Edson Buddle scored another brace and the Los Angeles Galaxy became only the second club in MLS history to start the season with three straight shutout victories after a 2-0 blanking of the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium.
Buddle leads all goal scorers in MLS with five strikes, matching his season total of 2009 after just three games. He has accounted for every goal scored by the Galaxy thus far.
The first half could not have gone worse for the Houston Dynamo or better for the Galaxy. Both attacks looked disjointed to start the game, but the Galaxy still scored twice following Dynamo defensive miscues. To make matters worse for Houston, Dynamo forward Luis Ángel Landín was sent off for a frustrated hack on Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez, and midfielder Richard Mulrooney was forced to exit the game in the first half due to a knee injury.
The Galaxy drew first blood in the 27th minute. A harmless ball was played to the Dynamo back line, and Houston defenders Eddie Robinson and Mike Chabala couldn’t decide who was going to clear the ball. The ball bounced into the path of Buddle, and the Galaxy forward drove down the left side of the Dynamo box and beat Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad at the near post to give LA a 1-0 lead
The first-half frustrations continued for Houston as Landín and Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez went into the corner to track down a ball in the 43rd minute. As Gonzalez screened Landin from the ball, the frustrated Dynamo designated player lashed out at Gonzalez by kicking him from behind to earn a red card
The Galaxy immediately capitalized on the man advantage. In the 44th minute, Robinson went up for a ball, and it looked like the Dynamo players felt that he was fouled. Referee Baldomero Toledo, however, did not whistle a foul, and Dynamo defender Bobby Boswell was caught ball-watching as Mike Magee got to the bouncing ball first and forced Onstad into a diving save. The rebound fell to Sean Franklin, who crossed to the far post and found an open Buddle, who buried the effort to give the Galaxy a 2-0 halftime lead.
To start the second half, Houston removed Boswell, brought on midfielder Corey Ashe, and played with three in the back. The moves paid dividends, as the Dynamo pressure earned the team several set pieces to start the half. However, the Galaxy defense held tight and repelled each set piece.
In the 83rd minute, the best chance for either team in the second half was narrowly missed by the Dynamo. Corey Ashe received the ball down the left side and sent it to the far post, just missing the foot of a sliding Brian Mullan, who played the second half as a forward.
Shortly thereafter, the final whistle blew and the Galaxy claimed an important road three points against one of their Western Conference rivals. The first half Buddle brace stood up, and the Galaxy seized control of the Western Conference with a 2-0 road victory.
Los Angeles Galaxy (3-0-0) vs. Houston Dynamo (1-1-1)
April 10, 2010 -- Robertson Stadium, Houston, TX
LA -- Edson Buddle 4 (unassisted) 27
LA -- Edson Buddle 5 (Sean Franklin 2) 45
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, Chris Birchall (Jovan Kirovski 84), Juninho (Michael Stephens 79), Mike Magee, Edson Buddle (Alan Gordon 67), Landon Donovan.
Substitutes Not Used: Josh Saunders, Tristan Bowen, Bryan Jordan, Chris Klein.
Houston Dynamo -- Pat Onstad, Andrew Hainault, Bobby Boswell (Corey Ashe 46), Eddie Robinson, Mike Chabala, Brian Mullan, Richard Mulrooney (Lovel Palmer 28), Geoff Cameron, Brad Davis, Dominic Oduro (Danny Cruz 71), Luis Landin.
Substitutes Not Used: Tally Hall, Ryan Cochrane, Adrian Serioux, Craig Waibel.
HOU -- Andrew Hainault (caution; Reckless Tackle) 24
LA -- Omar Gonzalez (caution; Reckless Foul) 25
LA -- Juninho (caution; Reckless Foul) 38
HOU -- Luis Landin (ejection; Violent Conduct) 44
LA -- Edson Buddle (caution; Persistent Infringement) 52
HOU -- Brad Davis (caution; Reckless Foul) 66
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: Brian Poeschel; Eric Boria
4th official: Elias Bazakos
Weather: Clear and 62 degrees
All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial