The LA Galaxy (3-3-3) managed a 2-1 defeat of FC Dallas tonight on the strength of goals from Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes. Both players were active in the attack tonight, with Zardes getting the assist on Keane's goal and Keane making the pass that Juninho sent in for Zardes. It was a match the Galaxy needed to win as they start catching up to their Western Conference rivals spending a match in hand.
On the night the Galaxy were actually outshot by FC Dallas, who also did a better job of getting high percentage attempts. Bruce Arena rid himself of the midfield diamond and started Gyasi Zardes who came inside with A.J. DeLaGarza behind him making overlapping runs. LA controlled possession and pressed high, keeping Dallas off balance.
The Galaxy historically have done very well against FC Dallas/Dallas Burn in Southern California, posting a 22-5-4 record against them all time with a six-match undefeated streak. Robbie Keane's goal was his fortieth in just sixty-four MLS appearances. Gyasi Zardes broke a 471 minute goal drought to reach five goals and five assists in his MLS career.
Unable to get a victory in four straight matches on the road, Bruce Arena made a couple of changes to the team that lost 1-0 at Houston. Proving that players can earn starting positions on the training ground, Arena started Kenney Walker with Juninho in the central midfield; just the second MLS match for Walker since being selected in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.
The draft provided good coverage for Bruce Arena with Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez off with the United States. 2013 draft pick Kofi Opare and 2012 draft pick Tommy Meyer performed admirably as a center back pairing, with Walker allowing Juninho to mix it up with the attack.
Homegrown players were also big. Not only did Zardes have a great performance returning to the starting XI, but Raul Mendiola made a second straight appearance off the bench. He didn't register that much on the stat sheet, but he showed great ball control and made the correct runs with the Galaxy needing to get back on the front foot after an allowing an FC Dallas goal (which replay showed was offside).
Next up for the Galaxy is a Sunday matchup against the Philadelphia Union.