By DAN KARELL
The first two games between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA were tight affairs that were close through the final whistle. On Sunday, the Galaxy made sure to put the game away early.
In a match that showed just how big the talent gap currently stands between the two sides, the Galaxy routed Chivas USA, 5-0, with four of the goals coming in the first half. Both Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane scored two goals each, and Donovan’s goals tied him atop the MLS scoring charts, level with Jeff Cunningham.
The Galaxy identified Chivas USA right back Mario de Luna as the weak link in the backline and unleashed speedy rookie Gyasi Zardes on a number of occasions down the left wing that turned into multiple Galaxy goals.
Zardes supplied the crosses on the Galaxy’s first two goals in the 6th minute (Keane) and 21st minute (Donovan), with the homegrown product scoring a goal for himself in the 26th minute, getting past De Luna once again and finishing inside the near post of Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
Four minutes before halftime, Donovan scored his second on a delightful chip over the head of Kennedy to place the Galaxy forward at the summit of the MLS scoring list with 134 goals, tying him with Cunningham.
Keane added the Galaxy’s fifth when he collected broke the offside trap, collected a chip cross and with plenty of time, scored his second of the game to complete the impressive Galaxy performance. The result keeps the Galaxy in fourth place in the Western Conference on goal differential, tied with the Colorado Rapids with three games remaining.
Galaxy and U.S. Men’s National Team centerback was substituted at halftime with what was reported as a “left adductor issue.” It remains to be seen if it affects his USMNT status, after being called into the USA squad for their final two World Cup qualifiers.
Here are the game highlights: