With their 3-2 win over rivals San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, the LA Galaxy jumped back above the MLS Cup Playoffs line at just the right time.
The Galaxy had been slipping down the Western Conference standings after suffering a run of just one win in six games. But this victory against Cali Clasico foes San Jose - coupled with a 4-1 thrashing of the Colorado Rapids - has them fifth, three points clear of Real Salt Lake below the line with just two games left.
Speaking after Saturday's win in Stanford, Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney highlighted the importance of building 'momentum' at this late stage of the regular season.
“It’s huge because it does two things for us. … It continues to build the momentum and confidence that you want down the stretch when you're going into, now, the two most important games in a season, which is to close things out,” Vanney said. "And it puts us in a position where you never know, we could fight for a home game in the playoffs. You've just got to keep building momentum and keep working on our performances.”
The Galaxy's back-to-back wins have been inspired by Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, who has scored three goals in two games to take his season total to 17 - fifth in the MLS Golden Boot race.
Like his team, Chicharito has rediscovered his best form at the perfect time following a two-game mini run without a goal.
“You want your striker to be hot at this time of year, that's for sure,” Vanney said of his Mexican forward. “So he's finding good spots, finding them with the ball. He's putting them in the back of the net, that breeds a lot of confidence for him and for the group, so that's always positive."
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