Gerrard scores on MLS debut

Date published: Saturday 18th July 2015 6:27

The former Liverpool captain scored with a low curling equaliser in the 37th minute – and also hit the bar, won a penalty and assisted the second goal in a Robbie Keane hat-trick – in his first match in the North American domestic league.

Keane scored twice from the spot as he netted a treble for the second league game in a row as the Galaxy bounced back from a two-goal deficit to claim their fourth win in five games.

Gerrard admitted his delight at scoring for his new club, explaining: “It was very pleasing to get off the mark. I was quite disappointed in the previous two games [an International Champions Cup friendly and a US Open Cup match] not to get goals – I had two good chances.

“I’m starting to feel a little bit sharper, I’m very close to full fitness. [Head coach] Bruce [Arena] was shouting ‘how you doing?’ from about 60 (minutes) but I was pretending I couldn’t hear him and kept looking away.

“I felt like a kid out there again. I don’t want to come off – I want to play as much football as I can. One of the reasons why I’ve come to this team was to start all the games and play as many minutes as possible.

“I was determined not to become a squad player. I still feel like I’ve got energy, I still love the game, I’m enjoying training and I’m settling in pretty nicely.”

Gerrard played in two non-league Galaxy matches earlier this week, but a sellout crowd – which included former England team-mate David Beckham – welcomed him in an impressive victory for the defending MLS champions.

During the first 30 minutes, San Jose looked like spoiling Gerrard’s day as they roared into a 2-0 lead.

First, Quincy Amarikwa beat the defence to strike a fierce right-footed shot into the net from 18 yards and they went went further ahead three minutes later when Amarikwa got free in a crowded penalty area as the Galaxy failed to deal with a free-kick.

But it was all Los Angeles after that and Gerrard had a hand in the Galaxy’s first goal when he earned a 30th-minute penalty, jumping for a loose ball and being struck in the head by the left forearm of San Jose midfielder Tommy Thompson.

Keane slotted home from the spot and Gerrard levelled matters seven minutes later when he struck a low shot from the far post before running to the corner flag to celebrate.

Gerrard then played a key role in the Galaxy’s third when he drilled a low free-kick across the box that Keane flicked home and he almost scored again when he curled a 25-yard free kick that rocked the crossbar.

Keane completed his hat-trick in the 80th minute with his second penalty of the night, before Gerrard was substituted to a standing ovation and Sebastian Lletget sealed an impressive comeback with a fifth in injury time.

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