Match recap: Record setting night in Major League Soccer comes at a loss for Union

Donovan nets brace en route to LA win, and all-time MLS mark

Sheanon vs. Keane LA

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USA Today Sports Images

A record setting night in Major League Soccer unfortunately came at the expense of a Philadelphia Union side looking to get things back on track in the first of a two-game road swing out West.

However, the Union would find itself on the latter end of a 4-1 final fueled by a two-goal performance from Galaxy and U.S. men’s national team stalwart Landon Donovan.

In doing so, Donovan also nabbed his 135th and 136th goals in MLS, surpassing Jeff Cunningham to become the League’s all-time leading goal scorer on his first goal.

“It was our own errors and I felt like we gifted [Los Angeles] the game,” said Union midfielder Maurice Edu, fresh off a call-up with the U.S. men’s national team. “We gave some goals to them, but in saying that, we have another game on Saturday here in LA again and it’s a chance for us to find a way to get back on the right track.”

Brazilian midfielder Leonardo kicked off the score sheet in the second minute, redirecting a header past Union (2-7-5, 11 points) goalkeeper Zac MacMath. The Union would press following the goal creating chances of its own, but were unable to find the net. It was the quick counter attacking nature of the Galaxy and miscues from the Union defense that found the Galaxy (4-3-3, 15 points) finishing off four of its nine shots on goal. Galaxy forward Robbie Keane scored his seventh of the season directly off a Union miscue in the second half.

The Union would pull one back in the closing moments of this match as second half substitute Zach Pfeffer was fouled in the box by Galaxy homegrown player Raul Mendiola. It was the second game in a row in which Pfeffer’s play on the ball led to a Union attempt from the spot. Fresh from a call-up with the U.S. men’s national team, Maurice Edu buried the penalty kick attempt.

“We can’t give up a goal two minutes into the game and play from behind,” Union midfielder Danny Cruz said. “Obviously, if you look at the end the result you can see that it’s a poor performance and we aren’t happy. We just can’t start a game like that and we continue to do it week in and week out…eventually, it takes a toll on you.”

The Union will remain on the West Coast to train all week before date with Los Angeles’ other MLS franchise in a return to the StubHub Center to face Chivas USA (10 p.m., Comcast SportsNet). Before returning back to PPL Park for one more MLS match before the break for June’s FIFA World Cup when Vancouver comes to PPL Park on June 7 (7 p.m., purchase tickets).

“Towards the end of the game, I thought we played with no fear,” said Edu. “And that’s when I thought we started to look better, play better created some more chances and look a little more lively and look more like ourselves. We just need to now find a way to do that for 90 minutes.”

Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at kgabriel@philadelphiaunion.com