CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane ended a scoring drought with a beautiful strike, then fed two Gyasi Zardes goals before netting a second of his own, and the LA Galaxy vaulted from sixth place into a tie for third in the Western Conference with a 5-1 romp Wednesday night over visiting New England.
Keane and Zardes gave LA (7-3-6) a two-goal advantage by the 18th minute, but both sides lost players to first-half red cards – A.J. Soares exiting for the Revolution (7-9-2) and Dan Gargan for the Galaxy – and Lee Nguyen converted a penalty kick to halve the deficit.
Keane ended a dry spell with LA dating to May 25 -- five games in all without scoring -- with a tremendous goal in the 10th minute, cutting in from the left to unleash a bender to the top corner.
Minutes later the Irishman played a one-time pass from the spot to the cutting Zardes, who slotted the ball near-post to beat Revs ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
Soares was ejected 11 minutes later for a studs-first challenge just below Juninho's right knee, and that should have been it. But Gargan was red-carded in the 36th minute after taking down Teal Bunbury in the LA box, setting up Nguyen’s penalty.
Zardes struck again at the start of the second half, to put it out of reach, getting to the near post to one-time a Keane cross. But the Galaxy kept piling on, with Stefan Ishizaki scoring from a 26-yard free kick in the 75th minute and Keane potting his ninth of the MLS campaign three minutes later, firing into an empty net after rounding Shuttleworth on a breakaway.
The five goals was LA’s biggest output since a 5-0 SuperClasico rout of Chivas USA last October, and extended their unbeaten streak to eight.
They leapfrogged Vancouver, which drew at Toronto FC earlier Wednesday, and FC Dallas to pull even with Colorado, just one point behind second-place Real Salt Lake in the West. LA have two games in hand over the Rapids, RSL and first-place Seattle.
The loss was the sixth in succession for New England, their longest such streak since 2001.
The Galaxy play at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, and New England play at FC Dallas.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Robbie Keane||Started off with a golazo and only got better from there. Ran the show, set up his strike partner and looked the part of an MVP.|
|2||Gyasi Zardes||Obviously the finishing was great, as he buried two of his three good looks. But his runs are just as important - he was dynamic off the ball.|
|3||Tommy Meyer||Gonna be hard to pry him out of the lineup when Omar's back. Rock solid in the challenge, quick decisions off the ball, and steady all over the field.|