Back-to-back champion LA Galaxy start season on Fire with 4-0 win

March 4, 2013

Carson, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Galaxy started their three-peat quest Sunday against the visiting Chicago Fire without David Beckham (who left for Paris Saint-Germain), Landon Donovan (who is taking much-needed time off until April), and goalkeeper Josh Saunders. Nevertheless, this Galaxy team proved it still had plenty of talent to compete, led by veteran Robbie Keane, goal-scorer Mike Magee, and a dominant defensive line and midfield.

The game began with the Galaxy dominating possession and with Chicago having virtually no scoring chances.

However, in the 22nd minute the Fire had the first true opportunity to score for either team when Joel Lindpere crossed the ball to Maicon Santos, who headed it just wide of goal. Then, in the 32nd minute, the Galaxy's new goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini, gave the ball up, allowing Chicago to nearly score past a leaping Cudicini.

Unfortunately for Chicago, the game would drastically change from that point onward.

In the 38th minute, Todd Dunivant played a deflected ball into the box and Magee jumped in the air to shoot a tremendous off-balance left-footed shot.  The shot could not have been placed any better into the corner of goal to give LA a 1-0 lead.

Later, in the 68th minute, Keane had the ball in the box, but was blanketed by numerous defenders.  Instead of having a go, Keane passed off to Magee on the right side.  Magee cut the ball back against a Chicago defender to free up a shot with his left foot. On this day, Magee lived up to the chants of "Magee, Magee's on fire," as his left-footed shot scored in the top corner at the far post.

Indeed, Magee was on fire against the Fire, as he had a day for the history books with a season-opening hat trick.

In the 74th minute, a Keane shot was deflected and bounced out to Magee, who had a defender all over him. Somehow he found a way to get off another left-footed shot that went past the leaping Chicago goalkeeper, Sean Johnson, and into the upper corner of the far post for a 3-0 Galaxy lead.  Magee put the icing on the cake as he attempted to imitate Keane's trademark somersault goal-scoring celebration.

In the 80th minute, Keane cemented LA's 4-0 win by scoring through the Fire defense following a Michael Stephens cross into the box.

Undoubtedly, the Galaxy will face a long journey in their hunt for a third consecutive MLS championship, but Sunday could not have been a better way to start towards that aspiration. After two Champions League games beginning this Thursday, LA will resume MLS play on March 17th at home versus Chivas USA.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for The Daily Sports Herald

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