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LA Galaxy Douse Fire, Avoid Sting, Win 2-1

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The Los Angeles Galaxy were no where close to the MLS season record, but at 235 minutes without a goal, things were starting to look bleak. The Galaxy hadn't managed to score a goal since Chad Barrett put one in the back of the net in Colorado in the 80' three weeks ago. While few thought the Galaxy would challenge for Colorado's 319 minute goalless streak, the offense just wasn't getting anything going. The first half had a few crisp passing combos, and one deflected shot by Landon Donovan, but not much else. 

All that changed in the second half. In a season which more and more is being defined by the set piece, David Beckham's right foot managed to give the Galaxy two goals, and that was all they needed on the road to victory. The 2-1 result was the Galaxy's 12 straight unbeaten game, and they go from worrying about FC Dallas on their tails to one point away from the 40 point mark at the midpoint of the season.

On the first goal, David Beckham took the corner from the right side, and aimed the ball far post. Landon Donovan, who isn't the tallest player on the team, ended up unmarked and on the end of it, redirecting the ball into the back of the net with his head. His opening goal header got things rolling, but it was David Beckham's goal that was the game winner. Just seven minutes later, after a Chicago equalizer, Beckham bent a corner that bounced in front of goal, was not cleared, and leapt into the back of the net.

After the match, Beckham said the last time he scored an Olympico was when he was on loan at Preston (February 1995). Beckham had two goals in five appearances for Preston that year. Landon Donovan remarked that the last time he saw that was earlier this week in the U-17 World Cup by Mexico.

Toward the end of the match there was a bit of handbagging, after a reckless tackle by Chris Birchall. Birchy got the yellow for it, but the odd thing was the rarely seen red card for a bench foul. Jospi Mikulic, who wasn't in the game, was sent off in the 96+' for getting in a bit of a tussle with some of the players on the pitch over Birchall's foul.

Chicago had some very fast midfielders, and they created havoc in the back. Bryan Jordan, who started in the back four today was responsible for marking Patrick Nyarko, and held his own though being a step slower. The lucky part for the Galaxy was Chicago's lack of finishers, something the Galaxy know too much about.

It was a fun match, and a bipolar match. When it was down, it was really really down, but when it came up it was fantastic. Bruce Arena said after the match, and Landon concurred, that all focus is on the US Open Cup match. Who ends up traveling is another story, but especially after last year, I think Bruce will treat Real Madrid as just that, a mid-season treat for his players, but not something he's going to treat like anything more than an exhibition.

Notes:

  • The Galaxy remain unbeaten when scoring the first goal. They have nine wins, and three ties in those matches.
  • Landon's goal keeps him on pace for the Golden Boot, when Thierry Henry also at 9 goals on the season.
  • Todd Dunivant is now the only Galaxy player to appear in all 21 games this year. Chad Barrett and Sean Franklin had also appeared in every match, but did not dress tonight.
  • This is the first time all year Barrett, Franklin, and Mike Magee didn't dress.
  • Magee was kept out with right hamstring tightness. AJ DeLaGarza did not suffer a concussion, and was diagnosed with a facial contusion.