A Turning Point for the Galaxy’s Season?

Chicago Fire 0 Galaxy 2
i-663884e1b8bdd2c32310b3f4004c5a6f-galfire.jpgThe Galaxy’s Mike Magee is denied by Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch. (AP Photo).

Games like these can change the direction of a season.

The Galaxy (8-4-10) got better as the game wore on, the 9-5-8 Fire worse at a sold out Toyota Park.

The result was a Galaxy away victory; they’re now second in the Western Conference although Seattle can retake the automatic playoff spot with a win Thursday over New England.

The Galaxy were in total control of this game; Chicago – on an off night – barely got a glimpse of goal.

Even better were the inventive and measured moves offensively (since when did Mike Magee and Jovan Kirovski become a fluid attacking duo?), Landon Donovan’s return to a rapacious mood and the defensive solidarity of A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez that managed to compensate for Gregg Berhalter’s hesitance.

Some of the slickest moves on the season were on display tonight combined with a methodical take down of the opponent.

Said Alecko Eskandarian on his Facebook page: “Huuuuuuuge win for us tonight.”

Yup.

And Eddie Lewis and David Beckham return from suspension for Saturday’s game against D.C. United.

Game story.

Quotable:

“Tonight was not our best night all around,” said Fire Coach Dennis Hamlett. “For whatever reason – big game, big crowd – we weren’t sharp from the get go. There was no sense of urgency. There’s some credit to LA – they came in and were well organized. They got behind the ball and waited for us to make mistakes.”

Galaxy XI: Donovan Ricketts (Josh Saunders 85), Todd Dunivant, Gregg Berhalter, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Dema Kovalenko (Chris Klein 46), Landon Donovan, Chris Birchall (Tony Sanneh 68), Stefani Miglioranzi, Mike Magee, Jovan Kirovski.

Rolling Hills Estates’ John Thorrington played the full 90 for the Fire.

MLS standings.

What deficiencies or strengths did you see in the Galaxy? Is this reality or a false dawn?

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • john

    Are Alecko and Buddle still injured? For how long?

    Nick replies: 1. Yup. 2. The $64 million question.

  • Anon

    Any word on Ricketts? Was that a minor issue that became the occasion to waste some time or did he suffer a concussion that could rule him out of the DC game? It looked like there may have been bleeding, so perhaps stitches were necessary.

    Nick replies: Checking…

  • Inigo Montoya

    Depth was what we saw: take Beckham, Buddle, Eskandarian, and Lewis (and Alan Gordon?) out of the attack, and the Galaxy can still score goals on the road against one of the top five teams in the league.

    The defense was very good as well, and subbing in Sanneh late didn’t hurt at all. I’d even say I’m less worried about Josh Saunders than I was early in the season: he’s maturing into a solid and reliable sub.

    This game reminded me of the 6/28 win over Houston when Donovan and Beckham were away playing international matches and Eskanderian had not yet joined the team. Houston was/is the best team in the league and the G’s beat them without the “stars.” That’s huge for team and fan morale.

    Favorite moment in this game: when Ricketts _threw_ the ball more than half the length of the field up the left side to Donovan. OMG, what other goalie in the world can do that?

    Strengths? Movement and passing, and even some speed. Team attacking, team defending, midfield transitions. A much more entertaining game than early in the season.

    Weaknesses? Too impatient at times, too willing to kick the ball upfield instead of working it through the midfield.

    My hat is off to Arena. I was critical early in the season, and it appears that I was wrong.

    Nick: Kovalenko hurt again?

  • Studs Up

    Somehow I’m less euphoric about this win than commentators here including some surprising love from a certain sportswriter on this blog. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take the 3 and I’m happy of the team’s rebound from last game.

    This game reminded me much of the Galaxy loss to Seattle in reverse. Defensive breakdowns, quick counters and an efficient win. We caught Chicago on a bad night for them. Even Nick could walk past those defenders last night. Jovan and Magee both are skillful players but woefully slow. The main reason for their success last night was the hustle of Dema, Chris B. and Stephany. ;-)

    Donovan understandably was pacing himself and saved his energy for one quick and magical moment (even though Busch back pedaled just before his shot).

    Defense was much more involved and effective. Gotta give a bunch of credit to Bruce and company for throwing out a good line up. Depth helps a ton.

  • DB

    Even more than the win, I have to say that I was happy to see the boys play the game like they can and should. Nothing spectacular, save the Ricketts feed to Donovan. Kept it simple. Most improvements were in the areas of team mobility – on both ends of the field – and in possession. Nice win.