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Galaxy come back to beat Earthquakes on Keane, Gerrard heroics

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at LA Galaxy

Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports


CARSON, Calif. – Major League Soccer got a look at the future tonight, and for the Galaxy, the future looks bright.

Irish international Robbie Keane contributed his second hat trick in as many home games, and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard added a goal and an assist, as the LA Galaxy overcame an early two goal deficit to race past the San Jose Earthquakes, 5-2, before a raucous sold out crowd of 27.000 at the Stub Hub Center.

Keane’s goal in the run of play gave the Galaxy the lead in the 64th minute, and was assisted by Gerrard on a lovely set piece play. The Galaxy were awarded the free kick when Shea Salinas pulled down Robbie Rogers just outside the area, near the San Jose end line. When signaled by Gerrard, Keane made a hard run at the near post from the six yard line, and Gerrard found him, slamming the free kick hard and low directly in front of the San Jose goalkeeper. Keane stepped in front and nicked the ball off the outside of his foot and into the back of the net.

“We kinda whispered to each other before he went over” said Keane, discussing his combination goal with Gerrard. “we had a plan. It was all about the ball in. I just managed to get a nice touch on it.”

Keane added two goals on penalty kicks, both converted with the use of his patented stutter-step approach to the ball. Each time he was able to get Quakes goalkeeper David Bingham to commit early, and each time Keane buried the ball to the opposite side.

Gerrard’s goal came off a play he started, when he broke forward with the ball and forced the Quakes back line into hasty pursuit. He squared the ball to Keane and missed, but Keane pivoted and sent the ball wide to Baggio Husidic. Husidic fired a hard cross into the area, and when Clarence Goodson deflected the pass, there were two Galaxy white shirts waiting for the open shot. Wisely, journeyman midfielder Kenny Walker stepped out of the way of the oncoming Gerrard, and the man they call ‘Sir Steven’ stepped forward and fired and tasty low curling shot past a diving Bingham and into the far side netting.

“I was quite disappointed in the previous two games not to get goals. You know, I had two good chances” said Gerrard, referring to his first two appearances with the Galaxy, both out-of-league competitions over the past week. “But I have belief in myself. I know that if I keep getting in the right positions, the goals will come. I was very pleased to get off the mark, and even more pleased for Robbie to get another hat trick.”

The Galaxy did not look stellar in the first half an hour. San Jose – and specifically Quincy Amarikwa – twice caught the Galaxy back line napping, and twice put away chances.  On the first, Sana Nyassi beat Robbie Rogers down the right flank, then served a perfect low cross onto the foot of Amarikwa, who easily converted the chance.

“They played well. Our first twenty minutes of the game was not good. It was sloppy” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena after the match. “Last twenty, twenty five minutes was pretty good.  And the second half was a pretty solid half.  I thought our guys responded real well.”

Only three minutes later, San Jose was awarded a direct free kick, and when the service clanged loose inside the area, it was once again Amarikwa in the right place at the right time, and he banged home the ball with his left foot to give the Quakes a surprising two goal lead in their rival’s home stadium.

But the lead was short lived. The first Keane PK came only six minutes later, and then Gerrard opened his MLS account in the 37th minute to level the match, bring joy back to the home crowd, and give the Galaxy all the momentum it needed to run away with the match in the second half.

“I felt like a kid out there again.” continued Gerrard, when asked about his impressions overall impressions of his first MLS match. “I’ve been looking forward to this game for a long time. I love playing in derbies. I wish I could play them every week. I used to love the rivalry against Everton and Manchester United back home, and I look forward to these battles moving forward.”

Sebastian Lleget, who looked every bit up to the task of joining the attack with legends like Keane and Gerrard, added the game’s final tally when he headed in a loose ball in extra time to close out the scoring. With Gyasi Zardes gone for most of July with the U.S. National team, Lleget has quietly put together a remarkable season. The twenty two year old now has five goals in six MLS appearances, and six goals in eight competitions in total.

“He played a terrific game. He’s got a unique combination of speed, power, and balance.” said Bruce Arena about his signing from West Ham. “He’s just been very good for us.”

The Quakes will now wait nine days before traveling to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps on July 26th.

The Galaxy will have much less time to rest.  They head fifteen miles north to take on Champions League champions FC Barcelona in an International Champions Cup match at the Rose Bowl, before traveling to Houston to face the Dynamo on July 26th.


  1. You missed the bigger story. Gerrard did for the Galaxy what he has done so many times before for LFC, he provided the energy to turn the game around.

    He earned a PK.
    Then scored a goal.
    Then an assist for the winning goal.

    The last two goals were immaterial. Yet, you refused to acknowledge it. Either you missed it and you’re unaware, OR you’re biased.

    • I’m sorry I don’t understand. What bias are you talking about? The author seems to write a glowing account of Gerrard’s performance. Isn’t that what you want? What’s your beef?

  2. Lots of comments on the perceived league bias for LA Gals. Lets keep in mind that they spend their own money for the DP’s salaries above DP maximum. They make choices like all the other teams.

