Category Archives: LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy 3-2 Comeback Win against NE Revolution

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, July 14: 2-3 Win

Starting XI

David Bingham; David Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik; Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen, Jonathan dos Santos; Ashley Cole; Giovani dos Santos; Ola Kamara, Romain Alessandrini

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Baggio Husidic, Emmanuel Boateng, Ariel Lassiter.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: @LAGalaxy

My fellow LA Galaxy friend, Leslie Chavez, invited me to her 31st birthday party where I met several other fans and Twitter people. Some I’d met before, but they were mostly new. She chose Common Space Brewery for the setting so we could watch the match. It definitely turned into a viewing party where we could all share opinions and talk soccer, including the World Cup, other MLS teams, players, and other leagues.

New England Revolution vs the LA Galaxy at Gillette Stadium on July 14, 2018, was bad soccer except for the last few minutes. But, first things first:

The Galaxy wore black armbands in honor of Sports Psychologist, Dr. Ken Ravizza, who passed away the week before.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t make the trip. There wasn’t a point when the team would have to fly back to LA and train, get a day of rest, and then fly back to the East Coast to Philadelphia where they will play the Union on July 21st. Plus, it wouldn’t be good to wear out Ibrahimovic by having him play on that artificial turf and risk injury.

So, I thought it looked like a good starting XI with Ola Kamara and Romain Alessandrini up top. The blaring concern turned out to be the back three when it should’ve been four in the back for better defense since that’s the Galaxy’s major problem. The G’s Keeper, David Bingham, had to work extra hard with saves and his frustration was showing as a result.

NE Keeper Matt Turner stopped to save a ball, but when Antonio Delamea Mlinar slid to defend, he almost scored an own goal.

The Galaxy conceded a goal in the 28th minute after the Revs were already down a man when, due to violent conduct, Cristian Penilla, got sent off on a red card. Still, New England was able to attack.

Chris Pontius scored in the 38th minute on an assist from Ashley Cole, leveling the match, but that lasted less than 10 minutes when L.A. Caicedo scored a header in the 45th minute to make it 2-1 Revs.

Throughout the match, it seemed anytime the ball got near Kamara, it bounced off his back heel and he didn’t seem to be having a good game. We kept losing possession.

In the second half, Ashley Cole double yellowed and once he was ejected, we really thought the match was over. We were all negative, resolving that we would lose. My hope had been snuffed out like the flame of a candle, only smoke where there was once a spark.

Suddenly, Dave Romney scored a header in stoppage time, assisted by Alessandrini. It was a consolation goal and us fans would’ve been satisfied with a draw. I told everyone at the table to wait, that we still had two minutes of stoppage time to lose.

A minute later, Pontius scored again also from an assist from Alessandrini!

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Group photo of the LA Galaxy fans Image: Leslie Chavez

We erupted with celebration and the bartender even said it was a crazy match. Our level of excitement made her think it was a playoff match. The whistle blew and the Galaxy had stolen three points, the final score was 3-2.

Pontius’ positive impact the last several matches is a fantastic streak in itself: he has now seven games with a goal or an assist. In my opinion, he was the man of the match.

Hopefully, the Galaxy can continue their unbeaten streak. Next match is another away game this time against the Philadelphia Union. Kickoff is at 4pm PST.

Featured image: Chris Pontius and Romain Alessandrini celebrate the winning goal (Alessandrini’s Official Instagram)

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LA Galaxy defeats Columbus Crew 4-0

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI

David Bingham; Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik; Chris Pontius, Jonathan dos Santos, Perry Kitchen, Ashley Cole ©; Giovani dos Santos; Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bench
Justin Vom Steeg, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Baggio Husidic, Romain Alessandrini, Emmanuel Boateng

The LA Galaxy showed what they were capable of by scoring four goals for the win on Saturday night and keeping it a shutout. Finally, a win after two back to back draws. 21, 211 attended the match, including my best friend, Justin Markowitz. This was his first MLS game, but he’d been at StubHub Center several years before as the PA for a rugby match. He also played soccer for ten years, so he really could see the Galaxy’s struggle. It was real.

 Justin’s first pro match. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink
Galaxy Mascot, Cozmo, delighting young fans as they prepare to take a photo. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink 

The usual problems in defense glared for 40 minutes. Giovani Dos Santos and Jonathan Dos Santos both started for the first time since returning from International Duty with Mexico for the World Cup in Russia. Gio-who wears 10, but doesn’t play like it, had the worst touch on the ball and couldn’t hold it. There was too much space in the middle.

The Galaxy weren’t able to make any plays happen, especially to play as a team and keep it together. I saw Ola Kamara score the first goal in the 42nd minute and I’m still not totally sure how Ashley Cole was able to get the ball to Kamara in front of the net.

Shortly after, though, it appeared Columbus Crew had equalized, immediately stealing Kamara’s thunder. But, I could hear fans behind me calling for VAR and saying they’d seen the ball go out of play. We waited with bated breath for the review. Finally, VAR and refereeing had worked in the Galaxy’s favor and the goal attributed to Gyasi Zardes was called back. LAG finally upped the ante on attack and tightened up the defense the last few minutes of the half.

