Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire: Live Blog

T-90: Welcome to the first live blog of the 2013 Major League Soccer season here on The View from Avalon, part of the FanSided Network. It’s the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. the Chicago Fire, live from the Home Depot Center in beautiful Carson, California. My name is Jo-Ryan Salazar, the beat writer for the Galaxy here on FanSided. Glad to have you on board this afternoon, this evening, this morning…wherever you may be in the world.

Dec 1, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Juninho (19) waves the Galaxy flag after the 2012 MLS Cup game against the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center. The Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

T-85: First item of business is a little housekeeping. Match Day 1 of the 2013 MLS season was yesterday, and here are some scores. Sporting Kansas City demolished the Philadelphia Union, 3-1, thanks to goals from Graham Zusi, Oriol Rossell and Claudio Bieler. Sebastien Le Toux opened up the scoring for the Union. Gershon Koffie’s 59th minute goal was enough for the Vancouver Whitecaps to pull off a 1-0 shutout over Toronto FC. An own goal from DC United’s James Riley and a late score from Ricardo Clark paced the Houston Dynamo to a 2-0 shutout win at BBVA Compass Stadium.

T-80: Some more scores…Jackson Golcalves’s 11th minute strike was enough for FC Dallas over the Colorado Rapids. Davy Arnaud scored in the 35th minute to propel the Montreal Impact to a 1-0 upset victory over the Seattle Sounders. And goals from Federico Higuain, Josh Williams and the newly-acquired Dominic Oduro helped the Columbus Crew shut out Chivas USA 3-0.

Later today will be the Portland Timbers vs. the New York Red Bulls and the San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake.

T-70: Do you want to follow Gyasi Zardes online on Twitter? Check him out on the LA Galaxy’s twitter feed!

T-60: We are an hour to kickoff here at the HDC. Stay tuned for more updates here on this Live Blog.

T-55: Odds from oddschecker.com…
Los Angeles Galaxy 18/19
Draw 77/29
Chicago Fire 10/3 

T-41: Both teams are now warming up on the pitch as techno music is played over the loudspeakers.

T-40: In the foreground, the four MLS Cups won by the Galaxy are glistening in the afternoon SoCal sun.

T-38: Following the match, later today there will be 6 Things We Learned, followed by match ratings for all the players that took part for the Galaxy, as well as a player rating in depth of Robbie Keane, who is LA’s main designated player. Keane will be focused on all season, just like David Beckham was all last season.

T-30: Adam Serrano of the Los Angeles Galaxy Insider gives his Three Points:

1. Start Strong - From the outset, expect Galaxy forwards Robbie Keane and Mike Magee to press Chicago’s talented center back tandem of Arne Friedrich and Austin Berry.
2. Disrupt Chicago’s New Midfield Pairing – The Chicago Fire revamped their midfield in 2013 with Jeff Larentowicz and Joel Lindpere taking the reins in the center of the park and unsettling their first league match together will be key to the Galaxy’s aspirations on Sunday. Expect LA’s Brazilian pair –particularly Juninho—to place pressure on the Chicago midfielders from the outset.
3. Potential New Partners In  Central Defense? – One of the biggest questions of the preseason for the LA Galaxy this year was just who would start alongside Omar Gonzalez. If Leonardo does start alongside Gonzalez, it could see A.J. DeLaGarza moved to right back with Sean Franklin slotting into midfield.

Los Angeles continues their season on Mar. 7 against C.S. Herediano of Heredia, Costa Rica in CONCACAF Champions League play.

T-20: Lineups.

LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Manager: Bruce Arena
Colors: White tops with blue sash, white shorts, white socks

23 Carlo Cuducini

2 Todd Dunivant —- 20 A.J. DeLaGarza —- 4 Omar Gonzalez —- 22 Leonardo

5 Sean Franklin —- 8 Marcelo Sarvas —- 19 Juninho —- 11 Colin Clark

7 Robbie Keane —- 18 Mike Magee

Substitutes:

16 Hector Jimenez
25 Rafael Garcia
27 Charlie Rugg
24 Brian Perk
26 Michael Stephens
35 Greg Cochrane
32 Jack McBean

CHICAGO FIRE
Manager: Frank Klopas
Colors: Red tops with white horizontal bar, red shorts, red socks

25 Sean Johnson

6 Jalil Anibaba — 22 Austin Berry —- 18 Steven Kinney —- 13 Gonzalo Segares

26 Joel Lindpere —- 14 Patrick Nyarko —- 20 Jeff Larentowicz —- 8 Dilly Duka

17 Chris Rolfe —- 29 Maicon Santos

Substitutes:

71 Alex
15 Wells Thompson
7 Sherjill McDonald
70 Paolo Tornaghi
11 Dan Paladini
21 Michael Videira
30 Yazid Atouba

 We are 20 minutes away from kickoff here at the Home Depot Center.

