Tag Archives: LA Galaxy

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.

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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. 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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