WHO: Robbie Keane
WHEN: Sunday, October 27
WHERE: vs. Seattle Sounders FC – CenturyLink Field
WHAT: The equation was simple for the LA Galaxy as they prepared for their regular season finale against Seattle on October 27. Given the results of a week earlier, the field for the Western Conference Playoffs was set with Colorado, LA, Portland, Real Salt Lake and Seattle comprising the field. However, the order that the five clubs would finish was still to be determined with the Galaxy capable of finishing anywhere from third to fifth.
Despite the fluidity of the situation, the permutations were fairly straightforward for Bruce Arena’s squad, knowing that a win or a draw against the Sounders would mean a third place finish and the opportunity to avoid the Knockout Round. However, the Sounders also knew that a win in front of their raucous home fans would relegate LA to the Knockout Round and leave Seattle as the third seed.
Much to the chagrin of Galaxy fans, the latter possibility appeared to be in the cards after Clint Dempsey scored for the home side in the 30th minute and Omar Gonzalez was ruled not to have scored despite seeing his header bounce more than a yard inside Michael Gspurning’s goal. However, just as he had all season long, Robbie Keane was there to help save the day.
With just more than 10 minutes remaining in the regular season and needing a goal, the Galaxy threw numbers forward. The Sounders failed to clear a Jose Villarreal cross with the ball eventually falling to Hector Jimenez, who cushioned a header down for Keane at the edge of the penalty area. With Dempsey racing to close him down, Keane struck a shot into the turf and skipped it deftly into the side netting, inside the far post, tying the game at 1-1 and earning the Galaxy the third seed in the playoffs.
To see the rest of the candidates for LA Galaxy Goal of the Year, go to LAGalaxy.com/GOTY.