Keane’s brace powers Galaxy over DC United

Keane

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. — During the first two weeks of their season, the Los Angeles Galaxy struggled to score goals, but against DC United, the goals finally came.

And they came in bunches.

Robbie Keane scored two goals and Marcelo Sarvas added a third as the Galaxy defeated DC United, 3-1 on Sunday at Home Depot Center. United broke the Galaxy's shutout bid in the 86th when rookie Nick DeLeon scored the first goal of his MLS career. The win came on the night when the 2011 MLS Cup champion winning side was honored with a pregame championship ring presentation. 

After struggling to put the ball in the back of the net in his past three appearances, Keane was relieved that, at long last, the goals had come. 

"I don’t mind missing chances, I mind when I’m not in the position to score them," Keane said. "As long as I keep getting in the positions to score them, then I know that I’ll eventually score.

"You try not to let it weigh on your mind too much, but football can take you over. That was probably a little bit of the case, but I knew that as long as I kept plugging away and getting into positions, I knew that I’d score." 

While Los Angeles earned the victory, the first half started off very similar to their three previous matches. Once again, the Galaxy were able to control possession and throw numbers forward, but yet again, they were unable to put the ball into the back of the net. 

Los Angeles finally broke through in the 45th minute when Mike Magee sent a cross into the box to a waiting Todd Dunivant. The Galaxy defender then headed the ball across the goal mouth to Keane, who earned his first goal of the season. 

Keane and the Galaxy continued the pressure in the second half and in the 69th minute, the Ireland captain earned his second. After Landon Donovan forced a turnover from United's Branko Boskovic, the Galaxy captain marched up the field and found Keane, who fired a shot past a diving Joe Willis.

"I had been getting the chances, but sometimes it’s the easy one that we’re lucky enough to score," said Keane. "It was a great ball by Todd and I just had to hit the target as a striker, it’s your duty to be scoring goals so it’s always important especially to start the season to get that first one out of the way. Then to get the second one, it was important that I got the second goal to kill them off." 

The Galaxy would add a third goal in the 86th minute when newcomer Marcelo Sarvas put the match officially out of reach. The goal was not only the first MLS goal for the Brazilian, but according to Sarvas himself, the first goal that he had ever scored with his head throughout his ten year professional career. 

D.C. will be left to reflect on  difficult performance as the club consistently struggled to generate chances. With Designated Players, Boskovic and Hamidi Salihi on the bench to start the match, United appeared to lack a cutting edge going forward against a stingy Galaxy defense. Although a stellar strike by DeLeon would bring United to within two of the defending MLS Cup champions, head coach Ben Olsen was dissatisfied with his club's performance. 

“I’m disappointed in the group,” Olsen told reporters following the match “I thought we gave [Los Angeles] too much respect early. We didn’t get that this was going to be one hell of a fight.”

United will look to earn their first victory of the season next Saturday when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps, but will do so without Andy Najar, who departed to join the Honduran Under-23 side after the match. Despite beginning the season win-less, Olsen believes that it is not time for his club to hit the panic button. 

"There are signs of improvement, we just have to keep improving," Olsen said after the match. "I'm concerned after 0-2, no one wants to be 0-2 and have to deal with this, but we're moving forward and we'll get things sorted out."

Meanwhile the Galaxy will enjoy a two week bye as they look to recover from playing four matches in two weeks. A brake the Galaxy believe that they have sorely needed. 

"It's tough way to start the year, now we get a little reprieve to catch our breath a little," Donovan said. "First and foremost is to rest and then second is to get on the field on work on things. You kind underestimate that part of it, I know we're all pros and there is a lot of experience here, but there are a few guys who have never played together and we need that chance start gelling."

This entry was posted in MLS- D.C. United, MLS- LA Galaxy. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Keane’s brace powers Galaxy over DC United

  1. dgoshilla says:

    As a Galaxy fan I remain disappointed. With the exception of Beckham and Franklin the team lacks a true will to win. This game should’ve been 10-1. They look like they’re just showing up and truth be told they can win 80% of the games by doing just that. They did the same thing last season. There really were only a handful of games where the team PLAYED exciting soccer. There is a reason why Los Angeles as a whole hasn’t truly embraced this team and its because they rarely play good soccer. I watched Tim Lieweke talk about how the league “screwed” us in the CCL. How about how management screwed us by loaning all these guys out and having no pre season with the full squad? LA is an old team. The rest of the league is bringing in younger cheaper talent. We need to step it up if we want a chance at defending the Cup.

