Major League Soccer, Week 2: 10-Man Rapids Beat Union 2-1; Galaxy Thump United

The early season excitement can make even a week of boring matches fun.

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Major League Soccer, 2012 Week 2: What We Learned

The Western Conference continues their dominance and the Big O makes its MLS debut during Week 2. Also, could Hans Backe's seat be getting warmer?


LA Galaxy Vs. DC United, 2012 MLS: Robbie Keane's Brace Leads Way

Robbie Keane shook off several ugly misses to score his first MLS brace of his relatively brief career and the LA Galaxy handled D.C. United 3-1 on Sunday. Keane scored one goal in each half with his second one being an absolute cracker from inside the penalty area. The Galaxy essentially sealed the result when David Beckham was given acres of space inside the penalty area and unsurprisingly found Marcelo Sarvas, who headed home his first MLS goal.

If not for numerous missed opportunities, the score in this one could have been much uglier. The Galaxy out shot United 21-13 and forced backup goalkeeper Joe Willis into five saves. Willis was playing in place of Bill Hamid, who is currently training with the United States U23 team. Those national duties also called away Perry Kitchen, leaving United at a distinct disadvantage.

The Galaxy definitely took advantage. Although they only scored three goals, they had numerous quality scoring chances. Keane missed at least three quality chances all by himself and David Beckham came very close to converting at least two free kicks. United, meanwhile, only put one of their 13 shots on frame -- a late goal from Nick DeLeon -- and generally made a bruised and battered Galaxy defense look downright competent.


LA Galaxy Vs. DC United, 2012 MLS: Robbie Keane Gives Galaxy Lead At Half

Robbie Keane, who has struggled a bit to find his scoring touch, gave the LA Galaxy a lead late in the first half of their match against D.C. United on Sunday. Keane's goal came off a nice series of passes in which Mike Magee fed Todd Dunivant near the post. Dunivant then headed to Keane, who was left all alone at the far post.

Up until then, it had been another frustrating afternoon for the Galaxy, who have failed to win any of their first three competitive games this year. They had outshot United 12-7 and put four shots on frame. Keane had at least two other very good chances to score, but came up empty in each. The Galaxy also probably should have been given a penalty when a United defender appeared to handle the ball in the box, but that went unpunished.

United's best chance was probably off the foot of Dwayne DeRosario who attempted to beat Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders from near midfield. Saunders was caught off his line, but the shot sailed just wide.


Philadelphia Union Vs. Colorado Rapids, 2012 MLS: 10-Man Rapids Pull Out Win

Despite losing Jeff Larentowicz and playing with 10 men for the final 32 minutes, the Colorado Rapids pulled out a 2-1 win on the road against the Philadelphia Union. The Rapids got goals from Jaime Castrillon and rookie Tony Cascio, the second of which came after the Rapids were down a man, to improve to 2-0-0 on the season and keep the Union winless.

The Union did press hard for the equalizer, but were done in by some bad luck and a ball off the crossbar. A week after getting badly outplayed by the Portland Timbers, the Union did look improved and outshot their opponents 20-9, but clearly have some work to do. Zac MacMath badly misplayed a cross on the first goal and the Union defense was caught completely flat-footed on the second.

Not helping matters was the surprising absence of Danny Califf. Union coach Peter Nowak said that Califf was injured -- although he did not appear on the team's injury report, and Califf apparently said he did not know why he was left out.


Montreal Impact Vs. Chicago Fire, 2012 MLS: Record Crowd Settles For Tie

It probably wasn't the exact result that Montreal Impact fans were hoping for, but their 1-1 tie with the Chicago Fire did earn them their first point of their MLS history. A Montreal soccer record crowd of 58,912 witnessed the game. That also qualified as the eighth biggest single-game attendance in MLS history.

Davy Arnaud was able to make sure those fans didn't go home entirely disappointed. The veteran midfielder scored the first goal in the Impact's MLS history when he nodded home a delivery from Sanna Nyassi. The glancing header in the 56th minute sent the crowd into a wild celebration and also gave the Impact their first lead of the season.

Although the threatened to extend that lead on a couple occasions, the failure to do so ultimately caught up to them. Dominic Oduro found the equalizer in the 71st minute when he was able to get just enough of his foot on a Sebastian Grazzini pass to beat Donovan Ricketts.

Just before the final whistle, the Impact nearly pulled out the three points. But Josh Gardner's blast hit off the crossbar.

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