Categorized | MLS Match Reports

Keane scores, Galaxy top San Jose

Posted on 21 August 2011 by iyeo

Not a bad way to start things off for Robbie Keane in Los Angeles.

A new chapter was written into the storied and intense California Clasico rivalry. A first half strike from the latest big-name acquisition into MLS that was set up by the man that started the whole conecpt of big-name stars coming to America. Cap it off with a second half strike from the man that had kept its archrival off the score sheet between the pipes back two months ago, and the Los Angeles Galaxy are further atop the Western Conference and overall MLS standings following a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes at the Home Depot Center.

“It couldn’t have gone obviously better for me,” Keane said. “It’s always nice to score a goal, but the most important thing is the team and three points. Overall, we have to be pleased with the performance.”

The Galaxy’s win, combined with losses sustained by Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas allows LA to further maintain its standing atop the Western Conference with a 14-3-9 record and its 51 points are six better than the newest occupier of second place, the Seattle Sounders. San Jose meanwhile falls to 5-10-10, its playoff hopes getting dimmer and dimmer as the season goes along.

“They’ve just had some things not go their way,” said Mike Magee regarding the Quakes, who in addition to scoring late in the match on Saturday night also has a clean sheet against the Quakes as a keeper back on June 24. “I don’t want add insult to injury.”

Just 24 hours after arriving in Los Angeles from London, Keane was immediately inserted into the starting lineup, and it took Keane 20 minutes to officially announce his arrival to the Galaxy faithful. David Beckham’s quick free kick found a sprinting Keane. The Irishman’s first touch caught Quakes keeper Jon Busch off guard, leaving him with an open netter, and when Keane buried the open netter far post, the 27,000 at the Home Depot Center erupted into cheers.

“I knew he was going to be running and I knew where to put it,” Beckham said of the play that led to Keane’s goal. “He’s a player that obviously knows where to run.”

Not that was Keane’s only opportunity to get on the score sheet. Keane had two previous attempts, but the fist one was brought back due to a foul, and second chance, in which he was denied point blank inside the six by Busch, was called back due to Keane being offside. Keane’s best shot at goal came just a minute before his goal when Frankie Hejduk crosses a ball into the 18. The ball was originally intended for Adam Cristman, but a timely challenge by Jason Hernandez allowed the ball to get through and Keane’s last minute sliding shot just missed the left post. Keane had a chance in the second half to make it a brace when defender Omar Gonzalez played a long ball perfectly for a sprinting Keane inside the 18, but his volley went wide right. Keane was subbed out in the 72nd minute to a standing ovation from the Galaxy fans.

“We’re elated with Robbie,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “He had a great 70 minutes for us tonight and there’s a lot of great games ahead for Robbie and four our team.

Despite the attention brought on by Keane’s debut, San Jose showed they were not simply going to lay down against its star-studded cross state rivals. The Earthquakes outshot the Galaxy 8-6 in the first half and 15-10 for the match. Five of the Quakes’ first half attempts were right on goal, but all five of those chances were denied by Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders.

“This was a hard game for us,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “San Jose played well did a good job of turning us over in the last 10 minutes of the first half.”

Things didn’t get any easier for the Quakes when defender Steven Beitashuor was red-carded in the 81st minute when his left cleat caught the left knee of Landon Donovan. San Jose’s missed chances eventually came back to haunt them in second half stoppage time. It started when Galaxy substitute Miguel Lopez’s shot was deflected, Lopez headed a ball to Donovan, who then sprung Sean Franklin inside the 18, Franklin crossed a shot ball inside the six to Mike Magee, and his one-timer beat Busch near post to seal the three points for the Galaxy.

Keane wasn’t the only newest edition to the Galaxy lineup. Long time right back Frankie Hejduk saw his first significant action in almost a month, as he was slotted into the right back positon as part of Arena’s plan to conserve players’ energies in the face of MLS and CONCACAF Champions League play. Hejduk played all 90 minutes on Saturday night.

“It felt great just to be back out there, to feel part of it and feel healty and fit and feel good,” Hejduk said.

The Galaxy jump back into CONCACAF Champions League play on Thursday when they host Costa Rican squad LD Alajuelense. LA then hops on a long flight to New York for a showdown with the Red Bulls a week from Sunday. The Quakes next face Toronto FC next Saturday.

 Los Angeles Galaxy 2, San Jose Earthquakes 0

August 20, 2011; Home Depot Center

 

Scoring Summary

LA – Robbie Keane (David Beckham) 20

LA – Mike Magee (Sean Franklin) 90+

 

Discipline Summary

SJ – Rafael Baca (Simulation) 54

LA – Frankie Hejduk (Reckless Challenge) 68

SJ – Steven Beitashour (Red Card Ejection; Serious Foul Play) 81

 

San Jose Earthquakes – Jon Busch, Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Bobby Burling, Justin Morrow, Joey Gjertsen (Ellis McLoughlin 86), Rafael Baca, Ramiro Corrales, Khari Stephenson (Edmundo Zura 71), Bobby Convey, Chris Wondolowski (Simon Dawkins 71).

Substitutes not used: David Bingham, Chris Leitch, Jacob Peterson, Matt Luzunaris.

Los Angeles Galaxy – Josh Saunders, Frankie Hejduk, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, David Beckham, Juninho, Landon Donovan, Adam Cristman (Miguel Lopez 79), Robbie Keane (Mike Magee 72).

Referee: Andrew Chapin

Assistants: Colin Arblaster, Greg Barkey

Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal

Weather: Clear and 69 degrees

Attendance: 27,000

Time of match: 1:51

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