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