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Galaxy gets time off to savor 3-1 win over D.C. United

Wouldn’t you know it? As soon as the stumbling Galaxy figure things out, beating D.C. United, 3-1, Sunday for its first win this season, it gets the next two weeks off.

Turns out that’s a good thing. Because not only is the Galaxy exhausted after starting the year with four games in 12 days, but some of its players are still trying to learn each other’s names.

Take striker Robbie Keane and midfielder Marcelo Sarvas, for example. They combined for the Galaxy’s three goals Sunday but they didn’t meet for the first time until the team gathered at the airport to fly to its opening game, which also marked the first time Keane and striker Edson Buddle played together.

So consider the next two weeks as a chance for rest and reintroduction.

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“You kind of underestimate that part of it,” said Landon Donovan, the team’s captain. “I know we’re all pros and there’s a lot of experience here, but there’s a few guys who haven’t played together. And we need that chance to start jelling.”

The team’s chemistry remained a work in progress for most of the first half Sunday, with the Galaxy getting off 11 shots before Keane finally found the back of the net seconds before intermission, knocking a cross-goal pass from Todd Dunivant out of the air and into the goal at the right post.

Donovan set up Keane’s second score, stripping the ball from Marcelo Saragosa near midfield and sending it deep up the left wing, where Keane gathered it inside the penalty area before burying a shot into the upper right corner for his two-goal game in Major League Soccer play.

“As long as I keep getting into position, I know I’ll eventually score,” said Keane, who has a league-high 13 shots in two games. “You try not to let that weigh on your mind too much.”

Sarvas and Nick DeLeon traded goals in the final four minutes of regulation, with Sarvas heading in a soft cross from David Beckham in the 86th minute and DeLeon scoring D.C. United’s first goal this season a minute later.

“It’s very important that we certainly didn’t go into this break losing again,” Keane said. “It would have been a long couple of weeks. I’m sure we’ll get a good bit of training in as a team. Hopefully, you’ll see a stronger team in the next couple of weeks.”

kevin.baxter@latimes.com


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