By IVES GALARCEP
The Los Angeles Galaxy had lost three of their past four matches, and limped back home to face a red-hot Seattle Sounders side that had won four of five and put together a six-match unbeaten streak heading into Sunday night. Their clash had all the makings of a mismatch.
A mismatch it was, though not by the team that came into the match on a roll.
The Galaxy dismantled the Sounders, 4-0, on the strength of a first-half Robbie Keane hat-trick that put the match out of reach before the Sounders ever mounted a viable threat.
Seattle had no answer for the Galaxy’s quick passing attack, which didn’t miss a beat in the wake of the departure of standout midfielder Mike Magee, who was traded for Robbie Rogers on Saturday.
Rogers was the story of the night, coming in in the 75th minute, a moment that made history as he became the first openly gay male to play in a top U.S. pro sports league in the modern era.
Rogers had a rather uneventful 15 minutes, but the significance of his Galaxy debut was clear for all to see.
From the soccer standpoint, the Galaxy simply dominated the Sounders, who sorely missed the presence of Osvaldo Alonso in central midfielder. Shalrie Joseph and Servando Carrasco struggled to keep up with the Galaxy attack, and rookie forward Gyasi Zardes proved to be a handful for the Seattle back-line all night.
The lead orchestrator though, was Keane, who converted a pair of penalty kicks and scored another in the run of play while also setting up Sean Franklin for the opening goal of the night.
It was a night to forget for the Sounders, who failed to register a single shot on goal after posting consecutive four-goal games in victories.
The Galaxy reside in fourth place in the Western Conference, seven points behind conference leader FC Dallas. The Sounders now reside in sixth place in the West, but they have multiple games in hand on all five teams ahead of them in the standings (except the Galaxy, who they have one game in hand on).
Both teams will be traveling across the country to play in the U.S. Open Cup, with the Galaxy playing the Carolina Railhawks in North Carolina on Wednesday, while the Sounders face NASL side Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
Here are the match highlights:
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