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MLS Snapshot: Minnesota United 1-2 LA Galaxy (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): There was always going to be an adjustment period for the LA Galaxy considering the players (and coach) the club lost during the offseason. Now, the club appears to be finding its groove though. The Galaxy kept its four-game unbeaten run alive on Sunday with a 2-1 win over Minnesota United, and although the game-winner came from the opposition the Galaxy opener was something special. Giovani dos Santos notched his fourth goal of the 2017 campaign in the first half after brilliantly flicking home a Romain Alessandrini cross, before Christian Ramirez equalized for the Loons just beyond the hour mark. It wasn’t meant to be for Ramirez and his side though as the striker put one into his own net with under six minutes to play.

[ MORE: Fagundez brace paces Revolution to win over Crew ]

Three moments that mattered

38′ — Something very, very special from Gio — Romain Alessandrini keeps on making his presence felt in MLS, while Giovani dos Santos scored easily the best goal of the weekend.

66′ — Ramirez levels it at 1-1 — Christian Ramirez is begging for a call up from Bruce Arena and the USMNT. If he keeps up at this pace (seven goals in 12 matches) though, it’ll be hard to ignore the striker this summer.

84′ — Galaxy benefit from another Ramirez own goal — For the second time in as many weeks, Ramirez has scored an own goal.

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Men of the match: Brian Rowe

Goalscorers: Giovani dos Santos (38′), Christian Ramirez (66′), Christian Ramirez (84′ — OG)

Video: Dos Santos scores jaw-dropping flick against Minnesota

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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It looked like a routine cross that might get picked out by the opposing defense when it was delivered, but what happened next was something spectacular.

Although it happened towards the tail end of the MLS weekend, Giovani dos Santos scored a legitimate contender for Goal of the Week on Sunday against Minnesota United after his back-heel flick beat Loons goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth in the first half.

We also need to give some credit to Romain Alessandrini here as well, as the Italian midfielder continues to torch MLS defenses with his brilliant passes and finishes. That makes six goals and four assists on the season now for the 28-year-old DP.

MLS Snapshot: Galaxy hammer Red Bulls without injured Jones

Photo credit: LA Galaxy / Facebook
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The game in 100 words (or less): In a shocking turn of events that no one could have possibly ever predicted (hopefully your sarcasm detector is going off right about now), the LA Galaxy were without Jermaine Jones (knee) for Sunday’s clash with the New York Red Bulls, and lo and behold, they appeared to be lightyears ahead of the version of themselves (read: “Jones in tow”) that labored spiraled out of control to the tune of two wins from their first nine games this season. Beyond the three goals scored, two of which were bagged by an extremely motivated side very early on, LA were 1) quick(er) on the counter; 2) most importantly, competent in transitioning and shifting everyone side to side when defending. If you watched this team over the first two and a half months of the season, you know that’s nothing short of a miracle. Final score: 3-1, Galaxy. Here’s hoping Bruce Arena is watching and takes note with regarding to his roster for World Cup qualifiers this summer. Also, of particular note: Romain Alessandrini will win Newcomer of the Year.

[ MORE: MLS (late-night) roundup | Afternoon roundup ]

Three moments that mattered

8′ — Alessandrini’s free kick untouched, hits paydirt — Jelle Van Damme was probably smart to not touch the ball, as his presence inside the six-yard box alone was enough to freeze Luis Robles in his tracks.

9′ — Alessandrini again, for 2-0 — Not so long after making it 1-0, Alessandrini to the penalty spot and hammered Giovani dos Santos’ cross past Robles to double LA’s lead. Alessandrini has six goals and four assists in his first 10 MLS games.

78′ — Alessandrini wins a penalty, Dos Santos converts — When life is good, life is really good.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Romain Alessandrini

Goalscorers: Alessandrini (8′, 9′), Dos Santos (78′ – PK), Royer (90+3′)

Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers out for season

Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images
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LOS ANGELES (AP) LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers won’t be playing this season.

The 10-year Major League Soccer veteran had surgery in December to treat nerve damage in his left foot and had not played this year.

The Galaxy announced Thursday that he won’t return this season.

[ MORE: Mourinho reacts to UEL semi win ]

The 29-year-old Rogers started in 19 games last season, in addition to the Galaxy’s playoff matches.

Overall, Rogers has played in 184 career MLS matches, including 78 with the Galaxy. He’s been on two MLS Cup championship teams, with the Columbus Crew in 2008 and the Galaxy in 2014.

