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LA Galaxy 4, Orlando City SC 2 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

Landon Donovan's return from retirement was the big story at StubHub Center on Sunday, but Giovani dos Santos shone brightest as the LA Galaxy routed Orlando City SC 4-2 on the strength of another dominating performance from LA's Mexican star.

Kevin Molino snatched an early lead against the run of play for Orlando, only for dos Santos to spearhead a relentless Galaxy response that pushed the home side into a 3-1 halftime lead and effectively snuffed out the Lions' resistance.

Robbie Keane came off the bench to net a fourth, and was soon followed by Donovan, wearing the unfamiliar No. 26 and earning a warm ovation on his return to MLS after a year and a half out of the game. 

Orlando substitute Brek Shea slammed home a clinical finish to provide the visitors with a modest consolation in injury time. But this evening belonged to the men in white.

Box Score

Three Things

1. GIO, GIO, GIO: With the two goals and two assists he bagged against Orlando, dos Santos has notched a stunning five strikes and three helpers in LA's last three games. With Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes sidelined, he's seized the Galaxy spotlight in a big way. But that begs the question: How can coach Bruce Arena fit all his attacking stars into a starting lineup that adds up to more than the sum of its parts?

2. ANONYMOUS RICKY: A quick glance at this game's OPTA metrics shows how little impact Kaká had on this match. Orlando's star DP was tidy enough in midfield, but hardly ever got on the ball in the final third, where his movement and combination play is a huge element of the Lions' chance creation. Credit is due to LA's Rafael Garcia, who did a more than passable impersonation of that famous hard man who recently departed the Carson club...

3. VAN DAMME'S ADVENTURES: Bruce Arena acquired Jelle Van Damme with the express purpose of converting him into a full-time center back. But the Belgian's past experience at fullback and holding midfield shone through against the Lions, as he felt comfortable enough to range way beyond his usual stomping grounds and get involved in LA's build-up play, racking up two assists for his troubles. His cultured left foot provides yet another worry for Galaxy opponents who already have several dangerous vectors to track.

Next Up

  • LA: Sunday, September 18 at Sporting KC, 2 pm ET (FOX, FOX Sports GO in US, MLS LIVE in Canada)
  • ORL: Saturday, September 17 vs. Columbus Crew SC, 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE)
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