The story for me begins last week. At the risk of possibly embarrassing her, Eli, an extraordinary Galaxy fan, was in a serious boating accident. When I say extraordinary, I mean she flies in for Galaxy games. And when she was seriously injured, it touched many of us in the Galaxy family.
Fast forward to tonight. Eli is in the crowd, and Mike Magee walks over and gives her his jersey. Not enough can be said about how cool it was that the Galaxy set that up. That someone in the Galaxy front office went that far to welcome someone home.
Already a great human interest story, it gets better, when it's Mike Magee that scores the Galaxy open goal. The stands go insane, everything is golden. Chad Barrett cross to Todd Dunivant assist to Mike Magee's brilliant foot. Keeper could only swat at it as the ball flew by.
That was in the 21' minute, Magee didn't make it to the second half. He had to be taken out with hamstring tightness, Bryan Jordan was warming up before the half whistle. You gotta believe Mike played a little harder, and through some pain, for Eli.
I know that was sappy, but it's important to remember that these games matter because of the emotional investment the fans put into this team. And that emotional investment bonds fans and players in a way that's just sort of cosmic and awesome. Or as Landon Donovan said after the game, "The World has a funny way of working out when you do things the right way".
Magee wouldn't have the only goal for the Galaxy tonight. The Galaxy gave up an equalizer on a blown defensive play in the 60'. Rafael Lugo had drawn Morelia level. The Galaxy were on their way out of the Group Stages. When Landon Donovan's cross bounced to Chad Barrett in stoppage time, and Barrett found Juninho, everything went to 12. It shot right past 11. Juninho did a capoeira move he was so happy. It was, as Todd Dunivant said "Poetic Justice".
With the win, the Galaxy have reopened the Champions League table. Morelia fails to secure their spot in the knockout round. Alaujuelense cannot clinch a spot in the knockout round. Everything will be decided on the final matchday. It's win and your in, for all the teams involved.
On a great day for sport, on a great day for life, that's enough.