Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com
BY ADAM SERRANO
Jovan Kirovski was the latest Los Angeles Galaxy forward to lead the team to victory as the Galaxy dispatched the Houston Dynamo 4-1 on Saturday at the Home Depot Center. The win extended the club's undefeated streak to 12 games.
The 34-year-old's pair of goals proved decisive against the struggling Dynamo. The veteran opened up the scoring just 47 seconds into the match and added the second goal in the 21st minute. Kirovski linked up well with defender Sean Franklin as the right back assisted on each of the two goals. Delivering pin point service that allowed the veteran to coolly beat Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad.
"I had some good service tonight and I wanted to score and fortunately I was able to," said Kirovski. "It was just great to play up front and I was excited to get the start and score tonight."
Perhaps what has made the Galaxy's recent run of form so impressive is that it has come with a number of different players playing key roles. A moment of brilliance led to the third goal in the 48th minute as 19-year-old forward Tristan Bowen beat a defender and then Pat Onstad near post to continue his recent hot streak. With the fourth and final goal for the Galaxy, Brazilian Alex Cazumba earned his first career MLS goal in the 56th Minute. With the goal, the Brazilian is the eleventh member of the Galaxy to get on the score sheet this season.
"We've been looking for him to do this since he arrived here, it was great for him to come out of his shell and be a bit more explosive," said Head Coach Bruce Arena. "The story is going to be the play of our young players, but the story behind the scenes has been our veteran guys who have helped the young guys be successful and have contributed all season."
While the Galaxy's offense was dangerous throughout the night, it was a different story for the Houston Dynamo. Houston equalized quickly with a goal in the 8th minute when Cam Weaver collided with Sean Franklin, the collision between the two players put goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts out of position and the ball rolled slowly into the Galaxy net. After the goal, the club struggled to generate offense despite equalizing almost immediately. Houston clearly wore down in the second half and were unable to match th Galaxy's intensity. For the struggling Dynamo, consensus is that playing a game midweek in New York took its toll on the club.
"It was a tough week on us with all the travel, but we still need to come out and have a bit of pride and do a lot better than we played tonight," said midfielder Brad Davis. "It's exhausting, but you can make a million excuses and it won't stop being a part of the game so we need to deal with it."
In addition to dealing with a buzzing Galaxy offense on the field, Houston also had to deal with a raucous crowd. Although the crowd was mostly peaceful several sections of fans heckled the Dynamo directing a great deal of abuse at forward Brian Ching. The veteran forward was largely ineffective against the Galaxy as he was constantly marked by the young center back Omar Gonzalez. Ching did provide the Dynamo with their best chance to equalize in the 30th minute, but a diving save by Donovan Ricketts prevented Houston from drawing level.
The United States International has suffered through a difficult week after failing to make the United States squad heading to South Africa. The striker admitted that the two week break is coming at the best time for the forward.
"I'm looking forward to getting away for a little bit because its been a couple of rough weeks for me personally, I think it will be good for me to recharge and come back big for the second half," said Ching. "Things aren't easy and I need to put it all behind me, but its been a hard week and I really don't remember the last time this franchise lost three games in a row."
The Dynamo are now off for two weeks while the Galaxy will travel to Utah on Tuesday for a date with the defending champion Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night. Real Salt Lake are currently second to the Galaxy in the Western conference, Wednesday's match will be the last for the league leaders in points before MLS takes its two week break for the World Cup.