[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.