Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan #10 of the Los Angeles Galaxy heads the ball away from Kellyn Acosta #23 of FC Dallas at StubHub Center on September 20, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Happy Hispanic Heritage Day! That was the message sent by the Los Angeles Galaxy PA announcer in front of a packed crowd at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, CA on Saturday night. The Galaxy gave their heavily Hispanic crowd a night to remember with a come from behind victory 2-1 to not only clinch a birth in the MLS Cup playoffs, but also first place in the MLS Western Conference.

“It was a great win. Our guys didn’t lose their composure. I think it was one of our better wins of the year.” Said head coach and general manager, Bruce Arena.

Super-sub, Alan Gordon scored the game winner in the 84th minute, which sent the estimated 23,000 people in attendance into a frenzy. The Galaxy secured the much needed three points with the victory against FC Dallas and surpassed the Seattle Sounders for first place in the process. The Sounders lost to the NY Red Bulls 4-1 earlier in the day.

“He’s been fantastic.” Said Galaxy super-star Landon Donovan after the game. “He gets himself in great spots. It was a really, really, really, important goal.”

From the opening kick-off, it was clear the Galaxy would push the pace after discovering that their Western Conference rivals to the north, the Sounders, had lost. They knew a win would give them first place in the West and help them take a very important step in securing the coveted Supporters’ Shield, which grants home field advantage throughout the MLS Cup playoffs.

FC Dallas needed a win in LA as well as they sat in 4th place in the Western Conference going into the match against the Galaxy. The Portland Timbers were right on their tails however, and won earlier in the day 3-0 against Vancouver giving them a much needed three points as they try and chase down Dallas for the 4th and final playoff spot in the West.

The first opportunity of the game for the Galaxy came in the 26th minute. When Robbie Keane and Donovan played a little give and go and Donovan sent a shot flying off FC Dallas goalkeeper, Raul Fernandez. The rebound went to a wide-open Gyasi Zardes who missed the bunny as his shot sailed high over the net. The game would be scoreless going into halftime.

In the 54th minute, FC Dallas got on the board first with a beautiful header from the left side of the box by Striker, Blias Perez. Andres Escobar Diaz was credited with the assist on the goal.

“They waited for their chance and scored a 1 out of 100 goal.” Said Donovan.

“Their goal was a fantastic goal, a great header.” Added Galaxy Striker, Robbie Keane.

Stefan Ishizaki came in to the game as a super sub in the 62nd minute for Baggio Husidic from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Ishizaki ran onto the pitch just in time to see his teammate, Robbie Keane find the back of the net for the equalizer off of a great pass by Zardes.

“They put a lot of pressure on us, but football isn’t 60 minutes, it’s 90 minutes.” Said a confident Keane after the game.

Omar Gonzalez was given a yellow card for a very stupid and blatant foul in the 69th minute of play. Gonzalez grabbed the FC Dallas forward and threw him to the ground right in front of the line judge and the Galaxy bench.

“We showed a lot of character to come from behind like that.” Said Gonzalez

Marcelo Sarvas also got booked in the 75th minute giving the Galaxy their second yellow card of the game. Striker Alan Gordon came into the game for Zardes to try and give the Galaxy one last spark of offense.

He did exactly that as Gordon scored the game winner in the 84th minute off of a brilliant header that gave the Galaxy the win. Keane sent a cross into the box and Gordon was able to get enough of his forehead on it to get passed Fernandez for the goal.

“I’m just trying to observe the game and see if there’s anything I can take advantage of.” Said Gordon when asked what he looks for in the opposing team’s defense before entering game’s late as a super sub.

Donovan was given a yellow card in the 90th minute, making it the sixth yellow card of the game.

“The guy put his arm up in my face and it frustrated me. It happens” Said Donovan regarding the booking.

The win was a huge victory for the Galaxy who will have over a week off before playing welcoming Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls on Sunday. On Wednesday FC Dallas tackles Seattle at home in a game that the Galaxy need their opponents from Saturday to win.

“Go get em!” was Gordon’s message to FC Dallas after the game.

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