Jul 8, 2012, 5:09 PM EDT
Man of the Match: Galaxy striker Robbie Keane (pictured) has easily been the least effective of L.A.’s trio of Designated Players, but he put a little Irish magic into his day at Toyota Park. His cross led to the first-half penalty kick, which he converted off the inside of the right post. Keane’s second-half strike gave the visitors a comfortable margin.
Packaged for take-away:
- The hand brake never really got released on this one. The heat at Toyota Park looked like it sucked the energy right out of both teams, each of which played a mid-week contest. The crowd seemed oddly muted, too.
- Two surprises in the Galaxy lineup: Landon Donovan’s absence was the big one; he picked up a hip strain in mid-week. Also, center back Omar Gonzalez was left on the bench, helping to protect against overuse too early in his ACL surgery recovery.
- The Galaxy defending on corner kicks was shoddy once again. Chicago had free headers on its first two corner kicks, although none of the Toyota Park men were sharp enough to take advantage.
- No fewer than two Galaxy men picked up yellow cards for dissent in the 15th minute: David Junior Lopes and Juninho. Actually, “dissent” isn’t all that accurate. In Lopes’ case, it was more for blowing his top and getting in the face of referee Jair Marrufo. Juninho was booked for grabbing Marrufo’s shoulder, so you could most accurately say the Galaxy midfielder was booked for losing his mind.
- Aside from that, Lopes had a good match. So did central defensive partner A.J. DeLaGarza, who allowed very little operating room or opportunities for Fire forwards.
- Josh Saunders’ second-half save on Chris Rolfe’s sneaky little 18-yard grass cutter (one of the few effective efforts allowed on target by those center backs) was fantastic stuff, the kind of save missing when Saunders was away on personal leave.
- Fire right back Jalil Anibaba may have been outside the penalty area as he stuck out a hand that kept a Galaxy cross from entering the 18. Hard to tell. Perhaps Marrufo have been better to award a free kick outside the area. Either way, Anibaba shouldn’t be waving his hands out there; that’s why defenders stalk the crosses with their hands purposely down at their sides, or even behind their backs in that situation.
- How badly does Chicago need to improve its situation at forward? Let’s talk quickly about Patrick Nyarko’s 43rd-minute header. Wide open. Uncontested. Six yards away. He doesn’t even get it on target? Nyarko has his moments, but not nearly enough of them. He’s always been occasionally hot but frequently very cold.
- The versatile Rolfe can play a lot of attacking or flank positions. But attacking midfielder isn’t one of them. He didn’t have an eye for the space available Sunday, had no real connection with teammates and had little influence from that position. That’s Sebastien Grazzini’s position; who knows what is going on with that guy, who has returned to Argentina to sort out “personal problems.”
- Newly acquired Chicago attacker Alex got his third appearance for the Fire, coming on at the break for Logan Pause as the Fire’s 4-2-3-1 became a 4-4-2.
- Meanwhile, the Galaxy had Donovan to bring off the bench. He added leadership and possession, not to mention his eye for the counter attack, which paid off once and very nearly got Keane a hat trick.
- Arne Friedrich always looks so composed along the Fire back line.
- Donovan ran the Galaxy counter to perfection, pouncing on Rolfe’s bad turnover and feeding Keane for the insurance goal. Neither Pavel Pardo nor Anibaba covered themselves in glory on the 2-on-2 defense, but much of the blame will go to goalkeeper Sean Johnson, whose less-than-graceful footwork was culpable.
May 25, 2013, 12:32 AM EDT
Santos confirmed that they have accepted two offers for Brazilian sensation Neymar.
May 24, 2013, 9:29 PM EDT
In a mind-blowing move, USA Today have reported the LA Galaxy have sent a player to the Chicago Fire in exchange for the rights to Robbie Rogers.
May 24, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT
With a victory in the Champions League final to complete Bayern Munich’s domination domestically and abroad plus their offseason acquisitions, would they be a force for years to come?
May 24, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT
Internazionale officially announced they have sacked Andrea Stramaccioni and hired the former Napoli boss.
May 24, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT
No question that two of the league’s most interesting teams will be at Stade Saputo on Saturday:
May 24, 2013, 3:37 PM EDT
Tony Fernandes has finally taken some blame for the relegation of QPR instead of shedding it left and right.
May 24, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed Chelsea interm manager Rafa Benitez is set to move to Serie A on a 2-year deal with Napoli.
May 24, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
Boyd left Dortmund last season, so is a USMNT player destined to never play in a Champions League final?
May 24, 2013, 2:50 PM EDT
Who knew that Jimmy Nielsen’s burst of white hair wasn’t the craziest thing about Sporting Kansas City’s talented goalkeeper?
May 24, 2013, 2:45 PM EDT
A blog post in the New Yorker looks at another side to this week’s huge expansion news:
May 24, 2013, 2:31 PM EDT
Does Hughes deserve another shot at managing an EPL club after past failures?
May 24, 2013, 2:25 PM EDT
Both teams are on streaks of success – even if “success” look so radically different in the two camps:
May 24, 2013, 1:56 PM EDT
See the sights around London, as Wembley Stadium welcomes German fans in abundance.
May 24, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
When Bayern Munich face Borussia Dortmund tomorrow at 2:45 ET at Wembley, they won’t be playing for the right to be recognized as permanent contenders. They’ve already done that.
May 24, 2013, 1:13 PM EDT
Monaco’s Russian oligarch owner is splashing the cash to bring Champions League success, can they do it?
May 24, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT
We have five suggestions as MLS pivots its enhancement efforts away from expansion:
May 24, 2013, 12:32 PM EDT
Looking behind the incredible story of the tiny rock in the Mediterranean, that can now take on the giants of European soccer
May 24, 2013, 11:38 AM EDT
Which individual battles will determine which side lifts the UEFA Champions League trophy at Wembley on Saturday?
May 24, 2013, 11:04 AM EDT
We take a look at which US cities deserve an MLS expansion franchise and how close they are to getting it. Thoughts?
- USA Today reports LA Galaxy trade Mike Magee for rights to Robbie Rogers 5
- With MLS expansion done for now, where the league priorities should land 7
- Which US cities are next for MLS expansion? 24
- Champions League Final infographic: Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich 0
- NWSL Game of the Week: Sky Blue FC vs. FC Kansas City 0
- It’s official: Manchester City and the Yankees will own and operate Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. (35)
- Which US cities are next for MLS expansion? (24)
- Why MLS was so focused on New York as the 20th market (18)
- Notes from today’s big announcement on MLS, NYCFC the Yankees and the rest (14)
- Gareth Bale set to re-sign with Tottenham – But is it a good deal for the Welshman? (9)
- Penguins bounce Senators
- Pacers take down Heat in Game 2 to even series
- Tiger, LeBron and bids to be the best that ever lived
- PST: Report: Openly gay Rogers to play for Galaxy
- HBT: Granderson breaks pinky in Yanks' win
- PHT: NHL to present Coyotes ownership plans
- HBT: A-Rod sells Miami home for $30 million