Category Archives: LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Joins 500-Goal Club

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

September 15, 2018

Starting XI

David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Dave Romney, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole; Romain Alessandrini, Bradford Jamieson IV, Perry Kitchen, Jonathan dos Santos, Ola Kamara; Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Servando Carrasco, Michael Ciani, Ema Boateng, Baggio Husidic, Ariel Lassiter, Chris Pontius.

The match against Toronto FC was the Los Angeles Galaxy’s first this season and the first with Dominic Kinnear as interim head coach after Sigi Schmid stepped down.

LA were down in the first half by three goals, until the last few minutes before stoppage time when Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 500th career goal

In the second half, Michael Ciani was brought on for Jorgen Skjelvik. In the 56’ Ola Kamara scored a header on an assist from Jonathan Dos Santos.

Rolf Feltscher leveled it in the 58’ with another nice header serviced from Ashley Cole to make it 3-3. It seemed as though the Galaxy could make a comeback. Adis “Baggio” Husidic was subbed for Bradford Jamieson IV and then Emmanuel Boateng came on for Perry Kitchen. In the 75’ the bleeding of goals resumed. Jonathan Osorio scored for TFC. Then, several yellow cards were given to the Galaxy. The final insult to injury was Jay Chapman’s goal in stoppage time.

This is another tough and embarrassing loss, but this one will be remembered for Ibrahimovic’s 500th. The goal was spectacular and in perfect Ibrahimovic fashion; a spin that was ballerina-esque and martial arts influenced.

Soccer giants such as Paul Pogba and David Beckham congratulated the Lion on his accomplishment.

Fans keep wondering how many goals LAG are going to allow and whether they’re playoff material. It does seem that when the team is behind, they fight harder and start scoring. Since Kinnear has been with the team as assistant coach, there was little chance that there would be a difference in the blue, white, and gold’s play or the defense. His starting XI put Ciani on the bench and we saw some players we hadn’t in some time, such as Husidic and BJV.  

The coach isn’t quite the problem, though the G’s are in need of one now. The state of play just reflects the ongoing issues the club has had. Many fans are calling for an overhaul of the front office, specifically to get president Chris Klein out.

Winter is coming. We’ll have to wait and see what changes are to be made. Til then, the Galaxy’s next “must-win” match is September 23rd against the Seattle Sounders, who just had their winning streak snapped by the Philadelphia Union.

See you at kickoff this Saturday at 7:30pm.

Featured image: @CozmoLAGalaxy

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

MLSFemale logo trans 100x

LA Galaxy Unacceptable Performance against Real Salt Lake Results in 6-2 Loss

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, Sept 1: 6-2 Loss

Starting XI

David Bingham; Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik; Rolf Feltscher, Perry Kitchen, Servando Carrasco, Ashley Cole ©; Jonathan dos Santos; Zlatan Ibrahimović, Ola Kamara.

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Sebastian Lletget, Ema Boateng, Baggio Husidic, Giovani dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, Bradford Jamieson IV.

The Los Angeles Galaxy traveled to Utah where Real Salt Lake have only lost once this season at Rio Tinto Stadium.

No one was expecting the LA Galaxy to score in the first thirty seconds of the match, the RSL players could only stand and watch as Ashley Cole crossed the ball right to Jonathan Dos Santos, who kicked it straight into the back right corner of the net.

Early in the match, a duck had provided an amusing distraction from the Galaxy’s struggle. After several minutes, it was finally chased off the field by staff. The duck was faster than everyone. The Galaxy moved too slow for Real Salt Lake.

The Galaxy scored again when Romain Alessandrini came off the bench in the 63rd minute, cutting RSL’s lead in half to make it 4-2. But, that seemed to be the best three minutes of play the Galaxy had. That was the only time they got it together.

The poor defense that’s been suffocating the team all season had conceded four goals and the bleeding didn’t stop, literally as Zlatan Ibrahimovic had somehow sustained a cut on his head in the first half.

