Los Angeles Galaxy vs. D.C. United: 6 Things We Learned
This just in: the Los Angeles Galaxy still know how to win football matches after all!
That's right, the defending MLS Cup/Supporters' Shield winners, on a day where they received their rings of power, were back to their winning ways, destroying a D.C. United side that never really got into the thick of things until it was too late.
On Sunday, 3-1 was the final at the Home Depot Center. And with every match, we learn at least one new thing about the Galaxy. How about six? For both teams?
Ah, that looks like a deal. All right then; here are six things we learned on Sunday after the Galaxy's breakthrough victory in Week 2 of the 2012 Major League Soccer season.
1. D.C. Are Bad, Real Bad—Could It Get Any Worse?
The glory days seem to be dead and gone for D.C. United. Reduced to a complete and hopeless shell of their former selves, United struggled to finish.
For all the stops Joe Willis made over the weekend, in the end he is no Bill Hamid, and is the backup for a reason.
Nick DeLeon was able to get on the score sheet late for the visitors, but it came too little, too late.
2. The Galaxy Shake off a Poor Start to the Season...with Authority
Great teams are often forced to take one step backwards, or, in the case of the Galaxy, two steps back. But once you go backwards, you have to go forwards.
And in what turned out to be a complete reverse of the 3-1 defeat at the hands of Real Salt Lake, Los Angeles put it together and delivered the type of performance at home that defined their 2011 campaign.
The passing was improved, the finishing was crisp, and the defending was solid for the majority of the match.
3. Luck of the Irish All the Difference for LA
Perhaps the writing was on the wall for Galaxy fans, with the match taking place the day after St. Patrick's Day: Robbie Keane was going to break out.
And he did, with goals in the 45th and 70th minutes to pace Los Angeles. This was the first-ever brace for Keane in a Galaxy uniform.
4. Welcome to MLS, Marcelo Sarvas
Sunday also marked a breakthrough game for new signee Marcelo Sarvas, who recorded his first goal as a member of the Galaxy.
The Brazilian journeyman finished off a delivery from David Beckham in the 86th minute of play to slam the door shut on D.C.
5. Excellent Momentum Heading into the Break
For the Galaxy, this was a badly-needed victory.
After a very sour start which saw a draw followed by two defeats, Sunday's result over D.C. United will be the type of fresh wind in the sails that LA needs to look over their shortcomings and prepare for their next contest on Mar. 31 against the New England Revolution.
6. Western Conference Dominance; So, What Else Is New?
Let us all take a deep breath, readers. Inhale, exhale and consign ourselves to this bittersweet reality: the MLS Western Conference is MLS Division 1 and the MLS Eastern Conference is MLS Division 2.
When you combine LA's 3-1 win over D.C. with the same score line by the Seattle Sounders over Toronto, the 2-1 victory by the Colorado Rapids over Philadelphia, and the 2-0 victory by Real Salt Lake over the New York Red Bulls (Houston's 1-0 win over San Jose does not count because the Dynamo are good enough to be in the West), you reach the conclusion that the West is best...for at least one more week.