Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Magee put in the LA Galaxy's first three goals as the defending MLS Champions cruised to a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Fire.
CARSON, Calif -- The LA Galaxy defeated the Chicago Fire at The Home Depot Center 4-0 on a mild Sunday in front of 20,124 fans to open their 2013 MLS Cup title defense. They did it on the strength of a Mike Magee hat trick, capped off by a Robbie Keane goal. The Fire were shorthanded on the backline, and it showed with all four goals coming from inside the box.
Magee put the Galaxy up 1-0 38 minutes into the match sitting back and waiting for a Todd Dunivant deflected pass to come down for a volley. The next three Galaxy goals came after halftime. In the 68' Robbie Keane found Magee trailing the play on the right after a two on one break buster. Magee one touched the ball to his left foot and sent it screaming.
"[Magee] and Robbie [Keane] did a good job, got a lot of chance," said Bruce Arena after the match. "We beat a good team today. [Sean Johnson] I thought played well; they were tough to break down. As we got into the second half they lost a little energy, they lost their shape, and we were able to produce some goals."
Magee was able to finish the hat trick unassisted in the seventy fourth minute, then Robbie Keane completed the Galaxy's scoring run sliding in a ball that Omar Gonzalez kept in play with his head. All three of Magee's goals were left footed.
Any concerns that the LA Galaxy were going to let off without David Beckham and Landon Donovan were quickly reassured. Not only were Keane and Magee able to break down the Chicago back line the longer the match progressed, but the back four of Gonzalez, Leonardo, DeLaGarza, and Dunivant were able to keep things relatively calm for Carlo Cudicini's first MLS match.
Through the whole of it there was only one shot on target for Chicago, a direct free kick that Cudicini pushed over the bar. There were other solid chances, all going just wide. There was even a change Cudicini essentially created himself with a costly turnover.
LA has next weekend off as they prepare for CONCACAF Champions League. That gives them plenty of time to rest up for a home and home aggregate series which begins with a trip to Costa Rica in a couple days.