Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy battled to a scoreless draw with Mark Watson’s San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday night at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. With the draw, they have booked a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs, along with their final opponent of the regular season, the slumping Seattle Sounders.
Here are six things we learned from the nightcap of a wild weekend of football in MLS between the Los Angeles Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes.
1. San Jose…wait till next year!
The Earthquakes are pretty much out of the running for the playoffs. Two things need to happen in order for the Quakes to pass the Colorado Rapids next weekend.
The Quakes would have to beat FC Dallas next weekend and score at minimum 12 goals in the process to catch Colorado on the second tiebreaker (total goals), and hope the Rapids lose to the Vancouver Whitecaps by at least six while being shut out in order to leapfrog the Mile High Club based on the third tiebreaker (goal differential).
Common sense, however, prevails in American modern society these days, and common sense tells us that San Jose’s playoffs dreams…are over.
2. Jaime Penedo, you beauty!
It takes a great goalkeeper to get over heartbreak and turn it into triumph. Panamanian international Jaime Penedo is that person. Four saves, five collections, and a punch-out. He played out of his skins on Sunday night, and that’s what you need to do to help your team win something at the end of the year.
3. Clarence Goodson’s pedigree on display
Another player that contributed to the draw was Clarence Goodson of San Jose. He won his duels and had some speed that really neutralized LA’s counterattack. It also helps that Goodson’s a USA Men’s National Team bookend that will be in the mix next year in Brazil.
4. Sam Cronin holds Robbie Keane in check
One of the faces that really delivered for the Quakes was Sam Cronin. His assignment was to neutralize Robbie Keane’s playmaking ability. He closed down the space and Keane to run out of time and ideas. It takes a really good defender to neutralize someone of Robbie Keane’s stature and Cronin fits the bill.
5. Landon Donovan remains at 134 goals
Landon Donovan just couldn’t get the job done and create his piece of history in the 43rd minute of play. He has another chance to break the record next weekend against Seattle, but the possiblity of Donovan getting injured before the playoffs may force Arena’s hand.
6. Even statistics justify the scoreline
If you take a look at the final match statistics, you will see that they are close in a number of areas, with both Los Angeles and San Jose winning different categories. In the end, LA proved that it can play defensive-first football too and that was shown in the closing stages of the match.
|LA Galaxy||San Jose Earthquakes|
|13||Attempts on Goal||13|
|3||Shots on Target||4|
|8||Shots off Target||3|
|17||Open Play Crosses||22|
|1||First Yellow Cards||2|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|50%||Duels Won %||48%|
|82%||Passing Accuracy %||75%|