LA Galaxy earn 2-1 home win over FC Dallas

May 22, 2014

Carson, Calif. -- On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Galaxy, currently sitting in last  place in the Western Conference, welcomed third-place FC Dallas for a mid-week home matchup in front of 14,615 fans.  LA’s schedule this season has been interesting, to say the least, with Champions League causing them to play only 8 MLS games compared to the 10 and 12 games of other teams.

LA has also been without Todd Dunivant and Marcelo Sarvas due to injury, and now will have to deal with the likely absence of Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez thanks to the their World Cup duties.   Close heart-breaker losses in Portland and in Houston last weekend have not helped matters.

However, the Galaxy is a proud championship organization, and that pride allowed them to shrug off their struggles and bring their best in this crucial matchup.

In the 24th minute, the Galaxy got the lift they needed when Robbie Keane received the ball from Zardes at the top of the box. Keane, with his usual trickery, was able to elude three Dallas defenders and shoot to the upper corner of the goal. Raul Fernandez had no chance and Keane’s play put LA up 1-0.

“It was a good goal obviously it was nice to get the first goal…seems like we haven’t done it for a while so it was important for us to get that first goal,” said Keane.

FC Dallas tried to counter and was able to get past the defense in the 32nd minute, leading to a foul being committed just outside the box.  However, Jair Benitez’s free-kick was easily saved by Jaime Penedo.

As the first half drew to a close, LA picked up the intensity with constant offensive threats in the final third of the pitch, including shots by Keane, Gyasi Zardes, Kenney Walker, and Juninho. The Galaxy were rewarded and took a firm hold of the game in the 44th minute when Juninho crossed the ball into Zardes, who then scored on a header for a 2-0 lead. Zardes’s goal was his second of the 2014 MLS Season.

“It’s always chaotic when the ball gets played out and I saw Juninho lined up so I just made sure that I was in a good position," said Zardes.  "I looked and I saw that I was by myself and in moments like that you just have to put it on frame.”

After a strong first half, LA didn’t settle as they continued to attack Dallas, including one near-miss volley by Keane in the 56th minute that was just wide of goal.

FC Dallas also improved their play with dangerous crosses and corner-kicks.  In one particular sequence, Fabian Castillo crossed the ball right in front of goal,  but no Dallas player was there to finish. However, Dallas’ effort paid off in the 65th minute of play when Jair Benitez crossed the ball into Tesho Akindele, who one-timed the shot into net. Akindele appeared slightly offside, but the score stood and cut the lead to 2-1.

"It was a little unfortunate that the linesman missed the offside, which resulted in the Dallas goal, but that’s all part of it," said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena.  "I give our backline credit. They did what they are supposed to do on a play like that. It’s unfortunate that the linesman missed it and we had to scramble over the last 15 minutes."

In the 77th minute, a cross to the feet of Zardes didn’t produce a shot on goal and neither did subsequent corner-kicks or extended ball possession near the box.

Dallas ultimately was unable to equalize and the Galaxy secured a 2-1 win for a must needed three points.  With the win, the Galaxy are 3-3-3 on the season, leaving them with 12 points.  LA will host Philadelphia on Sunday with a chance to continue their momentum and get another win on the season.

Box Score

Scoring Summary:
LA – Robbie Keane 24’ (Assisted by Gyasi Zardes)
LA – Gyasi Zardes 44’ (Assisted by Juninho)
DAL – Tesho Akindele 65’ (Assisted by Jair Benitez)

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Kofi Opare (Yellow Card) 37’
DAL – Tesho Akindele (Yellow Card) 43’
DAL – Je-Vaughn Watson (Yellow Card) 71’

News and Notes

  • Robbie Keane scored his 40th goal in 64 MLS appearances.
  • Keane and Juninho are the only Galaxy players to appear in all Galaxy regular season games. Keane is the only field player to play every minute (810) in the 2014 MLS campaign thus far.
  • Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo recorded four saves in his seventh consecutive start in 2014. The Panamanian goalkeeper is 6-4-6 in 16 MLS starts since joining the club last August. He’s only allowed 14 goals for a .89 goals against average in that stretch.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for

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