Giovani Dos Santos also returned and was subbed on for Perry Kitchen with 20 minutes left in the game, the score was 4-2. Two more RSL goals came after that. The final score was 6-2.

So, who could be blamed for the result on this first of September? The back line as usual left David Bingham high and dry, this time Michael Ciani was back and in the worst kind of luck, scored an own goal in the 48th minute.

Coach Sigi Schmid at least made early subs for some spark of hope, the first being Sebastian Lletget in for Servando Carrasco. But, the starting lineup itself was questionable besides fitness reasons. Not that it mattered, we just don’t know which Galaxy team is going to show up, and we were hoping it was the defense that brought it on against LAFC the week prior.

Schmid and the entire front office are definitely at fault, and fans have been calling for them all to be fired, but they will most likely finish the rest of the season.

Ibrahimovic is just one goal away from his career 500, but no one wanted it to come on such a disastrous night. His closest call was in the 46th minute when he hit a shot off the crossbar.

The Galaxy are still on the road set to face Toronto FC on September 15th. In the meantime, it is international break. Rolf Feltscher, Lletget, and Jonathan Dos Santos have been called up for International duty.

LAG are back home on September 23rd where they have to face a surging Seattle Sounders team that are now in 5th place, and have 8 wins in a row, which is a new record.

The Galaxy slip down the table to 8th place. Playoff qualification is looking grim.

Featured image of LA Galaxy supporters’ view at RSL. Photo Credit: Jamie Bacon

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

MLSFemale logo trans 100x

LA Galaxy Can’t Be Beat in Regular Season Derby

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI

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

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Baggio Husidic, Bradford Jamieson IV, Emmanuel Boateng, Ariel Lassiter.

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club faced off for their third match this season in a battle for the city in front of 27,068 fans on August 24th. This was a highly anticipated match and was aired on ESPN.

So, what new insights came out of this past Friday’s game and result?

The LA Galaxy played to their potential. The first half was every fan’s dream. The defense was on point, and there was even a Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal in the 15th minute, which had to be reviewed. LAFC’s Danilo Silva slid into the net to keep the ball out, but upon VAR the ball had in fact crossed the goal line. This was the first time in what felt like all season where VAR did not rule against the Galaxy.

The Galaxy continued to come on strong. Ashley Cole captained as usual and got a rolling tackle to stop LAFC’s Carlos Vela’s run near the corner of their pitch in the 37th minute.

Unfortunately, the Galaxy still couldn’t maintain their lead. A penalty kick was given up in the first few minutes of the second half. With that, Vela had made it 1-1. It wouldn’t be El Tráfico without some conflict.

From then on, it seemed the Galaxy had deflated and were running on fumes. LAFC tried to be too fancy and couldn’t finish. David Bingham made a crucial save to keep the game level in the 72nd minute. The other issue was, Ibrahimovic was only one goal away from 500 in his career, so the Galaxy kept trying to feed him goals rather than take the shot themselves.

Still, it was great to see Sebastian Lletget back to his former fitness level. He was on fire and giving 110 percent effort. In the 57th minute, he maintained possession for the Galaxy and got the ball to Ola Kamara, but it just wasn’t enough and ended up with a goal kick from Tyler Miller.

Having Rolf Feltscher back also made a big difference.

Coach Sigi Schmid’s sub choices were questionable at times. Ariel Lassiter could be seen warming up but wasn’t brought on. The Galaxy could have used Emmanuel Boateng’s speed, but he also wasn’t brought in. Schmid had no choice but to sub off Dave Romney in the 89th minute, and he decided to bring in Daniel Steres, which only makes sense because he’s not going to replace a highly paid defender with a college-aged kid. The best decision he made for fresh legs was to bring in Bradford Jamieson IV for Servando Carrasco.