Rogers has been with the Galaxy since May 2013.

MLS roundup: FC Dallas still unbeaten; Dynamo destroy Orlando

Photo credit: Houston Dynamo / Twitter: @HoustonDynamo
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With nine MLS Saturday afternoons/evenings officially in the books, only 25 more to go…

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Real Salt Lake 0-3 FC Dallas

Eight games into the 2017 season, Dallas are the last remaining unbeaten team (five wins, three draws) in MLS and continue to look like runaway favorites in any “best team in the league” discussion.

On Saturday, Oscar Pareja’s side went for a comfortable stroll in the park and notched a completely unspectacular 3-0 victory over RSL. Things couldn’t have started any better for the visitors, as they were awarded a (highly questionable) penalty in the 3rd minute, which Maximiliano Urruti converted, and that was basically ballgame. Matt Hedges made it 2-0 not long after the hour mark, just for formality’s sake, and Urruti completed his brace a minute into second-half stoppage time.

The firing of Jeff Cassar, and subsequent hiring of Mike Petke, has done very little to fix a number of glaring problems which have plagued RSL since their 2016 season started coming unglued last April. A complete teardown and rebuild seem a foregone conclusion this summer/next winter. If Petke’s the right man for the job — and there’s nothing to suggest otherwise — the RSL hierarchy (and fans) are going to have to be mighty patient, as there’s only a handful of salvageable pieces currently on the roster.


Philadelphia Union 3-0 New York Red Bulls

After 15 regular-season games without a win, going all the way back Aug. 27, 2016, Union fans can call themselves winners once again, thanks to C.J. Sapong’s first career hat trick and a second straight clean sheet by Andre Blake.

Blake made a pair of stellar saves either side of halftime to keep New York off the board, setting the stage for an 11-minute explosion of goals (from minutes 74 to 85) from Sapong, who moved level with Erick “Cubo” Torres in the race for the 2017 Golden Boot (7 goals). Sapong has never reached the double-digit goals benchmark (he has hit 9 twice in his first six seasons as a pro).


Houston Dynamo 4-0 Orlando City SC

Here’s something I said on Twitter following Houston’s third (of four) goal against Orlando on Saturday: “Dynamo are terrifying in the first three or four seconds after winning the ball. Don’t find yourself one-on-one against them in open space.” Orlando head coach Jason Kreis, nor any of his players on the field, listened. It was, of course, already too late to make much difference, but it happened again fewer than 10 minutes later.


LA Galaxy 2-2 Chicago Fire

Fact: LA’s midfield is a gigantic problem.

Theory: Jermaine Jones is a big part of that problem

Recent evidence: During the 42 minutes he was on the field against Chicago on Saturday (he went off injured), LA were soundly beaten, 2-0 (Jelle Van Damme’s 30-minute shift is an additional variable which cannot be isolated at this time), and seemed headed for a thorough beating. In the 48 minutes that followed, LA found their footing, looked the better of the two sides, and rescued a point from an otherwise disastrous evening.

Clearly, soccer is far more complicated than simple plus-minus totals, but the eye test also supports the above evidence. Those opening 30 minutes saw Chicago go 1-0 ahead in the 13th minute (David Accam, from the penalty spot) and 2-0 up just three minutes later (Nemanja Nikolic, courtesy of Accam). LA weren’t just bad; they were atrocious.

Still unable to create much of anything through open play, LA made the most of set pieces and willed themselves back to life.


Columbus Crew SC 2-0 New England Revolution

Ola Kamara is quickly becoming is already a star in MLS, as the Norwegian striker continues to shred defenses and add to his impressive haul of goals barely a full 34 games into his MLS career. Through 35 regular-season games played, the 27-year-old has 22 goals to his name after bagging the winning goal against New England on Saturday.

Kamara also notched an assist (his third since arriving in MLS last year) on Columbus’s second goal, scored by Federico Higuain. With the victory, Columbus are up to third in the Eastern Conference, just three points back of red-hot Toronto FC.


San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 Portland Timbers

This week in MLS Results That Make Absolutely No Sense, But Hey, That’s MLS


D.C. United 0-1 Montreal Impact

In a league with so many exciting, entertaining, enjoyable teams to watch, Ben Olsen’s D.C. United remains the hardest of hard passes on MLS Live.

Elsewhere in MLS

Seattle Sounders 0-1 Toronto FC — RECAP & HIGHLIGHTS