Gordon stoppage-time goal completes San Jose’s comeback win over Galaxy

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BY ADAM  SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. — Alan Gordon scored in stoppage time as the San Jose Earthquakes erased a late two-goal deficit with three unanswered goals to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy, 3-2, on Wednesday. 

After going down due to goals from Hector Jimenez and Mike Magee, San Jose clawed back as Steven Lenhart and Khari Stephenson scored before Gordon's dramatic stoppage time winner. Gordon's goal was the sixth time this season that San Jose had scored in the 88th minute or later — five of those ending in either a win or a tie. 

Following yet another dramatic performance, the Earthquakes couldn't help but embrace their role as the comeback kids of MLS. 

“We just like to make the game exciting. Goonies never say die," said Lenhart. "I think we are prepared this year. We have put in the work in training and we like each other, we show up every day and we all know we are committing to the 90 minutes, to play together and work for each other. It may not look that pretty but we know we are going to get the most out of our guys at the end of the day.”

Los Angeles flew out of the gate early and needed just three minutes to get on the board. The sequence began as Juninho fired a through-ball into forward Chad Barrett, who ran into the box before laying it off to Jimenez. The second-year midfielder did not miss his opportunity, firing a shot into the back of the Earthquakes' net for his first career MLS goal.

As the match wore on, the Galaxy remained in control, but San Jose continued to press forward for an equalizer, eventually throwing on Gordon at the start of the second half. Then in the 60th minute, the match was turned on its head when Jimenez was given a red card by referee Jair Marrufo for a stud-up challenge on Earthquakes right back Steven Beitashour.   

San Jose's man advantage did not prevent the Galaxy from doubling their lead as David Beckham-led counterattack found Magee, who scored Los Angeles' second goal of the match. However, San Jose would not go quietly as they broke the Galaxy’s shutout bid just three minutes later when Lenhart finished a diving header from a Marvin Chavez corner.

From there things went south for the Galaxy as Beckham was whistled for a handball in the 72nd minute after a shot from Jason Hernandez. Just a minute later, Stephenson stepped up and pushed the penalty past Perk for the tie.  The score level, San Jose continued their pressure and found the winning goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time as Gordon headed in a bouncing cross from Hernandez for the game winner. 

"I just was following up the play, I think there may have been a little bit of hesitation on their part and I was just seeing the play through," said Gordon. "They hesitated, I didn’t, I finished it. Forwards get lucky sometimes, I got lucky, who cares, I put it in, end of story period."

The result  extended the Galaxy's win-less streak to six games and gave the defending MLS Cup champions their eighth loss in all competitions in the 2012 season equaling the club's mark for the entire 2011 campaign. Despite a stellar first half — perhaps their best of the season — the club was stunned by the turn of events. 

"We know we played well but also we’re extremely disappointed. We can’t be up 2-0 at home and they get three unanswered goals. That’s just unacceptable," said defender Sean Franklin. "It just seems like we can’t get any luck to go our way – a bounce, a call, something. It just seems like things aren’t going the way we wanted them to go."

With the victory, San Jose (8-2-3) catapulted themselves to the top of the league standings, a single point in front of Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls. 

Despite the joy of the club's first road victory over the Galaxy (3-7-2) since rejoining MLS, Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop was quick to downplay the idea that Wednesday's five goal thriller had brought spice back to the Galaxy-Earthquakes rivalry.

"I don’t look at it as a rivalry, I think [reporters] want it to be a rivalry, it is just three points for us. I think the rivalry ended in 2005," said Yallop."The LA Galaxy have earned the right to be at the top of the league, winning the title last year, we are still trying to build our franchise, trying to get into playoffs spots and get what we had in 03 or 05. To me it was about overcoming a tough opponent, but a few things had to go our way."

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16 Responses to Gordon stoppage-time goal completes San Jose’s comeback win over Galaxy

  1. Soccer Guy says:

    How long before people recognize what a farce and or disgrace the Galaxy have become?

