Bruce Arena would surely have liked to have kept Landon Donovan on the bench Tuesday as his Galaxy opened Champions Legue play. And the Galaxy manager probably wanted to get Robbie Keane off the field ASAP, too.
There are important MLS matches ahead; one is in Vancouver in just four nights.
But with the score at 0-0 and half an hour remaining against Costa Rican club Cartaginés, and with CONCACAF Champions League opportunity slipping away, the Galaxy boss turned to his substantial reinforcement plan. Soon enough, the team’s top playmaker, Donovan, was on the field and setting up a pair of goals for the in-form Keane and the Galaxy went on to a 2-0 win over the visitors at the StubHub Center.
With his goals, the first in the 66th and the second deep into injury time, Keane moved passed teammates Jack McBean and Juninho as the club’s all-time leaders in Champions League goals.
Keane’s second goal, in the 93rd minute, may well become meaningful. With so few matches (and therefore fewer games to create separation in the standings) goal difference could become important.
Not all news was good for Arena, who saw winger Robbie Rogers leave the field with an apparent hamstring injury.
The Galaxy meets Metapan from El Salvador on Sept. 18 outside Los Angeles in its next CCL contest.