The LA Galaxy defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 Saturday night, and as has been the case since Landon Donovan returned from the Gold Cup he and Robbie Keane stole the show. With all the goals and assists the forward pairing have scored in the last month, the Galaxy offence has remained dynamic creating opportunities from several different situations.
The opening goal came off a through ball, with Landon Donovan staying onside while Robbie Keane sent up a hopeful ball for him to run onto. Donovan then dribbled around the keeper for the easy open net goal. The penalty kick was earned on a play that started on the flank, going from Sean Franklin on the right and working across the top to Gyasi Zardes on the left.
The second half goal was the lone goal created from a counter situation, a bit of old school LA Galaxy speed. A.J. DeLaGarza recovered a loose ball at the halfway line then got it out to Todd Dunivant. Dunivant played it up to Gyasi Zardes who sent in the cross that Franklin headed down for Keane to smash in.
With three goals in eleven attempts, the 27% conversion rate showed a strong finishing ability. Finishing was a weakness for LA toward the beginning of the year, when Zardes was playing up top taking seven shots a match. With Donovan and Keane up top, they've fallen back into a good rhythm. Arena after the match admitted that the sole reason Zardes moved to the flank was because he had Keane and Donovan to start up top. So don't expect that pairing to be broken up any time soon.
The Galaxy were able to control possession (55/45) and attempted 447 short passes which is more than the Quakes attempted total. LA also used seven through balls, challenging San Jose's offside trap which led to one of their goals.
San Jose's attack was heavily left sided, with left midfielder Cordell Cato playing the furthest forward. They were reliant on crosses and long balls, and with Omar Gonzalez and Leonardo in the middle winning aerial battles that limited the Quakes to two shots on target; only one from inside the penalty area.
Keane and Donovan turned in fantastic performances yet again. Replacing them as they go on international duty is going to be difficult.