Tag Archives: Michelle Huitink

Player Profile: LA Galaxy’s Keeper David Bingham

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured image: @lagalaxy

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy Pride Night not One to be Proud of

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Wednesday, May 30: 2-3 Loss

Starting XI

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

Bench

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

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: @LAGalaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured image: Michelle Huitink

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy Win Away and at Home

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

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

May 21, 2018 Los Angeles Galaxy vs Montreal Impact

LA Galaxy win 1-0

Starting XI

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

Bench

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

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

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

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

May 25, 2018 CaliClasico LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes

LA Galaxy win 1-0

Starting XI

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

Bench

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few more takeaways from these games:

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

The Galaxy put pressure, but they have trouble finishing.

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

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

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

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

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

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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The beat goes on as Los Angeles Galaxy lose again

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, May 12: 3-2 Loss

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

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: @LAGalaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch below:

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

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

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

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

Featured image: @LAGalaxy 

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, May 5: 3-2 Loss

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

Image @LAGalaxy

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

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

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

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

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

img_2478
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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The LA Galaxy keep putting one foot in front of the other

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, April 28: 2-3 Loss

I wanted this title to reflect the ’90s, but this song by Walk the Moon makes more sense. The Los Angeles Galaxy did celebrate their last 22 years with Throwback night on Saturday, April 28, 2018. They played ‘90s music, had a discounted scarf that was the classic gold and green, and gave out a clear fanny pack.

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

Substitutions:

Justin Vom Steeg, Emrah Klimenta, Daniel Steres, Servando Carrasco, Baggio Husidic, Emmanuel Boateng, Chris Pontius.

We conceded two goals in the first half. I was sitting near the New York Red Bulls’ supporters to give myself a different experience at this match. I was by myself for the first time, but I didn’t mind since I always end up chatting with people around me. It was a near capacity crowd.

I knew I would move for the second half. I wanted a specific Galaxy jacket but found out it had been discontinued. So, I was cold and during halftime went and got myself some new gear, including that throwback scarf to show how long I’d been a fan. I have a Landon Donovan shirt that’s also the classic style, but it’s gotten small since 2005.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Rick Koser and I. Image: Michelle Huitink

After shopping, I had time in the half to meet up with fellow fan, Rick Koser, who invited me to come sit with him in section 116. We chatted about soccer, of course, and got to know each other a bit; we are both SoCal natives.

I said how LAG had a good start. David Bingham had really been making fantastic saves, and the Galaxy needs to be more patient. As for the calls not being in our favor, we both expressed displeasure with VAR and the refs’ decisions. Rick, who became a season ticket member three years ago said, “the Galaxy can’t catch a break.” I agree wholeheartedly.

We noticed the confetti that seemed to keep floating in the stadium. Fellow MLSFemale writer, Jess Houwen, texted me asking if it was confetti she was seeing on her screen. According to this tweet, this is why…

We continued to watch our beloved team fight for us.

Romain Alessandrini kept the ball in play and even slid to keep it in the 63rd minute. He took on the defenders and after the 73rd minute, he faced a RBNY player one on one “dancing” with him to keep possession of the ball. He really stood out most to me in both halves.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Romain Alessandrini. Image: Michelle Huitink

We came back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game. Ola Kamara scored in the 59th minute on an assist from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He hadn’t scored since the home opener. Then, Giovani Dos Santos scored in the 66th minute. He hadn’t scored since May 27, 2017.

Then, as fate would have it, a penalty was called and RBNY’s Alejandro Romero scored in the 84th minute.

Even with five minutes extra time, the Galaxy came up short and lost at home again.

The New York Red Bulls played a good game. Florian Valot scored a great goal in the 49th minute. This was a team that played in the CONCACAF Champions League. They’re tough and were also coming off a previous home loss, so I can’t emphasize enough how proud I am of my LA Galaxy to take them on and score two goals.

At times it felt there was a magnetic field around the net for the Galaxy when they tried to score. The calls against us really seemed to take the wind out of the LA Galaxy’s sails. Alessandrini was understandably frustrated since his goal in the first half had been rescinded post celebration per VAR.

