Galaxy 2, Earthquakes 0

Galaxy 2, Earthquakes 0

Published Aug. 21, 2011 6:58 a.m. ET

Although Robbie Keane has been celebrating his goals the same way for 14 years, his trademark cartwheel-somersault is new on this continent.

The Los Angeles Galaxy's newly acquired forward is already showing off all of his moves in his dynamic MLS debut.

Keane scored in the 21st minute, converting a pass from David Beckham in the Galaxy's 2-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.

The Irish national team striker showed few ill effects from an eventful week of travel and upheaval during his move from Tottenham Hotspur to MLS. Keane was active and aggressive while playing into the 72nd minute, exhibiting clear chemistry with Beckham while generating several good scoring chances in addition to his goal.


''It couldn't have gone, obviously, better for me,'' Keane said. ''It's great to score a goal, but the most important thing is the three points. ... When you come to a new team, it's always good to get the first goal. When you go a few games without a goal, it starts to play on your mind.''

Keane doesn't have to worry about any mind games. The 10th-leading goal-scorer in Premier League history already fits in comfortably alongside Beckham and captain Landon Donovan on MLS' top team.

''I knew he was going to be running, and I knew where to put it,'' Beckham said. ''He's a player who knows where to run, and if you're on the same wavelength as him, you've got a real good chance. He's always going to make good runs, and it's up to us to find him.''

The Galaxy fans welcomed Keane with the same enthusiasm shown by the club on Friday, when it flew the Irish flag above the pitch and painted bright-green shamrocks into the grassy berm below the scoreboard. Keane's No. 14 Galaxy shirt already was selling briskly at souvenir stands, and a few Keane shirts from Tottenham appeared in the crowd.

Los Angeles was MLS' best team even before the arrival of Keane, who's already providing a new dimension to its attack. The Galaxy has struggled to get consistent scoring from its forwards, but Keane was a factor from the opening minute.

''He looked sharp,'' Beckham said. ''He could have had one or two more goals.''

Mike Magee also scored in the 90th minute for the league-leading Galaxy (14-3-9), who moved six points clear of second-place Seattle in the Western Conference standings with their fifth win in six games. Los Angeles has lost only once since May 1.

San Jose defender Steven Beitashour was ejected in the 81st minute for stepping on Donovan in the latest bad behavior in this California Clasico rivalry.

Keane had two good runs at the goal in the first 15 minutes, but was called offside on both. Keane then barely missed an open shot from the penalty dot in the 19th minute, pushing a left-footed shot wide on a deflection from Cristman. Keane went flat on his back in frustration, but the Angel City Brigade supporters behind the net still cheered him.

Keane then got behind San Jose's defense when it failed to clear a through ball from Beckham. Keane waited out Quakes goalie Jon Busch, fired home a left-footed shot and broke into a slightly rusty rendition of his goal celebration, capped by his two-handed gesture at his newest fans.

''When he was younger, he used to elevate a little more,'' Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena joked about Keane's celebration.

Keane nearly added another goal in the 64th minute when he outran two defenders to a bouncing pass, but his volleyed shot sailed just over the crossbar.

Magee eventually replaced Keane, who left the field to a standing ovation from the crowd of 27,000.

''We're elated with Robbie,'' Arena said. ''I think he had a great 70 minutes tonight, and he's going to have a lot more. I know Robbie's fitness isn't perhaps where he wants it to be, but he's a fit athlete. When he gets two or three games under his belt, he's going to be fine.''

The rivalry match again featured physical play and 37 fouls culminating in Beitashour's ejection. Donovan made a tackle and slid underneath Beitashour, whose spikes connected with Donovan's knee when he landed.

San Jose and Los Angeles played to a contentious 0-0 draw in late June, with Magee playing goal for Los Angeles for 47 minutes after starter Donovan Ricketts broke his arm and backup Josh Saunders was ejected.