Before their team played New England on Wednesday night, the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez were named to this year’s Major League Soccer All-Star team.
Donovan then didn’t play in the first half and Gonzalez, with a sore right ankle, didn’t play at all.
It didn’t matter. With forwards Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes each scoring twice, the Galaxy rolled past New England, 5-1, at StubHub Center.
It was the Galaxy’s eighth consecutive game without a loss and sweet revenge for its sole meeting against New England last year when the Revolution won in a rout, 5-0.
The victory meant the Galaxy (7-3-6) continued to have the fewest losses in MLS, and the team jumped to third from sixth in the Western Conference.
New England (7-9-2), which plays in the Eastern Conference, has lost six consecutive games.
The Galaxy scored twice in the first 18 minutes of the game.
In the 10th minute, Keane kicked a rising line drive from 20 yards over the outstretched arms of Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
Keane then bumped a short pass in the 18th minute to Zardes, who was running toward the goal. Zardes kicked a grounder from the corner of the six-yard box and the ball scooted past Shuttleworth.
New England scored in the 38th minute after Galaxy defender Dan Gargan was given a red card for fouling midfielder Teal Bunbury inside the 18-yard box. Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen drilled the penalty kick past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo to shave the Galaxy’s lead to 2-1.
But Keane and Zardes teamed for another score in the 48th minute. As Zardes raced toward the goal, he took a short pass from Keane and kicked it past Shuttleworth from four yards out.
Zardes, a 22-yard-old Hawthorne native in his second season, now has six goals this year.
“I keep telling [Zardes], if he keeps getting in positions I’ll find him all the time,” Keane said. “We’ve seen certainly in the last few weeks it’s starting to come together now for him.”
The Galaxy scored again in the 75th minute when a New England foul led to a free kick for midfielder Stefan Ishizaki, whose kick from 25 yards deflected off a Revolution player and went over Shuttleworth’s head into the net.
Three minutes later, Keane struck again on a fastbreak. Shuttleworth came out of the box to intercept him, but Keane slipped past and kicked the ball into an open net for the Galaxy’s fifth score.
Keane now has a team-leading nine goals on the season. “There’s never a doubt in our minds that Robbie will produce goals for us, whether it’s directly from him or assisting,” Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said.
Before the game, MLS said Donovan — who holds the league’s career scoring record with 137 goals — had been named to the All-Star team for an MLS-record 14th consecutive year. It was the fourth time Gonzalez was named an All-Star.