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English Teacher. Official Reporter LA Galaxy

Player Profile: LA Galaxy’s Keeper David Bingham

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

David Bingham was the man of the match after making 9 saves for the Los Angeles Galaxy on the Saturday June 2nd match against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park, which ended in a 1-1 draw, effectively stopping the opponents from winning a seventh match in a row. He made a major save on Portland’s David Guzman off a free kick in the 84th minute. Initially, during warmups, it looked like he might not start due to an injury, but clearly he bounced back.

Here’s a look from the first half of that match:

#1 has been saving us with his heroics. The Galaxy are doing so bad again this season (even with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ola Kamara) that friends and students alike offer me condolences when talking about my team. But, it would be a lot worse if not for LAG’s goalkeeper.

Sure, he wouldn’t have to work so hard if the defense was doing its job. But, rather than write about all the changes of the starting XI and recap the negatives since there are enough articles and podcasts focusing on all that, I’ll highlight David Bingham.

Most of Bingham’s saves took place in the first half, which put him as third most saves in a first half of any keeper this MLS season. It’s also the most saves of his career!
When you get a chance, check out his saves for yourself here.

There’s so many just from this season, but I will give only a couple more examples. He’s been consistent in back to back games, making acrobatic saves for LA by denying five Montreal Impact goals on May 21st. 

In the meantime look at the save of the month here in CaliClasico from May 25th against the San Jose Earthquakes:

Most of his goalkeeping experience is for Californian teams. Born in Castro Valley and raised in Pleasanton, he signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy on December 18, 2017 after a “break-up” with the Earthquakes, which was also the team he supported from childhood. He’d been on their roster since 2011.

Remarkably, he also made his international debut on February 5, 2016 for the United States national team where he played the entire match and kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win against Canada. The USMNT is looking for younger talent since he’s 28 years old, but if Bingham continues to do well in his club, I’m sure he’ll get recognized and be called up again.

I’m proud and relieved that he is the starting keeper for the Galaxy. 

Featured image: @lagalaxy

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy Pride Night not One to be Proud of

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Wednesday, May 30: 2-3 Loss

Starting XI

David Bingham; Daniel Steres, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole ©; Perry Kitchen, Servando Carrasco; Romain Alessandrini, Sebastian Lletget, Ola Kamara; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg: Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Emrah Klimenta, Joao Pedro, Emmanuel Boateng, Chris Pontius.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: @LAGalaxy

We are in season 22 of the LA Galaxy and currently it looks like the writers have no idea what they are doing. Tomas Hilliard-Arce got his second start. They have a poor back line of defense that keeps changing and lacks pace to track and defend center attacks. Ola Kamara should not be playing the left wing since it’s a waste of a valuable player. Michael Ciani and Emmanuel Boateng got subbed in the 58th minute, finally making it the 3-5-2 formation it should’ve been, moving Captain Ashley Cole to center mid, which is not a position for him to make plays happen. The attack and play got better.

These are just a few points that serve to support firing head coach Sigi Schmid. Anyone watching can tell the players are all frustrated, which affects their play. Sebastian Lletget had another disappointing performance.

It was like watching a re-run episode but with 18,003 viewers this match, which is great for a Wednesday evening. The Galaxy conceded two goals in the first half and then fought as hard as they could, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the one to score a brace. It was not enough as the Galaxy fell again at home 3-2 to FC Dallas.

This show has me so emotional; the yanking on the fans’ heart-strings, the angst, and the ‘will they or won’t they,’ especially in front of seven of my international guests, was hard to watch.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
My international students and I. Image credit to StubHub Center staff

One of my ESL students raised my spirits, though, saying the important thing is to have faith and keep supporting. They were excited and satisfied with Ibrahimovic’s goals, but his performance seemed to be half-hearted. He would get the ball, but not create space for himself to shoot. In the 64th minute, he had a goal that was called offside. His consolation goal came in the 69th minute. His second goal in the 97th minute. You read that right, FC Dallas time-wasted so much that there was eight minutes of stoppage time.

The LA Galaxy are a star-studded cast and have talent. They had 12 corners all match and were even up a man by the 80th minute when FCD’s Cristian Coleman was given a red. They fought hard until the end, especially Romain Alessandrini, who gives 110 percent every match, and his shot hit the crossbar in the 84th minute.

From the 85th minute, the match got crazy. Chris Pontius came on for Hilliard-Arce in the 86th minute. Dallas players were falling down, LA fans were booing, and the referee made questionable calls. But, the team’s effort was too little too late.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Unusual, gloomy weather in LA. Image: @mchuitink

David Bingham keeps making saves, which is super, but he wouldn’t have to work like that if the backline didn’t give up so many chances to the opponents. But, the touches and possession of the ball of the defenders begged the question if they’re used to playing pro. To top it all off, many fans still chanted the homophobic goalkeeper chant despite it being Pride Night. This match was embarrassing. The unusually gloomy weather in Los Angeles reflected my feelings.

