Galaxy Report: LA earns 5th place in West after opening months of 2013 MLS Season

June 14, 2013

Landon Donovan / Photo by Tri Le

Following a three-game road trip in mid-May, which included a 4-1 win in Philadelphia and a tough 1-0 loss in New York, the Galaxy returned home for a May 26 matchup with the Seattle Sounders.

The big news leading into that game was that LA had traded away a productive player and a fan-favorite in Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire for the rights to Robbie Rogers.

Rogers’ appearance back into MLS would make history as the first time an openly gay male athlete  participated in a prominent pro league game in North America.

Before the match, Rogers jokingly made the statement to ESPN that it would be a lot easier for him to enter with the Galaxy leading 4-0.

His wish proved to be prophetic.

Galaxy's Robbie Keane / Photo by Tri Le

In the 12th minute, the Galaxy opened up the game with a goal, as Robbie Keane taunted the defense just outside the 18-yard box and passed off to Marcelo Sarvas. Sarvas made the return pass to a darting Keane, who then crossed the ball to Sean Franklin for an easy shot and a 1-0 lead.

Then in the 24th minute, LA would take a commanding 2-0 lead when Landon Donovan crossed the ball into the box with his left foot. The ball bounced around before finding the feet of Keane 12 yards away from goal. Keane punched the shot low and into the corner for another goal.

The blowout would be on in the 32nd minute when Greg Cochrane sent a through ball to Gyasi Zardes who was fouled in the box, earning a penalty kick for the Galaxy.

Keane stepped up for the penalty kick and the shot was saved, but head referee Baldomero Toledo called encroachment by the Sounders, allowing Keane to make the redo for a 3-0 Galaxy lead.

By halftime the game essentially was over, as LA got a fourth goal when Juninho was fouled from behind with a reckless tackle by the Sounders in the box. Keane put away another penalty kick, giving him a rare hat trick before the half.

Robbie Rogers' Galaxy debut / Photo by Tri Le

An otherwise quiet second half was highlighted by Rogers’ debut in the 77th minute and Shalrie Joseph's receipt of a red card for his usual hot-tempered conduct.

The Galaxy opened the month of June on the road as they faced the Revolution in New England. Unfortunately, the tables turned on LA as they were on the other side of a 5-0 blowout loss to the Revolution. Despite the absence of Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, and Robbie Keane, the Galaxy controlled the game at times, but New England capitalized on their chances for a rout.

LA tried to regroup in their next game versus Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto, but again fell short with a 3-1 loss.

After a first-half of the MLS season full of ups and downs, player trades, multiple starting lineups, and the doling out of playing time to many of the team's young players, the Galaxy will enjoy a break before resuming the season on June 19th at the newly named Stubhub Center versus Portland.

Despite their recent road struggles, things are starting to look better for the Galaxy. By late June, LA should have a full-strength roster with players back from international duty and injuries, allowing the Galaxy to make a push and move up in the West from their current fifth place standing.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for The Daily Sports Herald

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