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LA Galaxy defeat Chicago Fire 2-0

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Galaxy capitalize on opportunistic strikes from Jose Villarreal and Robbie Keane

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Galaxy overcame a sluggish first half to defeat the Chicago Fire 2-0 before a sellout crowd at the Stubhub Center celebrating the opening game of the 2015 MLS season.

LA dominated play in the first half, keeping possession with relative ease but unable to create many clear cut chances. Gyasi Zardes in particular was effective at getting behind Chicago's back four.

A Jose Villarreal free kick 28 yards from goal forced goalkeeper Sean Johnson low to the ground to parry the shot away before Dan Gargan leveled a screamer into the right netting.

Noticeably, the Angel City Brigade, LA's largest supporter group, were silent during the first half, perhaps due to sanctions imposed against the group.

The second half started similar to the first, with LA dominating possession but not creating very much offense. 

Finally, Galaxy manager Bruce Arena subbed Baggio Husidic in place of Kenny Walker and the match turned on its head.

Minutes later, LA had its first tally. In the 65th minute, a Stefan Ishizaki cross was errantly cleared by defender Jeff Larentowicz, fortuitously bouncing to Jose Villarreal who confidently buried a low shot past Johnson.

With Husidic in the lineup, LA were able to finally move the ball forward in dangerous spots as LA started to click in the final third.

In the 81st minute, Omar Gonzalez played a long ball over the top, and Baggio Husidic nodded it down for Robbie Keane. Keane did not waste the chance, burying the half-volley into the net and doubling the Galaxy's lead.

Following the goal, AJ De La Garza was subbed into the game before a thunderous ovation. The game sputtered out afterwards as both teams struggled with preseason fitness.