Chris Pontius and Lletget both had clear chances and didn’t take any shots. All attempts on goal became predictable. The Galaxy kept giving too many chances to LAFC late in the game. Nearly every defender on the Galaxy had earned a yellow card that night.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Pontius with the Galaxy throw-in during the second half. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink

The third installment ended in a 1-1 draw, which gave the Galaxy the edge and kept them undefeated against LAFC.

Security at StubHub was amped up with police on horses, a helicopter, and the sheriff’s department, but luckily the rest of the evening was uneventful.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Extra police presence at StubHub. Photo Credit: Leslie Chavez

At the end of a draining rivalry week, the LAG are winless this month and are now in 6th place, technically tied with the Sounders for 5th with 38 points. LAG’s problem is they bled goals in other matches. To make the playoffs, they need to get at least 12 points over the remaining 7 games of the regular season. Their next two matches are on the road.

Their next match is against Real Salt Lake on September 1, 2018. Kickoff is at 7pm.

The Galaxy are back home at StubHub on September 23rd against the Seattle Sounders.

Featured image of LA Galaxy warmup: Michelle Huitink

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

MLSFemale logo trans 100x

 

 

 

 

 

LAFC vs. LA Galaxy: Match Preview

Araceli Villanueva - LAFC/mlsfemale
Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Where: StubHub Center, Carson, Calif.

When: Friday, August 24, 7:30 p.m. PT.

How to watch: ESPN, ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980


The final installment of “El Trafico” is upon us!

The Los Angeles Football Club will return to the StubHub Center to face the LA Galaxy in the final battle – to see who is the best team in LA.

LAFC is currently on a two-game winning streak following their 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids this past weekend. And they’ll hopefully carry that momentum into Friday looking for their first win of the series.

The second meeting of both teams saw some conflict at the Banc of California stadium, causing the already deep-seeded rivalry between both clubs – to intensify. Even though the match ended in a 2-2 draw, fans weren’t satisfied.

For this final historic meeting of the season, I interviewed my fellow colleague at MLSFemale and LA Galaxy reporter, Michelle Huitink.

Araceli Villanueva: The Galaxy hasn’t been performing well lately having back-to-back draws prior to falling to Seattle this past weekend, how is the Galaxy expecting to turn things around for Friday’s rally?

Michelle Huitink: The Galaxy will have most of their starters, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic back, but there’s still going to be some tinkering for the line up as Giovani Dos Santos is still out and [Romain] Alessandrini is a question mark. They are due for a win. The players take it personally.  I think the [goals] are definitely in the heads of LAFC and just need one goal to cement. They’ll start having flashbacks of the first game and how they tied at Banc. 

AV: How do things sit as far as the Galaxy’s ambitions this season? Are there nerves about their playoff prospects?

MH: Right now, the Western Conference is so close that someone might miss the slot and I’m hoping it’s not the Galaxy. If they keep playing this bad (our defense is awful; it is the dead horse we keep beating) then they don’t deserve to make the playoffs. 

AV: LAFC signed three new players including Christian Ramirez and Danilo Silva – who have already seen playing time – during the transfer window. Has the Galaxy made any signings? How will Joao Pedro’s loan affect the roster?

MH: It won’t affect the roster as he usually plays with the Galaxy II. The first team’s midfield is crowded anyway. There’s no space. And even financially, our backline is too highly paid to put in a fresh out of college Tomas Hilliard-Arce, for example. 

They got TAM money from Portland for first spot allocation, but they can’t make any moves the rest of this season and can’t use that money in 2019. 

AV: Friday marks the third meeting between both rivals. Do fans believe in the rivalry? What precautions has the club made for the StubHub Center?

MH: I encourage Galaxy fans to especially be classy and not do any vandalism of any kind and obviously not escalating to physical assault. Supporters do have privileges back and security will definitely be heightened, I just don’t know to what extent. 

AV: Bonus question: What are your predictions for the score?

