Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LA Galaxy defeat Chicago Fire, Mike Magee notches hat trick

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.

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Mike Magee has biggest impact on LA Galaxy victory

Mike Magee's hat trick has him as a shoe in for MLS player of the week, so it's no surprise that Magee led the team in Match Impact Rating. Magee was MLS' fantasy player of the week, and I wouldn't be surprised if Magee will show up atop the Castrol Index when it's published.


Here we've got Magee's positive events that took place in the offensive half. Look at how close all his goals were to each other, it's pretty incredible. He also won a foul down there in the bottom right corner. This was all good for a Match Impact Rating of 132, which could have been even higher but he did get called for two fouls on free kicks in the box.

Robbie Keane, with the final goal of the match, finished with a Match Impact Rating of 75.4. In addition to his goal he had the assist on Magee's second goal and won a free kick 25 yards from goal. Juninho took that free kick and his right footed shot went over the ball and would have been in without a diving save from Sean Johnson.

Juninho had two shots on target, that free kick and another from the run of play. He won three fouls, none in the offensive half, and ended up with a Match Impact Rating of 30.8. This put him slightly above Omar Gonzalez who's assist on Keane's goal gave him an MIR of 30.

Todd Dunivant was given an assist for his 50/50 ball that Magee volleyed in, for an MIR of 29.5. If you're looking for the difference between Gonzalez and Dunivant, Dunivant got a yellow card.

Colin Clark had an alright day at 13.1. Marcelo Sarvas looked good to the eye partnered with Juninho, but with four fouls conceded and no positive events he finished with an MIR of -1.1. With 46/54 passes successful, Sarvas might come out better in Castrol Index than he does in MIR.

Match Impact Rating is graciously given to LAG Confidential by Patrick Johnston.


MLS Fantasy Report: Not all assists are equal

One thing to keep in mind, if you're planning on joining the LAG Confidential MLS fantasy league is that not all stats are created equal. This is especially true when it comes to assists, where the difference between an assist and not an assist can often be subjective, and second assists are limited to MLS.

Take as an example Mike Magee's first goal on Sunday. This is how the goal is diagrammed on Opta's chalkboard.


There's a Todd Dunivant pass up to Robbie Keane, then makes a run to Keane's outside (that's an interpretation of the data, what actually happened is Juninho sent a ball up, Dunivant was already up top according to the highlights). Keane's pass to Dunivant is unsuccessful, but Steven Kinney's attempt at a clearance is intercepted by Todd Dunivant. This causes a rainbow to fall to Mike Magee who volleys the ball in for a goal.

So then the question is, do you give Dunivant an assist. The Opta chalkboard doesn't. It calls Dunivant's action an interception and Magee's goal unassisted. The scorekeepers at The Home Depot Center initially agreed with this ruling, but then gave Dunivant the assist.

On a bang bang play like that, who got to the ball first can often become subjective. They honestly got to it at the same time and while Keane's pass does hit a defender, it's a 50/50 ball and it goes the way Dunivant wanted it to go. I'm fine with the press box's interpretation.

So what about MLS Fantasy? Todd Dunivant is one of four Galaxy players that make the dream team for this week. He gets a three point credit for his assist, as does his teammate Omar Gonzalez. As they both get a four point clean sheet credit, these offensively active defenders were great fantasy pickups.

Mike Magee, by the way, was the top fantasy point getter for the week with fifteen points for his three goals. Keane was one of the top two forwards, with a goal and an assist.

Now MLS Fantasy doesn't seem to give the second assist, as Graham Zusi only gets three points for one an assist despite being given a second assist on Sporting Kansas City's third goal. This means any fantasy players who picked up Michael Stephens hoping he might start and be a cheap pickup, wouldn't have gotten any assist points from him (he got the second assist on the Galaxy's fourth goal).

So it's important when checking a stat sheet, or an Opta chalkboard, or when playing MLS Fantasy, to realize that these are always someone's interpretation of events as they happened. The events are not always as clear cut as those gathering the stats would have you believe.


Mike Magee and Robbie Keane continue goal scoring

Much of the buzz this preseason was on how the Galaxy would find scoring opportunities without David Beckham sending up long balls and Landon Donovan opening up things on the ground. LA answered in a big way in the home opener with Mike Magee's hat trick and Robbie Keane's contribution. Opta has an interesting stat on just how prolific these two have been.

That's better than two thirds of the Galaxy's goals in recent history. With four goals between them on Sunday, that's 23 goals we have to count back which takes us to September 16th, 2012. It should be unsurprising that there was a Keane or a Magee goal in every playoff game. Magee is known for turning it on in November. Going back through the regular season games, there's a Keane or Magee goal in each of them. Opta has this angle covered as well.

The two games where either Magee or Keane didn't score? One was the 0-1 loss to San Jose in the playoffs, the other a 1-1 draw against Colorado where Sarvas scored the lone goal. There was only one Magee goal from the regular season portion, but Magee was key through the playoffs.

With Magee playing up top in Landon Donovan's absence, he gets even more of a chance to show off his finishing ability. Magee's career high for goals in an MLS season is seven in his rookie year with the New York Red Bulls (then MetroStars), and has finished with five goals each of the last two years.

"Two of them were magnificent goals," said Robbie Keane after the match. "I don't think there's any luck in the finishes."

None of his goals on Sunday were simple. He had to wait on a deflected ball then volley it in with his left foot while falling for the first goal. The second goal saw him first touch Keane's pass with his right foot then rocket the ball with his left. On his final goal he chased down a Keane rebound, knocking it with his chest then volleyed the ball in with his left foot.

Keane and Magee may have looked like a conservative pairing. Between Keane's dribbling and nose for goal with Magee's patience and accurate finishing, it's a pairing that can result in a plethora of goals in the upcoming months.


Mike Magee hat trick for LA extinguishes Fire

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.

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