Let’s put this game behind us like clicking next episode as we head to Portland. Kickoff is at 2pm on June 2nd.

Sebastian Lletget takes a corner, which was very exciting as the Galaxy almost score. Video credit Michelle Huitink

Featured image: Michelle Huitink

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy Win Away and at Home

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

This article is a recap of two games. I wasn’t able to watch the away game because it was a day game and I had to work. Then, I went on vacation and wasn’t able to be at the home game, but I did manage to watch the CaliClasico. That’s how committed I am to my team and MLSFemale, I kept up and followed along via Twitter. Lol.

May 21, 2018 Los Angeles Galaxy vs Montreal Impact

LA Galaxy win 1-0

Starting XI

David Bingham; Emrah Klimenta, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Dave Romney; Perry Kitchen, Sebastian Lletget; Romain Alessandrini, Jonathan dos Santos, Ola Kamara; Zlatan Ibrahimović (c).

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Joao Pedro, Servando Carrasco, Emmanuel Boateng, Chris Pontius.

Emrah Klimenta made his first start this match. Ashley Cole was suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Zlatan Ibrahimovic wore the captain’s band. Despite not conceding goals and the score level at the first half, it was tough as the Galaxy struggled defensively and then went down to 10 men. In the 41st minute after video review, the famous Swedish national was given a straight red because he slapped Montreal’s Michael Petrasso in the head for stepping on his foot.

At first, I was upset. But, then I thought this was the time for the team to step it up once again and for Ola Kamara to shine as he took the captain’s band. And rise and shine he did. He scored what would be the winning goal in the 75th minute; the assist coming from Emmanuel Boateng. David Bingham made five incredible saves to keep Montreal scoreless despite their having 22 shots all match.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: Ola Kamara’s Instagram in the locker room post-match against Montreal Impact

May 25, 2018 CaliClasico LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes

LA Galaxy win 1-0

Starting XI

David Bingham; Emrah Klimenta, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Dave Romney; Perry Kitchen, Sebastian Lletget; Romain Alessandrini, Jonathan dos Santos (c), Chris Pontius; Ola Kamara

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Ashley Cole, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Servando Carrasco, Emmanuel Boateng, Giovani dos Santos.

Chris Pontius was the only change from the last match’s starting XI. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was suspended this match due to the red card the previous game. Juan Carlos Osario, the Mexican National team manager, was in attendance to scope out the Dos Santos brothers in preparation for the upcoming World Cup, which added pressure.

Jonathan Dos Santos wore the captain’s band til Ashley Cole was subbed in the 66th minute. Giovani Dos Santos had his chance in the 75th minute when he subbed out Sebastian Lletget. It was another painful first half and arguably a terrible 80 minutes as they struggled to make plays happen. The opponents, the San Jose Earthquakes, looked just as bad.

Lletget’s expression when he was subbed out reflected that he wasn’t happy with his performance either; at one point in the 34th minute, he got in the way of teammate Romain Alessandrini’s shot. The game was called boring by fans on Twitter and not looking good seemed to be the standard the Galaxy have set.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: @LAGalaxy The team huddles before the second half starts against San Jose.

The game was barely won when Alessandrini scored a stunning goal in the 82nd minute. The Earthquakes managed not to score, but not from lack of chances even in the remaining few minutes til the whistle blew.

Alessandrini’s goal deserves to be admired, but the way the team’s been playing, it was a quick-lived spark as we are reminded that most of the Galaxy’s play looks like there’s no strategy or chemistry amongst teammates.  Number 7’s been reflecting all the fans with his frustration, so scoring was really good for him.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: @lagalaxy Instagram. Alessandrini’s late-game shot in CaliClasico.

A few more takeaways from these games:

Emmanuel Boateng needs to start. As soon as he enters a game, it immediately changes up the match for the better. He creates chances! He assists! He scores!

The Galaxy put pressure, but they have trouble finishing.

David Bingham is a hero, making dashing saves and keeping a two-game clean sheet.

The Galaxy managed to win back to back games, snapping a four-game losing streak (three of which were at home) without Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the pitch.

With World Cup absences coming up and then the transfer window come July, the Galaxy have a bumpy road ahead, but I’m here for it.

I will be in attendance with several of my international students for Wednesday’s game, which is Pride Night, at StubHub Center. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm PST.

Featured image of Kamara celebrating goal v Montreal: @lagalaxy Instagram 

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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The beat goes on as Los Angeles Galaxy lose again

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, May 12: 3-2 Loss

Starting XI: David Bingham; Daniel Steres, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole ©; Perry Kitchen, Jonathan dos Santos; Chris Pontius, Romain Alessandrini, Ola Kamara; Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: @LAGalaxy

Bench: Justin Vom Steeg, Emrah Klimenta, Dave Romney, Servando Carrasco, Baggio Husidic, Sebastian Lletget, Emmanuel Boateng.