MH: 3-2. LA Galaxy win.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Featured image: Araceli Villanueva/in LA

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

MLSFemale logo trans 100x

LA Galaxy Scoreless in Seattle

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI

David Bingham; Dave Romney, Jorgen Skjelvik, Daniel Steres; Rolf Feltscher, Perry Kitchen, Servando Carrasco, Ashley Cole ©; Sebastian Lletget; Emmanuel Boateng, Ola Kamara.

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Sheanon Williams, Baggio Husidic, Chris Pontius, Bradford Jamieson IV, Ariel Lassiter.

The Los Angeles Galaxy’s lineup against the Seattle Sounders on August 18, 2018 seemed solid considering the Galaxy didn’t have any designated players and were also missing Michael Ciani, who was sorely missed. Zlatan Ibrahimovic wouldn’t play on turf or make the trip up to protect his knee. It’s always better to rest players, but the Blue and Gold are dealing with other injured players such as Romain Alessandrini and both Dos Santos brothers.

So, who stepped up and showed up in Seattle? The Starting XI were balanced considering Rolf Feltscher was back with his first start since late April. Emmanuel Boateng hadn’t started since June. But, just when we thought the defense couldn’t get worse, there was an own goal by Servando Carrasco in the 50th minute, which was one of three goals scored in the second half. After the first half, the Galaxy were down 2 goals, but this has been a common occurrence this season. I kept hope that the G’s would come back despite not having anyone on the field who could save them.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Train stub to the event. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink

I had followed the Galaxy up to Seattle, and I’m still glad I made the trip. I even got the full supporters’ section up in the hawk’s nest at CenturyLink cheering, rallying for our boys to at least score one goal even if we couldn’t make a comeback. They need the most support when they are down.

But, alas, the absolution never came. The Seattle Sounders are a force to be reckoned with at home. The Rave Green were 8th place and had five straight wins and are eight matches unbeaten prior to facing LAG, so we fans were well aware what a difficult match this would be. But, honestly, it was hard to tell if they were playing well or the Galaxy just made them look it.

Regardless, the poor performance really does fall on head coach Sigi Schmid; it was questionable before, but after seeing the subs he went with and who he didn’t put in, I’m convinced at this point. He subbed out Boateng and Sebastian Lletget, who were the few actually doing anything in the match. Ariel Lassiter and Bradford Jamieson IV hardly played any minutes and the midfield doesn’t have room for them. Bringing in Chris Pontius was good, but he should’ve started. Schmid didn’t put in Tomas Hilliard-Arce and I just don’t understand why.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
I was in the front row of the supporters. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink

Coach Schmid made every wrong move when there were many good moves he could have made. Since the Galaxy are a second-half team, he shouldn’t have started Feltscher or Lletget. He should’ve saved their fitness for the second half and subbed them in. He should’ve taken out Dave Romney, Jorgen Skjelvik, or Daniel Steres, and Carrasco should’ve been subbed even in the 75th minute. He only gets three subs, of course, but with as expensive a backline as we have, a fresh-out-of-college player isn’t going to sub any of these guys.

They were basically playing with their B-team, but that’s not even an excuse, as most teams can make that and most formations work.

For starters, what didn’t work for the Galaxy was putting Boateng, a midfielder, in the striker position up top with Ola Kamara. He’s got speed but is too short in height to get on the passes in that position (and he really tried).

The passing from the Galaxy also was horrendous like they had no strategy, and they didn’t put any pressure on the Sounders. I mean, being down as many goals as they were, just move the ball forward and shoot! Sebastian Lletget took a shot in the 45th minute as he took on Seattle goalkeeper, Stefan Frei, one on one without anyone on him, but it was too high and went right over the net.

At one point, a close shot came from Kamara as he ran right up to the net, but Frei made that save as well, and he kept denying the Galaxy through the 82nd minute. The Galaxy had a few corners and chances, but they just couldn’t connect.

