Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire: Play-by-Play Analysis, Reaction and More
Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy hit the road for a July 8 Major League Soccer match with Frank Klopas’s Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. The Galaxy sport a very dismal 6-10-2 record (20 points) and have been struggling to post victories, managing just two shutouts all season.
As for the Fire, they have had a much better year in MLS, earning a record of 8-5-4 (28 points) and are currently fourth in the MLS Eastern Conference.
For this match, midfielder David Beckham will be out due to suspension. However, the flip side is that defender Omar Gonzalez returned to play on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Union and is expected to play a full match on Sunday afternoon in Chi-Town.
Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
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Seven of the next eight games for Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy will be road contests, and this result will bode well in terms of confidence for LA, who secure a hard-fought 2-0 victory for the Galaxy over Frank Klopas’s Chicago Fire.
Robbie Keane secured a brace in the 24th and 78th minutes of play to help lead the Galaxy, who improve to 7-10-2 (23 points) and are back in the MLS Western Conference playoff race. Keane nearly got open for a hat trick in the 85th minute but elected to play it back and chew up the clock.
A threatening sequence from Chicago in the 89th minute was turned aside by the Los Angeles backline, who neutralized the speed of the Fire’s midfielders and forwards this afternoon. Marco Pappa’s attempt in the second minute of stoppage time summed up what has been a sorry day for the home side.
A write-up of this match will be posted on the View from Victoria Street and Bleacher Report.
Somebody hit the upset alert button, we got one on the way. Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy now lead the Chicago Fire 2-0 thanks to Robbie Keane, who has secured a brace in the 78th minute of play.
A shot from Chris Rolfe in the 77th minute just was pushed by Los Angeles goalkeeper Josh Saunders, forcing a corner that was cleared.
Landon Donovan set Keane loose on a 1-v-1 with Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Keane was able to fake Johnson and slide the ball home.
In the 80th minute, the Fire’s Arne Friedrich nearly pulled one back, but Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders was there to collect the volley.
There’s less than 10 minutes and stoppage time remaining here at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., but all signs are pointing to a huge morale-boosting victory for the struggling Galaxy.
We are 75 minutes into the match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire, and the Galaxy continue to lead 1-0.
In the 63rd minute, Patrick Nyarko won a corner for the Fire but Josh Saunders was there to make the collection for the Galaxy. A chance from Juninho from Robbie Keane in the 64th minute was wasted.
The hope for Los Angeles was that Landon Donovan’s entrance in the 65th minute would add a bit more spark to the Galaxy’s stagnant offense. However, it didn’t do much to stem the tide in the Fire’s favor. In the 68th minute, a Pavel Pardo set piece was butchered. Marco Pappa was cautioned in the 69th minute for a rash challenge on David Junior Lopes.
A corner from Landon Donovan in the 75th minute was wasted by Todd Dunivant, forcing a goal kick from Sean Johnson, who has had a good outing in goal for Chicago outside of the failed penalty save.
Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy remain on top, 1-0, after an hour.
Early on in the second half, a shot from Chris Rolfe sailed wide left in the 46th minute for a goal kick. A delivery from Juninho failed to connect to Robbie Keane in the 47th minute. Super sub Alex won a free kick in the 49th minute for the Fire, from 15 yards out.
Pavel Pardo was on target, but Josh Saunders was able to make the save, forcing a corner for Marco Pappa that was cleared. Gonzalo Segares could not capitalize on the rebound 50 minutes in.
Michael Stephens had a great look on goal in the 53rd minute but just missed wide left of the mark due to being hit on his weaker foot.
In the 55th minute, a corner for Chicago was initially cleared, but the Fire were able to regain possession and gain quite a few more looks on net. In the 57th minute, Segares had a great chance to equalize but hit it wide right of goal. Dominic Oduro nearly had his chance a minute late but was offsides. A shot for Hector Jimenez was wide left in the 59th minute.
It’s halftime at Toyota Park, and the Los Angeles Galaxy lead the Chicago Fire 1-0.
