Keane Scores Hat Trick in Win over RSL

Back to back hat tricks for the LA Galaxy as they rally against Real Salt Lake
by Jamie Pham   |   Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Galaxy of Angels – column on Los Angeles Galaxy (LA Galaxy) & the LA soccer scene.

CARSON, Calif. – The Los Angeles Galaxy returned to form on Saturday night as they showed Real Salt Lake and the rest of MLS what they are capable of when they are firing on all cylinders winning 4-2 in front of 24,237 fans.

Robbie Keane put on a showcase and made himself a candidate for MVP as he scored his 2nd hat trick of the season. This was also LA’s 2nd hat trick in as many games.

Manager Bruce Arena made a few lineup changes from last week putting Hector Jimenez on the right wing while Sean Franklin started on the bench. This was not the first start for Jimenez as he took over Donovan's place while he was away with the US Men’s National Team in July.

Panamanian goalkeeper Jaime Pinedo started for the 1st time this season and would serve as a test for him as Carlo Cudicini was left off of the 18. Robbie Rogers was left out as well for the 2nd game in a row. Landon Donovan got the start up top with Keane for the 2nd week in a row making them one of the best attacking duos in the league.

The 1st half ended in a draw for both teams with a few big chances for the Galaxy but nothing came out of it. They have no trouble getting into the final third but it’s the little mistakes and bad touches that add up in the end.

Real Salt Lake broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute as Joao Plata slid the ball passed Pinedo. This was the 1st time that Pinedo was really tested as the Galaxy cleared the ball but the ball was played back in front of LA’s box and caught the backline by surprise. There wasn’t really anything Pinedo could have done.

Keane answered back a few minutes later in the 56th minute as he juked Carlos Salcedo and scored the equalizer from the top of the 18-yard box with a brilliant strike.  He was not done as he scored again in the 67th minute with a cross from Sean Franklin, who came in minutes before for Hector Jimenez. Keane’s third goal came in the 83’ minute when he chipped the ball beautifully over RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

LA had a few more scoring chances from Donovan and Dunivant but both times the ball were cleared off the line.

The Galaxy conceded another goal off a set piece at the end of the game when Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales served a free kick over the top to Robbie Finley.

This was Omar Gonzalez’s first game as a designated player since the team announced it earlier in the week so there was a little pressure on the 24-year-old to perform. Gonzalez stated he received multiple offers from clubs in Mexico and Europe before deciding to remain with the team that drafted him back in 2009.

Gonzalez proved himself playing very well against an attacking Real Salt Lake containing Alvaro Saborio and even scored a header off a corner kick in the 75th minute.

It seems like the Los Angeles Galaxy are looking to end the chapter on the Carlo Cudicini era as he did not suit up on Saturday night. Pinedo made a very strong case for himself looking very confident and making decisions quickly coming off the line. Donovan said he was “solid” and “aggressive” and had “2 unlucky goals” scored on him.

The team seemed like they had better chemistry on Saturday night playing one of their best games of the season. Donovan playing up top with Keane created a lot of great looks on goal.  If they keep this up, they will have no trouble scoring goals because when one of them has the ball, they create opportunities for each other and for Zardes to slide in from the left wing.

NEXT UP: August 20 – LA Galaxy v Cartaginés, StubHub Center, Carson, Calif. 10 p.m. EST, TBD.

Jamie PHAM

Pasadena City College
Club Domestic:
LA Galaxy
Club Foreign:
Former tour manager turned sports blogger, Jamie spends loads of time reviewing the Los Angeles sports scene and is a big MLS and USMNT supporter.