Tag Archives: Michelle Huitink

Zlatan ibrahimovic leads LA Galaxy to 2-0 victory against Philadelphia Union

Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

LA Galaxy: David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher (Julian Araujo 65’), Diego Polenta, Daniel Steres, Jorgen Skjelvik; Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos, Joe Corona; Romain Alessandrini (Juninho 90’), Zlatan Ibrahimović, Uriel Antuna (Ema Boateng 75’).

April 13th was just another Saturday night in Carson. Zlatan Ibrahimovic led the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-0 victory against Philadelphia Union in front of 24,053 fans.

Dignity Health Sports Park. LA Galaxy vs Philadelphia Union. Photo Credit Michelle Huitink

The whole team played really well and dominated the first half. They moved the ball forward, created chances, and got corners early on. By the 20th minute, it was a wonder LAG didn’t score yet.  The Union did their job to smother the Galaxy. But, they kept up good momentum and build up that led to Zlatan scoring in the 27th minute.

The G’s maintained good passing in the 31st minute. Then, a minute later, Ibrahimovic was undercut in the box.  He was prepared to take the penalty when the refs decided to go to VAR.

The Galaxy were awarded the penalty and Zlatan converted it to make the score 2-0 in the 34’. That was the Lion’s sixth of the season.

After halftime, LA was a letdown. The midfield didn’t have the same intensity or drive. The team even had an advantage playing up a man when Philly’s Austin Trusty earned a second yellow.  In the final result, they kept a clean sheet despite their lackluster effort.

Rolf Feltscher had to be subbed out for an injury, so Julian Araujo got minutes. Emmanuel Boateng came on for Uriel Antuna. And finally Juninho was back on the pitch, replacing Alessandrini.

The midfield this season has been on fire, though there are still weak links and kinks to be worked out, but it’s only the sixth game of 2019. This team is once again fun to watch thanks to head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who wanted to make the stadium a fortress again. Check out the stats: TOTAL SHOTS: 11; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; FOULS: 10; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 2.

Game Over. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink

The LA Galaxy is unbeaten at home so far, is on a four-game winning streak, and is third in the Western Conference.

The next match is another home game at Dignity Health Sports Park against a flaring Houston Dynamo, Friday, April 19.

Featured image: @lagalaxy on instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy Put on a show to win 2-1 against portland timbers

Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI: David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Diego Polenta, Daniel Steres, Jorgen Skjelvik; Romain Alessandrini (Chris Pontius 74’), Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos, Joe Corona, Uriel Antuna (Ema Boateng 77’); Zlatan Ibrahimović

This was a different team that showed up on this ZLAtanversary. One year ago on March 31, The Galaxy came back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat LAFC in the first installment of El Tráfico. Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his debut, scoring both the equalizer and winning goal.

Start of the match. Photo credit : Ana Rivas

The Lion scored two goals this night as well—this time against a struggling Portland team, who showed up with something to prove, since they were finalists for the 2018 MLS Cup. This match, they did themselves in by tripping Zlatan on two different occasions in the box, resulting in penalties that, of course, Zlatan converted. The Timbers did score a goal in the first half and had chances late near the end of the match.

So far this season, The Galaxy are playing better as a team. Still, the defense needs improvement. Jonathan Dos Santos was often playing defense. Rolf Feltscher was virtually non-existent. Diego Polenta is running out of excuses. Why leave Dave Romney on the bench when you could use him in Daniel Steres’ place?

The midfield worked well with JDS, Sebastian Lletget, and Joe Corona. But, Portland did good to concede the wings and slow their attack, which is why crosses into the box didn’t work. That said, Portland’s top players Valeri and Blanco were silenced. The Galaxy didn’t allow dangerous possession. Their only mistake was allowing one goal in the 44’, which I blame on Bingham for not staying in net and letting the defense do their job. He trusts them more now than when Mike Ciani played. One fan observed that Skjelvik pulled Polenta out of position by not staying wide. Bingham should’ve manned his post,

I wanted the Galaxy to do more to score on their own. They certainly had chances, but couldn’t finish in front of net, the balls going over the net, and the only shots on target being the penalties, because Portland didn’t allow otherwise.  

