Arena: Galaxy "learning" to win on the road

SEATTLE – Coming into their  road matchup with the Seattle Sounders, the LA Galaxy had managed just one victory away from the friendly confines of StubHub Center in 2016.

They bagged their second on Saturday afternoon, thanks to star forward Robbie Keane’s sixth goal of the season in the 15th minute that paced the visitors to a hard-fought 1-0 triumph over Seattle at CenturyLink Field.

“It’s a very tough venue to play in,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “We’re learning. We lost points in maybe three or four games this year in similar games on the road. It’s good to see we’re growing and understanding what we need to do to close out games.

“When you come in here, you know it’s never going to look real good. You’ve just got get a goal and grind it out and we did that.”

Arena also praised the defensive fortitude his side displayed  in maintaining the shutout against a Seattle side that made a hard push for a second-half equalizer.

All told, the Galaxy have now managed three clean sheets in a row including their 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup June 29.

“It’s three clean sheets in a row – two league games and one Open Cup game – so that’s good,” Arena said. “I thought our guys did a good job – the whole back line, Brian Rowe continues to grow in the goal. I think [Jeff] Larentowicz and [Baggio] Husidic did a real good job in front of the back line.”

Keane, who now has seven goals in 10 career games against Seattle, also said it was an encouraging sign to see his team take all three points in the hostile CenturyLink Field environment.

“A couple of months ago we probably would’ve lost or drew [that game],” Keane said. “So obviously it was a good three points away from home. Especially coming here in difficult circumstances playing against a good team. All in all it was a good day.”

With the road victory in hand, the Galaxy can now look forward to a return home for their next two fixtures. LA host the Houston Dynamo in MLS play at StubHub on Friday, before taking on the same Sounders squad in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals July 20.