Galaxy Report: LA starts season with successful homestand

March 24, 2013

Carson, Calif. -- After opening the season with a 4-0 win against the Chicago Fire, the Galaxy next faced Chivas USA at home as part of MLS Rivarly Week. Judging by the physical play and hard fouls during the game, this is one rivalry that is really heating up.

The first scoring chance came in the 31st minute when a free kick from the Galaxy's Juninho was headed in the 6-yard box by Omar Gonzalez.  Young Jose Villareal, who has been impressing the Galaxy and its fans with his play, then headed the ball, but it hit the crossbar.

But later, in the 40th minute, the dynamic of the SuperClasico changed, as Joaquin Velaquez was given a second yellow card and was consequently kicked out following a fight for the ball with Colin Clark.

When play resumed in the second half, the Galaxy went on the offensive attack with many scoring opportunities, including chances in the 50th through the 65th minute.  Still, Chivas USA's defense held and the game remained scoreless.

Then in the 83rd minute, A.J. DeLaGarza had the ball in the 18-yard box and passed off to Mike Magee for a shot.  Magee's attempt was deflected and bounced back out, where youngster Jack McBean jumped in the air and headed the ball into the top corner past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for a 1-0 Galaxy lead.

The game seemed to belong to the Galaxy until Chivas USA pulled off a stunning goal in the 89th minute, when Carlos Borja crossed the ball from the wing past the Galaxy defense, and Carlos Alvarez tapped home the tying goal.

Los Angeles v. Colorado

A dejected Galaxy team trained hard the following week and prepared to face the Colorado Rapids in the last game of their three-game season-opening homestand.

In the opening minutes, the Galaxy were stymied by bad luck, as Juninho's corner-kick was headed onto goal by Jose Villareal, but the Rapids goalkeeper was able to deflect the shot.

In a game featuring multiple chances, the Galaxy simply were unable to break through for a score. In the 10th minute, Jack McBean had a good look following a Marcelo Sarvas pass, but his shot was at the goalkeeper and saved.  Then, in the 32nd minute, Villareal tried to volley a shot over the head of the keeper on a breakaway, but the shot was saved by a Rapids defender before crossing the line.

In the 48th minute, Drew Moor committed a foul in the box earning himself a red card and suspension when he hit Marcelo Sarvas in the face. In fact, Moor was already walking to the tunnel before the referee could come over to him because he knew what he had done as Sarvas lay on the ground seeking treatment from Galaxy personnel.

Magee subsequently took the penalty kick and calmly converted the shot for a 1-0 Galaxy lead.  It was Magee's fourth goal of the season, making him the MLS' leading scorer.

The 1-0 advantage was all that LA needed, as the stellar Galaxy defense buckled down and secured the 3 points with the win.

The Galaxy take their 2-0-1 start to Toronto this weekend before next week's Champions League match-up with Monterrey.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for The Daily Sports Herald

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