LA Galaxy Applaud fans After 2-1 Victory over Portland Timbers. Photo credit Michelle Huitink

It didn’t help that the strategy seemed to be to service the ball to Zlatan. Again. When last match they seemed to figure out how to slide Antuna into that spot. They showed they can do 20 or more passes and techniques to play it on the ground. Ibrahimovic needs to be freed up more and the rest of the team needs to be a scoring threat. Hopefully they, and head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, will figure it out soon.

Schelotto is doing great with what he has, but he needs a striker who can get Zlatan to grind it out or start in his place when necessary. The Galaxy are in the process of trying to get allocation money so that Giancarlo Gonzalez can join. Maybe with a good center back, Polenta can play better.

LAG had a good offensive start. Jørgen Skjelvik held the ball too long though.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a shot that hit off the bottom of the post in the 14’.  

Ibrahimovic wanted to and almost scored a hat trick near the end of the match, but blamed a bad pass also from #16 for not being able to score.

Always the Greatest Showman, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo Credit LA Galaxy Twitter

He played over 90 minutes. It’s incredible to bounce back from an Achilles injury, especially at 37 years old, but this also could’ve ended his season; which makes one wonder why he should play the full time. There’s a short turn around before the next match on turf in Vancouver, which “G9D” has said he’s got no problem playing on now. So maybe he comes off the bench and plays 65 minutes with Chris Pontius coming in.

We’ll see how our Los Angeles Galaxy take on the next challenge this coming Saturday, April 5, play the Whitecaps at 7PM PST.

Featured image: @lagalaxy on instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA GALAXY Magically win 3-2 at home against Minnesota United

Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI: David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Diego Polenta, Jorgen Skjelvik; Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos ©, Joe Corona, Jonathan dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget; Chris Pontius (Julian Araujo 85’), Uriel Antuna, Ema Boateng (Servando Carrasco 90’+4’)

Photo Credit Jamie Bacon. LA Galaxy Up 1 after a penalty kick


Head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto used the same lineup in consecutive matches.  This team lost away to FC Dallas just the week before. But, the team that showed up on the field Saturday March 16 played in a stellar way that fans hadn’t seen in years.

The stars on the pitch were captain Jonathan dos Santos and Sebastian Lletget. It was a dream come true to watch spectacular passing at home.

Each week we’ll see the LA Galaxy grow more and more with the GBS system.

The midfield figured it out this game. Uriel Antuna was a stud. But, Minnesota actually scored their first goal on a shot that Bingham should’ve saved.

It should be noted that not only did the Galaxy play well, this Minnesota team is a team that has grown a lot and is a contender. That they had to travel could’ve been part of it, but the G’s really controlled the game. Some fun stats: Galaxy had 62% possession. Completed 497 passes with a 87% completion rate. Had 20 shots with 17 chances created.

And they pulled it off without Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romain Alessandrini, which was a big concern. Joe Corona got comfortable in the week that had past. Many other injuries have kept key players out and have given other players like Julian Araujo his debut.

The Galaxy were relentless and capitalized on the pressure.

Osvaldo Alonso, who recently joined Minnesota from a long stint with the Seattle Sounders, took down Antuna in the box, gifting the Galaxy a penalty, which was taken by JDS to put the Galaxy up in the 36′ after VAR review.

Ema Boateng found a streaking Rolf Feltscher who crossed to Chris Pontius and made it 2-0 at the half. By then the offense was clicking.

Lletget, who has a broken nose, risked playing without a mask (he tried to play with it and took it off promptly) scored on an assist from Antuna.

LAG showed that the skills are there, but aren’t up to par. The final score was 3-2. The Loons scored a late goal on a Skjelvik giveaway. The original header went off the post and Feltscher just watched the ball. So, the defense is still a weakness.

Alessandrini trained outside and Zlatan reportedly trained indoors as of March 19th. I would infer it means they’re on the mend.

We’ll see how the Galaxy do in their next match when they host a struggling Portland Timbers at 6 p.m. PT on Sunday, March 31 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The Galaxy depend on your support, Galaxy Fam.