    I’m a Union fan and while we have the same budget our management has not been as sharp. We pay $350K for Mbolhi a keeper we did not need. We pay $400K for Valdes, a player that has not wanted to play here for a few years, We bring in Aristeguieta at $350K, a new unproven player and so on.

    Is it really bias or is it having Bruce Arena as your coach and GM with shrewd ownership who invest in correct players actually give you that edge?

    • that was a fun game to watch, the galaxy played some very attractive ball, even with Rogers having an incredible stinker. I’d bet he turned the ball over a dozen times last night, more than half of them in the first 20 minutes

      • When he first came to the Galaxy he hadn’t played much for the previous couple of years and had a lot of rust. Even with that, last night might be the worst I’ve ever seen him play. One thing that was really stupid was how often the Galaxy would play the ball down the flank and make passes for their players to run onto, expecting them to outrun Marvelle Wynn. In his prime, Wynn was one of the fastest soccer players in the world and the Galaxy didn’t have anyone who could beat him on pace. That play, often tried by Rogers, never worked.

    • Please, the senate should concentrate on their own. Like why McCain is pushing his weapon contracts all over the middle east? Or why McConnell has ties to a shipping company that imports drugs into the US? They want to find corruption they should start with themselves. Instead they pick on soccer because it distracts eveyone fron the real issues like the fast tracked TPA bill.

      • Get back on your meds, gramps. I’m surprised you didn’t write this in all caps. BENGHAZI!!!1!!!1!!

      • Had your comment been something like” I’d prefer it if we would talk soccer here and leave polarizing political comments out of the conversation” many of us could sympathize.

        However, your flippant comment is even more polarizing, if not out right offensive in nature.

        (And who is this “They” you are invoking to ban a large segment of our society from soccer sites? They sound like horrible people)

  3. So, from a neutral fan’s perspective, LAG were looking like a very strong team two weeks ago when the GC was just kicking off. They had been on a streak where they were dusting teams by 3 – 4 goals at home.

    Now you add Gerard, who still looks the part even at 35, and a very talented GDS to this lineup. I mean, this team has San Penedo (top 3 GK in MLS), Omar Gonzalez (arguably best DEF in MLS), a midfield that boasts Gerrard and Juninho with attacking wingers/options in Lletget and GDS. Keane up top, who still performs every bit like an MVP and Zardes, who all he’s done is win a starting job on both LAG and USMNT (and rightfully so).

    Watching last night, no matter if you love this team or cannot stand them, you probably made these same observations:
    1. Lletget performs as (at least) a low budget DP in this league. Guy is very, very good and this move will do wonders for his career. At some point he may be offered something of a DP contract to stay here, but for now it looks like LAG got away with highway robbery on him.
    2. You could also argue the same thing about Juninho. Very unheralded player in MLS over the past 3-4 years and looks like he has really found his niche position playing under Arena.
    3. If GDS is available within the next few weeks and he is healthy, even if he performs somewhere between a Lletget and a Zardes, then you’re talking about a team that, IMO, looks like it’s fielding 6 DPs.

    It’s hard to be “neutral” to LAG anymore, they play extremely attractive ball and have proved that they truly are a big brand and not just Beckham’ last club. So are we now seeing the best team in the history of this league? Might be a little early, but I already got tickets for when they come to FCD here in Dallas. I at least appreciate the effort they make to have the best team. I guess we’ll see..

    • I understand your general sentiment, but Penedo is not a top 3 keeper in this league. One could even argue he’s not top 10. But definitely not top 3.

      • I agree he’s not in the top 3, but I totally disagree he’s not top 10.
        That seems quite off to me.

      • I would be curious to hear which three keepers you believe are above Penedo. I respect the fact that there are some pretty good ones who would be in that “top 5” conversation perhaps, but you’ve got to have Penedo at least there.

        For me, its Hamid, Ousted and Penedo. Probably in that order. Close behind are the likes of S. Johnson, Rimando, Robles and even Melia. That’s just from what Ive observed and how they’ve performed in some big games. I don’t have a lot of American bias either, although I am American and believe we’ve produced some fine keepers over the years. Those are just the ones **at this point of the season** who I would say are right there in the conversation

    • LA as per Garber’s instructions is loaded. I can’t see anyone touching this team. San Jose’s two goal lead was down to Gerrard getting back into the rhythm of playing a competitive match. Once he did it was sealed.

      What San Jose didn’t need was a scab referee (no I won’t even write his name) who had been fed the full bottle of Garber Kool-Aid by the lackey Kevin Stott. Anyone who touched Gerrard was called and if he toppled over they earned a card. This is an issue for the league because its becoming too obvious and games are beginning to looked fixed.

      1.) As for Lletget, I think that he has promise, but I’m not sold on him as National team player quite yet. I’ve seen him disappear from matches when LA isn’t at full strength.He benefits from being on the best team in the league.

      2.) Players like Juninho are never fully appreciated. I’ve thought that he was the best holding midfielder in MLS for the past 2-3 seasons. Far better than Alonso because he’s a tidier and cleaner player.

      3.) Its just a matter of how Arena fits Dos Santos into the plan. He can be mercurial (selfish).

