On the Fourth of July, the Los Angeles Galaxy hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps at the Stubhub Center with the Whitecaps sitting one point above the Galaxy in the standings. The Galaxy received a welcome boost to their lineup, as Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes returned from international duty.
In the first half, Vancouver gave a solid effort, but despite putting pressure on the Galaxy, the Whitecaps didn't have any threatening opportunities to score. Vancouver's best chance strangely enough came from an LA mistake when Leonardo passed the ball back to Brian Rowe and his kick out of the box hit an oncoming Whitecap player and luckily went wide of goal.
On the other hand, the Galaxy got on the scoreboard early in the 12th minute when Gerrard controlled the ball in the midfield and passed ahead to Keane, who was near the top of the 18-yard box. Keane had three defenders near him, but took a dribble and shot a beauty to the top right corner past David Ousted for a 1-0 lead.
In the 47th minute, LA made it 2-0 when Gerrard assisted again with a corner-kick to Jeff Larentowicz, who probably got away with a push against the Vancouver defense and headed the ball into goal.
The one disappointment of the game for the Galaxy came in the 74th minute when Nigel de Jong became physical with Blas Perez and then lost his cool. He followed Perez with the ball and then completely cut Perez's legs out with a reckless tackle that earned de Jong a red card and another suspension.
LA held on to the 2-0 lead for the win despite playing with 10 men, and turned their focus to the next game.
On Saturday, the Galaxy traveled to Seattle for a Western Conference battle with the Sounders at CenturyLink Field. Replicating their previous game, Robbie Keane got an early goal for LA to settle down the team and give them control of the game.
In the 15th minute, Dave Romney played a nice through-ball to Zardes, who went streaking past Zach Scott. Gyasi controlled the ball and then crossed the ball into the box to the feet of a charging Keane, who was able to get his foot on the ball as he was sliding away from it. The shot hit the crossbar and bounced down into the goal for a 1-0 lead.
Jordan Morris of Seattle nearly made it a tie game in the 53rd minute when he beat AJ DeLaGarza and caused Rowe to charge at him. The ball bounced off Rowe, and Morris went around him for a quick strike towards goal, but DeLaGarza played goalie for a couple seconds and made an astounding save with his leg to keep the lead for LA.
Clint Dempsey had chances to score in the 76th and 82nd minutes, but was unlucky to the post each time.
With the 1-0 win in Seattle and the 2-0 win at home versus Vancouver, the Galaxy moved up from seventh place to fourth in the West this week. They now turn their attention to a Friday night home game against Houston -- a team that is having a rough MLS season as they are in ninth place in the West.
By Brian Kowalski
Reporter for TheDailySportsHerald.com