It appears as if more Landon Donovan and more Robbie Keane is the cure to the LA Galaxy's ills. After consecutive losses and just two wins in their last eight matches, the Galaxy rode Donovan best match of the season and Keane's return from injury to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union. Now they are back on track and have their two superstars inching back into form as they get ready to take on the Red Bulls on Sunday.
The Galaxy went in front after just three minutes thanks to some laughable goalkeeping by Zac MacMath. The Union keeper came out to challenge Omar Gonzalez for the ball on the corner kick, but instead of catching or punching the ball, it hit him in the face and ended up in the back of his own net.
Philadelphia answered 20 minutes later when LA decided not to mark on a long Sheanon Williams throw, allowing Amobi Okugo to waltz into the box and head home from five yards out. It may not have been as embarrassing as MacMath's gaffe, but it was just as bad. Instead of being tied 1-1, it probably should have been tied -1 - -1.
The sloppy first half gave way to a Galaxy-dominant second half as the defending MLS Cup champs -- Donovan and Keane in particular -- showed the flair and fluidity in the attack that was the hallmark of their playoff run a year ago.
Keane dropped deeper to receive the ball and combined brilliantly with Donovan, causing problems for the Union defense. With Marcelo Sarvas also pushing higher and Juninho helping spring the counterattack, LA was on the front foot and in the 71st minute, it paid off.
Sarvas pushed up along the right and with Keane pushing the defense back, there was plenty of room for Donovan in the center. He collected a pass from Sarvas and as soon as the Union looked to him, Donovan slipped a pass into Keane, who was in all alone to give LA a 2-1 lead.
Donovan picked up the assist on the next goal, too, and he did it from the same spot. This time Mike Magee fed him and all he had to do was take one dribble to draw the defense before passing for Hector Jimenez on the right this time. Jimenez was all alone in the same place as Keane and he finished just as clinically to put LA in front 3-1.
With two assists under his belt, Donovan added a goal with Keane feeding him this time. The two were out on the counterattack and Donovan got to play the role of scorer when he took a pass in the same spot as Keane and Jimenez before him, but instead of hiring to the far post he rounded MacMath before knocking it into the empty goal and LA was cruising to a vintage Galaxy victory.