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No place like home for Galaxy and D.C. United
by Ridge Mahoney, May 22nd, 2014 1:32AM

TAGS:  mls


[MLS: Week 12] The LA Galaxy keeps finding ways to make its life difficult but managed to get out of the Western Conference basement with a 2-1 win over struggling FC Dallas.

Robbie Keane scored its first goal in the first 30 minutes of play this season and Gyasi Zardes also netted for a 2-0 halftime lead over FC Dallas at StubHub Center, but rather than cruise to victory, the Galaxy conceded a goal to rookie, Tesho Akindele, and had to sweat out a 2-1 victory.

After playing six of its first eight games on the road, the Galaxy got off to a quick start at home despite the absences of U.S. internationals Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez. Midfielder Kenney Walker, making just his second MLS start after debuting two years ago, keyed a lively midfield display that freed up Keane, Zardes, Stefan Ishizaki and Juninho to dominate the first half. FC Dallas lost captain Andrew Jacobson to a leg injury in the 26th minute and it labored to quell the Galaxy’s crisp passing.

Zardes squared a pass from the left flank into the middle for Keane to dance past two challengers and smack a superb goal with his left foot into the top corner. Zardes doubled the lead when Juninho, again serving from the left, lofted a ball that dropped between two defenders for the Homegrown signing to head off his collarbone and into the net.

But 20 minutes into the second half, a careless giveaway by Walker in his own defensive third enabled Jair Benitez to play a through ball that Akindele smacked first-time into the net. The victory lifts the Galaxy (3-3-3, 12 points) from last place in the Western Conference to sixth, ahead of three teams with 10 points. FC Dallas (5-6-2, 17 pts.) has lost five of its last six.

UNITED ON ALL FRONTS. Don’t look now, but D.C. United is starting to look like a real soccer team, even though only 8,224 fans turned out to see the evidence in person.

The suspension of Eddie Johnson, who’d scored United’s goal last weekend to salvage a 1-1 tie with Montreal, didn’t dissuade attacking mates Chris Rolfe and Fabian Espindola. They each notched a goal in a 2-0 defeat of Houston Wednesday at RFK Stadium that moved United (5-3-3, 18 points) into second place, a point ahead of the Dynamo (5-6-2).

United burned Dynamo defender David Horst on both goals. Rolfe nearly faked him off his feet to rifle home a low, left-footed shot to cap off a counter that started with a throw-in to Espindola, who broke through a challenge to play the ball Rolfe put away. Espindola scored the second goal by knifing through on the left flank and creating enough space to drill a shot along the ground inside the far post. The assist? Rolfe, of course.

Missing international callups Brad Davis and Oscar Boniek Garcia, the Dynamo suffered another setback when rookie Mark Sherrod, who had notched his first two MLS goals and first league assist in the past week and a half, left the game in the 12th minute with an injury to his left knee. The Houston attack woke up late in the first half but was thwarted by a few good saves by Bill Hamid.

MLS WEEK 12, Results:
Wednesday, May 21
D.C. United 2 Houston 0.
DC: Chris Rolfe (Fabian Espindola) 28
DC: Fabian Espindola (Chris Rolfe) 63
Att.: 8,224.

LA Galaxy 2 FC Dallas 1.
LA: Robbie Keane (Gyasi Zardes) 24
LA: Gyasi Zardes (Juninho) 44
DAL: Tesho Akindele (Jair Benitez) 65

MLS WEEK 12, Schedule:
Friday, May 23
8:30 pm ET
Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC, MLS LIVE, UDN
Saturday, May 24
7 pm ET
Vancouver vs. Seattle, MLS LIVE
New York vs. Portland, MLS LIVE
7:30 pm ET
Columbus vs. Chicago, MLS LIVE
New England vs. D.C. United, MLS LIVE
9 pm ET
Colorado vs. Montreal, MLS LIVE
9:30 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas, MLS LIVE
Sunday, May 25
8 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. Philadelphia, UDN
10:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. Houston

MLS Standings:
20 New England 6-3-2 19/13
18 D.C. United 5-3-3 16/12
17 Sporting KC 5-4-2 16/10
17 Houston 5-6-2 18/21
14 New York 3-4-5 18/19
13 Columbus 3-4-4 13/14
12 Toronto FC 4-4-0 9/9
12 Chicago 2-2-6 19/17
11 Philadelphia 2-6-5 15/20
7 Montreal 1-5-4 8/18

25 Seattle 8-3-1 23/19
23 Real Salt Lake 6-0-5 23/13
17 FC Dallas 5-6-2 22/22
16 Vancouver 4-2-4 16/12
15 Colorado 4-4-3 12/14
12 LA Galaxy 3-3-3 10/8
10 San Jose 2-4-4 10/12
10 Chivas USA 2-5-4 13/20
10 Portland 1-3-7 16/19
MLS: Leading Scorers
9 Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York
8 Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC
8 Erick Torres, Chivas USA
8 Clint Dempsey, Seattle
6+1 Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
6 Federico Higuain, Columbus
6 Joao Plata
, Real Salt Lake
6 Will Bruin, Houston
6 Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake

MLS WEEK 13, Schedule:
Tuesday, May 27
8 pm ET
Sporting KC vs. New York, ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Wednesday, May 28
10:30 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. Portland, MLS LIVE
Saturday, May 31
4 pm ET
Seattle vs. Real Salt Lake, MLS LIVE
5 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. Columbus, MLS LIVE
7 pm ET
Montreal vs. New England, MLS LIVE
D.C. United vs. Sporting KC, MLS LIVE
8:30 pm ET
FC Dallas vs. San Jose, MLS LIVE, UDN
10:30 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. Philadelphia, MLS LIVE

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