Los Angeles Soccer: Zach Schilawski

GALAXY: Defense key as streak hits four

May, 28, 2011

David BeckhamElsa/Getty ImagesThe Galaxy celebrates Miguel Lopez's goal, which came off a David Beckham cross.

The Galaxy made it three 1-0 victories in eight days Saturday night, using more lights-out defense -- with two big saves at the finish -- and one perfect header to knock out the New England Revolution and run their winning streak to four.

Miguel Lopez scored the goal, his first in Major League Soccer, getting a glancing nod to David Beckham's rifled cross in the 69th minute, and A.J. DeLaGarza and Landon Donovan came up huge in the closing minutes to secure L.A.'s seventh shutout in 15 league matches.

“We've been good all year, with the exception of [a 4-1 loss March 26 at Real] Salt Lake,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “And we've been unlucky … losing some points on the road, as well as [a couple of] shutouts, so we've been very good, I think, over the last 10 games or so defensively.”

They've surrendered seven in the dozen games since the RSL debacle, and two were on a faulty penalty kick at D.C. United and a Sean Franklin giveaway in Philadelphia. The Galaxy (8-2-5) had a few questionable moments at Foxborough but cleaned them up after 15 minutes or so and surrendered practically nothing until a blistering sequence just into stoppage.

Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who like Donovan was playing in his last Galaxy game before heading off to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, came off his line for a long, hopeful ball into the box by Kevin Alston, but he didn't get much of a punch to it and was out of position for Zack Schilawski's half-volley from the fallout. DeLaGarza, backing up the play, made an acrobatic save, falling almost into the goal as Sean Franklin raced in ahead of Shalrie Joseph to clear the ball from the box.

Sainey Nyassi collected the ball on the right flank and sent in a cross into the goalmouth for Schilawski, whose point-blank volley crashed into the underside of the crossbar and back down. Joseph jumped over (and into) DeLaGarza to head the rebound as a crush of bodies swarmed the goal line, and Donovan, in retreat, kicked the ball to safety.

“I assume [Schilawski's volley crossed the line], to be honest,” Joseph said. “I'm 90 percent hoping it went across the line. It was so close. I saw the net shaking. I don’t know how it was shaking and the ball didn’t hit the net. It just didn’t go in.”

A quick look at the Galaxy's victory:

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