In the second half, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was awarded a penalty, which he scored in the 57th minute. This was the first PK for the Galaxy of the season. But, the G’s have been in this situation before. They had to focus and hold onto the 2-0 lead.

After an injury break, Kamara was subbed off for Romain Alessandrini, who ended up scoring a brace to make it 4-0. David Bingham made quite a few saves to maintain a clean sheet to make it the sixth shutout of the year.

Zardes was a homegrown player for the LA Galaxy prior to his transfer to Ohio this season. He was shown plenty of love from Galaxy fans, who cheered and applauded for him. As The Briggs (Band) song, which has become the theme that is played right before kickoff every home match, says: “This is LA, our city, our home, Los Angeles….Wherever we go, this is our home.”

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Confetti from kickoff. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink
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Dave Romney throw-in. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink 

Featured image:

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LA Galaxy Independence Day Draw: Fun, Friends, Food, and Fireworks

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI

David Bingham, Dave Romney, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole ©, Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius, Bradford Jamieson IV, Romain Alessandrini, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Joao Pedro, Baggio Husidic, Ariel Lassiter, Ola Kamara.

It was the best Fourth of July I’ve ever had. This was also the 13th anniversary of my  supporting the Galaxy.

It started when I arrived with my Turkish student, Emre, who likes to be known as “EA” cuz of the FIFA video games. We were earlier than the friends I was meeting up with so I took him to the team store to buy Zlatan Ibrahimovic shirts for his little family members.  On our way through Lot 13 of StubHub Center, I got recognized by some tailgate friends.

(Left to right): Luis Baron, Bobby Lepe, and David Orona from the LA is Our House Podcast. Behind us: Emre, Jamie Bacon, and Leslie Chavez (Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink)

EA and I headed into the stadium an hour early so he could get the whole experience of warmups and we could get close seats at the General Admission section.

StubHub Center at sunset. Photo Credit: Jamie Bacon

EA had his phone camera ready. He said he could feel a goal coming. The DC United side started with the ball in front of where we were sitting. The Galaxy got the ball forward within the first five minutes of the match, Dave Romney made a perfect cross to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and he had plenty of space to kick it right in. See the goal below:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal. Footage credit: Emre Akca

LA Galaxy celebrate Ibrahimovic’s goal (Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink)

It was a challenging match against DC United. 25, 462 were in attendance. David Bingham made a save in the 11th minute. He’s a consistent and reliable goalkeeper. Still, The Galaxy looked good and confident, they seemed to really be playing together as a team.

In the 25th minute, Jorgen Skejelvik made an unbelievable cross to Chris Pontius, who then scored a golazo with his left foot: a really nice goal shot in the left top corner of the net, but less than a minute later and DC’s Zoltan Stieber stole his thunder with a goal of his own, making it 2-1 with the Blue and Gold still in the lead.

Very quickly after that, the Galaxy got possession again and Romain Alessandrini had a free kick. It was chaos in the box as the Galaxy tried to get back on the ball, but the referee blew the whistle signifying offsides right before a header by Michael Ciani went into the back of the net. Ciani went down and then out to get a bleeding injury taken care of. He changed his jersey and came back in.

Meanwhile, in the 31st minute, Bradford Jamieson IV left the game for Baggio Husidic.  That was just the first half.

Romain Alessandrini takes a corner kick (Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink)

During halftime, in true American fashion, Serviceman Ballew surprised and reunited with his family on the pitch. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

In the second half, nothing came of LAG’s play. Ibrahimovic made a selfish effort in the 59th minute and the ball went high over the net. The usual backline defense cracked like the San Andreas and they lost their momentum.  In the 69th minute, Ola Kamara came on and a spark of hope came, but then was snuffed out again as his goal was called offside by the rigid ref.

You didn’t need a crystal ball to see another DC United goal coming in the 85th minute by Darren Mattocks.

The final score was 2-2, officially a draw, but it felt like a loss. Ibrahimovic was visibly upset and he stormed off alone back to the tunnel.

Still, Emre told me it was an unforgettable experience in the best way and I’m glad I brought him, especially since he could meet fellow fans and friends.

My thoughts

Most of the defense stands around and just watches. They need to be transferred. The G’s are only one goal worse differential from the same amount of points last season, meaning, they’re just as bad despite all the talent and money spent on the team.  If they don’t start winning, they won’t make the playoffs.

Week 19 came and went, this is when the season really begins and more changes will be made, but how will it affect the Galaxy and how will they adapt? Will they end up finishing 9th in the West? As it stands, they are 8th place. We’ll have to keep watching and see.

The next match is expected to be sweltering at StubHub Center, Saturday July 7, so kick off has been pushed to 7:30pm.

Featured image of me and friends. Image: Jamie Bacon

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes Come to a Heated Draw in CaliClasico Part 2

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

June 30, 2018

Starting XI: David Bingham; Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik; Ashley Cole (c); Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen, Joao Pedro, Bradford Jamieson IV, Romain Alessandrini; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bench: Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Baggio Husidic, Ariel Lassiter.

