Soccer: Los Angeles, Houston score victories in first legs of conference finals
Carson, Calif. • Robbie Keane scored twice, Mike Magee added his latest clutch playoff goal and the Los Angeles Galaxy beat the Seattle Sounders 3-0 on Sunday night to take a commanding lead in the first leg of the MLS Western Conference finals.
Keane had an assist and Sean Franklin set up two goals by the defending champion Galaxy, who will head to Seattle next Sunday in prime position to earn their third MLS Cup appearance in four years.
Michael Gspurning made three saves to avoid an even more disastrous result for the Sounders, who must beat the Galaxy by four goals next weekend to advance to the franchise's first MLS Cup final.
If Los Angeles survives and Houston wraps up the Eastern Conference finals after beating D.C. United 3-1 earlier Sunday, the MLS Cup would be a rematch of last season's game, when David Beckham and the Galaxy won it all at Home Depot Center.
The Galaxy entered the postseason as the West's fourth seed but have maintained the impressive form they showed down the regular-season stretch. After beating Vancouver in a knockout playoff and ousting Supporters' Shield-winning San Jose in the first round, Los Angeles largely dominated the talented Sounders particularly while scoring two goals in three minutes early in the second half.
Keane converted a header on a pass from Landon Donovan in first-half injury time before tapping home his fourth goal of a dynamite postseason in the 67th minute.
Dynamo 3, D.C.United 1 • Andre Hainault, Will Bruin and Kofi Sarkodie each scored second-half goals to give host Houston a win over D.C. United in the first leg of the Eastern Conference finals.
The Dynamo extended their home unbeaten streak to 30 games, dating to June 18, 2011, when they lost to Columbus. Houston is now just four wins or ties shy of matching Real Salt Lake's league-record 34-game home unbeaten streak.