Chester, PA (October 7, 2010) - Edson Buddle extended his lead in the MLS Golden Boot race with his 16th goal of the season, the lone tally in the LA Galaxy's 1-0 victory over Philadelphia Union in front of a record sellout crowd of 18,779 at PPL Park. Buddle headed home a perfectly-placed corner from David Beckham, putting the Galaxy five points clear of FC Dallas in the race for the Supporters' Shield.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
The Union nearly went ahead twice within the first four minutes during a sequence that began with a Sebastien Le Toux free kick from 35 yards out to the left of the penalty area. The Frenchman sent a curling strike to the far post, but goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was able to touch it over the endline before it could sneak into the top corner. Stefani Miglioranzi had a chance off the ensuing corner, but he couldn’t get a clean shot on goal from close-range off a loose ball in the area following Justin Mapp’s corner.
Continuing to control the tempo in the early going, the Union came close to capitalizing in the 18th minute. After Le Toux won possession in LA’s third, the Union’s leading scorer managed to slide a low cross to a streaking Danny Mwanga, but the rookie striker’s deflection went just wide of the post.
Against the run of play, it would be the Galaxy to get on the board first. Beckham sent a well-struck corner into the area, where Buddle broke free from Michael Orozco Fiscal’s mark to head home the service into the lower left corner for a 1-0 lead.
LA threatened to double their advantage in the 38th minute when Chris Birchall sent a low cross into the box for defender Sean Franklin, but goalkeeper Brad Knighton was able to dive out and knock it away just in time. The rebound was dangerous as well, but the Union were able to clear the area before the goal mouth scramble turned into a potentially crippling second tally.
WATCH: POST-MATCH INTERVIEWS
Philadelphia had the first chance after the interval when Mapp eyed the far post from distance and sent a curling shot to the top left corner, but the equalizing attempt narrowly missed its mark.
Only a tremendous save by Ricketts prevented the Union from equalizing in the 73rd minute, with Le Toux’s nifty back heel off a feed from Andrew Jacobson otherwise destined for the back of the net. Ricketts came up big again just a minute later, stopping an angled, close-range blast from substitute Shea Salinas.
Landon Donovan had a golden opportunity to put the match away in the 78th minute when he broke free for a breakaway, but Knighton was able to come off his line to cut off the angle and stone the USMNT star, blocking the attempted shot with his right hand to preserve the 1-0 score line.
Philadelphia were unable to find an equalizer late despite continued pressure in the waning moments, the first time the club was shutout at home this season. With the weekend off, the Union will next take to the pitch against the New York Red Bulls on October 16, their least match of the season at PPL Park.
LA – Edson Buddle 16 (David Beckham 1) 27’
LA -- (caution; Reckless Tackle) 89 (caution; Reckless Foul) 77
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, , , , , , David Beckham (Jovan Kirovski 76), Juninho ( 86), Michael Stephens ( 89), Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan.
Substitutes Not Used: , , Leonardo, .
TOTAL SHOTS: 6; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 10; OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 3
Philadelphia Union -- , Sheanon Williams, Fiscal, , , Justin Mapp ( 82), Andrew Jacobson ( 73), Stefani Miglioranzi, Fred ( 14), , Sebastien Le Toux.
Substitutes Not Used: , , , .
SHOTS: 10; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 6; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 6;
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee's Assistants: Corey Rockwell; Greg Barkey
4th Official: Chris Penso
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 65 degrees