Featured image: @lagalaxy on instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy Fall 2-0 on the road Against FC Dallas

Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Lineups:

Starting XI: David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Diego Polenta, Jorgen Skjelvik; Sebastian Lletget (Efrain Alvarez 59’), Jonathan dos Santos ©, Joe Corona; Ema Boateng (Ethan Zubak 75’), Chris Pontius, Uriel Antuna

FC Dallas took full advantage of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s mistakes Saturday, March 9, 2019.

Real chances weren’t created. The first half was a battle for possession. Emmanuel Boateng and Sebastian Lletget both had chances to score early on. Uriel Antuna almost made a goal on what was meant to be a cross in the 28′ but it hit the corner of the post.

Dallas could have scored on a wide open net in the 37′ but Jimmy Maurer missed it.

In stoppage time of the first half, Rolf Feltscher had a shot right off the crossbar and moments later Chris Pontius almost had a header.

It was the second half when the Galaxy got punished. The home team were awarded a penalty after Diego Polenta kicked a defender right in his side in the box.

The absences of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romain Alessandrini were strongly felt.

Injuries are out of the control of the players and coach, so it’s how the team adjusts to these changes that is key.

They’re slow and it’s clear the team didn’t know what to do when they had the ball, which was dire in front of the net. Boateng bested an FCD defender and then missed a crucial shot on an open net.

The ones really let down are the fans. Traveling supporters kept their spirits up though and were the only ones heard in Toyota stadium.

The best and the only attack came from 16-year-old Efrain Alvarez, who hasn’t ceased to amaze in only his second game with the LA Galaxy. His shot came in stoppage time, right on goal. But FCD’s keeper made the save to deny the teen from scoring and maintained his clean sheet.

This match really showed the Galaxy need to develop structure and play as a team. The passion and attack were missing as well. There’s plenty of talent, but they’re utilizing their skills individually. Even Daniel Steres came through to defend until he didn’t. Feltscher did his own thing, earning himself a yellow card in the 21’ for his tackle on Michael Barrios. Joe Corona didn’t get much time on the ball. Pontius wasn’t coming through either.

Lletget had to be subbed in 59’ after taking an elbow to the face and getting a bloody nose that took him out of play. He just can’t stop getting injured. Prior to that though, he did have a fantastic curl that went just too wide.

Boateng was finally subbed in the 76’ giving homegrown LA Academy and LA Galaxy II rising player Ethan Zubak his debut.

Jonathan Dos Santos took on the role of captain, which was a good move as he’s also shown leadership skills and can step up when needed. He is integral to the midfield creating chances.

LAG problems with defense are not new. The backline hasn’t had any changes. However, General Manager te Kloese and Head Coach Schelotto have made moves to build offense and depth. Once again, this team is a work in progress. LA Galaxy II Open Tryout Diedie Traore has also just signed with LAG after acquiring an international spot from Columbus Crew SC.

Expectations need to be kept realistic, which doesn’t mean standards need to be lowered. At this point, fans are hoping just to qualify for the playoffs. Considering both teams had highs and lows this match, there’s still plenty of reasons to keep the faith as Galaxy fans.

The LA Galaxy’s next challenge is Saturday, March 16 against Minnesota United at Dignity Health Sports Park. Kickoff is set for 6pm PST.

Featured image: @LAGalaxy

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy Opening Day 2-1 Smash

Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI: David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Diego Polenta, Jorgen Skjelvik; Jonathan dos Santos, Servando Carrasco; Romain Alessandrini (Emmanuel Boateng 20’), Emil Cuello (Efrain Alvarez 60’), Uriel Antuna (Chris Pontius 78’); Zlatan Ibrahimovic ©.

A sold-out crowd of 25,866 LA Galaxy fans came alive at Dignity Health Sports Park on March 2, 2019, even in the rain.

Fans traveled far and wide to view Beckham’s Statue. Fellow MLS Female reporter, Araceli Villanueva, visited from Kansas City, MO, pictured with LA Galaxy reporter Michelle Huitink
(Photo by Michelle Huitink)

Opening day hype began with the reveal of David Beckham’s Statue, a project two years in the making. The event was open to the public and hosted by Fox commentator Rob Stone. Other Galaxy legends in attendance were Robbie Keane, Todd Dunivant, Mike Magee, Cobi Jones, and Mauricio Cienfuegos. Former Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, club president Chris Klein, AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman and Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean were also present. Beckham was also honored at halftime by being only the fourth player to be inducted into the Ring of Honor, joining Doug Hamilton, Cobi Jones and Cienfuegos.