I could blame the refs more, but there’s no point here. I’ve watched the United States Men’s National Team fight in the World Cup against bad, and what we see as unfair, calls; it’s how the game goes sometimes. We got to push on despite that. They really did fight til the whistle blew.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic played 90 minutes again.

Sebastian Lletget played a full 90 minutes since his injury.

I want to focus on our progress. I mean, Gio Dos Santos scored, y’all! Ola Kamara scored. Everyone on that pitch: the starting lineup and subs Emmanuel Boateng, Chris Pontius, and Daniel Steres put in their best effort.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Cozmo, our mascot, in his throwback outfit. Image: Michelle Huitink

It’s going to be tough ahead as we have a three-game road stretch. I have all the faith in my team and wish them well as injuries continue to plague the soccer world.

Featured image courtesy: Michelle Huitink 

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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Seattle Sounders first win of the season

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Seattle Sounders Key Contributor

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Sunday, April 22: 3-1 Win

First and foremost, I am an LA Galaxy fan. But, it’s no secret that I have a crush on Jordan Morris, so I got these tickets for Seattle Sounders vs Minnesota United back in early February when he wasn’t injured. I planned my trip to visit my friends who actually live in Puyallup right now.

My plan was to visit them and enjoy a city that represented the best of what Washington state has to offer, the only exception was the weather. After the game, we got oysters and wine, and went to Pike Place for clam chowder. It was a day to behold in downtown Seattle where it’s common to see people adorned in sports gear since the Seattle Mariners stadium is right there. Of course, the most common attire is the Seattle Seahawks, but the soccer culture there is one of the best in the league.

Sounders - @mchuitink '18
Image: Michelle Huitink

CenturyLink is huge and I’m spoiled by StubHub Center where there’s not a bad seat in the house and I’m used to general admission where I can arrive early and be close to the players. So, I wanted to sit right by the tunnel.

Being the soccer ambassador I am, I brought my friend Megan to her second MLS game ever. Her husband, who follows soccer since he’s from Jamaica, and their daughter also came along with us this time for their first game. I didn’t see JMO, but it was an exciting event and a game the Sounders needed to win since they were on the verge of the worst start in league history.

Michelle Huitink - mlsfemale
Image: Michelle Huitink

Watching their three-year old’s reaction had to be one of our favorite parts of the match. She was clapping and really seemed stunned by the number of people. We took turns holding her and picking her up so she could see over the fans who never sat down. I was definitely overwhelmed by the energy and capacity of the soccer fans.

During halftime, I went over to meet with fellow MLSFemale Official Reporter for the Sounders, Jennifer Denton, which as she put it, was finally nice to put a face to the name.

Michelle + Jennifer - Sounders '18
Michelle and Jennifer finally meet in person. Image: Michelle Huitink

I’ll be back up in Seattle in the Los Angeles Galaxy section in August.

As the Official Galaxy Reporter, my editors said I could do a collaboration with Megan for this match and I’ll let her take it from here:

Michelle Huitink - Sounders game/mlsfemale
Megan and daughter. Image: Michelle Huitink

The typically rainy and gray city of Seattle shared its spring splendor of sunshine and crisp salt air this past Sunday, April 22nd, boasting blossoms from dogwood and magnolia trees along with the roar of sports fans in the distance. The Sounders did not disappoint either. They brought sunshine to the CenturyLink stadium winning 3-1 against Minnesota United. Doing so in style as they flaunted their Earth Day recycled uniforms.

The thrill of the stadium doesn’t just stop at the aroma of garlic fries and the booming of fireworks. Fans are the driving force, chanting and singing from their seats while waving fan gear and flags. You feel as if Chief Seattle and his tribe are there in spirit.

The players rush out to the field as youngsters line the guardrail in hopes of getting an autograph. In good company, surrounded by family and friends, I can say I feel like a real MLS fan, especially with this view 3 rows from the action. 

Michelle Huitink - Seattle Sounders/mlsfemale
Our view. Image: Michelle Huitink

The few clouds in the sky start to part and the warmth of the sun starts to fill the stadium. Sloshing $9 beers in the stands as the Sounders bring in their first goal, delivered by midfielder Gustav Svensson. His teammate Will Bruin follows closely behind scoring back to back within minutes. It feels good to have your home team step up to the net, shoot, and score, there is no better way to feel the energy of almost 40,000 fans.

