Landon Donovan breaks the MLS assist record as the LA Galaxy brush aside Toronto FC, 3-0

CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane scored two more goals and Landon Donovan took sole possession of MLS's assists record Saturday night as the streaking LA Galaxy pulled ahead, for the moment at least, in the Western Conference and Supporters' Shield races with a 3-0 triumph over visiting Toronto FC.

Keane scored goals three minutes apart midway through the first half, his 18th and 19th of the season, and Donovan had the secondary assist on the second strike for his 136th career regular-season helper, pushing past Steve Ralston, whose record he tied with three assists in last week's 4-0 romp over New York.

Alan Gordon netted his fourth goal off the bench since joining the Galaxy in August, and Marcelo Sarvas contributed his 10th and 11th assists of the season.

The Galaxy (17-5-9), who have scored three or more goals in eight of their last 14 matches, extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games to pull ahead of Seattle, with 60 points to the Sounders' 57, in the Western/Shield races. Real Salt Lake and D.C. United -- the only other teams in the chase for the overall title -- were left on the verge of Shield elimination.

The Sounders (18-9-3) play Sunday at Colorado.

Toronto (11-12-7), which welcomed striker Jermain Defoe back from an adductor injury that had sidelined him most of the past two months, missed a chance to climb into the top five in the Eastern Conference and sit three points behind fifth-place Columbus. The Reds have a game in hand on all the other playoff contenders in the East.

The Galaxy lost Robbie Rogers to a hamstring injury early in the first half, which gave James Riley his first minutes since tearing his meniscus in late March.

A.J. DeLaGarza slid over to right back in place of Dan Gargan, who was out with a sprained left ankle, and Leonardo stepped into central defense for the Galaxy, who otherwise used the same lineup as in successive wins over FC Dallas and New York.

Toronto made two changes from last week's victory over Portland, with Warren Creavalle stepping in at right back for Mark Bloom, who is out with a knee injury, and Dominic Oduro moving from the wing to forward in place of Gilberto, nursing a hamstring ailment, with Jonathan Osorio pushed to the wing and Kyle Bekker stepping in next to Michael Bradley in central midfield.

Toronto, which played with intensity all night, matched the Galaxy with 13 shots but put just one on frame, a Luke Moore shot that Jaime Penedo leapt to snag in the sixth minute.

Juninho nearly gave LA a 13th minute lead, striking the crossbar from 32 yards, and then Keane burnished his MVP credentials with goals in the 22nd and 25th minutes, his fourth multigoal game of the season and 13th since he joined LA in August 2011.

The first completed a superb passing sequence, with Marcelo Sarvas playing a give-and-go above Toronto's box with Baggio Husidic, then splitting two defenders with a sharp pass to the center of the box for Keane, who eluded Steven Caldwell and fired to the right side of the net.

Keane made it 2-0 almost immediately afterward. Donovan played a diagonal through ball to the right flank for A.J. DeLaGarza, who turned and tumbled as he chipped it back toward the top of the box. Keane, with no defenders nearby, measured the cross and volleyed it into the netting inside the right post.

Gordon scored on a 28-yard blast from Sarvas' assist deep in second-half stoppage.

The Galaxy often moved the ball brilliantly but repeatedly seemed one pass from another goal. They nearly added to their advantage in the 77th minute, when goalkeeper Joe Bendik slapped away a Keane chip at the left post, and in the 78th, when Stefan Ishizaki forced a Bendik save.

Moore came closest to scoring for TFC, hitting the left post from Daniel Lovitz's feed following a Riley giveaway in the 25th minute, and Defoe nearly connected with Osorio in the 64th minute, but Omar Gonzalez cut off the pass in the goalmouth.

The Galaxy play next Sunday at FC Dallas, then finish the regular season with a home-and-home series with Seattle. Toronto is home Wednesday against Houston, then visits New York on Saturday before wrapping up their schedule with games against Montreal and at New England.

LA Galaxy 3, Toronto FC 0
Saturday, Oct. 4 – 7:30 p.m. PT
MLS Regular Season
StubHub Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:

LA – Robbie Keane (Assisted by Marcelo Sarvas) 22’

LA – Robbie Keane (Assisted by A.J. DeLaGarza, Landon Donovan) 25’

LA – Alan Gordon (Assisted by Marcelo Sarvas) 90’+3

Misconduct Summary:

LA – Marcelo Sarvas (caution) 66’

TOR – Jonathan Osorio (caution) 66’


LA Galaxy: Jaime Penedo; Leonardo, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Robbie Rogers (James Riley 16’); Baggio Husidic (Stefan Ishizaki 72’), Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas, Landon Donovan (Alan Gordon 84’); Robbie Keane ©, Gyasi Zardes.

Substitutes Not Used: Brian Rowe, Tommy Meyer, Kenney Walker, Jose Villarreal.


Toronto FC: Joe Bendik, Steven Caldwell ©, Warren Creavalle, Justin Morrow, Nick Hagglund, Kyle Bekker (Collen Warner 80’), Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, Daniel Lovitz (Jermain Defoe 60’), Dominic Oduro, Luke Moore (Dwayne De Rosario 75’).

Substitutes Not Used: Doneil Henry, Chris Konopka, Ashtone Morgan, Andrew Wiedeman.


Referee: Baldomero Toledo

Referee’s Assistants: Fabio Tovar and Felisha Mariscal

4th Official: Daniel Radford

Attendance: 24,064