They’re back? Robbie Keane says LA Galaxy showed flashes of MLS Cup winning sides in win over Philadelphia Union

Following the LA Galaxy’s 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane offered a telling assessment of the team’s play.

“The way we played [on Sunday] was the old Galaxy,” said the Galaxy captain. “I said a few weeks ago that there is a big performance coming from this team and tonight was one of those.”

Let that sink in a moment, the old Galaxy of brilliant attacking movement, devastating counterattacks, clinical finishing, and solid defense. “The old Galaxy,” who won two consecutive MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012 under the stewardship of players like Keane and MLS goal scoring king Landon Donovan.

The Galaxy needed just 112 seconds to pull ahead on Sunday as a Donovan free kick found the head of Leonardo for the opening goal. Philadelphia tried to claw their way back into the match in the first half, but in the second half, it was all LA.

Once Donovan found the back of the net for his MLS record-breaking effort, the Galaxy didn’t let off as Keane continued to torment the Union defense and in the 64th minute capitalized on a Sheanon Williams error to put LA further ahead. Donovan found another goal off Keane’s second assist of the evening just four minutes before the Union received the lone consolation goal in the waning moments of the match. 

“Second half they had to come out a little bit more. We were lucky with the two goals we got—in the first couple of minutes and after the half time we caught them cold a little bit,” said Keane. “So, once you got that, Landon personally and the whole stadium relaxed a little bit more. Once the second goal went in, you could see the relief in everybody, certainly Landon. The performance of the whole team in general was fantastic.”

As jubilant as StubHub Center was at the end of Sunday’s victory, with two matches left before the league’s break for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the start of the U.S. Open Cup still to come, the Galaxy will need to build on their performance against the Philadelphia Union.

Whether or not they can sustain their momentum will determine if the Galaxy of old are, in fact, back again.

“We certainly have players in this team to be top of the league, no question about that,” asserted Keane. “We haven’t been, but we are knocking on the door. After tonight’s performance, hopefully we will see the flood gate opened.”

Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at and contact him at