With the ball making its way from player to player, the intensity builds as Christian Ramirez scores one for Minnesota United. It was a solid effort and good fight from both teams the entire 90 minutes. It was the last 5 minutes that put the Sounders over the top with Jordy Delem scoring in the final moments of the match.

The sound of trumpets and drums filled the air as fans flooded out of the arena in good spirits, an outstanding first win of the season.

Featured image courtesy: Michelle Huitink 

Follow and chat with us on Twitter // @mchuitink @MissMadden83

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Keep on keeping on, LA Galaxy

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, April 21: 0-2 Loss

Starting XI

David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole ©; Romain Alessandrini, Perry Kitchen, Jonathan dos Santos (Baggio Husidic), Sebastian Lletget; Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
LA Galaxy Instagram

Substitutions

Justin Vom Steeg, Dave Romney, Servando Carrasco, Michael Ciani, Giovani dos Santos, Baggio Husidic, Chris Pontius.

“You lost? Even with Zlatan Ibrahimovic?” A student asked me about Saturday’s match.

Yes, we did. And I had to watch from my friend’s place while I was visiting Washington state. I tried to DVR it but didn’t have the option, so I made a point to watch live and take notes. I’m that dedicated.

Our strategy can’t be to keep passing the ball to Ibrahimovic; it will get predictable. And we have other players who can score.

I hate when we lose at home. But, it could have been worse. Most of the scores I see involving Atlanta United are where they scored like 5 goals lol. So, that this wasn’t worse is a good thing. We dodged a bullet shot early on from Ezequiel Barco.

I attribute this to David Bingham, our goalkeeper, making saves.

I understand LA Galaxy fans are frustrated, so is Ola Kamara because he hasn’t scored since the home opener. But, I believe it’s only a matter of time. We just have to keep at it.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: my TV

I was salty about that first goal by Josef Martinez because it was done on poor clearance. Then, I was glad when they missed the penalty that I didn’t think should’ve been called in the first place. “The ball does not lie.” Was my reaction. But then, their second goal was a penalty scored by Miguel Almiron.

The truth is, Atlanta deserved to win that game. We should have scored, but we didn’t. The fact it was just 2-0 just means our defense actually was pretty good.

The Galaxy did well at adapting play against a team like Atlanta United where you need to build up plays and passing quickly and we did that in the first eleven minutes. Perry Kitchen did his job pushing and pulling in the defense.

Ibrahimovic played a full 90 minutes, for the first time in over a year, which is good news.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: LA Galaxy Instagram

Before playing, the Galaxy honored Tommy Mark, a youth player who recently passed away, with applause and the team wore black armbands.

The next match will be April 28, 2018, at 7:30PM PST. I’ll be in the stands.

Featured image courtesy: LA Galaxy Instagram 

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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LA Galaxy: should’ve scored more, but didn’t

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, April 14: 0-1 Win

Starting XI
David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole ©; Romain Alessandrini, Perry Kitchen, Jonathan dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget; Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimović

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: LA Galaxy Instagram

Substitutions
Justin Vom Steeg, Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Servando Carrasco, Baggio Husidic, Emmanuel Boateng, Chris Pontius

“We come with the sun, they come with the wind, but the sun was the stronger one today.”  -Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Oh, the wind and the rain. SoCal has been quite warm lately, 85F just a few days last week. So, traveling to Chicago where it’s 35F, raining, windy, and cold; we are too LA for that. Sure, the weather played a big factor, but I will not use it as an excuse.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the lone goal, the lion leading the pride. Sure, he’s doing his thing, but this is cause for concern among fans. The second half was sloppy for us and it wasn’t because of Mother Nature. We did the best we could under those conditions and the first half really showed that.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: LA Galaxy Instagram

Sebastian Lletget and Zlatan Ibrahimovic started! This is fantastic since they’re both getting back to fitness coming off injuries from last year and also because they’ve been scoring this year. We also know that this means they’ll be subbed. We’ve got to take care of our key players. We want to be up in goals before they come off the pitch.

The most frustrating was two LA Galaxy goals being rescinded. In the 5th minute, Ola Kamara was called offside, which he was but barely. He’s a hungry panther and hasn’t scored since the home opener. Then, in the 8th minute, VAR took what would’ve been an own goal on Chicago’s part. Yes, we should’ve scored more, but we didn’t.

