MLS Snapshot: LA Galaxy 1-0 Houston Dynamo (video)

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The game in 100 words (or less): This is the time of year — mid-to-late summer — when an MLS team ideally begins rounding into form and playing some of its best soccer. Bruce Arena, ever the master of MLS and its quirks, understands and achieves this better than anyone on a yearly basis. As such, the 2016 LA Galaxy picked up their third straight win Saturday night, 1-0 over the Houston Dynamo, and climbed into third place in the Western Conference, now just two and five points behind the second- and first-place Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas, respectively. Steven Gerrard bagged the game’s only goal (video below), his third of the season to go with seven assists (third-most in MLS).

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Three moments that mattered

8′ — LA win a penalty, but Keane pushes it wide — Robbie Keane won the penalty himself, and despite the fact that Steven Gerrard has been a near-automatic penalty taker his entire career, Keane remains the designated penalty taker for the Galaxy. He tried to curl this one inside Joe Willis’s left-hand post, and pushed it wide.

61′ — Gerrard’s giveaway leads to a great Dynamo chance — Gerrard has been far from great since arriving in MLS this time last year. His legs obviously aren’t what they once were, which has exposed him as a suspect defender and passer (sorry, Liverpool fans). His turnover in the 61st minute was criminal, bouncing a cross-field switch off a defender three yards away, and culminated in a one-on-one chance for Giles Barnes. Brian Rowe made the save, bailing Gerrard out.

66′ — Gerrard slots home a rebound for 1-0 — Baggio Husidic deserves a ton of credit for the ball he played over the top for Keane. Well saved by Willis, but Gerrard, composed as ever in the penalty area, got to the loose ball first.

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Man of the match: Brian Rowe

Goalscorers: Gerrard (66′)