Posted April 21, 2013 on AP on Fox
Landon Donovan scored a goal and set up another for his first points since his return to soccer, and the Los Angeles Galaxy snapped Sporting Kansas City's 545-minute streak of shutout defense during a 2-0 victory Saturday night. Donovan set up Marcelo Sarvas' 27th-minute goal before scoring his own goal on a pass from Robbie Keane in the 74th minute for the two-time defending MLS champions (3-1-2), who ended a four-match winless skid with big performances from their two biggest stars. Sporting KC's (4-2-2) three-match winning streak ended with their first goals allowed since March 9. The Eastern Conference leaders' shutout streak was the fifth-longest in MLS history. Los Angeles goalie Carlo Cudicini got his third shutout in his first six MLS matches. Sporting KC had to play on both coasts this week, beating New York 1-0 on Wednesday before a six-hour flight to Los Angeles. The Galaxy hadn't won since March 23, losing both legs of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal against Monterrey. Donovan returned last month from an extended sabbatical in the wake of Los Angeles' second straight championship run. The U.S. national team star and five-time MLS champion came back in excellent shape, but acknowledged he wasn't completely sharp in his first few matches, missing a handful of good scoring chances. Donovan was sharp against Sporting KC's imposing defense, which had five shutouts in its first seven matches. Jimmy Nielsen allowed just three goals in his club's first 630 minutes, having to make only six saves in the past five matches. A few minutes after moving up front from midfield, Donovan found the net when Keane slipped behind Sporting KC's defense for a lengthy breakaway. The Galaxy captain, playing on a sprained left ankle, drew every defender before sliding a pass to Donovan, who easily scored his 125th career MLS goal and punctuated it with his familiar fist-pump celebration. Donovan and Keane both were playing in just their third MLS matches of the season. Mike Magee and Jack McBean had solid chances in the opening minutes in front of the Galaxy's largest crowd of the season. Keane got deep with a nifty bit of juggling in the 25th minute, but had no angle to beat Nielsen. Los Angeles finally capitalized when Sarvas jumped on a turnover at midfield and got the ball down the wing to Donovan, who patiently broke down Sporting KC's scrambling defense before firing a sharp pass through traffic to Sarvas for a point-blank score. Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes was furious, seeing an accidental handball by Sarvas at midfield before the score.
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