T-13: Cozmo, our mascot, apparently got a new tan. Never would have guessed. And we have some parachuters here.

T-10: Final odds…

Los Angeles Galaxy 15/16
Draw 11/4
Chicago Fire 10/3 

T-5: Both teams walk out on to the field.

T-0: The Galaxy players receive their rings. National anthem by Joshua Guerrero.

FIRST HALF START: 2:08 P.M. PT/5:08 P.M. ET

1′  - The first half begins. Kevin Stott is our match referee. Brian Poeschel and Anthony Vasoli are the linesmen and the fourth official is Daniel Radford.

2 ‘ – And here is Juninho, now handing it over to Sean Johnson, who begins Chicago’s first sequence. Double-teamed by Joel Lindpere and Dilly Duka. And Joel is injured here. Just shaken up.

3′ – Long cross is too long. Here is Carlo Cuducini, hoofing the ball long. And Sean Franklin is shaken up.

4′ – Marcelo Sarvas gets whistled after Kevin Stott allows some physicality. That through ball didn’t look too good.

5′  - Good energy from Franklin to keep that ball in play. This is Leonardo, on the comeback trail. That’s too long for Franklin.

6′ – Now here come the Fire, looking to blaze in front early. Where was that pass heading off to? Back come LA, and Sean Johnson bumps into Mike Magee but still makes the collection.

7′ – A.J. DeLaGarza with the restart. This is Keane. Mike Magee wins a corner. Good clearance from Dilly Duka.

8′ – Juninho to Gonzalez, but that was too high. Goal kick to Johnson.

9′ – Here’s DeLaGarza again. Magee is going to get his share of touches; it’s up to the Chicago midfield of Lindpere, Nyarko, Larentowicz and Duka to keep him in check. Johnson collects.

10′ – Captain Keane with direction, but Steven Kinney turns back the white tide. Free kick, Galaxy.

11′ – No problem for Johnson. Not a creative shot, though. And Franklin loses his balance. A chance. Saved by Johnson. First big save of the day, back come the Fire.

12′ – Juninho making the most of his contract. Keane loses the race again. Just doesn’t have the legs that Kinney has.

13′ – Harsh challenge on Juninho by Duka.

14′ – Throw-in for the Fire. Leonardo holds Maicon Santos in check. Carlo Cuducini with a touch. Not a lot of work early.

15′ – Keane held up, but LA win a throw. This is Gonzalez. Leonardo, Dunivant, and a long cross that doesn’t find Colin Clark.

16′ – 16 minutes in, and we’re still scoreless. Throw-in, Chicago.

17′ – And now Cudicini makes a collection. That Premier League experience comes in handy.

18′ – Chicago with a chance, only to be swallowed up by the backline of the G’s.

19′ – Not so fast, Maicon Santos, that’s a foul, says Kevin Stott. Chicago’s Section 8 team now doing the Tetris rendition. No trumpets unfortunately.

20′ – Too long of a cross, throw-in LA.

21′ – Cudicini looks for someone, and it’s Leonardo. This might be a scoreless first half. These long passes that have too much pace are going to be costly. Watch for it.

22′ – Gonzalo Segares for Chicago, and now it’s Larentowicz, formerly of the Colorado Rapids. Great pressure from the Fire. Just wide for Maicon Santos, but that how deadly the Fire can be.

23′ – There’s no pressure on the Fire today. After, when was the last time they won an MLS Cup? 1998? Back to Cudi for another sequence.

24′ – What a save from Sean Johnson. It’s been a clinic of goalkeeping and missed shots so far for both sides. Cudicini to Leonardo.

25′ – Mike Magee is double-teamed. Not so fast, Segares, says the LA back line. Franklin now. Oooh, and that was nearly a penalty.

26′ – Colin Clark with the touch. Chicago are there to sweep.

27′ – This is Lindpere. Jalil Anibaba with the touch. There’s a missed through ball.

28′ – And we got a Fire player down. That’s Nyarko. Went a little bit too quickly for his own good on Keane.

29′ – DeLaGarza with the throw, back to the LA back line.

