Chicago Fire 1 Galaxy 1
Despite playing a man up for 70 minutes after Gonzalo Segares was sent off, the Galaxy were unable to capitalize Saturday and in the end were fortunate to escape Chicago with a draw after Omar Gonzalez scored on a header from a Landon Donovan free kick in second half stoppage time.
It was perhaps the Galaxy’s best attacking moment in a game that saw their offense grow more insipid as the 90 minutes wore on.
Landon Donovan is officially off form after failing to even hit the target with a point-blank header while wide open in the first half and also missing a penalty stemming from the Segares foul. Still, he managed his MLS-best 12th assist on the season.
It wasn’t that the Galaxy played (too) badly, they just didn’t play particularly well in a game where chippy fouls overshadowed scoring opportunities.
The soaring, dominant header by Gonzalez enabled the Galaxy to stop their losing streak at two, but they were lucky to escape Chicago with minimal damage.
The goal ended a 350-minute Galaxy scoreless streak dating back to Aug. 14.
Notable: Rookie Michael Stephens was dropped and missed his first game of the season, one of four changes Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena made to his starting lineup. Central defender Gregg Berhalter missed his third straight game, while Chris Birchall was suspended. Visa-challenged Juninho returned to LA today from his native Brazil, though.
Galaxy XI: Donovan Ricketts; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant (Mike Magee 81′); Dema Kovalenko, Jovan Kirovski, Tristan Bowen (Bryan Jordan 61′), Alex Cazumba (Eddie Lewis 71′); Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan
Next for the Galaxy: the Columbus Crew Saturday at Home Depot Center, a game that could mark the return of David Beckham.