Three Points: Robbie Keane bags a hat trick as the LA Galaxy rally to defeat Real Salt Lake
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano offers his three points to LA's 4-2 win over Real Salt Lake.
ROBBIE KEANE GOAL MACHINE
The LA Galaxy went behind early in the second half on a Joao Plata goal, but with LA down, Robbie Keane turned into a one-man wrecking crew as he led his team to a 4-2 victory.
Once again, Keane formed a dangerous tandem with Landon Donovan up top as the pair befuddled the RSL defense, but the LA captain truly came alive after Plata’s strike. Keane tallied two goals in the span of nine minutes between the 56th and 67th minute to give LA the lead with each goal looking more impressive than the last. From there, LA never looked back and never relented. Keane completed his hat trick –and the Galaxy’s second straight –in the 86th minute when he cleverly lob after he was played in behind the defense by Sean Franklin for his second ever three goal performance in a Galaxy uniform.
The message that the Galaxy sent was a clear one as Keane proved what has been known around StubHub Center for some time—if he is on his game, then he just might be the most talented player in MLS.
JAIME PENEDO STARTS IN NET OVER CARLO CUDICINI
Jaime Penedo made his regular season debut in net for the Galaxy and put in a stellar performance that may have earned him the another start next weekend when LA return to league play against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Penedo earned the nod over Cudicini, who was left off the game day roster with Brian Rowe serving as the back-up. The Panamanian wasn’t tested much as he made just one save in the 48th minute off an Alvaro Saborío, but he appeared quite comfortable in net for LA and drew rave reviews from his teammates after the match. Not only did Penedo look settled, but he displayed a willingness to come off his line, particularly, in the 29th minute when he cleared a dangerous RSL chance in the box.
What does this mean for Cudicini? Well, the Galaxy face a congested schedule in the coming months with the team taking part in league play and the CONCACAF Champions League and are expected to use their complete roster. With the Galaxy taking on Cartagines on Tuesday in their first CCL group match, Cudicini is likely to contend for a place between the pipes.
OMAR GONZALEZ AND LEONARDO FORM EFFECTIVE TANDEM
The LA Galaxy have long utilized the Omar Gonzalez and A.J. DeLaGarza center back tandem, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena’s may have found a new preferred pairing in Gonzalez and Leonardo.
Matched up against Alvaro Saborío, who had scored five goals in his previous three matches, the Galaxy flourished as the big bodies of Gonzalez and Leonardo were able to negate the Costa Rican international, who managed just a pair of shots on the night. The night was not without one hiccup however, as the pair readily admit that a defensive breakdown led to Plata’s opener, but throughout the match, they were extremely effective in shutting down the RSL attack.
Not only were they effective in defense, but each had opportunities on the offensive end on set pieces—a major issue for the Galaxy this season. While Leonardo was unable to convert his opportunity in the first half, Gonzalez made one of his chances count in the 75th minute when he smashed a Landon Donovan corner past Nick Rimando for LA’s eventual game-winning-goal.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com