30′ – There’s a blunder for Sean Franklin as we hit the half-hour mark. It’s the first week, peoples. Some teams happen to be in more form than others.

31′ – Omar Gonzalez now, and this is Juninho.  DeLaGarza wins a corner for Juni. That was too long and wide, even though LA still gain possession.

32′ – Carlo Cudicini nearly bagged himself a howler. Galaxy are coming unstuck late in the first half.

33′ – Boy, Frank Klopas will need to settle the troops down in the change rooms heading into the break.

34′ – First free kick of the season for the Los Angeles Galaxy. And who’s gonna take this? Juninho! And it’s saved by Johnson. Corner kick, LA.

35′ – Out of reach for Gonzalez, he was marked. That’s a throw for this feisty Chicago Fire side.

36′ – Segares forced another corner for LA. Well, the G’s are getting their share of set piece chances. Right into traffic and cleared.

37′ – Long clearance from Cudicini. Restart awarded to LA.

38′ – GOAL! Los Angeles Galaxy 18 Mike Magee
The master does it again. A great overhead from Magee, as expected.

39′ – That will settle the nerves of these Galaxy players. No way was Johnson going to get to that one. Only fitting that the first goal of the Galaxy’s campaign went to LA’s No. 18.

40′ – Joel Lindpere looks to spice things up, but Carlo Cudicini hoofs it long to buy the white-shirted defenders some time.

41′ – More solid defending from the Galaxy. LA, however, need to consolidate on the advantage and search for some sort of identity.

42′ – Offsides, Sean Franklin. Easy call; not sure what the home fans are complaining about. Keane wins another foul.

43′ – One-timer from Juninho. He can scorch those from 30 yards out. Patrick Nyarko with some athleticism.

44′ – Marcelo Sarvas with a touch. Not very often I called his name today. Now here come the Fire, but Duka holds DeLaGarza up.

45′ – Let’s see how many minutes we get here. Uno, says Daniel Radford.

45′ + 1′ – Halftime then.

LOS ANGELES GALAXY 1
Mike Magee 38′ 

CHICAGO FIRE 0 

Match Stats

LA Galaxy Chicago Fire
6 Attempts on Goal 2
4 Shots on Target 0
1 Shots off Target 2
1 Blocked Shots 0
4 Corner Kicks 0
6 Fouls 8
7 Open Play Crosses 4
1 Offsides 1
0 First Yellow Cards 0
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
23 Duels Won 23
50% Duels Won % 52%
280 Total Pass 150
80% Passing Accuracy % 72%
64.8% Possession 35.2%

I think Landon Donovan’s absence did ameliorate the damage a bit. Now the shutout promotion is under the tutelage of Buffalo Wild Wings. At least they have chicken.

SECOND HALF START: 3:11 P.M. PT/6:11 P.M. ET

46′ – The second half begins. Chicago have plenty of time to make this a game, but the Galaxy have plenty of time to add to their advantage. Still anyone’s contest. There’s a 3/4-full crowd here for the opener. Attendance figure coming soon.

47′ – Nyarko now. A little bit of a slip from Juninho. Onus now is on the Fire to create some chances on possession. Goal kick to Carlo Cudicini. Offsides, Maicon Santos.

48′ – Robbie Keane with a dive, according to Kevin Stott. Chicago, now settling down. Here’s Steven Kinney. Sean Franklin forces a throw.

49′ – Franklin loses that battle for the ball. A.J. DeLaGarza with the throw. Joel Lindpere loses control.

50′ – Leonardo plays it forward.

51′ – The Fire are getting a bit antsy here. Still early to be so. Free kick for Juninho. Right into traffic and back to DeLaGarza.

52′ – Ouch. And Marcelo Sarvas butchered that possession. This is a throw to the Fire. Jeff Larentowicz. Too far for Jalil Anibaba. Oooh, that was a whiffed ball by Franklin.

53′ – Magee was offsides, so no corner.

54′ – Magee is offsides again. Match is starting to lose a little bit of its crispness.

55′ – Colin Clark from Robbie Keane. This is trouble…oh, what a save from Sean Johnson! DeLaGarza with the hold-up.

56′ – The energy is flowing again, the crispness starting to return.

Substitution Chicago Fire
IN 71 Alex
OUT 8 Dilly Duka

57′ – Robbie Keane wins another throw. Marcelo Sarvas with some athleticism.

58′ – Colin Clark overran that one. Galaxy with a majority of the chances this second half.

