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Galaxy Takes Advantage

Times Staff Writer

When FC Dallas Coach Colin Clarke signed Trinidad and Tobago national team goalkeeper and longtime English Premier League veteran Shaka Hislop after the World Cup, fans in Texas might have wondered why.

On Sunday, they found out.

Two blunders by Dallas starting goalkeeper Dario Sala led to first-half goals by Landon Donovan and Santino Quaranta as the Galaxy defeated Major League Soccer’s Western Conference leader, 2-0, at the Home Depot Center.

Hislop, 37, will make his MLS debut Wednesday when Dallas plays the Houston Dynamo in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal game. He could inherit the starting spot thereafter.

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On Sunday morning, Clarke gave Hislop jersey No. 1. Asked whether anything should be read into that, Clarke tried to squelch a potential controversy. “It was the only one available,” he said.

Hislop’s ability, though, could help cement Dallas’ conference lead if he is given the chance.

“Shaka has all that experience,” Clarke said. “He’s been there, done it all -- World Cup, F.A. Cup, Premier League -- so we’re looking for the leadership qualities he’ll bring for the final part of the year.”

Sala’s first miscue came in the 26th minute when he failed to recognize the danger posed by Donovan’s running beneath a long pass from Galaxy defender Troy Roberts.

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Donovan beat Sala to the ball and toe-poked it over his head and into the net from the edge of the penalty area for his fifth goal of the season.

“There was a bit of a mix-up between the two of them, the defender and the goalkeeper,” Galaxy Coach Frank Yallop said, “but Landon did well to stick with it and stick his foot up there and score.”

Sala’s second error came in injury time at the end of the half when he was slow to react to a 30-yard shot from Quaranta.

Sala watched the ball fly over his head and dip into the net behind him.

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“It took a deflection and looped over him,” Yallop said of Quaranta’s shot, which earned the midfielder his second goal in three games since being acquired in a trade with D.C. United. “It was a good strike, though, a good goal.”

Dallas (12-7-3) has lost all eight games it has played against the Galaxy in Carson over the last four seasons, including the U.S. Open Cup final last year.

With a 2-0 lead, the Galaxy was able to ease through the second 45 minutes en route to a needed victory that improved its record to 7-11-5 and kept alive its chance of making the playoffs for an MLS-record 11th consecutive season.

The Galaxy is in last place in the West but only five points from fourth place and a playoff spot with nine regular-season games left.

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The Galaxy is 5-3-4 under Yallop, who is gradually turning the defending MLS champions around after their dismal 2-8-1 start this season.

“We wanted to come out in this game and stamp our authority from the start,” Yallop said. “I was very happy with our performance.”


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