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Galaxy claim another home win with 1-0 defeat of Earthquakes

Galaxy claim another home win with 1 0 defeat of Earthquakes
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Part of Greg Vanney’s plan to return the Galaxy to prominence involves making Dignity Health Sports Park an unwelcome place for visitors.

That’s a proven formula in MLS, where the last four Supporters’ Shield winners have finished with the season’s best home record. It’s also a pretty good indicator of the Galaxy’s fortunes: When the team was winning three MLS Cups in four seasons at the start of the last decade, it averaged more than 11 wins at home and led the league in home victories three times.

In the last four seasons, three of which ended short of the playoffs, the Galaxy had losing records at home twice and were just two games over .500 overall.

It’s too early to say how those numbers will add up this season, but the early results are encouraging, with a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday lifting the Galaxy into second place in the Western Conference table and giving a conference-best four wins at home, where they are unbeaten. They’re also the only team in the conference that has played at home and not dropped a point there.

“We want this to be a place when people come here, they’ve already sort of lost,” Vanney said. “We want this to be our fortress. And we want teams to feel like it’s going to be really, really difficult to get points anytime they get on a plane to come play the Galaxy.”

The Earthquakes certainly felt that way Saturday, when a noisy, sun-splashed crowd of 7,193 at Dignity Health Sports Park saw the Galaxy take a season-high 21 shots and Galaxy keeper Jonathan Bond make a career-high 12 saves — two coming on a spectacular sequence seconds apart in the final eight minutes — only to have the game decided on an own goal that deflected in off San Jose defender Tanner Beason.

The Galaxy (5-2-0) were unlucky, if dominant, in a scoreless first half in which they outshot San Jose 12-4 but saw a Daniel Steres header bounce off the crossbar, a try from Kévin Cabral get cleared off the goal line by Beason and a Jonathan dos Santos shot blocked.

Then Javier “Chicharito” Hernández opened the second half by putting a header on goal that died in the arms of Earthquakes keeper JT Marcinkowski. And things went from bad to worse a couple of minutes later when captain Jonathan dos Santos, who missed much of last season with a hernia, limped off the field favoring a leg.

But the Galaxy got the only break they needed in the 70th minute when Samuel Grandsir, who had entered the game only seven minutes earlier, dribbled hard into the box, bowling over defender Paul Marie, before putting a shot on goal that deflected off Beason toward the far post for an own goal.

It then fell to Bond to make that stand up and he did, upping his season total for saves to a league-leading 40 in seven games while preserving his second straight home shutout. Bond has given up just one goal in his last 297 minutes at Dignity Health Sports Park.

San Jose fell to 3-5-0 with the loss.





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