CARSON, Calif. — Ireland's all-time leading scorer combined with Major League Soccer's newest designated player to give Real Salt Lake its worst loss of the season.
Robbie Keane scored three goals and Omar Gonzalez added another as the Los Angeles Galaxy rallied for a 4-2 win Saturday night in front of 24,337 at the StubHub Center.
The loss ended a five-game winning streak for Real at the stadium. It was the team's first since a 3-1 defeat to the Galaxy on Nov. 6, 2011 in the Western Conference playoffs.
The defeat, combined with Colorado's 2-0 win over Vancouver, also narrowed RSL's hold on first place in the conference. RSL (12-8-5) now leads the Rapids by two points.
Keane, who has amassed 59 goals for Ireland's national team, scored twice in an 11-minute span to negate Real's 1-0 lead. First, he tied the score in the 56th minute.
The Galaxy's captain used his left foot to fake defender Carlos Salcedo to the ground, then used his right foot to fire a 19-yard shot that bounced between goalkeeper Nick Rimando and the right post.
Los Angeles (11-9-4) had a chance to extend the lead in the 58th minute but defender Chris Wingert used his chest while falling backward into the net to deflect Landon Donovan's 4-yard shot from an extreme angle.
Keane then gave the Galaxy a 2-1 lead in the 67th minute with an 8-yard shot off Sean Frankin's right-wing cross.
Gonzalez, who became the first defender in MLS history to sign a designated-player contract Thursday, increased the lead to 3-1 in the 75th minute by turning Donovan's corner kick from the left wing into a 4-yard header.
Keane punctuated the rout with his 10th goal of the season in the 86th minute. Franklin sent a pass from the midfield stripe that Salcedo deflected to Keane, who chipped a high, 17-yard shot over Rimando.
Joao Plata gave Real a brief lead in the 53rd minute. Nat Borchers began the scoring sequence by intercepting Todd Dunivant's clearance and passing to Ned Grabavoy.
With two players marking him, Grabavoy executed a back-heel pass to Plata, who beat Gonzalez and converted from 15 yards for his second goal of the season. Robbie Findley ended the scoring in second-half stoppage time.
Los Angeles combined tight man-marking and superior positioning to dominate possession and force turnovers that started counterattacks. Wingert kept the Galaxy from scoring in the 18th minute by blocking Hector Jimenez's 14-yard shot from behind to force a corner kick.2 comments on this story
Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, making his MLS debut, frustrated RSL twice. Penedo, who played for Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, beat Javier Morales to Kyle Beckerman's pass and slid to clear the ball in the 29th minute.
Then in the 48th minute, Penedo deflected Alvaro Saborio's 19-yard line drive with both palms.
That shot was Saborio's highlight for the game. The Costa Rican forward — who accumulated six goals and an assist in his past five MLS games — was marked into irrelevance before Findley replaced him in the 66th minute.