Tag Archives: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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

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

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Sunday, July 29: 4-3 Win

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

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

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

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

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

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

MH: When and where did you serve?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starting XI

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

Bench

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured image: Marlon Santos Lima

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Saturday, July 21: 1-3 Win

Starting XI

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

Bench

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

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Image: @LAGalaxy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Bingham made big saves to keep the advantage.

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

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

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

Featured image: Romain Alessandrini’s Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy Independence Day Draw: Fun, Friends, Food, and Fireworks

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

Starting XI

David Bingham, Dave Romney, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole ©, Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius, Bradford Jamieson IV, Romain Alessandrini, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bench

Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Joao Pedro, Baggio Husidic, Ariel Lassiter, Ola Kamara.

It was the best Fourth of July I’ve ever had. This was also the 13th anniversary of my  supporting the Galaxy.

It started when I arrived with my Turkish student, Emre, who likes to be known as “EA” cuz of the FIFA video games. We were earlier than the friends I was meeting up with so I took him to the team store to buy Zlatan Ibrahimovic shirts for his little family members.  On our way through Lot 13 of StubHub Center, I got recognized by some tailgate friends.

(Left to right): Luis Baron, Bobby Lepe, and David Orona from the LA is Our House Podcast. Behind us: Emre, Jamie Bacon, and Leslie Chavez (Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink)

EA and I headed into the stadium an hour early so he could get the whole experience of warmups and we could get close seats at the General Admission section.

StubHub Center at sunset. Photo Credit: Jamie Bacon

EA had his phone camera ready. He said he could feel a goal coming. The DC United side started with the ball in front of where we were sitting. The Galaxy got the ball forward within the first five minutes of the match, Dave Romney made a perfect cross to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and he had plenty of space to kick it right in. See the goal below:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal. Footage credit: Emre Akca

LA Galaxy celebrate Ibrahimovic’s goal (Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink)

It was a challenging match against DC United. 25, 462 were in attendance. David Bingham made a save in the 11th minute. He’s a consistent and reliable goalkeeper. Still, The Galaxy looked good and confident, they seemed to really be playing together as a team.

In the 25th minute, Jorgen Skejelvik made an unbelievable cross to Chris Pontius, who then scored a golazo with his left foot: a really nice goal shot in the left top corner of the net, but less than a minute later and DC’s Zoltan Stieber stole his thunder with a goal of his own, making it 2-1 with the Blue and Gold still in the lead.

Very quickly after that, the Galaxy got possession again and Romain Alessandrini had a free kick. It was chaos in the box as the Galaxy tried to get back on the ball, but the referee blew the whistle signifying offsides right before a header by Michael Ciani went into the back of the net. Ciani went down and then out to get a bleeding injury taken care of. He changed his jersey and came back in.

Meanwhile, in the 31st minute, Bradford Jamieson IV left the game for Baggio Husidic.  That was just the first half.

Romain Alessandrini takes a corner kick (Photo Credit: Michelle Huitink)

During halftime, in true American fashion, Serviceman Ballew surprised and reunited with his family on the pitch. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

In the second half, nothing came of LAG’s play. Ibrahimovic made a selfish effort in the 59th minute and the ball went high over the net. The usual backline defense cracked like the San Andreas and they lost their momentum.  In the 69th minute, Ola Kamara came on and a spark of hope came, but then was snuffed out again as his goal was called offside by the rigid ref.

You didn’t need a crystal ball to see another DC United goal coming in the 85th minute by Darren Mattocks.

The final score was 2-2, officially a draw, but it felt like a loss. Ibrahimovic was visibly upset and he stormed off alone back to the tunnel.

Still, Emre told me it was an unforgettable experience in the best way and I’m glad I brought him, especially since he could meet fellow fans and friends.

My thoughts

Most of the defense stands around and just watches. They need to be transferred. The G’s are only one goal worse differential from the same amount of points last season, meaning, they’re just as bad despite all the talent and money spent on the team.  If they don’t start winning, they won’t make the playoffs.

Week 19 came and went, this is when the season really begins and more changes will be made, but how will it affect the Galaxy and how will they adapt? Will they end up finishing 9th in the West? As it stands, they are 8th place. We’ll have to keep watching and see.

The next match is expected to be sweltering at StubHub Center, Saturday July 7, so kick off has been pushed to 7:30pm.

Featured image of me and friends. Image: Jamie Bacon

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes Come to a Heated Draw in CaliClasico Part 2

Michelle Huitink - LA Galaxy/mlsfemale
Official LA Galaxy Reporter

By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink

June 30, 2018

Starting XI: David Bingham; Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik; Ashley Cole (c); Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen, Joao Pedro, Bradford Jamieson IV, Romain Alessandrini; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bench: Justin Vom Steeg, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Baggio Husidic, Ariel Lassiter.

Most of the LA Galaxy’s regular players were out injured. The Dos Santos brothers are still away on World Cup duty in Russia, though Giovani Dos Santos was the only one who’s seen any minutes on the pitch there.

CaliClasico kicked off full throttle at Stanford. Just in the first half, five goals had been scored.

The Galaxy’s fire started when Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored not even one minute into the match.

Then, a penalty was given to San Jose. Chris Wondolowski took it and missed initially, then scored on the rebound save from David Bingham.

Romain Alessandrini scored in the 20th minute over the wall on a free kick.

Then, Ibrahimovic scored again in the 25th minute on a ball that went all the way through to the back of the net.

Fifteen minutes later, the Quake’s Valeri Qazaishvili pulled one back and the game was set at 3-2 by the end of the first half.

The Galaxy almost had it, then were careless near and in the box.
Another penalty was given to San Jose and Wondolowski didn’t miss that one in the 69th minute.

The match ended in a 3-3 draw. Both teams played equally poorly. They gave up too many goals and fouls.

The Galaxy’s Bradford Jamieson IV did not look as good as he did during the U.S. Open Cup debut match. He committed a foul in the box that took down SJ’s Magnus Eriksson resulting in the first penalty.

The Galaxy dropped 2 points on the road. I say that because they gave up two penalties and they had the lead and then dropped it.

It’s time to move on now as LA have two home games this week. July 4th and July 7th. Both have 7pm kick-off times.

 

Featured image: Alessandrini Instagram

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @mchuitink

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LA Galaxy 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 

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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 

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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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