We were hoping it would be less than five goals conceded. But, that was the final score: 5-0. One of the worst beatings in a while. I just hope this serves as a real wake up call for the Galaxy’s front office. Otherwise, my advice to fans is, if they’re on the fence about renewing their season tickets: then send corporate a message by holding off. For us diehard fans, it’s going to be ride til we die. Take it one game at a time. Never give up hope. Please, don’t turn to LAFC.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Galaxy Supporters’ section. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink

The Western Conference table has shifted with the Sounders moving into 7th place. The West is all only a point or two apart. The Galaxy are in 5th place and scraping to keep their spot. LAFC sits in 3rd.

The Galaxy should have most of their starters back (including Ibrahimovic) for the last installment of this season’s El Tráfico against LAFC this Friday, August 24th. It’s sold out and kickoff is set for 7:30 pm PST.

Featured image of CenturyLink: George Heskett

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

MLSFemale logo trans 100x

Current State of the LA Galaxy

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Most fans would like to forget the 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids on August 4, 2018 that ended their nine-game unbeaten streak. It’s been very clear the problem is the LA Galaxy’s defense, but the reason or explanation for it isn’t.

StubHub2018
StubHub Center. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink

The poor decisions the players are making on the pitch can’t all be linked to coach Sigi Schmid. It seems psychological at this point. They can’t seem to keep a lead.

Romain Alessandrini scored the only LA goal against the Rapids and it was a ripper. He’s been the best thing about the Galaxy.  Ola Kamara has been scoring goals. David Bingham can only make so many saves when there’s virtually no back line to help him defend.

The MLS window for transfers closed without news from the Galaxy.  They acquired $175,000 from the Portland Timbers in exchange for first spot allocation. It appears the LAG front office were unable to make any others moves, which means they have to work with the defense they have in an attempt to make the playoffs.  It also seems they are just going to push through this season and start looking to 2019 for improvement.

The Galaxy looked to rebound Saturday, August 11th against Minnesota United. They’ve been unable to defeat teams at the bottom of the table. The Loons were in 9th place of the Western Conference.

Alessandrini scored an early goal, which now makes fans nervous. They maintained the lead till the 64th minute when it was equalized by Michael Boxall.  Sebastian Lletget got the G’s back up fifteen minutes later, only for Romario Ibarra to score in the 84th minute. The Galaxy definitely put in effort against a 10-man Minnesota team in remaining stoppage minutes, but it was not enough. The game ended in a 2-2 draw at StubHub Center, which feels like a loss to fans.

Alessandrini Goal in the 7th minute against Minnesota United August 11th. Credit: Michelle Huitink

On August 14th, the Galaxy faced the Colorado Rapids again. Alessandrini had to miss due to an injury. He’s expected to miss 1-2 weeks. LA’s last designated player, Jona Dos Santos had to be subbed out due to a groin strain. Michael Ciani and Giovani Dos Santos are out for the next match. In good news, Ashley Cole scored a much-needed goal and Lletget scored his second in two matches showing he’s getting back in his fitness level.

The Galaxy face a surging Seattle Sounders team on Saturday, August 18th at CenturyLink. The Starting XI should still have key players such as Chris Pontius, Emmanuel Boateng, Cole, Lletget, and Kamara, but that leaves no sparks off the bench.

As the Western Conference stands, the 8th place Sounders still have a chance to make the playoffs, but one team has to be knocked out: either Real Salt Lake, LAFC, or the LA Galaxy. Let’s hope they can start winning again and climb out of 4th place.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is only two goals away from 500 in his career, but will most likely not play on artificial turf unless it’s a playoff game.

We’ll just have to keep watching and see what the Galaxy can do. 

AVsupporters.jpeg
August 4, 2018 Antelope Valley Viewing Party hosted by Jackie Martinez.