Rob Stone, Fox commentator, hosts Beckham Statue unveiling
(Photo by Michelle Huitink)


Beckham Inducted into Ring of Honor at half time
(Photo by Michelle Huitink)

Seven-year-old singing sensation Malea Emma returned to give her inspiring rendition of the national anthem, which definitely got the stadium pumped.

Saturday night was head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s debut  for the LA Galaxy and the MLS. Other debuts included Diego Polenta, Uriel Antuna and Emil Cuello. They were key to getting the ball moving forward.

The first half showed much-improved squads for both teams. The Galaxy made good crosses and passes, but most were intercepted by the Chicago Fire. Anyone who could score was being serviced, not just Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which was a strong change for the Galaxy’s strategy.

Emmanuel Boateng had to be subbed in early for Romain Alessandrini, who pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring strain.

Bingham’s performance all night showed he’s in top form. The only time he was scored on was when he was left hanging against CJ Sapong, who took advantage of a wide open net to put Chicago up 1-0 in stoppage time.

Four minutes into the second half, the Galaxy found themselves down and fans feeling the ghost of seasons past haunting them. Still, fans roared on, encouraging the players as they made their runs and created chances.

The much needed offensive spark came from 16-year-old Efrain Alvarez. By subbing on for Emil Cuello, he became the youngest player to play an MLS match for the LA Galaxy. Eight minutes later, Daniel Steres was able to score a header on a cross from the teen’s left foot.

Confetti on the field after LA Galaxy celebrate goal
(Photo by Michelle Huitink)

Chris Pontius was also a game-changer. Alvarez flicked the ball to the midfielder whose shot hit off the crossbar, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic was there for the rebound and scored what would be the winning goal in the 80th minute. The final score of the eventful night was 2-1. The Galaxy pulled off a victory that brought back the feeling that their home could be a fortress yet again.

Scoreboard at full time
(Photo by Michelle Huitink)

Angel City Brigade, Galaxians, and Riot Squad supporters groups could be heard across the stadium. I was sitting in GA near the away supporters and G’s fans began playfully taunting, standing up and getting loud. All around, the winning atmosphere was amped by fans.

LAG are already looking to be in better shape despite a few poor deliveries and literal slip-ups.  Quite a few injuries (Perry Kitchen-ankle, Juninho-knee, Sebastion Lletget-hamstring) and the departures of Giovani Dos Santos and Ola Kamara changed the line-up, which meant the G’s had to adjust. Still, this allowed for Alvarez, Polenta, Cuello, and Antuna to get their chances. The players connected slowly, but surely. Ibrahimovic’s leadership as captain really showed through, especially for Alvarez.

In their next match, the Galaxy will travel to Texas to face FC Dallas on Saturday, March 9.

Featured image: Michelle Huitink

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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Is the Los Angeles Galaxy Community ready for the new MLS season?

Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

With the jersey launch and preseason wrapped up, we head into the new season. Are the LA Galaxy and fans ready? Full of anticipation and optimism, fans attended the jersey launch at the Novo on Feb. 17, 2019, which was exclusive to Season Ticket Members.

Awaiting entry.
Photo Credits: Michelle Huitink, unless otherwise specified.
MLSFemale LA Galaxy OR, Michelle and Galaxy mascot, Cozmo

Despite the leak of some photos of the new kit, many fans were excited to see it up close and personal; to order theirs and get 5 stars added to their current jerseys.

The 5 stars representing the Galaxy’s MLS Cup championships, won in 2002, 2005, 2011, and 2012, is the main appeal of this season’s kit. The Galaxy’s design isn’t changing from last year’s except for the 5 stars adornment above the crest.

The new Adidas Night Navy away version features a pixelated pattern and vertical stripes. The “This is LA” jock tag and the Galaxy wordmark on the back of the neck have made a comeback. The white uniform is an MLS staple across the league, and the one unveiled in 2018 makes a return as well.

For the first time together, the 2019 LA Galaxy team sported the new uniform. Fans are proud to represent the Galaxy’s legacy and hope the players can continue leading the league this season.

The event hosted by Rob Stone, commentator of Fox Sports, egged on the crowd and Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined him onstage.

