The two main events of the first half happened almost simultaneously. Gonzalo Segares of Chicago was thrown out on an instant red for throwing an elbow to the back of Leonardo’s head in the 22’. Landon Donovan stepped up to take the resulting penalty kick, hit the shot, and Sean Franklin made the right guess for the save.
Despite much more ado and circumstance, that moment is the story of the first half, and the results of that moment are going to carry over and affect the second half. That shot and save remain the only shot on goal and save of the entire first half.
The fouls are about even, with six for the Galaxy and five for Chicago, but the Fire have all three corner kicks which is a rarity for the Galaxy, who have been dominating the corner kicks these last few months.
The story of the second half will be how Chicago overcomes their handicap, if the Galaxy can spread them enough to manage a goal, and if Edson Buddle can overcome his frustration with how rough he’s being treated in the back. In the first half, he and Landon Donovan were often taking the same run to the same place, so thus far, putting Donovan at forward hasn’t taken the pressure off of Buddle.