LA Galaxy 3, Seattle Sounders 1 | MLS Match Recap
CARSON, Calif. -- Giovani Dos Santos celebrated another debut with a goal and added an assist Sunday afternoon as the LA Galaxy, fielding one of the most imposing lineups MLS has seen, handed visiting Seattle a club-record fifth successive defeat.
Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane also tallied for LA (11-7-7), which fell behind right at the start, quickly equalized and had command most of the way of a spirited match worthy of the rivalry between the Western Conference powers.
The Galaxy, who climbed to second in the West, two points behind Vancouver, might have been expected to run riot over a Sounders team reeling after seven losses in their previous eight games -- the last four by shutout -- and now with Clint Dempsey, who strained a hamstring in training Friday, and Osvaldo Alonso, who suffered his hamstring injury in last weekend's loss to Vancouver, joining Obafemi Martins on the sideline.
Instead, Seattle (10-12-2) were on the front foot off the kickoff, and former LA striker Chad Barrett tallied just 51 seconds into the clash, then strained his hamstring while celebrating the goal and had to exit.
Zardes equalized a dozen minutes later, Keane struck the winner just after the break, and LA won their fifth in a row at home and extended their StubHub Center unbeaten streak against Seattle to 11 games, including postseason, dating nearly six years.
Dos Santos, who also tallied in his club debut in Thursday night's CONCACAF Champions League victory over Trinidad and Tobago's Central FC, received a rousing reception from the crowd of 27,000, which included former Galaxy star David Beckham, watching from a luxury box with LA technical staff and lauded Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay.
It was Seattle's first goal in 363 minutes and just their third in 721.
The Galaxy then pulled even on the ensuing corner kick.
Chad Marshall headed away Dos Santos' serve from the left, and Sebastian Lletget collected it just outside the box and quickly played it square to the left with the outside of his right foot for Juninho. The Brazilian midfielder crossed to Zardes beyond the far post, and Zardes redirected the ball with the outside of his right foot past goalkeeper Stefan Frei and into the right-side netting.
Keane's goal 86 seconds into the second half gave LA an advantage they wouldn't concede.
Steven Gerrard, in the right channel, played the ball off a Zardes touch to A.J. DeLaGarza on the right flank, and his low cross just above the 6-yard box found Dos Santos, whose touch betrayed him. The ball caromed forward, and Keane, on the 6, blasted it into the net, his 11th goal of the season.
Dos Santos tallied in the 64th, firing past Frei and into the right-side netting after running onto a Keane through ball.
Seattle came closest to scoring in the second half following Galaxy gaffes.
The first, while they were still within a goal, occurred in the 61st minute, when Gonzalez, trying to relay a ball back to Donovan Ricketts, got just a piece of it, leaving substitute Oniel Fisher one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Fisher might have found better success had he taken the ball toward goal, but instead shot quickly, and Ricketts had no trouble corralling it.
Then, in the 71st, Ricketts dropped a cross at the right post from Friberg on the left flank, and Andy Rose got a quick touch to it. Robbie Rogers raced in to poke away the slow-rolling ball as it neared the net.
The Galaxy visit FC Dallas on Saturday, and the Sounders are home next Sunday against Orlando City.