It’s like having the same bad dream over and over:  The LA Galaxy concede early, chase the game, and fight to come back from behind two goals. It’s going to be reoccurring until they work out the problems, but they have to start tackling the issue of our defense first.

At this point, fans are calling for coach Sigi Schmid to be fired and for the front office to go as well, but the latter won’t happen as most have a five-year contract extension. The MLS salaries were also released revealing the Galaxy as having the highest paid defense with not much to show for it.

Saturday, Los Angeles Galaxy took on FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium and it turned out to be a wild one. The humidity and almost 90 degree weather added to the challenging elements of this particular match. Frequent water breaks were taken and FC Dallas knew how to run and tire LAG out in such conditions, messing with their momentum.

It started with Maximiliano Urruti who scored in the 28th minute. Then, in the 44th minute, FCD’s Roland Lamah scored. At that point, a change needed to be made and Sebastian Lletget came in for Perry Kitchen. Ashley Cole got a yellow card, which suspends him for the next match.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Celebration after Ola Kamara’s goal. Image: @LAGalaxy

Then, a breath of life for the Galaxy came from Ola Kamara with a header off a corner kick in the 47th minute, cutting the Texas team’s lead in half.  Lamah scored again, though, in the 52nd minute. The Galaxy made another change when Jonathan dos Santos got hurt and Servando Carrasco subbed in at the 56th minute. The Mexican national was not seriously injured.

Reto Ziegler earned two yellow cards, which gave the Galaxy an advantage as they were up a man. Still, despite a fighting effort, the LA Galaxy came up short.

Emmanuel Boateng came in for Chris Pontius in the 76th minute and he scored a goal in the 83rd minute of play. It seemed the Galaxy could catch up.

I clung to hope as the minutes ticked away. In the 88th minute, Zlatan Ibrahimovic took a free kick that hit the top post with such fervor that the entire net shook!

Watch below:

That was not the last thrill as the Galaxy created chances and took shots til the whistle blew.

It is disheartening to write that a team with a stellar squad, most notably Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ola Kamara, is in 9th place in the Western Conference at the close of Week 11.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Zlatan Ibrahimovic in action. Image: @LAGalaxy

But, The Whispers sang a similar tune: the beat goes on, I might as well get over the blues. Let’s move on strong. LAG’s next match is once again on the road as they are set to face Montreal Impact on Monday, May 21st.

Featured image: @LAGalaxy 

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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Don’t hit the panic switch on the LA Galaxy just yet

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, May 5: 3-2 Loss

I watched highlights and listened via the radio stream for this match as the LA Galaxy traveled to BBVA Compass Stadium for the match Saturday, May 5, 2018, where the crowd was sold out.

Image @LAGalaxy

Starting XI: David Bingham; Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole ©; Sebastian Lletget, Perry Kitchen; Romain Alessandrini, Giovani dos Santos, Ola Kamara; Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Bench: Justin Vom Steeg, Emrah Klimenta, Daniel Steres, Servando Carrasco, Jonathan dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng, Chris Pontius

My heart broke as The LA Galaxy lost at the last minute to the Houston Dynamo, a game that should’ve been in the bag for LA. But, it doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning as Vin Diesel once said in The Fast and the Furious.

It is frustrating to watch a talented team struggle, fight back and then lose. But, the Galaxy aren’t just fighting, they’re chasing the ball and clawing their way from two-goal deficits. I commend them for being able to come back. But, conceding goals early and fighting tooth and nail are not the way anyone wants this to go. The problem lies in our defense as well. At this point, all eyes are on coach Sigi Schmid.

LAG was able to have the same starting XI for two games now. I think consistency is key, but there are many keys to unlocking their success. Giovani Dos Santos scored his second goal on a good run that he was able to keep to the far post. Ola Kamara scored also on an assist from Gio Dos Santos who had gotten the ball off a spinning pass that resembled more of a martial arts move from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This trio combined to make that first and second goal happen. It seemed the team was finally given a break.

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Giovani Dos Santos and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Image: @LAGalaxy

I have to hand it to the Los Angeles Galaxy for showing heart. In the first half, possession was in their favor just barely, but the other side says LA was dominated. David Romney and even Kamara play out of their comfortable positions to do what is asked of them. Let’s give them kudos to come back after being down two goals for the third time this season. David Bingham keeps making numerous saves.

They are two points up from this time last year, the infamous season that everyone keeps referring to; I have to admit, things are not looking good right now. But, I am an optimist. This doesn’t mean I am not realistic. I want my team to win. I want them to be more in control of the game. I want this team to rebuild the fortress that was StubHub Center.

The same problems keep surfacing for the LA Galaxy, which tells me this is fixable. We cannot expect Kamara and Ibrahimovic to carry or lift the team. I hope this wakes up the team because the first two Houston goals were soft ones. We are about to face FC Dallas and Montreal Impact, both teams that are formidable opponents as we are the away team.

Featured image of Ola Kamara courtesy: @LAGalaxy 

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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