L.A. Galaxy 3-1 Portland Timbers: Keane’s brace leads clinic (video)

Leave a comment

The Los Angeles Galaxy are now unbeaten in eight straight home MLS matches after Saturday afternoon’s dominant 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers on NBC.

Diego Valeri’s early free kick goal for Portland was matched by Gyasi Zardes’ header before half, while Robbie Keane added his 11th and 12th goals of the season in the second half to key the victory.

Los Angeles moves into second place in the West, five points back of Sporting KC.

Portland continues to fall short of expectations, still three points back of the final playoff spot despite playing the West’s most matches.

Valeri’s free kick goal looked especially strong, but replays showed that a deflection off a jumping Stefan Ishizaki may’ve fooled L.A. keeper Jaime Penedo. Nevertheless, it was 1-0 Portland on what would turn out to be its only shot of the first half.

It was Zardes who would equalize for the dominant Galaxy, stinging a header past Donovan Ricketts after Robbie Rogers work at outside back continued to make Bruce Arena look like a genius.

And what a cross Rogers sent in for Zardes to smash.

It was 1-1 at half, and here’s what we were saying.

The second half saw Portland put together some solid counter attacks, and Kalif Alhassan missed two beautiful chances to put the Timbers back on top.

And then… Keane struck, capping off a beautiful set of passes that ended with Donovan’s picture-perfect cross to the Irishman, who darted in front of Will Johnson to send a diving header home.

Keane tried an overhead kick that was captured by Ricketts in the 79th minute. The forward was a problem in the box all day and continues to assert himself as an MVP candidate, later converting a penalty kick to double the Galaxy’s advantage.

Lineups

LA Galaxy: Penedo; Gargan, Gonzalez, DeLaGarza, Rogers; Ishizaki (Husidic, 60′), Sarvas, Juninho (Hoffman, 86′), Donovan; Keane, Zardes

Goals: Zardes (45+3), Keane (73, 85)

Portland Timbers: Ricketts, Jewsbury, O’Rourke, Ridgewell, Harrington (Villafaña, 77′), Johnson, Fernández (Alhassan, 24′), Chara, Valeri, Urruti (Adi, 59′), Wallace

Goal: Valeri (14)

LAFC selects Urena, 4 others in MLS Expansion Draft

Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.

Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.

The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.

Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.

LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.

The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.

WATCH LIVE: Three Premier League matches

AP Photo/Matt Dunham
Leave a comment

Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.

Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.

Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

FIFA bans Colombia midfielder Cardona 5 games for gesture

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

ZURICH (AP) FIFA has banned Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona for five matches for making a discriminatory gesture with his eyes toward a South Korean opponent.

FIFA will allow Cardona to serve the ban in friendly games, so he should be available for Colombia’s World Cup opener against Japan on June 19.

[ MORE: Pep on post-derby celebrations ]

Cardona has also been fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,150) because of the incident last month in a friendly in Seoul.

Cardona apologized at the time, saying he “didn’t mean to disrespect anyone, a country or a race, but if anyone felt offended, or interpreted it in that way, I am sorry.”

Spurs’ Alderweireld won’t return until February

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Spurs finally got a bit of good news this weekend with a blowout of Stoke City.

That was a followed by a tough draw against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, and bad news on an old injury.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Center back Toby Alderweireld is going to be gone into February, extending his time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 1 against Real Madrid.

Spurs were 6-2-2 in league when Alderweireld went down, and are just 2-2-2 since the injury. The Belgian has missed losses at Arsenal and Leicester, draws against Watford and West Brom, and wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke.

Tottenham did win both of its UCL matches since the injury.