us? I keep hearing about his rookie mistakes- so let him make them somewhere else. Regarging Tino, there is no doubt his heart and soul are in it, but decision making and execution have been very poor all season. His performance kind of sums up this entire season. Keep fighting lads, its almost over.

Posted by: patrick18 | September 20, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

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