Rob Stone and Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Afterward, fans could meet and greet with players. Those available were Midfielders Romain Alessandrini, Chris Pontius, Juninho, and Sebastian Lletget; Defenders Dave Romney and Rolf Feltscher, and Goalkeeper David Bingham.

A simulated locker room and interactive player wall were available to fans. Every aspect of the event was to get fans hyped and ready for the 2019 season.

I wandered around the first floor of the Novo, enjoyed seeing the players interacting with fans and to see fellow season ticket members celebrate.

As media, I was only able to observe. But, I redeemed my fan experience on February 26, when I drove out to Long Beach to meet with Sebastian Lletget. Originally, Ola Kamara was scheduled for the autograph session. But, news broke earlier that day that he was en route to join a super league in China. Unfortunately, there really was no longer a place for him on the team, which forced him to often play out of position, so his desire to move is understandable.

Michelle with Sebastian Lletget. Event at Niky’s Sports Soccer Specialty Long Beach

Still, the problem remains that the Galaxy currently have four designated players when MLS regulations restrict it to three. Financial adjustments must be made, but it’s not yet clear what the front office intends to do to resolve this.

All eyes of MLS teams and fans are on the LA Galaxy.

Many fans are calling for Giovani Dos Santos to be moved and sold to open up the DP spot. However, he has a contract that isn’t allowing the move. As a result, there are reports of tension in the locker room, which not only puts more onto GM te Kloese’s plate, it’s not the way anyone wants the season to start.

Latest update: The Galaxy have bought out Giovani Dos Santos’ contract, officially ending his time with the club.

Opening day is quickly approaching, on March 2nd at Dignity Health Sports Park and will be eventful. It begins with the unveiling of the anticipated Legends Plaza where future statues honoring historical Galaxy players of the club’s grand past, including that of David Beckham, will be displayed. The reveal is scheduled for 3pm PST and is open to the public.

It’s a crucial time for the Galaxy’s dynasty to be recognized as fans are feeling the tension and the spark of the new season. With new players Emil Cuello, Diego Polenta, and Uriel Antuna, the Galaxy seem to be taking advantage of new talent, which was something to look forward to under head coach Schelotto. Perhaps now the Galaxy can find better connections on the pitch with existing players. There are still some kinks to be worked out, but more than anything, this is the time for potential to be displayed.

Kickoff is set for 5pm PST and rain is predicted for the forecast. Get ready! Go Galaxy!

Midfielder Romain Alessandrini with fans
Midfielder Juninho in the simulated locker room signing autographs and taking pictures with fans
The team in their new kits.
Trophies displayed upstairs. Photo courtesy: Clever Image Photography

Featured image of midfielder Chris Pontius with fans: Michelle Huitink

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s introductory press conference in LA

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

The press conference for Guillermo Barros Schelotto began with kind words about late former head coach Sigi Schmid. The impact he had on soccer in the United States was prevalent, especially after his passing, as many in the industry shared stories about him.

LA Galaxy president, Chris Klein, mentioned how Schmid influenced the sport and the club. Schelotto then added how important Schmid was to him and thanked him for also bringing him to play for the Columbus Crew.  

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Head coach Schelotto jersey debut. Photo credit: Michelle Huitink

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Media scrum with Schelotto. Photo credit: Michelle Huitink

The LA Galaxy have looked good on paper. Schelotto is no exception. He has many honors and championships with Argentina and in MLS despite being only 45 years old. His experience makes him worthy of the position as head coach.  

He’s dealt with much higher profile players and teams and he’s developed younger players, as well. As a player with the Columbus Crew, the team won the MLS Cup in 2008. The Boca Juniors final was wild. It had been postponed due to a bus attack by fans. That aside, it was Boca’s decision to let him go according to GBS.

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General Manager Dennis te Kloese. Photo credit: LA is Our House.

The focus is on moving forward, having patience, and doing the work needed to start winning. I was able to ask general manager Dennis te Kloese a couple of questions:

MH: Come opening day, what first impression can fans expect?