Featured image: Friends and fans (left to right) – Celia Brown, Leslie, Michelle, and Jamie (August 14th). Photo Credit: Jamie Bacon

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

MLSFemale logo trans 100x

LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic Hat Trick Wins it against Orlando City SC

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Sunday, July 29: 4-3 Win

At StubHub Center right before the national anthem, the Los Angeles Galaxy always present a Hero of the Match. Prior to facing Orlando City Soccer Club on 29 July 2018, the Hero of the Match was my friend David Rendon. He does a lot of work with veterans to help them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when they leave service. Before reading about the match recap, below is the interview. For more information on the program and to help veterans, visit https://www.teamrwb.org

David Rendon, Hero of the Match (Image: Michelle Huitink)

Michelle Huitink: When and how did you become an LA Galaxy fan? Are you a season ticket holder?

David Rendon: I’ve been a Galaxy fan all my life. My father took my brothers and me to our first game at the Rose Bowl back in 96 and we’ve been fans ever since! I was a part of [the supporters] Angel City Brigade for a very long time. Now looking into LA Riot Squad (LARS).

MH: Thank you for your service. Tell me what it meant for you to be a featured “Hero of the Match.”

DR: Being selected “Hero of the Match” means the world to me and my family. In my mind, I am still that little immigrant boy from Guatemala, and all of this is a dream. It still feels weird being called a hero. I don’t consider myself one. This is a great opportunity to make my immigrant community proud and my family proud!

MH: When and where did you serve?

DR: US Army Combat Veteran. Served 12 years and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008-2009. Served as a Wrecker operator and a .50 cal machine gunner. I was also an Honor Guard team leader. Was in charge of funeral and burial details. I’ve been a part of over 250 funeral and burial services for Veterans and service members killed in action.

MH: What impact has being an LA Galaxy fan had on you or your life?

DR: Being an LA Galaxy fan has had a tremendous impact in my life. I’ve been able to travel all over the country following the team. I’ve made so many new friends who are passionate about the sport. Have been able to get involved in my local community through the programs the LA Galaxy are involved with. (The Mission Continues)

MH: Please share your thoughts on the LAFC rivalry. Are there any other teams you would like to see the LA Galaxy play against?

DR: The rivalry between my LA Galaxy and Chivas 2.0?! Hmmmm… I love my Galaxy and will support them til I die! As for the other team, what other team?!!!

I am happy for the city. But they are our rivals. I respect the rivalry but I cannot in good conscience support that other team!

I am a huge NewCastle United fan so I would love to see [the] Galaxy play them. Now that my boy Ronaldo is at Juve, I would love to see them play the Galaxy.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Ticket stub. Image: Marlon Santos Lima

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, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Servando Carrasco, Sebastian Lletget, Emmanuel Boateng, Ariel Lassiter.

Kickoff was at 6:30pm. The weather was balmy. I brought my friend Richard Burck to his first pro match. Fun fact: Richard actually went to school with Chris Pontius’ brother, Tim, and their mothers attend bible studies together.

Orlando City SC were the underdog with 11 losses and bottom of the table in the East, which didn’t mean much since the Galaxy hadn’t been able to defeat low-tiered teams prior. The Galaxy had the home advantage and had an 8-game unbeaten streak. Still, the Galaxy were missing Romain Alessandrini, who was suspended on yellow card accumulation.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Ibrahimovic takes a free kick. Image: Marlon Santos Lima

The first half was off to a wild start as the Lions’ Cristian Higuita scored in the 18th minute on an assist from Sacha Kljestan. The Galaxy answered, though, as Giovani Dos Santos scored in the 39th minute on an assist from Zlatan Ibrahimovic; Gio’s first goal since May 5. The Galaxy’s defensive problems were glaring, and when we thought it couldn’t get worse, Michael Ciani scored an own goal in the 44th minute, making the score 2-1.

The second half kicked off, and Zlatan scored a goal in the 47th minute on an assist from G. Dos Santos. Gio was having one heck of a night as he got a shot off the bar in the 50th minute. Orlando’s Dom Dwyer then scored a header in the 54th minute, making it 2-3. The Galaxy were down, but once again Ibra saved the Galaxy and “Zlataned” the visiting team.

