Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy recorded what many will hope to be the first of many wins in 2012 with a 3-1 victory over D.C. United at the Home Depot Center on Sunday afternoon.
This was a much better performance from Los Angeles, the type of performance fans were used to seeing last year. The Galaxy put all the pieces together and now have plenty of confidence heading into the two-week break.
Here are the player ratings for the Galaxy players.
Josh Saunders 8
In all honesty, it could have been higher had Saunders made a stop on Nick De Leon late. But for the most part, Josh Saunders made enough stops and relieved the struggling back line of the dirty work in the closing moments of the match. This is the type performance that will help Saunders this season. Next objective: first shutout of the year.
Sean Franklin 7
A better outing from the defender. Really frustrated D.C. on the right side of the field. Not a bad night from Franklin.
Andrew Boyens 6
Boyens would have had a very low score had D.C. converted the giveaways he surrendered. The good thing for Boyens is that D.C. are worse when it comes to finishing (i.e. Maicon Santos makes Chad Barrett look like Lionel Messi. More on Barrett later on) so Boyens actually get a pass here.
Boyens needs to be smarter on the ball and avoid giving the ball away to players that are marked.
A.J. DeLaGarza 7.5
This is a stopper right here. Numerous times, DeLaGarza was there to make some sweeps and take some slack off Saunders. DeLaGarza is the field general of the defensive backline, and he needs to continue plugging away like he did today.
Todd Dunivant 7.5
Better outing from the Iron Man of this team. He also earned an assist on the first goal by Robbie Keane. Todd Dunivant did his job with such fluidity and quickness. Improved effort.
Landon Donovan 7.5
Again, a much-improved performance from Landon. He gets a 7.5 only because he suffered a mental lapse in the first half that prevented him from recording his first goal of the year. However, Donovan is a clutch provider and helped set up the game-winner by Keane.
David Beckham 7.5
Two assists in as many league games. Not bad for consistency. Almost got on the score sheet in the first half. Needs to work on those bending volleys. Excellent stamina.
Did the old Juninho just get off the plane late last week and return to the team, while the impostor returned to Brazil? It looks like it, as the young Brazilian put on a much better display on Sunday. Talk about a sharp turnaround.
Mike Magee 6.5
Getting into good places to create scoring opportunities is great, but finishing happens to be a different story for the No. 18. Still, improvement is just that—improvement.
Robbie Keane 8.5
Man of the Match, right here. Perhaps it was meant to be, with the match taking place after St. Patrick's Day. A wonderful brace, and in all honesty, it could have been worse for D.C. United had Keane finished more of his chances. If Keane averages a goal a game, we could be talking Golden Boot early this season.
Chad Barrett 6
Never really factored much into the contest and had to be subbed. Barrett needs to position himself better to get more opportunities on goal.
Marcelo Sarvas 7.5
Welcome to MLS, Marcelo Sarvas Fazzio. Sarvas scored on a header from Beckham to earn his first-ever goal as a member of the Galaxy. Expect the Brazilian journeyman to earn plenty of playing time this year with the chances he creates.
Edson Buddle 7
This was a good outing for Edson, coming off the bench to relieve Barrett. Looked calm and relaxed and played the type of game that he needs to play when matched up top with Keane later on this season.
Pat Noonan NR
Came in late and does not get a grade.