DTK: There’s a lot of things that will take a little bit of time. There are [some things] on the roster that need to be figured out, as we saw, and I don’t want to be judgemental because I don’t want to look back. I want to look forward, but there has been an imbalance defensively–with Guillermo coming in, with the experience that he has, in the coming weeks, with an intensive search for some players–that is one of the first priorities that we’re looking at because offensively the team showed a lot of promise last year and will show this year also.

MH: You mentioned wanting to have players ready for the opening of the season.  You believe you’ll have all the pieces that you need defensively by the start of the season before the summer window?

DTK: The construction of the roster in MLS with the rules that are given, that takes a little bit of time. We’ll never put any excuses behind anything here. We’ll just work hard.  We already started, and we’ll do our very very best to be top-class from day one. But it could be that certain pieces could fit in over the summer or a little bit later.

It was only the 3rd of January, but I felt management should already be talking to players for their positions on the roster and also figuring out who they want to have leadership on the pitch. No one wants to look back at the 2018 season, so it’s best to look at this as a fresh start. That said, I go into the 2019 season with cautious optimism.

There are more questions than answers at this point, and the motto for this year seems to be “we’ll see.” I was looking for a sense of urgency in the management to get things together NOW.  Opportunities can present themselves as late as the summer window or after, but fans expect to see results come opening day. Of course, patience is key and options shouldn’t be limited, but this Los Angeles team has a reputation to uphold as kings of MLS and that reputation has been compromised.

There have been many rumors including overseas interest in the Lion and other players. It’s speculated that, due to finances and MLS regulations regarding designated players and international positions, some players will have to be moved. Juninho and Chris Pontius have been welcomed back, but the Galaxy’s midfield is crowded.  The back line is what needs significant improvement, yet they re-signed Servando Carrasco. Schelotto’s style is an offensive one but the Galaxy need to work on defense which he assured they would work on.

In terms of forwards, there doesn’t seem to be a spot for Ola Kamara with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is now confirmed to be staying with the club. Scoring goals wasn’t the Galaxy’s issue last season: it was allowing goals, which is a defensive issue. It’s speculated Kamara could also be traded for his spot. Romain Alessandrini is also a possible option. Gio Dos Santos would be a more favorable move. It hasn’t been announced who will captain the team either.

MLS has released the regular season schedule and it’s much shorter, which means it’s more important than ever for the team to build a roster with depth.

We’ll see soon enough.

Preseason kicks off in February with exhibition games and the Jersey Launch Party. LA Galaxy home games are at Dignity Health Sports Park (formerly known as StubHub Center).

The preseason schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, February 9–LA Galaxy vs Toronto FC at home
  • Saturday, February 16–LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC at OC Great Park
  • Sunday, February 17–Jersey Launch Party at The Novo
  • Saturday, February 23–LA Galaxy vs Colorado Rapids at home

The home opener is set for March 2nd against the Chicago Fire at 5pm PST.

Featured image of LA Galaxy management panel: Michelle Huitink

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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LA Galaxy 2018 Season Wrap-Up and Latest News

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI

David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Dave Romney, Ashley Cole (c); Romain Alessandrini, Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng; Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Sheanon Williams, Jorgen Skjelvik, Servando Carrasco, Perry Kitchen, Baggio Husidic, Giovani dos Santos.

The Los Angeles Galaxy just were not meant to make the 2018 playoffs. They had one game to win on October 28th, but the Houston Dynamo spoiled the party.

Although a bad penalty kick call and a few offside calls could also be blamed, this is MLS and this loss falls on the LA Galaxy. It should never have come down to this game and Decision Day.  Sure, that’s the point of this day, but not for a club with a reputation as the winningest team. With the worst 2017 season still haunting LAG, the pressure was on, especially with a star like Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the squad.

This result is no surprise. Earlier in the season, the Galaxy failed to beat and collect more points against lower ranked teams, such as the Colorado Rapids, Minnesota United, and DC United.

Not winning at home just pours salt in the wound.

The Galaxy had many chances right down to the last minute of stoppage time. They just couldn’t finish in front of the net. As a fan, it was a tough game to watch as hope slipped away with the minutes.

The Galaxy were actually up 2 goals in the half, both scored by Ola Kamara.

Watch his goals below:

Final score was 2-3 for Houston.

