LA Galaxy open 2016 MLS Season with 4-1 home win over D.C. United

March 7, 2016

Carson, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Galaxy opened up the 2016 MLS campaign on Sunday night with a 4-1 victory over D.C. United in front of 25,667 fans at StubHub Center.

In 2015, the Galaxy failed to defend their championship crown when they were unable to get past the Seattle Sounders. In the offseason, management made a concerted effort to bring back another title to the franchise, as Los Angeles acquired international defenders Ashley Cole, Jelle Van Damme, and Nigel de Jong, and also brought back fan favorite Mike Magee, to add to a team with Robbie Keane, Giovani dos Santos, and Steven Gerrard.

Despite that abundance of talent, the Galaxy's 2016 season started with an unexpected goal from D.C. United in the 5th minute when Gerrard lost the ball, and Lamar Neagle dribbled towards goal and put it past Dan Kennedy in the corner for a 1-0 lead. Minutes later, an injured Kennedy would be replaced by Brian Rowe.

After going down 1-0 very early, LA battled back and produced several chances. In the 23rd minute, Keane pushed forward in the box with the ball, but lost it on what he felt was a foul. Minutes later, Nigel de Jong had a shot towards goal, and Gerrard also took a penalty kick from about 25 yards out, but neither attempt could tie the game.

The Galaxy kept trying to create scoring opportunities, as Cole, in the 38th minute, dribbled through the defense and received the ball back on the wing. His cross nearly found Keane in stride, but was snuffed out at the last moment.

D.C. would go into the half with a one goal lead.

The 52nd minute brought the Galaxy’s best chance with Sebastian Lletget crossing into Keane for a header that stayed out only because it hit the crossbar. Gyasi Zardes would get a header as well that was saved.

The Galaxy's persistence eventually paid off when a Magee corner-kick was headed in by Daniel Steres in the 54th minute for the team’s first goal of the year and a 1-1 tie.

Minutes later, D.C. United nearly took the lead again with a breakaway as Nick DeLeon headed towards goal. His shot made it past the outstretched Rowe, but hit the post.

In the 65th minute, Lletget made a great fake with the ball and darted to the box, sending a cross to Magee who was left uncovered on the wing. Magee, a proven scorer during his prior stint with the team, controlled the cross with his left foot and then volleyed a shot with his right foot over D.C.’s Andrew Dykstra for a 2-1 lead. The hometown fans reacted with pure jubilation on Magee's play.

LA continued to move the ball during the second half and minimized D.C. United’s time of possession, however, D.C. threatened in the 80th minute with a corner-kick and shot on goal that ultimately was unsuccessful.

The match would be put away in the 83rd minute when Magee broke away from the defense and was fouled in the box attempting a shot over the goalkeeper. Keane stepped up to the penalty mark and scored for a 3-1 lead and his first goal of the season.

Mike Magee proved to be the Man of the Match when he scored a second goal in the 87th minute off a Steven Gerrard free-kick to give LA the 4-1 win.  The goal was Magee's 66th all-time in MLS play.

The Galaxy travel to Colorado to play the Rapids next weekend.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for

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