Most of the LA Galaxy’s regular players were out injured. The Dos Santos brothers are still away on World Cup duty in Russia, though Giovani Dos Santos was the only one who’s seen any minutes on the pitch there.

CaliClasico kicked off full throttle at Stanford. Just in the first half, five goals had been scored.

The Galaxy’s fire started when Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored not even one minute into the match.

Then, a penalty was given to San Jose. Chris Wondolowski took it and missed initially, then scored on the rebound save from David Bingham.

Romain Alessandrini scored in the 20th minute over the wall on a free kick.

Then, Ibrahimovic scored again in the 25th minute on a ball that went all the way through to the back of the net.

Fifteen minutes later, the Quake’s Valeri Qazaishvili pulled one back and the game was set at 3-2 by the end of the first half.

The Galaxy almost had it, then were careless near and in the box.
Another penalty was given to San Jose and Wondolowski didn’t miss that one in the 69th minute.

The match ended in a 3-3 draw. Both teams played equally poorly. They gave up too many goals and fouls.

The Galaxy’s Bradford Jamieson IV did not look as good as he did during the U.S. Open Cup debut match. He committed a foul in the box that took down SJ’s Magnus Eriksson resulting in the first penalty.

The Galaxy dropped 2 points on the road. I say that because they gave up two penalties and they had the lead and then dropped it.

It’s time to move on now as LA have two home games this week. July 4th and July 7th. Both have 7pm kick-off times.

 

Featured image: Alessandrini Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy June 9th Match Recap and Latest News

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

June 9, 2018

Starting XI

David Bingham; Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole ©; Perry Kitchen, Servando Carrasco; Chris Pontius, Sebastian Lletget, Ola Kamara; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Joao Pedro, Ariel Lassiter, Bradford Jamieson IV, Emmanuel Boateng.

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Leslie and I at the US Open Cup Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink

I met fellow LA Galaxy fan, Leslie Chavez, at the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match on June 6th after I recognized her from her profile on Twitter. Then, the Saturday night match, I thought I saw her again as I walked through the parking lot to the Stubhub Center. At first I wasn’t sure if it was her, then I wasn’t sure to join her friends since I was by myself for this match, but I’m glad I did.

I walked over and her group welcomed me and offered me pupusas, a traditional Salvadoran food that I was very familiar with. I was introduced to several friends and she introduced me as the Official Galaxy Reporter for MLSFemale. We had great conversations about the Galaxy’s talent and shared our frustrations as well. It was my first ever tailgating experience; surprising, I know, considering it’s my 13th season with the Galaxy.

I went into the stadium early to get my wristband for the post-match autograph signing. Leslie and friends told me I could rejoin them at any point. I had my article on the brain, so decided to sit the first half by myself. All I could think about was how fun it was to hang with them and the first half was uneventful.

So, the second half I messaged and found them behind the LA Riot Squad. Ashley Mauriss, another friend from the group and I had matching scarves and hoodies, so we decided, after Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in the 61st minute, to run and buy #9’s jersey.

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Me sporting my new Ibrahimovic jersey. Photo Credit: Jamie Bacon

From the TVs inside the Team Store, we saw he scored again, right as we were getting in line. It was a sign!

We rushed back to join our group’s celebrations and in the 76th minute, a goal from Ola Kamara added to the excitement. The Galaxy had won at home, finally, and against  fourth place Real Salt Lake. The final score was 3-0.

The Galaxy had finally played like a team despite not having designated players in the lineup. Romain Alessandrini had to be taken off the list at the last-minute due to a quad injury. Brothers Jonathan and Giovani Dos Santos were away on World Cup duty for Mexico. Bradford Jamieson IV definitely was a game-changer when he had to come on for Sebastian Lletget after he sustained what appeared to be an ankle injury in the 49th minute.

After beloved mascot, Cozmo, ran around the field with the “Win” flag and players descended back into the tunnel, I parted from the group to get a post-match autograph signing. I still didn’t know from which player and frankly, it didn’t matter to me. I followed the directions from my email and waited at the South Team Store.

I got an autograph from Ariel Lassiter. He had come on during extra time as a sub for Chris Pontius. At the U.S. Open, he’d scored a brace. So, I was very happy.

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Ariel Lassiter and I at the post-match autograph session. Photo Credit: LA Galaxy staff

On my way out of the stadium, I saw center back Tomas Hilliard-Arce and found out goalkeeper David Bingham were other options for autograph sessions.

The LA Galaxy are now out of the U.S. Open Cup after suffering a 1-0 loss on June 15th to the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. Ola Kamara had to be helped off the field with a non-contact injury affecting his calf.

The LA Galaxy play on the road next against San Jose Earthquakes June 30th, kickoff scheduled for 7pm PST. They’ve now signed defender Sheanon Williams after letting go of Emrah Klimenta.

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New group of friends and I. Photo Credit: Dave Rendón

Featured image: @LAGalaxy

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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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

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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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