Two weeks later, I’m still moving through all the stages of grief as if on repeat. As I watched the MLS playoffs from my couch this past weekend, I have to relive the loss. I have to listen as the commentators say how Real Salt Lake had made it in that last slot and were able to compete.  

The fans are already looking forward to the 2019 season.

Latest News

LA still don’t have an official head coach since Sigi Schmid‘s resignation and Dominic Kinnear stepped in.

Pete Vagenas, Vice President of Soccer Operations, was let go on November 6th.  Fans have been calling for Front Office changes and place the Galaxy’s poor performance on them. This is little consolation to fans as he’s low on the club’s hierarchy and this is a step, but it’s not a big indicator of positive changes to come. We’ll have to continue to wait and see.

In better news, Zlatan Ibrahimovic won the MLS award for Newcomer of the Year. He earned the honor for 22 goals scored and 10 assists this season. He made 24 starts and played more than 2100 minutes. This is the first time a Galaxy player has received this award. He was the runner-up for the Golden Boot, which was given to Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez after his 31 goals set the single-season, goal-scoring record. He was also named to MLS Best XI. 

Rumors circulate that Ibrahimovic plans to leave the Galaxy, but at an official press conference on November 7th, he said his primary focus is with the Since ’96 Los Angeles team. As expected, he has some demands, but that is up to the Front Office to meet in order to keep him for sure. See a portion of the interview below:

International Duty

Sebastian Lletget has been included in the roster for two upcoming USMNT friendlies.

Ola Kamara was called-up for Norway’s team for the final in the UEFA Nation’s League final two matches of group play.

That wraps up the 2018 LA Galaxy season. Below are some pics from the October 28th Decision Day match.

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(Left to right) Josh Richardson, Me, Leslie, and Jamie. The good thing about the 2018 season was the friends I made. We are not in this alone. Photo credit: Michelle Huitink

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The scoreboard at the end of the game. Photo credit: Michelle Huitink

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The field and fans after the game ended. Photo credit: Michelle Huitink

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Captain Ashley Cole with his son as he paid his respect to the fans in the LA Riot Squad. He posed for pictures. His future with the LA Galaxy is uncertain. Photo credit: Michelle Huitink

Featured image of Michelle cheering at kickoff: Josh Richardson

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LA Galaxy One Win Away from Clinching Last Playoff Spot

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI

David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Dave Romney, Ashley Cole (c); Romain Alessandrini, Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng; Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Sheanon Williams, Jorgen Skjelvik, Servando Carrasco, Perry Kitchen, Baggio Husidic, Ariel Lassiter.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Photo Credit: Romain Alessandrini official Instagram. Goal scorers right to left: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ola Kamara, and Alessandrini.

The Los Angeles Galaxy only need to win their next match against the Houston Dynamo Sunday, October 28th to qualify for the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.

The Galaxy won on the road against Minnesota United on October 21st.

The attention and focus have been on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, of course. He’s made quite the impact and has really helped to get the Galaxy into a better position. Still, when looking at such a talented and highly paid team, the fact that it comes down to Decision Day reflects the uncertain state of the team.

Last season was very disappointing. Not only had they not qualified, but they were in last place. This season looked bleak and statistically wasn’t much better. Historically, the Galaxy are a team that set high standards for MLS.

Their winning reputation and the idea of StubHub as a fortress has been compromised. Currently, the Galaxy have a temporary coach, Dominic Kinnear. Now, as attributed to Ibrahimovic, the Galaxy’s playoff chances have significantly increased.

On Sunday’s game against the Loons, Ibrahimovic played on artificial turf, which was a feat in itself due to his previous knee condition. But, he played as promised because that’s how focused and important it is to qualify for the playoffs. He was responsible for getting the G’s up when he scored a header in the 30th minute. Then, he assisted Romain Alessandrini’s goal.

He also played a full 90 minutes! Not only was playing on turf a risk, but he was also one yellow card away from suspension. When he wasn’t the first sub and the minutes ticked by, it became clear he would stay on the pitch. It was concerning to see him take injury breaks.

Ola Kamara scored the second goal. But, they also gave up a goal to MNUFC Àngelo Rodriguez in the 53rd minute.

The Galaxy managed to pull off the win in front of 50,000 in attendance. The final score was 3-1.

Watch Galaxy highlights here:

The Dynamo are a beatable team. Their season ends with them most likely staying in 10th place in the west.

