The Los Angeles Galaxy managed to defeat the Chicago Fire tonight at the Home Depot Center, with the final score 2-1. The Galaxy extended their unbeaten streak to twelve matches, while the Fire picked up just their fifth loss of the season.
When the halftime whistle blew at the Home Depot Center the Los Angeles Galaxy, who were riding an eleven game unbeaten streak, had not scored in over 235 minutes. As the team walked down the tunnel into the locker room, they had to accept the fact that they hadn't done a whole lot to break their scoreless streak. Landon Donovan had the best attempt in the 44', but he rushed it and it hit a defender.The Chicago Fire had fared much better, forcing Josh Saunders into making three saves.
However, things livened up in the second half. The Galaxy finally found the back of the net, thanks to two David Beckham corners. First, in the 58', David went far post on a corner from the right side of the pitch, and Landon Donovan was unmarked and able to redirect the ball into the net. Then after a Chicago equalizer, David Beckham decided to do it himself. Beckham's 66' Olympico took a bounce, but without a Fire defender to clear it, bounced right past Sean Johnson.
Chicago, who had twelve draws this year, have the distinction of always scoring a goal when they've been scored upon. The only games in which the Fire have been shut out of this year have been draws. With only four losses on the whole year, there was expectation of an equalizer from Chicago. The Fire found it in the 62' when Cristian Nazarit beat Josh Saunders.
The Los Angeles Galaxy will likely be one of the few MLS teams to claim all six points from the Chicago Fire this year. Their midfielders, especially Patrick Nyarko, are very quick. What the Galaxy benefited from most were, once again, David Beckham's set pieces. With an assists and a goal tonight, he's easily the man of the match.
Adam Christman appeared in just his second game of the year tonight, coming in for Juan Pablo Angel. Mike Magee was a late scratch, taking himself out of practice on Friday with right hamstring tightness. Chad Barrett and Sean Franklin also didn't dress for the match, the first time any of those three had been missing from the game day eighteen all year.
There was a dust up near the end of the match. Chris Birchall made a completely reckless tackle on Dominic Oduro, scissoring both his legs. Josip Mikulic started handbagging as a result, and was tossed out of the match. Chris Birchall was booked with a yellow for the tackle.
Omar Gonzalez made the start, recovering from his hip pointer, but AJ DeLaGarza did not dress. He did not practice with the team this week, awaiting results of the medical report. The official word is that he suffered a facial contusion and not a concussion. Which means he's available for next week as long as he's healthy.
The Galaxy now move into the Friendly part of the season. After a US Open Cup match in Washington on Wednesday, they'll have their match against Real Madrid at the Coliseum on Saturday the sixteenth of July. After a midweek game against Columbus, the Galaxy host Manchester City at the Home Depot Center.