Gerrard’s First MLS Cali Clasico. A 5-2 Win for LA!

A rollercoaster ride of emotions surged from the sell-out Stub Hub Center crowd tonight at the California Clasico as the LA Galaxy came from a 2-goal deficit to secure a dramatic 5-2 finish against their rivals San Jose. “We’re only going to get stronger.” – an apt prediction from Steven Gerrard post-match, conjecturing about the return of the LA players on international duty and new signing Giovani dos Santos.

Quincy Amarikwa’s early brace for San Jose had put Galaxy on alert and they responded in kind.

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Following a penalty goal from Robbie Keane, Gerrard, in his first league appearance for LA, tied the score up in the 37th minute at the end of a beautiful succession of passes from Gerrard, to Keane, to Husidic and then back to Gerrard who deftly turned the oncoming ball into the net.

The former Liverpool captain technically made his LA debut earlier this week as a substitute in the US Open Cup match at Real Salt Lake. Tonight was special for more than just his first league appearance and team goal – he also became the third MLS player this season to net a goal, an assist and a win a penalty in a single match (Kaka and Giovinco are the other two). Add to that the beautiful dive he took to clear a set piece immediately after his goal, and he’s golden.

Robbie Keane worked off an assist from Gerrard in the second half to easily get the Galaxy’s 3rd goal. Gerrard’s busy night continued with a disallowed goal do to a foul on Husidic by David Bingham. Robbie Keane took the penalty kick and finished his hat trick for the night, his 4th career MLS trick. Did we fail to mention Robbie was under the weather during the match? It’s because you couldn’t tell, he was having way too much fun out there.

Sebastian Lletget, having a tremendous night himself, scored a late fifth and final goal for LA, leaving the 2-0 lead for San Jose a distant memory. “He has a great combination of speed and power and balance.” – Bruce Arena, referring to Lletget’s performance.

The dynamic duo of Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard seem destined for greatness, meaning goals and a secure future for LA Galaxy’s forwards. Under the clear night sky, within a packed stadium, and with Donovan and Beckham watching with anticipation and hope, the Galaxy surged ahead to the top of the Western Conference tonight. There will be hurt feelings and crying foul by Earthquakes supporters, but no one can argue this is a new LA, more confident and alive that at any point in the season to date.

“The future is bright…” – Steven Gerrard.

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