Weekly Soccer Column: LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane sits out national team duty to ready for MLS Western Conference Final Sunday against Seattle Sounders FC

Sometimes it’s actually instructive when you don’t get around posting your column until after an event occurs that is included in the column.

Which is how it went today with the U.S.-Ireland game that sent the Americans scuttling back home across the Atlantic 4-1 losers.

Frankly, we didn’t learn much from a youbng, make-shift team: the U.S. ships goals in the second half and can’t score either, although to be fair they hit the woodwork twice.

Oh, and the Galaxy’s robbie keane, if fully fit, would have ripped apart the U.S. back line of left back Timmy Chandler, right back Fabian Johnson and the due of Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron in the middle.

That’s it for this year for the USMNT: their record was 6-5-4.

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Weekly Soccer Column: The legend of Landon Donovan grows; Harbor Area, San Fernando Valley vie for LAFC

LDKeanoDynamic Duo: Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane celebrate yet another goal Sunday against Real Salt Lake (Photo by Staff Photographer Stephen Carr).

Read this week’s column about Landon Donovan and why the San Fernando Valley and Harbor Area are vying to be the home of the new LAFC stadium.

Read the text of the full letter:
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Check out the 12-acre waterfront site in San Pedro:
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Finally, check out the highlights of the Western Conference Semifinal last night between FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders:

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Major League Soccer Video Playoff Preview: LA Galaxy hosts Real Salt Lake in Western Conference Semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Sunday live on ESPN2

With the away goals rule in effect for the MLS playoffs for the first time, Real Salt Lake knows an early goal would put pressure on the Galaxy — who would then have to score twice to advance — on Sunday in Carson.

The winner will meet Seattle or Dallas in the conference final; the two teams are tied 1-1 ahead of the sold-out clash the Sounders will host at 7:30 p.m. Monday:

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Major League Soccer Playoff Video: Real Salt Lake 0 Los Angeles Galaxy 0

Our sister newspaper The Salt Lake Tribune has the game story and video.

Another unwatchable playoff opener with two teams unwilling to give anything away ahead of the second leg, which is set for 4:30 p.m. Sunday live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

Quotable:

“Ugly game,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “Lopsided in calls. The fouls were over two to one in our favor. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. It made for one crappy game for sure. … Next week, the game’s going to look a lot different.”

Let’s hope so.

Notable: The Galaxy are now winless in the last four games.

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Major League Soccer Playoff Preview: LA Galaxy at Real Salt Lake live at 5 p.m. on NBCSN

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Los Angeles News Group Galaxy beat writer Phil Collin has the game preview for the playoff opener; the Real Salt Lake perspective is here from our sister newspaper The Salt Lake Tribune.

The match by the numbers is here.

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