59′ – A speculative clearance from Leonardo. Too long for Keane. Now here’s Todd Dunivant with the throw. Marcelo is now getting involved this second half.

60′ – We hit the hour mark. It’s 1-0 LA but Chicago have a chance to put this match on even terms. Saved by Carlo Cudicini. And now it’s a corner.

61′ – Anibaba hurt himself on that header. Goal kick Cudicini, but he’ll be feeling that for a while.

62′ – That’s taking one for the team, Jalil. Long hoofin’ from Cudi.

63′ – There’s another sequence from LA that got squandered up. Juninho with the shot.

64′ – Another chance for Magee and that was squashed.

65′ – LA are anticipating counter and counter themselves. Johnson collects. He’s been doing work today.

66′ – Sean Franklin gets held up once again. Tenacity on the part of Joel Lindpere.

67′ – Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 26 Michael Stephens
OUT 11 Colin Clark 

Substitution Chicago Fire
IN 7 Sherjill MacDonald
OUT 29 Maicon Santos

68′ – GOAL! Los Angeles Galaxy 18 Mike Magee
That’s a brace for Magee.

69′ – Yes indeed, the man of legend is literally walking on fire, but all over the Fire at the moment. Magee is on, Chicago Fire. I bore of these puns, silly as they may be. Corner, LA.

70′ – Juninho to take, Magee to receive but that was wide.

71′ – Substitution Chicago Fire
IN 30 Yazid Atouba
OUT 26 Joel Lindpere

72′ – Leonardo with the short restart. Throw-in. Cheeky on the part of Nyarko.

73′ – Offsides, Sherjill MacDonald. A throw-in for the Galaxy.

74′ – GOAL! Los Angeles Galaxy 18 Mike Magee
First hat trick of the season, and who else? It’s Mike Magee!

75′ – Los Angeles may be home and dry at the moment. Carlo Cudicini doesn’t think so, though. First yellow card for LA this year.

Yellow card 2 Todd Dunivant
Los Angeles Galaxy

76′ – Patrick Nyarko has to be done for the day here, not sure why he still wants in. Corner is long, and there he goes.

77′ – Omar Gonzalez with a speculative clearance.

78′ – Cudicini lets that one go for a goal kick. One must applaud Patrick Nyarko’s tenacity this game. What a warrior.

79′ – Things are going unstuck for Chicago at the moment. 20,124 in attendance.

80′ – GOAL! Los Angeles Galaxy 7 Robbie Keane
This is a goal festival now. The party tricks are coming out today. Herediano, watch your backs. The G’s…are coming.

81′ – Offsides, Chicago.

82′ – Substitutions Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 32 Jack McBean
OUT 18 Mike Magee 

IN 25 Rafael Garcia
OUT 8 Marcelo Sarvas

83′ –  Long throw-in here for Chicago.

84′ – Good heavens, Jack McBean, that went wide right. I think Herediano would douse the Fire, and I don’t think that’s a stretch saying that, either. This has been one-sided.

85′ – Here come the Fire, hopefully to get a consolation goal. Good pressure.

86′ – No dice for Steven Kinney. Good attempt, though. And the fans take their leave; they’ve seen enough.

87′ – DeLaGarza now. Franklin with a touch. Swallowed up by the Fire back line.

88′ – Beano gets his lumps. Kevin Stott whistles for a foul.

89′ – Well, it would be pointless to add any stoppage time at this point. It’s already done and dusted. That cross missed.

90′ – Let’s take a look at how many minutes of stoppage there will be. Three minutes.

90′ + 1′ – Goal kick, Chicago. Robbie Keane was looking for a brace.

90′ + 2′ – That was easily snuffed out by the backline of the G’s…corner.

90′ + 3′ – And that will do it. Our final score…

LOS ANGELES GALAXY 4
Mike Magee 38′, 68′, 74′
Robbie Keane 80′ 

CHICAGO FIRE 0

Thanks for following this live blog on The View from Avalon and the FanSided Network.

LA Galaxy Chicago Fire
19 Attempts on Goal 7
10 Shots on Target 1
4 Shots off Target 5
5 Blocked Shots 1
6 Corner Kicks 2
13 Fouls 14
12 Open Play Crosses 13
3 Offsides 5
1 First Yellow Cards 0
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
51 Duels Won 45
53% Duels Won % 46%
436 Total Pass 325
78% Passing Accuracy % 75%
56.5% Possession 43.5%

Topics: Chicago Fire, Los Angeles Galaxy, Major League Soccer, Mls

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