The LA Galaxy did everything right on the way to a 5-0 victory over Real Salt Lake Sunday night, taking the two legged Western Conference Semifinal series in a big way Sunday night at the StubHub! Center. Landon Donovan managed the hat trick, and with Robbie Keane and Marcelo Sarvas also contributing it was a big night all around.
Moving forward LA will play the first leg of the Western Conference Championship on Sunday, November 23rd most likely with a 5:00pm kickoff. The return leg is less clear, taking place in the final weekend of November. They'll face either Seattle or Dallas who play tomorrow night.
In the immediate future the Galaxy will get two weeks to prepare, as the MLS Playoffs take a break for FIFA International Dates. Robbie Keane is already on a plane to play for Ireland, while his teammates work on things here at home.
Donovan's hat trick added to his MLS Playoff goal record; his 23rd, 24th, and 25th playoff goal respectively. Ten of those goals were during his time at San Jose, while his 15 playoff goals with the Galaxy make him the all-time club leader in that category. Donovan also added to his all-time playoff assist lead in feeding Robbie Keane tonight; his 13th of his career.
Bruce Arena made two changes to the team which played in the first leg, switching out Dan Gargan for Leonardo and Baggio Husidic for Stefan Ishizaki. After the match Bruce Arena told reporters he planned this lineup out two weeks ago, and he may not have been using irony. A.J. DeLaGarza making an overlapping one gave the Galaxy an early goal, and Stefan Ishizaki was a ball of energy in the midfield winning balls and feeding players.
If the team can play like this against whomever they face in the next round, it will be quite a challenge to keep up with them.