      • I ask this in all seriousness- if you truly believe games outcomes, refs… the whole league is on the fix… why would spend a second or a cent supporting a team or watching a game? WWF theater?

      • Follow Serie A at all? Obviously not. Ever play the game? Pretty clear that you haven’t. Ever coached at a level higher than AYSO? I doubt it.

        Referees impact the outcome of matches more often than not. They also impact future matches based on their calls (yellow and red cards). For example, it was very clear that Gerrard deserved at least a yellow card for stamping on Bernardez’s ankle. If it had been the other way around, Bernardez would have assuredly gotten a yellow if not a straight red, based on his rep (which is a bit deserved), the team that he plays for and the location of the match.

        Last nights match began to approach “theatre” in this case Kabuki theatre with a set outcome that everyone except the SJ players knew. The more that they protested, the more that they were sucked into the trap.

        I’ll enjoy tomorrow Chicago v Columbus match because I know that Garber/MLS don’t care about these two teams, any of the players or the outcome of the match.

    • Bruce Arena is showing that he is probably the best coach in US history to date. He is also turning out to be an excellent GM. His only misstep seems to be the Magee for Rogers trade and since Magee has been injured a lot, now that’s not looking so bad as it once was. Arena likes to have his teams play quick, one touch football and when the Galaxy do that, they sort of put the game into another gear and they can look truly awesome. I remember a CCL game about two seasons ago where the Galaxy and Monterrey both played that way and went at each other hammer and tongs and it was one of the best games I’ve seen played by an MLS team. With an even better lineup now, the Galaxy may be the best team in North America once they integrate all their new players.

  4. Looks like Julian Green could also be loaned to an MLS club. Hearing Seattle.

    Might be moot, though, because I think Llegett is headed right for the USMNT. As a left wing.

    • The big question for me is how Lletget didn’t get hardly any playing time at West Ham. I can’t believe they have a lot of players better than he seems to be; we’re ;not talking Real Madrid here. I think big Sam Allerdyce really screwed up there. And Brendon Rodgers really messed up on Stevie G, too. He still has a lot left. If Lletget continues to develop and can handle the international game, consider a midfield corps of F Johnson, Bradley, Lletget, Zardes, Bedoya, maybe Yedlin and Mixx, plus reserves like Corona and D. Williams and who knows else, the US could have one of the strongest midfields in the world.

      • Big Sam doesn’t like young players and he may have taken a particular dislike to Lletget who isn’t a “get stuck in” kind of player. Arena has also moved him to wider role than he has previously played in. This is a sign of good coaching.

        Right now Lletget is still a promising player benefitting from being surrounded by the best squad in the league. How would be at San Jose or Colorado?

        Rodgers, messed up a lot of things, but Gerrard isn’t one of them. He was great last night, but had slowed down too much for the Premiership. O also think that Gerrard wanted out.

  5. Especially when yo have refs handing out spot kicks like lollipops. No way that first penalty gets called if the player is anyone other than Gerrard.

    • As a long time Galaxy fan, I have to agree with you. It really was undeserved. However, after the first 20 minutes the Galaxy controlled the game and they deserved the win.

    • HORRIBLE officiating by the scab referee who needs to be sent packing.

      Having said that, San Jose reacted poorly to the fix being in. They started going in harder the more that the scab tightened the screws on them. There were times in the match when you could see Gerrard grinning because he was drawing cards on the SH players so easily.

      It sure would be nice if referees looked after players like Perez Garcia, Valeri and Nagbe the same way.

      • Yeah, I am kind of angry. Garber/MLS chatter ad nauseam about parity, but there is an increasingly apparent reality, that being that certain clubs (LAG, NYCFC, SSFC) are clearly preferred. Hanauer made the mistake of letting the cat out of the bag a few weeks back.

        Its one thing if the league does this at a structural level via changing the rules for player acquisition, but when it becomes obvious on the field via the way games are officiated, MLS gets one step closer to being Italy. Stot and now the scab are the most obvious examples.

        San Jose didn’t deserve to win. If you read my posts, I think that their ownership has been lazy and uninspired and the team has reflected that. I just don’t think that its right to put an insurmountable barrier in the players + coaches way in the form of corrupt officiating.

    • Going to be so fun to watch how this team comes together. Think we’ll be seeing other teams answer and hopefully- the entire league pushed to another level. Don’t like to get ahead of myself- but hard not to. If they can stay healthy… lots of impressive youth…. obviously top notch vets… looking like a roster deep and talented enough to be a legit CL challenger. THAT would be huge.

      • About a year and a half ago I predicted that MLS would equal the Mexican league, Liga MX in 3 to 5 years. With the accelerated pace of quality signings, MLS may end up surpassing Liga MX in 3 to 5 years. It’s truly a remarkable development.

    • I predict that Gerrard will be a flop and will be gone within a year. Worse, Dos Santos will be one of the greatest flops in the history of the league. He will accomplish nothing. And the Galaxy will be too cheap, or stupid, to cut him loose, due to his five year guaranteed contract, and he’ll become a boat anchor to the club, and they’ll not only drop out of contention for MLS Cup, they’ll become more or less the worst team in MLS. You just watch. Check back in with me in 2019 and see how right I was.


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