Tag Archives: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

FC Dallas – LA Galaxy

By Sahara Clay // @SaharaClayMLSF

FC Dallas played LA Galaxy this weekend in Toyota Stadium. It was a sunny Texas day in March and the stadium was packed full of adoring fans. However, there was one question on everyone’s mind: where is Zlatan?

From the beer garden, chants rang out of “Where is your Zlatan?” and “In the jungle, the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight,” obvious taunts at LA. However, these calls were incredibly valid.

FC Dallas made a huge mistake of marketing Zlatan and this game as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch him play when he was nowhere to be found. Even more embarrassingly, they ran these ads at halftime when it was painstakingly apparent Zlatan would not be found on the pitch.

For such a hyped-up match, nothing much seemed to happen. Yes, FC Dallas won 2-0, but was it the game of a lifetime? Hardly.

In my opinion, Paxton Pomykal was the standout of the match, even though Reto Ziegler and Bryan Acosta scored the two goals of the match. No one showed as much hustle on the field as Pomkykal in every single minute of the game.

In fact, Pomykal is partially responsible for Bryan Acosta’s first MLS goal. It’s going to be very interesting to see how Luchi Gonzalez pushes Pomykal in his debut season as FC Dallas’ coach.

I would love to see Pomykal as a starter this season as his confidence grows on the field. He only gets better. Gonzalez stressed the importance of possession throughout the preseason and Dallas did a great job of implementing that this match.

We ended the match with 64% possession of the ball and even had a whopping 59 uninterrupted passes.

Other notable moments of the match included Edwin Cerillo’s MLS debut after an awesome preseason. Although Cerillo only joined the game in the 79th minute, he had a solid start, with his first touch being a clearance of Joe Corona’s free kick.

Jesse Gonzalez also had a notable save on the field – arguably one of the best of the week – in the 91st minute. His short reaction time saves are some of the best in MLS. Gonzalez and the Homegrowns certainly had an amazing day on the field – pointing towards a promising season if we can keep it up

Featured image: @FCDallas

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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 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

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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.

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

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

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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

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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

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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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