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Three Points: LA Galaxy on Point in Victory over Sporting

April 21, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) Los Angeles Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. "" LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano's Three Points to the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City that saw Marcelo Sarvas and Landon Donovan score in the win for LA...

GALAXY FLY OUT OF THE GATES

The LA Galaxy had struggled to find the back of the net during the recent three-game losing streak, but LA came out flying against Sporting Kansas City en route to a victory.

Led by the play of Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho, who outmuscled their Kansas City counterparts in the center of midfield, the Galaxy were able to dominate possession in the early on. This opened up space for Robbie Keane, whose darting runs caused headaches for the Sporting defense and allowed Jack McBean to get several dangerous looks at goal himself.

Ultimately, LA's physicality and guile in midfield paid off in the 27th minute when Sarvas outworked Sporting midfielder Oriol Rosell to the ball setting up an LA counterattack that sparked by Landon Donovan. The Galaxy attacker then repaid Sarvas for his hard work with a pinpoint pass on the game-winning-goal.

FRANKLIN, GONZALEZ, DELAGARZA, DUNIVANT BACK LINE RETURNS

To replace the suspended Leonardo, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena opted for the Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, and Todd Dunivant that has performed so well over the past two seasons and it paid immediate dividends against Sporting KC.

In previous games, LA's defense had conceded dangerous opportunities - particularly late - but against Sporting, the back four's positioning was nearly impeccable as LA prevented many looks for Sporting. DeLaGarza shined above the rest as his cerebral playing style helped LA keep their shape and shut down Sporting forward Claudio Bieler. With Sporting unable to breach the Galaxy defense, LA goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini had little work to do as he was called upon to make just two saves while also touching a Graham Zusi freekick off the crossbar, though he was not credited for a save on the play.

Leonardo will be available for selection next week against Real Salt Lake, but after LA earned their fourth shutout of the year against one of the league's finest attacks, Arena will be hard-pressed to break up this back four.

DONOVAN GETS HIS GROOVE BACK AGAINST SPORTING

Four games into his return to the game of soccer, Landon Donovan predicted that the match against Sporting would be when "it would all come together" and he aptly delivered on Saturday evening.

From the opening whistle, Donovan pestered the Sporting defense with his intelligent runs from midfield. Donovan's distribution was on point as well as he delivered several dangerous passes including one to Sarvas for the game's opening goal. For all his abilities in midfield, the goal finally came in the 74th minute after being moved up top alongside Keane.

After LA won the ball in midfield, Keane was sent on the breakaway and found a streaking Donovan barreling down the right-center channel. With his first touch, Donovan hammered his first goal of 2013 past Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, doubling LA's lead. He was unlucky not grab a second goal in the 76th minute when he launched a point blank shot over the bar and in stoppage time after missing another shot inside the penalty area.

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