  2. Test says:

    Gutted for the CCL but u have to admit, it’s still early days..

  3. Preston Zimmerman PR Firm Inc says:

    While I don’t disagree with most of your opinion, the type of football they play is a direct reflection of Bruce Arena.

    Can’t argue with results but the man plays for the 1 – 0 win historically.

  4. dave says:

    I agree with Dogishilla. The same was true on Wednesday. Once we got the equalizer, we sat back instead of pushing for the goal that would have given us a clear lead. Once we decided to do this, we opened the door for Toronto and got what we deserved. We need to have a killer instinct and just put some of these games away.

  5. fischy says:

    Their brakes are broken. Good thing they’re getting a new brake.

    As for United, I’d say they can’t catch a break, but that’s not true. The team wasn’t really in either game. They looked hopelessly overmatched.

  6. A wise man once says:

    DC doesn’t have the easiest start to the season either. Sporting, LA, Vancouver, FC Dallas, and Seattle. I’ll be surprised if they win any of those.

  7. ben in el cajon says:

    Um, Franklin was the second weakest player out there, after Boyens. He cannot seem to make passes, although he does run very much.

    I don’t know what you’re talking about with the game not being exciting. The Galaxy was pressing most of the night–the problems were finishing and defense.

    I hope we aren’t paying Buddle too much, by the way.

  8. Joe in DC says:

    United’s next game is in Vancouver, not hosting the Whitecaps.

    Agree with this tough stretch to open. Perhaps it will harden the team as we get into easier stretches against weaker opponents though. Good to see them get on the board finally.

  9. Helium-3 says:

    DCU did not play many games during pre-season, compared to other teams, and it showed yesterday. Olsen should know by now that you don’t leave your DP (Salihi) on the bench.

    I give Olsen half a season since he already had time
    last season. I don’t see us getting wins until the Revs and Impact next month.

  10. dan says:

    so let me see…. DC spends all this money on DP’s, then sit them on the bench. hmmmmmmm

  11. Gnarls says:

    Don’t forget Super Ed has score 25% of our goal in MLS play this season. ;) Give him time. He’s apparently not even 100% fit yet, according to the pretty blonde lady on KDOC.

  12. Gnarls says:

    Wow, that reads like English is my second language. scored** and goals**

  13. beachbum says:

    this team is missing Omar big time

    will to win? check
    defensive/offensive presence on set pieces? check
    giving up 8 goals in 3 games and losing at the Home Depot? not when he was out there physically imposing himself.

    Meyer was beaten by Johnson on both Toronto goals at the Home Depot, and the Galaxy have not yet figured out exactly how to cover for their backline hole.

    it’s the absolute worst place to have a hole. Ask NYRB last year, Arsenal last year, and the list goes on and on

    going to be very difficult for the Galaxy unless they outscore teams, becasue they will leak goals. Hope I’m wrong

  14. Alejandro 10 says:

    That is a brilliant plan isn’t it. Maybe his old college coach gave him some starting lineup tips.

  15. bryan says:

    i’ll tell you what, as a DC fan, i’m really starting to wonder if Benny knows what he is doing. the first game of the season wasn’t great, but you decide to change the starting XI that much?! what happened to they need time to gel? this bunch looked even worse! point is, it was absolutely stupid for Benny to bench players after the first game of the season.

    but man, DCU looked terrible. i hope they can turn it around because i was actually thinking this season would be a good one…

  16. bryan says:

    and no, im not referring to Hamid and Kitchen. i understand they are with the U-23s.

  17. soccerhorn says:

    Not sure what game Dogzilla and his supporters were watching, but from where I sat (Sec 134), yesterday’s game was one of utter dominance. For 92 minutes it was pretty much like watching a half court basketball game.

    And as to the Galaxy not showing the will to win last season, all I can say is “seriously? Did you actually just say that?”. I suppose you were disappointed with Barca’s run last year too? Sheesh.

    Galaxy has looked off-form so far, that’s all. Sure they got some old guys, but I’ll take a 31 year old Keane’s performance yesterday over pretty much any 27 yr old in the league.