Now that is how you start a season. Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy wasted no time in kickstarting their 2013 Major League Soccer campaign in style. LA got it done with a 4-0 shutout of the Chicago Fire before a crowd of 20,124 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Here are six things we learned from the Galaxy’s victory at Victoria Street…on The View from Avalon.
1. No Landon? No Becks? No problem!
With David Beckham calling it a career in Los Angeles and Landon Donovan still on his way back to match fitness for the team, there was some concern amongst many fans and pundits that Los Angeles would come into the season opener understrength. That was not the case. A more-of-the-same first half gave way to a dominant, one-sided second half from the Galaxy.
And who among the Galaxy first-teamers was responsible for this scoreline? None other than this man…
2. Mike Magee magic comes alive
Mike Magee, the forward who broke through in 2011, put on arguably his best performance in a Galaxy uniform since his goalkeeping display against San Jose two years ago. Magee scored a hat trick in the 38th, 68th and 74th minutes of play. If he keeps up this pace, watch your back, Roy Lassiter! And Mr. Jurgen Klinsmann, news flash: you may have a solution here for the Gold Cup.
3. Robbie Keane gets on the board late
Robbie Keane earned a goal and an assist on Sunday afternoon at the HDC. Keane got on the scoresheet late in the 80th minute of play and displayed solid leadership and command in the second half, where the Fire were doused. But it wasn’t just Magee and Keane that put a dent in the Fire’s chances for a result.
4. Los Angeles dominate the stats
The Los Angeles Galaxy dominated a number of key match statistics, as seen on the Live Blog: attempts on goal (19 to seven), shots on target (10 to one), corner kicks (six to two), blocked shorts (five to one), duels won (51 to 45), duels won percentsage (53 percent to 46 percent), total passes (436 to 325), passing accuracy (78 percent to 75 percent) and possession (56.5 percent to 43.5 percent).
5. Leonardo is back. With a vengeance.
Leonardo got his first competitive match in a long time under his belt and did relatively well holding the left side with A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez and Todd Dunivant. MLSSoccer.com” href=”http://www.mlssoccer.com/matchcenter/2013-03-03-LA-v-CHI/chalkboard” target=”_blank”>On the Opta Chalkboard, Leonardo earned a 93 percent pass success rate to go with five clearances and six recoveries. Expect Leo to hold the fort on the left side for the long haul, provided he is match-fit.
6. The Juninho Show continues
Juninho, now a full member of the Galaxy (full as in contracted), filled in for David Beckham decently in the midfield. The team’s set piece specialist, Juninho earned an 81 percent pass success rate, a 60 percent cross success rate, three lay offs and key passes each, seven tackles won, three interceptions and nine recoveries. When you are motivated and you know what your calling is, you are able to deliver results, and that is what Juninho did on Sunday against the Fire.