Alan Gordon Gets Sweet Revenge as Toronto FC Defeat LA Galaxy 2-2
Now some of you may be wondering, wait a minute, wasn't this match a draw? Technically, yes it was, but only by the seat of its you-know-what.
However, don't tell this featured columnist, a.k.a. yours truly, that. This result, for Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy, was as good as a defeat.
The warning signs were obvious.
Exhibit A: Canada defeats Guadeloupe in a CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C match, 1-0.
Exhibit B: The United States (have mercy on this side, oh football gods) post their worst performance since the 4-0 body bag game against Spain...a 2-1 defeat to Panama in Group C.
People, this is similar to Luxembourg beating Germany, or San Marino beating Italy. Hello, hello, hello, I must be seeing some blood in the waters outside Tampa, and boy is it red with rage.
Exhibit C: A trio of women, named T-RIO (insert snicker here) post renditions of "O Canada" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" that were so atrocious, they are worthy of an apology to Barack Obama and Stephen Harper.
And Exhibit D: the power going out at some of the workstations in the press box at the Home Depot Center, the most notable being mine. (This is on my end; I just wanted to point it out.)
But readers, let it be known that this is two straight weeks the Galaxy have failed to deliver in the clutch. Last week, they couldn't produce out of a wet paper bag against D.C. And this week, they can produce, but they can't defend against 2-5-8 Toronto FC.
That's right, 2-5-8 Toronto FC, who relied on a former Galaxy frontman to find his scoring touch and deliver the game of his career.
You know, I don't know if this result might be the spark plug Toronto needs to launch a comeback in the Eastern Conference, or if this is warning to a certain side from British Columbia en route to a replay of the second leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship Final this year.
One thing is for sure: Toronto FC, like any team in this league, can score against Los Angeles.
This is the price the Galaxy pay for not finishing their set pieces, for giving up possession in the attacking third to force a counterattack from the opposition, and for not marking the players they're supposed to mark.
Solid example: Todd Dunivant, who blew his assignment in marking Maicon Santos, who set up the delivery to Gordon late.
Another solid example: Omar Gonzalez failing to mark Gordon before he took home his second equalizer of the evening.
Even though I still have a vote of no confidence for you, Mr. Bob Bradley, I now understand why you passed him over for Tim Ream. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing so.
Meanwhile, this Los Angeles Galaxy backline will continue to earn the scrutiny it gets for not finishing the job. You see, the teams that win championships never call it a night after 90 minutes and only a portion of stoppage time.
It's 90 minutes and stoppage time in its entirety. Apparently, the Galaxy simply forgot about this rule and paid the price for breaking it.
Forget that Chris Birchall opened the scoring in the second minute for LA. Forget that Juan Pablo Angel got his second on the year in the first minute of stoppage time.
Heck, forget all this talk about a curse of "El Gordo" hanging around the concourses and pitch of Victoria Street or even Juninho's wedding having to do with this mess.
Saturday night was another complete and utter collapse of defending in the 68th minute and the final minute of stoppage time.
Real Salt Lake, for all they are worth, should be breathing a sigh of relief. Toronto just gave them plenty of room to catch up on them, even with their draw against the Philadelphia Union.
And FC Dallas should also thank Toronto for this. They will get some pretty good separation on the Galaxy if they catch up and win out.
For Toronto, this may not be a victory, but it has to be, because now their city has finally found their scoring Messiah in Alan Gordon. You're welcome, Ontario. No need for you to say merci beaucoup on our watch, tabernak. The pleasure is all ours, believe us.
With only two points in as many games, LA's next contest, against the defending MLS Cup champions, is going to be a difficult task for them if they cannot defend against the attack for an entire match.
And while the last two matches were winnable games without the Donovans, it's safe to say that Landon Donovan and Donovan Ricketts would not let this slide. Come back soon, gentlemen. Your city and your team need you. Big time.
Kickoff between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., is scheduled for Saturday, June 18 at 6:00 p.m. PT/9:00 p.m. ET and will be televised on tape delay locally on Fox Sports West at 8:00 p.m. PT/11:00 p.m. ET.
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