Ibrahimovic ended up scoring a hat trick; the two more goals came in the 67th and 72nd minutes. The last one got him a yellow card for taking off his shirt while celebrating. In the post-match interview, he apologized for being tired and failing to score more goals.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Ibrahimovic hat trick celebration. Image: Marlon Santos Lima

Later that night, it was announced that Ibrahimovic would miss the MLS All-Star Game in Atlanta on August 1, 2018. Per league policy, he will miss the Galaxy’s next match in Colorado against the Rapids on August 4th. Fans are fine with this as Ibrahimovic can rest and won’t have to play on artificial turf or high altitudes.

We’ll have to see how the Galaxy fair without their savior and continuing issues with defense.

The Galaxy are now in third place in the Western Conference and extend their undefeated streak to 9 games.

Universal Studios sponsored the match. Michelle Huitink and Richard Burck pictured with G’s mascot, Cozmo, and a visiting Minion. Image: Galaxy staff/Universal Studios

Featured image: Marlon Santos Lima

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

MLSFemale logo trans 100x

LA Galaxy Remain Unbeaten Against LAFC

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Thursday, July 26: 2-2 Draw

Starting XI

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

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Servando Carrasco, Chris Pontius, Sebastian Lletget, Emmanuel Boateng

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: Marlon Santos Lima

Both Los Angeles teams faced off for a second time on July 26, 2018, this time at Banc of California Stadium. Fans at the stadium were very loud and it only got louder after kickoff.

The LA Galaxy were the visitors this time. LAFC had something to prove at home after the Galaxy had come back to defeat them 4-3 on a wild match back on March 31st.

LAFC was coming off a 5-1 loss against Minnesota.

Both teams have been in the top 5 in the West. The LA Galaxy have scored the most goals in their last 10 games (23 goals) throughout the MLS.

But, this is MLS. It’s anyone’s game.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Kickoff. Image: Marlon Santos Lima

Despite their 7-game unbeaten streak, the Galaxy particularly looked off their game. They weren’t looking like the team they were against Philadelphia Union. The Galaxy seem to take a step forward, but two steps back. Their defense is a painful reminder and also the shock that the G’s are in the position they are. Conceding a goal and being down early, (often being behind 2 goals), and being a second-half team has become their narrative.

LAG kept taking short corners and making passes, but not putting any pressure. Zlatan Ibrahimovic seemed asleep at the wheel as he gave away the ball in the 44th minute. LAFC’s Walker Zimmerman was defending well.

In the 7th minute, LAFC’s Adama Diomande ran with the ball after a poor deflection and was able to cross it to teammate Carlos Vela, who scored on a header.

Mark Anthony Kaye was on the ball when Galaxy’s Perry Kitchen fouled him just outside the box. After an injury break, he had to be helped off the field, tears streaming down his face. We now know he will require surgery for a fractured ankle. Lee Nguyen scored in the 13th minute right off the free kick from that making it 2-0.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: Marlon Santos Lima

Any shots the Galaxy had were way off. They didn’t do anything with possession. LAG’s defense got the runaround.

The Galaxy did have chances and were threatening at times such as when Giovani Dos Santos had a shot on goal in the 41st minute and Ola Kamara had a good run but was called offside.

In the second half, Kamara was called offside again at the 49th minute.

Then, in the 63rd minute, G’s keeper, David Bingham, almost got the ball picked off of him as he was about to put it back into play. Ashley Cole was called off for Chris Pontius to make it a more attacking 3-5-2 formation. There was a lot of action for the Galaxy, but they just couldn’t deliver.

In the 76th minute, after a water break and Sebastian Lletget came on for Kitchen, LAFC’s Diomande got a shot right off the post.

Andre Horta made his LAFC debut in the 77th minute as a sub for Nguyen. The Galaxy’s subs made all the difference, but so did this one.

The Galaxy’s tension and spark finally paid off with a goal. On a throw-in from Pontius, Ibrahimovic got a run on the ball and a good cross to Romain Alessandrini, who was able to get it in to cut LAFC’s lead in half. He had been hustling as always and the sheer emotion as he clutched the crest on his jersey clearly showed on his face what the Galaxy fans were feeling.

