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LA Galaxy Defeat Philadelphia Union 1-0

While the first half may have been defined by Leonardo's game winning goal, the second half was defined by an abundance of scrappy play, as the teams collected ten cards between them, two of them red. Chris Birchall and Jack McInerney were both sent off for violent conduct, though at different ends of the match. Birchall's red car came in the 53 minute, after making a move from behind that while up for interpretation was certainly inviting the card. The foul resulted in a melee in front of the box, with David Beckham one of the most vocal. McInerney wasn't sent off until stoppage time in the 95 minute, getting into a similar fracas over a foul.

The rest of the cards were quite silly, the Galaxy twice getting marked for delaying a restart after they had gone down to ten men. To the club's credit, despite being short a man they didn't stop attacking, actually taking more shots in the second half than they had the first; although none of them were on target. David Beckham picked up a yellow card after he and Landon Donovan tried to get referee Paul Ward to spray a ten yard mark for the free kick, a new MLS policy which has been implemented somewhat at random. Despite Philadelphia having two men about seven yards from the spot the referee refused to spray the mark and eventually gave David the yellow. 

The rest of David Beckham's performance on the night was quite brilliant. His thirty third minute free kick from the right corner of the box went over the mob and begged to be headed in by Leonardo, who was happy to oblige. The goal was Leonardo's first in his MLS career and the only real chance of the night. The Galaxy had two other shots on goal, both by David Beckham, but a little dribbler right at the keeper and a free kick from near the corner flag bent in right at Faryd Mondragon provided little drama. Donovan Ricketts, in his first appearance in the 2011 MLS season didn't have to make a save, in fact his toughest touch came from his own defenseman. 

Down a man, the Galaxy had to take out Miguel Lopez, offseason acquisition from Quilmes in Argentina, who started tonight after coming in at halftime in Salt Lake. Lopez played fairly aggressive and seemed a good fit with Juan Pablo Angel up top. Angel played a big role in creating Lopez' best chance of the match: a strike from the top of the box that just went over the bar. Angel didn't manage a goal in his second start, having his best chance on a layup from Landon Donovan that he tried to head back across the keeper. The ball sailed wide left, though he might have scored if he didn't outthink himself. 

Juninho had the best chance of the second half, a fifty second minute shot that hit the right post. The Brazilian midfielder took a hard foul from behind in the 79' keeping him down for a minute but he was able to walk it off. Though Columbus was able to get three points yesterday, and there is still a Sunday game to be played, with a full slate of games today the Galaxy were the only team to pick up a victory. Seven points in four games may not be all Bruce Arena had dreamed of, but his club showed a lot of spirit coming back from the drubbing against Real Salt Lake and giving Philadelphia a taste of their own medicine: "one-nil, one-nil, one-nil, one-nil, one-nil"