Robbie Rogers was asked at the end of his press conference tonight what he would like the headlines to say about what transpired tonight. So I wrote the headline he wanted. Playing 13 minutes tonight in his return to MLS, all Rogers could talk about was how much he missed playing soccer.
The LA Galaxy came out in top gear and didn't stop until the checkered flag. With four goals in the game, certainly the offense deserves a lot of credit. Gyasi Zardes showed well in his first MLS start. His shot attempts were that great, but he showed a speed and an understanding of where to be on the pitch that will only improve the more time he gets.
Sean Franklin got the opener, but it was Robbie Keane who created the opportunity. Keane ran a give and go with Marcelo Sarvas, using a slight hesitation to beat his marker to the touchline with the ball. The cross to Franklin was perfect.
Three goals later, with the LA Galaxy up 4-0, Robbie Rogers returned to MLS. He had ended things with Leeds United, he'd come out as gay, and he'd decided to return. A trade was manufactured so he could play in front of his friends and family.
He told us in the press conference that he'd been on the field for one of the first practice sessions at the newly built The Home Depot Center. His grandparents were able to make the short drive to see 24,811 fans get on their feet and cheer him on. The smile on his face told the whole story.
For Robbie Keane, he notched his first MLS hat trick and the 18th in LA Galaxy history. He was the 11th LA Galaxy player to notch a hat trick, and the third MLS player to do it with two penalties. There have been ten first half hat tricks in MLS history, and two went down this weekend.
LA's back line held the Sounders without a shot on goal. The only attempt by the Sounders that even traveled toward the goal area was a 58' headed attempt that went over the bar. Hopefully the back line can keep things together as Omar Gonzalez goes off on international duty.
As far as the forwards are concerned if Landon Donovan can play up top with Zardes and Villarreal, help them to continue to grow, LA should be fine.
More in the morning. For now, tonight went well.