MLS: The Galaxy kick off the season with 2-0 victory over Chicago on Friday.
By Jorge, Belon, Managing Editor
The defending MLS Cup champions kicked off their season on a cool Friday night under the lights of the StubHub Center with a 2-0 walk in the park victory over the Chicago Fire.
In front of 27,000 fans the Galaxy showed that their offense is still dangerous without Landon Donovan. Today, the first match was played since the all time MLS leading goal scorer retired. However, the five–time champion offense took off as they tried 13 shots against the Fire and won the battle of possession.
It took Los Angeles till the 65th minute of the second half to break the deadlock. The U.S. international goalie Sean Johnson blocked three of the five Galaxy on target shots.
Former youth academy player, Jose Villarreal, score the first goal of the 2015 Major League Soccer season.
Stefan Ishizaki, former Swedish international, received the ball at the right-hand side of the field and saw Villarreal make a run into the penalty box. With a quick reaction, he sent a pass into the heart of the box. Fire veteran defender, Jeff Larentowicz, looked to kill the play with an ordinary clearance. But instead, his miss read the bounce and made poor contact with the ball.
In result, the ball deflected his own defender and went into the path of the left footed Inglewood, California native. Villarreal wasted no time and blasted the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to make it 1-0. The StubHub Center ignited with his goal.
“It feels good,” the former Under-20 U.S. national team forward told SBISoccer. “The defenders had some miss-communication, and they left it, like a peach, as they say, it was perfect for me, and I just had to slap it in.”
After taking the lead, LA was on cloud nine. Their next four shots were a little too far left or right. The Fire were still alive. They tried five shots in the entire match and only one of those shots were on target.
Irish international, Robbie Keane, iced the match at the 81st minute. U.S. international center back Omar Gonzalez sent a high long pass toward the penalty box. