Tag Archives: Michelle Huitink

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

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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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

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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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

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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.

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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

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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Playoffs Quest in the wild, wild west continues

Sporting KC vs. LA Galaxy – Match Preview

Where: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS.

When: Saturday, October 6, 7:30 p.m. CT.

How to watch: FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM.


Araceli Villanueva - LAFC/mlsfemale
Sporting KC Contributor

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The lion is coming to Kansas City.

Sporting Kansas City will host the LA Galaxy at Children’s Mercy Park as they look to clinch a playoff spot and reclaim first place (even for a brief moment) on Saturday.

The last time these two clubs met was when Sporting KC defeated the Galaxy in a 2-0 victory when they visited the StubHub Center in Carson on Sunday, April 8.

The LA Galaxy is coming in hot off of a two-straight shutout – having defeated the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps – and will look to dash Sporting KC’s playoffs hopes.

LA Galaxy are now 4-7-4 on the road and have been having a turbulent campaign this season. Now with a new interim coach, the Galaxy are just two points away from knocking Real Salt Lake below the line.

I interviewed my fellow colleague, Michelle Huitink to get the insight:

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Araceli Villanueva: LA Galaxy is coming off a two-straight shutout streak and seems to be performing well after Sigi’s departure. But is Dominic Kinnear the answer?

Michelle Huitink: I think having Michael Ciani and Jorgen Skjelvik on the bench is part of the reason the Galaxy are doing well.

Those decisions were made by [Dom] Kinnear, so in that sense, it’s working. He’s been going with basic formations. But, something definitely has been figured out, also among the players. Defensively they’ve really tightened up and are playing confidently. The touches on the ball are much better, they connect more, and are making fewer defensive mistakes. Plus, the absence of Sigi [Schmid] is the reason they are doing better.

That said, I don’t want him to be a permanent coach. He’s been on the coaching staff, so I don’t see him having any secrets. Even when “weaker” links get subbed in, the Galaxy is still able to hang on. I honestly need to see more games to say for sure; the road games will be a good test. So, I can’t really say it’s because he took over.

AV: The Western Conference has been tight this season and with the Galaxy just barely holding on, do you think the team will change anything (formation, roster, etc.) when they visit KC?

MH: Rolf Feltscher is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Though, I wouldn’t want Ema Boateng to start. [Boateng] has been playing well, too, but he’s a little short in height. His speed and that he gets between defenders are what makes him great, but we need those fresh legs in the second half – that’s when results from him really stand out. Romney and Steres seem like a good combo. Cole‘s experience shows. Additionally, Jonathan Dos Santos is a good connection between midfield and the defense – thanks to Kinnear.

I think we’ll see the same lineup. I would hope they wouldn’t change what they don’t have to if it’s working. Plus, if they keep the same formation and lineup, it can be a better sample for comparing the last two matches to road games. Gio Dos Santos seems to have fallen off the face of the Earth – minus seeing him at the season ticket holder player signing event. And since the playoffs are hanging in the balance, there’s no reason Zlatan Ibrahimovic would miss this game.

AV: Ibrahimovic is red hot right now. However, over the summer he fueled rumors about him potentially returning to Europe after the season ends – what is the latest update?

MH: At the season ticket member event on September 30th at Alpine Village Restaurant, he said he might return next season. The fans started chanting “one more year!” He’s shut down rumors about returning to Malmo despite offers.

In my personal opinion, he’s said his focus is on the Galaxy and he turned down a lot of other offers (and money) to come here. Some would say to stay here, he would want a raise since our backline is paid more.

Featured image: @sportingkc Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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LA Galaxy Playoff Hopes Alive

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

September 23, 2018

Starting XI

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

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Servando Carrasco, Michael Ciani, Sheanon Williams, Perry Kitchen, Baggio Husidic, Ariel Lassiter.

Photo Credit: LA Galaxy official Instagram

The match started off with a bang as 7-year-old Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja sang a sensational rendition of the National Anthem that has since gone viral.

Going into this match, the Los Angeles Galaxy had a winless 7 game streak. Seattle Sounders had a 9 game winning streak until it was snapped by the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday. This surging team was struggling defensively.

So, this gave me hope that the Galaxy could pull off a win at home. When they’d last faced Seattle at Centurylink last month, they lost 5-0 without Zlatan Ibrahimovic and designated players.

Now, the Sounders were missing Chad Marshall and Harry Shipp due to injury.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer. Photo Credit: Roberto E. Lepe

The Galaxy changed its lineup with Daniel Steres. This was his first start since last September in 2017 when he suffered a back injury against The Rave Green. He definitely had a positive impact on the game, often clearing the ball or getting possession to move the ball up to create chances.

The Galaxy had come out strong despite the Sounders usual mid-low defense. Rolf Feltscher started what was a great game by pressing to get possession back and get the ball to Ola Kamara who then passed it to Romain Alessandrini in the center of the box. He ran up when opponent Brad Smith tripped Kamara, and both 11s were down in the penalty area.

A penalty was awarded. Ibrahimovic took it, keeper Stefan Frei went the other way, and his ball went into the right bottom corner of the net without a problem, putting the Galaxy in the lead 1-0.

The Galaxy continued to play with confidence, especially in their passing. Ashley Cole’s back pass in the 23rd minute and the team as a whole kept up the momentum after the first goal. The Galaxy’s defensive issues showed when Will Bruin had a shot but missed the header. He wasn’t covered by anyone at the back post a minute later.

In previous matches, the Galaxy weren’t used to being up and lately they haven’t been able to maintain a lead. So, then we had to see how the Galaxy would respond defensively.

The issues I saw watching this LA team were the way they rushed with the ball instead of taking it easy, maintaining control of the game, and not giving away possession with simple mistakes. They have no need to rush when they’re ahead! The other thing was not to give in to the other team’s strategies and play right into their traps.

At least they weren’t just trying to serve the ball to Ibrahimovic; instead, Boateng was getting a lot of the service.

The players really hustled on the field. Overall, the Galaxy had a great game. Alessandrini would sneak up the sides to keep possession or move the ball up, which helped him assist Ola Kamara’s goal in the 40th minute and Emmanuel Boateng’s in the 52nd minute.

Boateng, Dos Santos, and Rolf Feltscher were the MVPs of the game.

Boateng is small, but he’s fierce. When he has room to run, he uses his speed to get past defenders and take advantage of deflections. The goal he scored was kicked in across the line after a bad bounce off Román Torres.

Jonathan Dos Santos played a traditionally deep mid defensive position, which had him working hard.

Feltscher got a yellow and seemed to be so actively defending. He had quite a few blocks on shots.

As well as the Galaxy played, this does feel like a fluke. They have a temporary coach, Dominic Kinnear. We have to see how the next few games will go, especially to make the playoffs. At this point, drawing isn’t good enough because then other teams in the West would have to lose for the Galaxy to slip into the last qualifying spot. The Galaxy need to keep playing to win like it’s make it or break it (because it is).

With this win against Seattle, they are only behind by 3 points for the final playoff spot.

LAG play home again against Vancouver Whitecaps this Saturday, September 29. Kickoff is set at 7pm.

Michelle Huitink waiting for the players to pass by. Photo Credit: Roberto E. Lepe
A special thank you to LA is Our House for the seat upgrade. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink
Galaxy Mascot, Cozmo, running past the trophy case. Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink

Featured image of the view from the tunnel: Roberto E. Lepe

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic Joins 500-Goal Club

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

September 15, 2018

Starting XI

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

Bench

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured image: @CozmoLAGalaxy

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, Sept 1: 6-2 Loss

Starting XI

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

Bench

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy Can’t Be Beat in Regular Season Derby

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI

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

Bench

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Having Rolf Feltscher back also made a big difference.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured image of LA Galaxy warmup: Michelle Huitink

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LAFC vs. LA Galaxy: Match Preview

Araceli Villanueva - LAFC/mlsfemale
Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Where: StubHub Center, Carson, Calif.

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

How to watch: ESPN, ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MH: 3-2. LA Galaxy win.

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Featured image: Araceli Villanueva/in LA

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @Aracelv1

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LA Galaxy Scoreless in Seattle

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI

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

Bench

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured image of CenturyLink: George Heskett

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

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