We want to score goals, but as we saw in the second half of this game, we have to get the game on lockdown before the team, in this case, the Chicago Fire, take advantage of set pieces and score. We got lucky this time. But, Chicago had too many chances. It was scary after the 51st minute when they got three corners almost in a row. Even if we are up just one goal, let’s focus on defense rather than attack and scoring (I’m having deja vu, I think I said this in preseason and the home opener).

Complaints will happen no matter how we are doing, but let’s keep our cool like the Galaxy should as we watch our team work out the kinks. They need to play through, regain control and possession, and keep up the effort so we can figure out how to make the pieces work. We are going to continue to see problems in our defense, our finishing (especially in front of the net, I mean even Ibrahimovic missed twice), chemistry, tactics, and strategies until we get it right, so yeah mistakes and sloppy play are going to feel like deja vu. I just hope the Galaxy don’t get predictable either way.

Satisfactory doesn’t seem good enough for the best team in the league; that said, this isn’t the same team as last season, which in this case is a good thing. So, we take this win and keep the momentum going, focusing on what we’ve done right like Ashley Cole getting passes to Ibrahimovic that result in goals.

David Bingham made some really good saves, most of which took place in the second half.

Chris Pontius, Emmanuel Boateng, and Baggio Husidic came in as subs and I think these were good moves.

So far, I think we are doing quite alright. It’s week 7 and we are second in the west.

The next match is Saturday, April 21st at 7:30PST at StubHub Center. I’ll be out of town, but I’ll be watching.

Featured image courtesy: Romain Alessandrini Instagram 

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy Snap Back to Reality

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Sunday, April 8: 0-2 Loss

LA Galaxy Starting XI: David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole ©; Perry Kitchen, Jonathan dos Santos; Chris Pontius, Romain Alessandrini, Emmanuel Boateng; Ola Kamara

No game is going to ever live up to the LA Galaxy vs Los Angeles FC again in the MLS. So, it’s no surprise to me that reality would hit us in the face on this night.

If you’re a fan of the Galaxy and you’re reading this, you’ve known our defense needed work since preseason.

Our starting XI and our bench, with a couple of exceptions, are totally good players.

I hope this 2-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City reminds us of the work that needs to be done.  Let’s not overreact due to the past trauma that was the 2017 season; instead, let’s work on our finishing (because we had three shots that hit off the post, so now we are fighting the net at this point), and that we can’t rely on any single player. We are a better than decent team. We just need to follow through.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
LA Galaxy with a chance off a corner in the first half. Image courtesy: Michelle Huitink

The first half, we played well, much better than versus LAFC. Let’s also not forget that Sporting was missing their main man, Felipe Gutiérrez.  Still, this game was consistent and steady. We attacked and we created chances, putting pressure and often forcing them to get the ball back to their keeper. In the second half, we got sixteen shots on goal, five of which came from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Sebastian Lletget and Ibrahimovic are still getting back into fitness. It is ultimately up to head coach Sigi Schmid who he starts, but I, as a fan, have to trust in his decisions right now.

Romain Alessandrini and Jonathan Dos Santos, both designated players, starting and playing a good amount of minutes, and coming out hungry and strong, especially after returning from hamstring injuries is awesome but we can’t expect them to push past their limits.

I want everyone fit! We have a long season ahead still.

Overall, I didn’t understand the decisions made by the Galaxy when passing; they always play it on the sides, especially on the right. Then, they bunched up too much, which forced Ibrahimovic to go back with the ball, which doesn’t result in any chances.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Zlatan Ibrahimovic taking a free kick in the 82’. Image courtesy: Michelle Huitink

I didn’t expect to lose. I’m still not convinced Sporting should be in the number one spot in the western conference.

We had better control of the game and it was a physical match.  SKC just took more advantage of their opportunities when we let two balls slip past us. That’s all I have to say about that (Forrest Gump voice).

Our next match is Saturday, April 14, an away game vs Chicago Fire. It is available to stream via Twitter and watch on Univision Deportes at 12:30PT/2pmCT.

Romain Alessandrini takes on Zusi Graham image courtesy: Michelle Huitink

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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