Carson, CA – Major League Soccer‘s marquee signing for the current transfer window wasted no time in opening his scoring account, as Robbie Keane netted the opener for the LA Galaxy in a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes in the California “classico” on Saturday night.
The veteran EPL striker received a ball in from David Beckham in the 21st minute and slotted it past San Jose keeper Jon Busch to make it 1-0 Galaxy in front of an enthusiastic sell out crowd of 27,000.
“It’s always nice to get your first goal,” said the former Tottenham Hotspur striker. “When you go a few games without scoring, sometimes it can play on your mind. It was nice obviously to get the first goal and hopefully there’s a lot more to come.”
“I knew he was gonna be running and I knew where to put it, but sometimes they come off sometimes they don’t,” said Beckham in regard to Keane’s goal. “But he’s a player that obviously knows where to run and he can play the game well. He reads the game really well. So if you’re on the same wavelength as him you’ve obviously got a chance.”
The Irish national had only just signed with the MLS league leaders and had taken part in one training session prior to appearing in the Galaxy’s starting lineup for Saturday night’s fixture.
“We’re elated with Robbie I think he had a great 70 minutes for us tonight and we think we’ll have a lot of great games ahead for Robbie and our team,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
Keane looked to have scored earlier in the match when he was again fed the ball by Beckham in the 15th minute, but the goal was disallowed for being offside. However in replays it appeared as if Keane had actually been onside when he struck the goal.
Mike Magee, who’d been forced to stand in on goal for an injured Donovan Ricketts and a red carded Josh Saunders in the two sides previous meeting this season, was introduced for Keane in the 72nd minute. Arena’s subsitution of Magee in for Keane proved fortuitous as the Galaxy fan favorite tapped in an injury time cross from Shawn Franklin to end the match 2-0 in the home side’s favor.
“Landon played Shawn in and I just took off because I knew Shawn was gonna get behind them and then Shawn just gave me an absolute peach,” said Magee in regard to his late goal.
San Jose had succeeded in troubling the Galaxy at times before they were reduced to ten men in the 82nd minute after Steven Beitashour was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Landon Donovan.
“I thought San Jose played well and did a good job in turning us over in the last ten minutes of the first half and were dangerous and possessed the ball pretty well,” said Arena.” The second half was a grind, we look tired, we didn’t do a good job with our passing but hung on there obviously in the last ten minutes got the second goal and got the three points which is important.”
With Saturday’s win against San Jose, the Galaxy maintain their six point lead atop the Western Conference standings going into their next match away at New York Red Bulls on August 28th.