Landon Donovan scored two goals off penalty kicks, in the 37’ and 81’, but it wasn’t enough as the Los Angeles Galaxy (12-3-4, 40 pts.) were already down three goals and ended up losing 3 -2 to the Chicago Fire (5-5-5. 20 pts.)
It was a night of noteworthy events. Donovan’s goal in the 37’ was the 100th regular season goal of his MLS career. After his fourth and fifth goals of the season, he had tied Taylor Twellman for 5th all time.
This was the Galaxy’s first home loss of the season. Last week’s MLS match against San Jose was a close call, it took a 90’ Donovan goal to salvage a point for the Galaxy. Alex Gordon almost found an equalizer in the 85’, but a brilliant save by Sean Johnson kept Gordon’s header from finding the back of the net.
It was yet another game where the Galaxy seemed forward all game, and the opponent seemed unable to miss as short range opportunities kept falling into their lap. Chicago had two goals on the board in the first 5 minutes, off four shots on target. The Fire didn’t have another shot the rest of the half.
This was Sean Johnson’s first MLS start, and his four saves kept out everything but the two Donovan penalties. Landon showed continued frustration on the pitch, a sign that things haven’t quite jelled since he and Edson Buddle returned from World Cup play. Buddle had two early chances on goal, but struck both of them right at Sean Johnson.
Newly acquired Freddie Lungberg made his Fire debut in the 58’, replacing Marco Pappa who had scored the first goal in the 4’. Nery Castillo is waiting on a FIFA International Transfer Certificate, and did not play.
The Galaxy remain in first place in the West and in the race for the Supporter’s Shield. They are 6 points ahead of second place Real Salt Lake. Chicago moves into fourth place in the East.