Image: @LAGalaxy. Ola Kamara and Romain Alessandrini after he scored a goal. The emotion is palpable.

Right after that, Tyler Miller had to make a massive save just after Kamara got on the ball.

In the 86th minute, Horta tried to play the ball back, but it got to Kamara who ran to an empty net, was calm and patient, and tied the game 2-2.

LAFC’s last chance came in the 89th minute as Horta had a shot off the post. Fans anticipated coach Sigi Schmid to use a third sub and were hoping that would’ve been Emmanuel Boateng, but he didn’t. That might’ve made a difference. Vela himself said post-match that if there had been 5 more minutes of stoppage time (in addition to the 4 that was given), LAFC would have lost.

This match only intensifies the rivalry. LAFC fans allegedly assaulted Galaxy fans at the stadium and there appears to have been some vandalism to seats. Fans on both sides need to be better. Security needs to be stepped up as well.

The Galaxy still remain unbeaten against LAFC and for the season are 4-3-3 on the road.

I was at the viewing party but my student attended the match. Photos are courtesy of him as accredited and are used with permission.

Image: Michelle Huitink. Viewing Party at StubHub Center

Featured image of warmups: Marlon Santos Lima

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

MLSFemale logo trans 100x

LA Galaxy continue their unbeaten streak with 3-1 win against Philadelphia Union

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, July 21: 1-3 Win

Starting XI

David Bingham; Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik; Chris Pontius, Jonathan dos Santos, Servando Carrasco, Dave Romney; Giovani dos Santos; Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (C).

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Baggio Husidic, Romain Alessandrini, Ariel Lassiter, Emmanuel Boateng.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: @LAGalaxy

It was a 67-degree evening. The wind was 16-20 mph. The rain was incessant. I watched from my best friend’s comfortable couch as he’d recorded the match for me.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic wore the captain’s band since Ashley Cole was suspended for this match due to a red card last match.

The game itself started pretty even. The ball moved back and forth to each end of the pitch, the LA Galaxy and Philadelphia Union each with a few chances. The visiting team started the scoring when David Bingham made a save, but due to poor clearance, it redirected and penetrated the net.

By the 38th minute, possession was 50%. The Galaxy had had a few shots and corners. Ibrahimovic took a long shot and the home keeper, Andre Blake, managed to get a touch on it to keep the first half scoreless, despite giving the G’s a corner.

In the 45th minute, Romain Alessandrini came on for Tomas Hilliard-Arce and this would prove to be a game changer.

In the 47th minute, Jonathan Dos Santos intercepted a Union pass, kicked the ball to Ibrahimovic who then passed it to Ola Kamara who was on a run, scoring his 8th goal of the season, and leveling the match 1-1.

The rain really started to come down, but that didn’t stop LA’s momentum. The Galaxy’s next goal came in the 62nd minute, scored by Ibrahimovic on an assist from Alessandrini.

In the 74th minute, Dave Romney took an elbow to the face as he did his job defending and he started bleeding from his mouth and apparently lost a tooth for the second time in his Galaxy career. He stayed in the game, though.

The Galaxy made their second sub, Chris Pontius was taken out for Sheanon Williams in the 79th minute, which ended Pontius’ 7-game contributing streak. Still, the Galaxy were up 2-1.

David Bingham made big saves to keep the advantage.

Alessandrini took the corner in the 82nd minute, which Michael Ciani got a header on. The score was now 3-1 in favor of the Galaxy.

This was the LAG’s third win in a row since 2017, making it a seven-game unbeaten streak. They have climbed their way up to 4th place in the Western Conference. It seems the team is finally on the same page.

The LA Galaxy face LAFC tonight at 7:30pm. It’ll be a hot one.

Featured image: Romain Alessandrini’s Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

MLSFemale logo trans 100x

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)

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

MLSFemale logo trans 100x