A speculative attempt from Juninho in the 28th minute sailed high, the epitome of what has been a slump for the young Brazilian on loan from Sao Paulo. Todd Dunivant had a similar attempt go high and out in the 31st minute of play.
In the 33rd minute, Marcelo Sarvas conceded a free kick from a very dangerous position: 15 yards away. The set piece was cleared, however, and Jalil Anibaba wasted an opportunity to equalize off the rebound.
In the 37th minute, Sarvas helped turn back a defensive challenge from the Fire attack. Robbie Keane nearly had an open look on goal in the 38th minute but Chicago’s Chris Rolfe was there to stop his possession. A corner from Juninho in the 40th minute did not materialize. Sean Johnson collected another chance for Keane in the 41st minute.
The Fire’s Patrick Nyarko had an open look from eight yards out in the 43rd minute but was off on the header attempt.
A half hour has gone here at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., and Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy lead Frank Klopas’s Chicago Fire 1-0 thanks to a penalty conversion from Robbie Keane.
The Fire wanted to establish a sound possession game, and they have controlled the game thus far after 30 minutes. In the 22nd minute, a corner from Juninho was not headed well by Sean Franklin. The second corner from LA didn’t fare any better, as it was also cleared.
In the 23rd minute, a handball by Jalil Anibaba forced a penalty conversion attempt for Robbie Keane in the 24th minute. Keane forced Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson to go the wrong direction, and he made no mistake in finishing the conversion. A dangerous 26th minute corner from Juninho was cleared.
There is plenty of football yet to be played, but with this goal, the Galaxy are now in business and will look to add to their advantage..
At Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chicago Fire are scoreless after 15 minutes.
Galaxy manager Bruce Arena elected to go with a watered-down lineup to start the match, resting Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez and Mike Magee against the fire. A right hamstring strain has forced Donovan to the sidelines.
Early on in the first half, a threatening sequence from Jalil Anibaba resulted in a corner for Marco Pappa that was eventually cleared in the second minute. A shot from Juninho via Marcelo Sarvas in the fifth minute was sailed high and over. A.J. DeLaGarza had to force a chance from Chicago’s Dominic Oduro in the xith minute of play. Patrick Nyarko tried his luck, but to no avail, a minute later.
A chance from Chad Barrett in the ninth minute sailed wide right of the mark. In the 10th minute, a chance for Nyarko was cleared by Sean Franklin, forcing a corner for Pavel Pardo. Anibaba’s next attempt off the rebound hit the side netting.
Juninho was cautioned in the 14th minute for dissent. The ensuing free kick for Pappa just went over the crossbar.
One of the bright spots from the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 2-1 defeat to the Philadelphia Union is the return of Omar Gonzalez, who logged 45 minutes of playing time before being subbed out at the break.
Gonzalez is expected to play a full match for the first time this season against the Chicago Fire (kickoff: 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN Deportes).
"I was really happy to get out there," Gonzalez told MLSSoccer.com’s Luis Bueno. "I was pretty nervous the whole day, but once the ref blew the whistle, I was ready to go and I felt comfortable.
"I felt like I could've gone like 10 more minutes, but we just decided to stick to the plan, just as a thing where you don’t want to play too many minutes. This is sort of a kind of progression, so this game I got 45 minutes, maybe next game I get 60 and you know, go from there."
Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy left three points on the table Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Union and got no one to blame but themselves for their lack of production. These same issues could potentially haunt them on Sunday against the Chicago Fire (kickoff: 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET).
“The reality is, is we should be five wins in a row right now and now we find ourselves behind the eight-ball a little bit again,” Galaxy captain Landon Donovan told MLSSoccer.com’s Luis Bueno. “It’s difficult to take but the reality is now it’s over. We can either moan about it or we can … get ready for Chicago.”
Stuck in a logjam for a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs, the Galaxy are fully aware that any defeat at this point will be costly.
“Our next three games are away so we don’t have time to sulk on this,” Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza added. “We have to get points.”