Sunday Soccer: Galaxy’s Injured Donovan out of USMNT WCQ Squad & more

*No Landon Donovan, no Michael Bradley (both injured) for Saturday‘s Friday’s World Cup qualifier in Jamaica and the return leg in Columbus, but LA native Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna) was included in the 25-player squad named today.

*The Galaxy won 2-0 in Carson Saturday without Donovan over close Western conference rivals Vancouver, who looked limp against a Galaxy team that won behind fine goals by Juninho and David Beckham (who now has an MLS-best seven goals on the season) to put space between themselves and the Whitecaps and move into third in the Western Conference.

Notable: With the return of their ’11 version of the back four again, the Galaxy registered consecutive shutouts for the first time this season.

And that meant Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders wasn’t pushed to make a single save last night.

“We defended well tonight, especially in the first half,” Beckham said. “I think our defense was very strong. Omar is definitely looking a lot fitter and a lot more agile. After coming off an injury like that I think sometimes it takes a while, but he’s straight back into it and over the last few weeks he’s definitely been looking a lot fitter and performing the way he’s been playing has been great for us.”

Juninho was justifiably happy with his sixth goal in his last five games:

*Chivas USA are in San Jose today (live at 6 p.m. on NBC Sports network), a battle between the league’s lowest scoring team and the highest. After conceding 14 goals in the last four games including two heavy defeats is another slaughter in the offing?

And how will Chivas USA react to a turbulent week that began with Jorge Vergara buying the other 50 per cent of the MLS club he didn’t own:

*The U.S. pounded Costa Rica Saturday in the first game of its post-Olympic tour on a day that also saw coach Pia Sundhage announce she would step down to return to her native Sweden:

Sunhage not only leaves as a winner with the U.S., she rescued the USWNT from the depths of the Greg Ryan era:

“It was short-term chaos, it was a controversial period,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “When we first had Pia come aboard, she was on a one-year contract with an option. It was a very unique situation and because of that we had a search that was a little bit different because we needed someone who could know the program and so on and so forth. She wasn’t in that situation as someone else who might’ve known it better. She stabilized the situation to win gold and we come very close to winning three gold medals in three tournaments. She’s obviously been very successful. Having said that, this team has never not been in the medal round of a tournament.

“Every coach that has coached at least four years for us has won a gold medal. Every coach of our national team has won a medal. She’s been very successful, but when you put a terrific group of players with a terrific coach and a terrific program, that’s what you get.”

Next for the U.S.: in Carson against Australia.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!