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Drilling down on: at LA Galaxy 3, D.C. United 1

Robbie Keane

Los Angeles Galaxy’s Robbie Keane controls the ball during the first half of a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal soccer match against Toronto FC in Toronto on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. The match ended 2-2. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)


Man of the Match: Yes, Robbie Keane was so wide open at the far post on L.A.’s first goal, he could have scored while thumbing casually through his pricey James Joyce first edition. But then Keane hit the next Galaxy goal, too. And was generally busy finding (and frequently doing something constructive with) the other end of David Beckham’s steady supply of inviting crosses and passes into the 18.

Packaged for take away:

  • Major League Soccer’s Western Conference teams are 9-2 against the Eastern Conference. (More on this later)
  • If you thought preferential or deferential treatment from MLS referees toward David Beckham was so 2011, you’d better examine the cleat mark on Marcelo Saragosa’s leg. (Sudden thought: can he get that autographed? #WorthSomething) Beckham showed the D.C. United midfielder the bottom of his cleats on a hard, knee-high challenge – otherwise known as “The Very Definition of a Yellow Card.” And yet, no booking.
  • Yes, plenty of people through the years have wanted to do the very same thing to Saragosa, one of the real hard men of MLS. Still referee Baldomero Toledo got that one very wrong.
  • D.C. United clearly has lots of problems. But backup goalkeeper Joe Willis isn’t one of them. He was strong, bordering on heroic.
  • As for all the other Black and Red problems: Oh ... let’s just move on.
  • Keane knows just where his teammates are near goal; If Galaxy players around him can trust their veteran striker a little more, learning to initiate decisive runs as soon as balls aimed from Beckham into Keane begin to drop, the Irishman will find them. At that point, the results could be devastating.
  • Galaxy left back Todd Dunivant was typically strong, and Landon Donovan did a lot of good work on both ends.
  • The Galaxy needed a win, and credit for getting one. And other than selected, second-half moments, Bruce Arena’s men were in control, probably unlucky not to push more past Willis. Still, not all the hitches have been magically unhitched in Carson. United could easily have pulled level but for two atrocious, point blank misses when down by just a goal. And late Sunday, against all odds, things nearly got interesting thanks to further Galaxy back line wobbly-ness.
  • Andrew Boyens started this one. Neither he nor rookie Tommy Meyer has been able to grab the spot next to A.J. DeLaGarza and hold fast.