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Giovani Dos Santos is creator in 5-0 Galaxy win

Giovani Dos Santos is creator in 5-0 Galaxy win
Galaxy midfielder/forward Giovani Dos Santos (center) has already ingratiated himself to his teammates with his unselfish play. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

There is an upside to the Galaxy sitting out part of its vaunted attack in recent CONCACAF Champions League games beyond the obvious rest.

It has allowed newcomer Giovani dos Santos to work on his timing with other teammates, something the star midfielder did with flair for portions of the Galaxy's 5-0 victory over Comunicaciones FC on Tuesday night at StubHub Center.

A Dos Santos crossing pass in the game's fifth minute curled in front of the goal only a few yards outside the goalkeeper's box to midfielder Mika Vayrynen, who rocketed it into the net with his left foot for the only goal the Galaxy would need against another overmatched opponent.

Galaxy forward Alan Gordon and midfielder Robbie Keane took it from there, each scoring two goals against the team from Guatemala City that was opening play in the group stage. Dos Santos finished with two assists for the Galaxy, which has combined to outscore its first two opponents, 10-1, in the competition.

"His passing was good, his running off the ball was good," Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said of Dos Santos, who played a full 90 minutes for the first time since joining the team. "He had a very good night. I thought the effort he put in was tremendous."

The Galaxy hardly missed star Steven Gerrard, who was not at the game. Keane sat out the first half before giving Arena some extra incentive to use him as a substitute the rest of the game.

"My thinking was that I would either get punched in the face by Robbie or I would play him," Arena deadpanned of Keane, who assisted Gordon on his goal in the 55th minute that gave the Galaxy a 3-0 lead. "He wanted to play."

Keane added a goal in the 84th minute off an assist from Dos Santos and scored from point-blank range in the 87th minute but lamented his inability to help Gordon record his first career hat trick, saying he was "desperate" to do so.

"He can do whatever he wants out there sometimes," Gordon said of Keane. "You saw it on [my] second goal. He could have scored it easy, but he was unselfish and he gave me a great ball for an easy goal."

Gordon's first goal came in the ninth minute after Comunicaciones goalkeeper Juan Paredes Guzman ventured outside the penalty area and accidentally tapped the ball too far toward Gordon, who scored easily. Fans from the crowd of 13,497 then razzed Guzman the next few times he touched the ball.

Gordon had a few more chances to score again in the first half, but one shot was over the goal and another was directly at Guzman. Gordon exited to a nice ovation in the 76th minute.

Goalkeeper Brian Rowe preserved the shutout with three saves for the Galaxy, which returns to its MLS schedule Sunday afternoon against New York City FC at StubHub Center.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

Twitter: @latbbolch

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