The Galaxy are the home team this Sunday and it’s Fan Appreciation DayLAG have everything to play for.

Featured image: @Ibra_official

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LA Galaxy Hanging Onto Playoff Hopes

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Reviewing the past two matches

Saturday, September 29: 3-0 Win

Starting XI

David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Dave Romney, Ashley Cole ©; Ema Boateng, Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos; Romain Alessandrini; Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Servando Carrasco, Perry Kitchen, Baggio Husidic, Ariel Lassiter.

Saturday’s match at StubHub Center kicked off at 7:00pm. The Los Angeles Galaxy played with confidence against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Within a few minutes, the score was 1-0. Zlatan Ibrahimovic took the penalty kick after Romain Alessandrini was taken down in the box on an unnecessary challenge. VAN keeper Stefan Marinovic guessed the right direction, but Ibrahimovic still got the ball past him.

Ibrahimovic scored again in the 58th minute. He made an individual effort, made room for himself, and took a shot at the goal just inside the box.

A second PK was given, this time Alessandrini asked to take it. Showing his leadership, 9 let him. The Galaxy won 3-0.  

Zlatan definitely had his night with a brace and celebrating to the audience. The South side of the stadium was filled with Swedish supporters.

Zlatan congrats Fans
Photo Credit: Jamie Bacon. Ibrahimovic greets fans after the win.

Interim coach Dominic Kinnear should be given credit where and when it is due. His decisions to put Michael Ciani and Jorgen Skjelvik on the bench help. The formations of the players have been pretty basic. The Galaxy made fewer mistakes this match in particular and the players really seem to be connecting well. They’re able to hold the lead even after subs come on.

Still, it’s too soon to say if he’s the sole reason the G’s have been playing better. The away games will give a clearer outlook as the team guns for the playoffs.

 

Saturday, October 6: 1-1 Draw

Cozmito
Beloved Mascot Cozmo watches attentively at the viewing party. Photo credit: Michelle Huitink

I stopped by the viewing party and was able to catch the game before the LA Galaxy II faced Sacramento Republic FC. I had the pleasure of being the guide to Los Angeles for fellow MLSFemale reporter and photographer, Tisha Gale.  She actually was friends with one of the visiting players, Shannon Gomez, whose team ended up defeating mine 2-1. 

It was really wonderful to spend the day with a fellow soccer fan.  She supported me through the roller coaster that was the LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City. I really feel I’ve made a life-long friend in this sisterhood of soccer.

Tisha_MLSFEMALE
Me and Tisha. MLSFemales. Photo credit: Kitisha MacCollum.

The Galaxy’s lineup had to be altered per Rolf Feltscher’s yellow card accumulation suspension. Sheanon Williams took that spot. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a penalty kick in the 25th minute.

The game got heated and players on both sides got physical. The Galaxy held on despite the tough environment of pouring rain and being the away team.  But, in the 83rd minute, SKC’s Johnny Russell leveled it.

The Galaxy had plenty of chances, especially with 6 minutes of stoppage time. It seemed the subs caused the defense to weaken, which can happen. But, this has been the narrative for the Galaxy.

 The Man of the Match performance came from David Bingham, who made at least 8 saves to keep the Galaxy from losing. 

This game ended in a wild 1-1 draw.

LAG haven’t won since 2007 in Missouri, so a draw doesn’t seem so bad. Except, tying this game means the Galaxy now rely on other teams in the west to help them make the playoffs. They’re only one point behind Real Salt Lake for the last seed to qualify.  

The Galaxy had a clean sheet and won their two previous matches.  They definitely look like a better, more confident team at home. This match was an indicator to see how well this team is really jelling. It’s just too bad it seems to be too little too late. There were two points from this match left on the table for sure.

The Galaxy’s last road match of the regular season is Sunday, October 21 as they face Minnesota United FC. Kickoff is set for 2pm.

The Loons should be a beatable team for Los Angeles, but they drew in their last meeting. Minnesota were able to defeat strong teams, NYCFC and Portland Timbers at home. The Galaxy have their work cut out for them. Their playoff hopes are hanging by a thread.

But, there’s still hope.

Featured image: Romain Alessandrini Official Instagram

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