Galaxy surges in second half to beat Dallas

Goals by midfielders Marcelo Sarvas and Hector Jimenez gave the Galaxy a 2-0 victory over FC Dallas on Sunday night.

Just as important, Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said, the Galaxy played well throughout the game for perhaps the first time this season.

“Tonight was one of our better games on the year” in terms of scoring, defending and holding a lead in the final 15 minutes, Arena said of the reigning Major League Soccer champion. “I thought we played very well at both ends of the field.”


BOX SCORE: FC Dallas vs. Galaxy

The victory — the Galaxy’s third win in its last four games — in front of 19,729 at StubHub Center was key as the club again tries to stay playoff-bound in the Western Conference.

The Galaxy (9-7-3) climbed to third place with 30 points, only one point behind second-place FC Dallas (8-4-7) and four points behind conference leader Real Salt Lake.

“This week obviously was a good week,” Arena said, referring to the Galaxy’s 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew on Thursday and Sunday night’s win.

“There are a lot of games ahead,” Arena said. “Hopefully we can continue to get better.”

Indeed, both teams played Thursday and returned on short rest, and Sunday night’s game was a scoreless struggle in the first half.

Unlike Thursday when the Galaxy attacked from the outset against the Crew, the Galaxy spent most of the first half bottled up by the FC Dallas defense.

That changed with Sarvas’ header goal, which came in the 65th minute.

The Brazilian was running into the six-yard box when Robbie Keane served him up a soft pass, with Sarvas’ shot zipping past FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez.

Jimenez scored in the 80th minute after a pass from Robbie Rogers, his first assist as a member of the Galaxy.

It was the third goal of the season for both Sarvas and Jimenez.

The Galaxy’s victory evened its season series so far against FC Dallas, which defeated the Galaxy in Texas, 1-0, on April 13. But FC Dallas is now winless in its last six games.

The Galaxy had a few scoring attempts in the first half without success.

Rogers was just outside the 18-yard box in the 18th minute when he took aim at the goal, but it was blocked by Fernandez.

Keane also took aim from directly in front of the goal in the 36th minute, but the forward’s shot sailed into the grandstands.

The Galaxy overall had 23 attempts on goal compared with six for FC Dallas.

Gonzalez is an All-Star

Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez was named to the MLS All-Star team, which will play AS Roma of Italy in the All-Star game on July 31 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

This was the third time the 24-year-old Gonzalez was selected. He played in the 2010 All-Star game against Manchester United and was selected again in 2011 but missed that game because of injury.