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Keane is the difference again
by Paul Kennedy, November 12th, 2012 12:20AM

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TAGS:  los angeles galaxy, mls, seattle sounders

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[MLS CUP PLAYOFFS: Los Angeles-Seattle] Bruce Arena says Robbie Keane has been the best player in MLS since returning from the European Championship, and there was no arguing with the Los Angeles Galaxy coach after the Irish striker's performance in the last two games. Keane's two goals reversed the Western Conference semifinal series with the Supporters Shield champion San Jose Earthquakes, and he put the Galaxy on course toward returning to MLS Cup with two goals and an assist in a 3-0 win over the Seattle Sounders in the first leg of the Western Conference final.

-- Both Seattle and Los Angeles made changes in their lineups from their midweek wins. Arena started Swedish international Christian Wilhelmsson in place of Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan moved back to the frontline. Sigi Schmid moved German Christian Tiffert up front in place of Eddie Johnson, and gave Alex Caskey is first MLS start since Aug. 18.

-- Zach Scott started on the backline in place of Marc Burch, who was handed a three-game suspension by MLS Commissioner Don Garber for making a gay slur during the second leg of the conference semifinal series with Real Salt Lake.

-- Donovan's energy was once again a big factor in the Galaxy's success as his chip in first-half stoppage time was finished off by Keane to culminate a Galaxy counterattack.

-- The Galaxy pulled away in the second half when Mike Magee scored to finish off another Galaxy counterattack involving David Beckham, Keane and Sean Franklin, and Keane had an easy tap-in on Wilhelmsson's deflected ball headed into the goal for the third Galaxy goal.

-- Seattle had allowed only two goals in its previous seven matches.

Nov. 11 in Carson, Calif.
Los Angeles 3 Seattle 0. Goals: Keane (Donovan, Franklin) 45, Magee (Franklin, Keane) 64, Keane (Wilhelmsson) 67.
Los Angeles -- Saunders, Franklin, Dunivant, Meyer, O.Gonzalez, Juninho (Sarvas, 46), Beckham, Magee, Donovan (Villarreal, 84), Wilhelmsson (Stephens, 77), Keane.
Seattle -- Gspurning, Johansson, Scott, Hurtado, Parke, Martinez, Alonso, Evans, Tiffert (Rose, 73), Caskey (Zakuani, 73), Montero (Johnson, 65).
Referee: Jair Marrufo.
Att.: 27,000.



6 comments
  1. Ernest Irelan
    commented on: November 12, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.
    sometimes, just plain excellent playing experience pays off...an a great coach recognizing that an making changes to capitalize on it...many US players are just not developed in the same manner as other countries do with their players. I will get on my soap box again, an say, the MLS needs to REQUIRE that each team have a residential acadaemy for teen youth to be developed into high level, pro trained soccer players. This to be done, WITHOUT regard to there financial background. Soocer cost in developement for our youth is just plain TOO EXPENSIVE for the avg. family to support. With the help of sponsors an advertisers, memberships, etc..I am sure this can be done...

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: November 12, 2012 at 10:13 a.m.
    LD is leaving it all on the pitch...perhaps, it's his way of saying goodbye.

  1. Ken Jamieson
    commented on: November 12, 2012 at 10:13 a.m.
    It is ironic that an early handball that would have resulted in a Seattle PK and possibly an early Sounders lead is completely ignored. If the situation had been reversed every member of the Galaxy from Bruce Arena down would be harranging the officials. Los Angeles continues to benefit from official favouritism from MLS. One needs only to look at the on field behaviour of the untouchable three that would earn other players suspension. The biggest example is David Beckham who consistently argues with refs, kicked a ball at an opponent while that individual was injured on the ground, and other transgressions, yet no sanctions against the Saviour of American Soccer. I am quickly becoming dissillusioned with MLS and its inequities.

  1. Doug Broadie
    commented on: November 12, 2012 at 1:55 p.m.
    Sorry, I'm a Sounders fan and that wasn't ball to hand. Siggy has a bad habit of leaving the back side of his defense open, which I have been screaming about for four years, and it really came back to bite him. Why in heavens name was he committing so much to the attach. When LA came to Seattle two years ago, they rarely sent their outside midfielders past the mid line and never mind sending their outside backs even past their side of the center circle. This worked perfectly for a 0-0 contest (bad choice of words as I have not witnessed a more boring game), but it did the job. We were caught too many times chasing a goal in a game where we would have been fine with a 1-0 loss. The second and third goals had both outside backs chasing behind the play, and never were the outside midfielders even in the tv screen. No, we can put this one on Siggy and maybe on the philosophy that the Sounders always play attractive soccer. I like that, but it won't get us to the championship game. It's going to take a real man's effort to win at home. Now watch how exciting the LA attack is when not even their outside mids are sent into the attack. They don't need to at 3-0.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: November 12, 2012 at 2:06 p.m.
    Folks, face it - soccer reality - that is: the Sounders didn't look like themselves including coach Sigi whom I've known since 1971, so when I saw that look of his, well it is now in the soccer history annals! Let's see how he recovers the team for the next leg.

  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: November 13, 2012 at 4:27 a.m.
    Ken, your comments are old. Every team has thousands just like you who think the refs are in the opposing teams pockets. If you really know the soccer rules, then you should know an unintentional handball in the box should never be called. There is nothing you can do when someone kicks the ball hard near the hand area. That is why they have that rule. If the Sounders are the better team, they won't need pk's to beat the Galaxy.


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