    I know everyone adores Donovan no matter what, and that no one is ever allowed to speak ill of him, but the Galaxy need to dump him fast. He has no interest in playing for the Galaxy. He needs to go to Everton where he will not be allowed to phone it in, and he might actually be motivated to play. I don’t know why he doesn’t have to earn his USMNT spot, especially since his league play is disgraceful and he phones it in as a USMNT player a lot too.

    The sad thing is that “prima donna syndrome” has ravaged the Galaxy. Now even the so called regular players don’t really feel like they need to play if they don’t want to. There is only so much Arena can do with players that are bigger than him and the team. Other players see that the players making many times what they make are taking many games off and half a*ssing many of the games they actually play, and see Arena being very restrained in his response to this bull, and they start doing the same thing. That’s the Galaxy now.

    Arena could get rid of Donovan, Beckham, and Keane, and he would actually get better results because he would actually be able to coach. (To be fair Beckham is doing a lot more to help the team when he plays than Keane and Donovan.) Something needs to be done soon. It makes the Galaxy AND the league look ridiculous, and the fans are starting to abandon ship.

    I am not a Galaxy by the way. I’m rooting for DC United this year.

  2. Steve C says:

    “Goonies never say die.” That’s awesome.

    I know it’ll be up at some point today, but the Crew winning at Seattle = awesomesauce. I’ve been uber impressed with Justin Meram. He’s been a revelation for the Crew. Throw in having Duka back, and they’re slowly building a decent roster.

  3. chris says:

    I think the team needs to rebuild next year. I could see Donovan and keane leaving this season and arena taking a position in MLS. I wouldn’t mind seeing LA look to Caleb Porter to fill the coaching gap and actually try to build a team that tries to play attacking soccer

  4. scott says:

    Do you think Wondo and Donovan were watching this game together at USMNT camp. I picture them watching the game with good natured ribbing between the two of them. Sort of like that espn commercial with the Cubs and white sox fan gong back and forth.

  5. Tolo says:

    WTF Arena you shmuck lol!

  6. Zerka says:

    agreed 100% pusssiiii puusssii London.Fire Arena now!

  7. Zerka says:

    Porter? Man you sound like an idiot.

  8. Cabrito says:

    The look on Arena’s face after Gordon’s goal was priceless.

    Galaxy = American Super Club??? What a joke!

  9. ex_sweeper says:

    The last few Quakes games, the defense has been atrocious. If not for Gordon, we would have zero points in the past three games. Let’s just hope that Bernardez makes it back from international duty undamaged.

  10. chris says:

    I sound like an idiot? Who the f*ck else is going to coach this team if Arena leaves, and he has talked about moving on from coaching? You going to recycle more failed coaches? You could hire Winter maybe Nowak when they get fired. No wait I forgot this is the LA Galaxy we’re talkin about, the greatest team to ever grace this league. You need to hire a big name like ruud guilt because that worked out so well for you. But it really doesn’t matter because jose mourinho will be coaching this team two years for now how could he pass on such a wonderful opportunity

  11. b says:

    Ike freaking Opara…. not a surprise considering what a disaster he was during Olympic qualifying.

  12. Goob says:

    LA’s spring looks to be morphing into a summer of discontent. I was actually rooting for them to win for a change and could not believe they let one point, let alone 3, disappear. They gave away two of those goals on defense especially the last one.

    What was Perk waiting for, Omar?

  13. marco says:

    When I saw Stephens suiting up on the sidelines I knew bad things would happen to the Galaxy. It was the same dread I had when he entered the U23’s game. He’s OK but he carries a bad mojo with him.

  14. marco says:

    “What was Perk waiting for, Omar?”
    DeLaGarza was certainly looking for Omar as he backed away from the ball to let it bounce in the box.

  15. Andy says:

    Yallop to LA!

  16. WK says:

    Opara has still not improved enough, but Hernandez was skinned on both of the LA goals. I think we shed both of those guys for better backups to & Morrow.