IT WAS A NIGHT to remember for LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, but a night to forget for Union forward Jack McInerney and goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
The Galaxy successfully targeted McInerney, who was held scoreless after entering last night's game with a league-leading seven goals. MacMath allowed four goals - including an own goal on a corner kick by Donovan - as the Union fell to the Galaxy, 4-1, at PPL Park.
"McInerney has been getting a lot of attention lately so they were able to focus on him a lot," said defender Amobi Okugo, who scored the Union's lone goal. "They have had one of the strongest back lines for the past 3 years so they focused on him."
The game was tied 1-1 at the end of the first half. But LA (5-3-2) scored three unanswered goals in the second to snap a two-game losing streak.
Three minutes into the game, Donovan booted a corner kick that hit off the head of MacMath and gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead. It was the first of four goals in which Donovan played a role.
In the 8th minute, Union forward Danny Cruz nearly evened the match, but the ball was cleared out of the box by Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini. But in the 23rd minute, Cudicini allowed a ball off the head of Okugo to pass by, evening the match 1-1. It was Okugo's second goal of the season.
McInerney had three shots and a few chances to contribute on assists, but came up empty.
"He got a couple of chances to score and a couple of chances to get an assist but we didn't capitalize and we can't expect Jack to score every game," Okugo said. "Other guys up top are going to have to step up as well."
The Galaxy broke the tie in the 71st minute as forward Robbie Keane scored his second goal of the season, assisted by Donovan.
Nine minutes later, LA tacked on another goal as midfielder Hector Jimenez broke free to the right and kicked one past MacMath for his first goal of the season. Donovan earned his second assist of the game on the goal.
"Should he have done better? Probably," manager John Hackworth said of MacMath. "He kept us in the game with a couple of big saves when it was still 1-1. He didn't deserve to take all of the fault today."
The final goal of the match was scored to Donovan, his second of the season. It was was assisted by Keane in the 87th minute.
"He's a great player," Okugo said of Donovan. "Hopefully we can see him back with the national team because his qualities are bar none and he showed that today with his two assists and a goal."
McInerney and the Union (4-4-3) return to action Saturday against Chicago at PPL Park at 7:30 p.m.
The Union defeated the Fire, 1-0, on May 11.
"We're all professionals and we realize that we have to put these games behind us and make Saturday an even bigger game than it already was," MacMath said.