MLS: LA Galaxy 3, San Jose Earthquakes 0
By LA Galaxy
The LA Galaxy took a another lead on Saturday night against the San Jose Earthquakes. This time they didn't give it away.
Robbie Keane set up Landon Donovan's 132nd MLS regular-season goal, converted a penalty kick, and then scored on a volley as LA dominated their California Clasico rivals, 3-0, on a muggy evening at the sold-out StubHub Center.
Donovan, who has five goals in four league games since returning from the CONCACAF Gold Cup, moved within two goals of Jeff Cunningham's all-time league record with his eighth MLS tally this season.
Keane has 12 goals this season and seven in the past five games, including a pair in the CONCACAF Champions League victory over Cartagines a week and a half ago.
The Galaxy (13-9-4) solidified their hold on 2nd place in the Western Conference, keeping pace five points behind Real Salt Lake and pulling three points clear of third-place Seattle. San Jose (9-11-7) is eighth in the West, five points out of fifth place for the final playoff spot in the West.
LA made just one change from their lineup in last week's win over Vancouver, with Sean Franklin returning to the right side of midfield in place of Hector Jimenez.
Suspension deprived the Earthquakes of midfielder Rafael Baca and defenders Victor Bernardez and Justin Morrow, and Shea Salinas wasn't 100 percent, so interim manager Mark Watson fielded a 4-1-4-1 formation for the first time. Jason Hernandez replaced Bernardez in central defense, with Sam Cronin in the holding midfield slot, Chris Wondolowski and Alan Gordon in front of Cronin, and Steven Lenhart -- starting with Wondolowski and Gordon for just the second time this year -- as the lone forward.
The Earthquakes had rallied from two-goal deficits to beat LA in three of their past four regular-season meetings, including a July 29 stunner at Stanford University, but they created little against a Galaxy defense that has posted three successive shutouts, including the Cartagines win.
LA goalkeeper Jaime Penedo easily handled San Jose's best chance, parrying Wondolowski's volley from a corner kick in the 10th minute. The Quakes nearly scored on an Omar Gonzalez own goal from a corner kick in the 77th minute, but Penedo snagged the ball on the goal line.
The Galaxy went ahead in the 26th minute, after Gonzalez headed away a San Jose free kick into LA's box and Marcelo Sarvas fed Keane at midfield. The Irishman chipped the ball over the Quakes' backline as Donovan streaked into open space, pushed the ball to the right, past goalkeeper Jon Busch, and fired into an open net.
Keane got his team's second in the 43rd minute on a penalty kick, after Steven Beitashour fouled Gyasi Zardes, and then made it 3-0 in the 67th, volleying a Zardes cross past Busch on the bounce.
The Irishman nearly scored on four other occasions; the best were a shot across the goalmouth and past the right post in the 68th minute and a one-on-one blast that Busch parried 10 minutes later.
Galaxy right back A.J. DeLaGarza exited in the 83rd minute after Lenhart crashed into him on a San Jose corner kick. There was no immediate word on the injury.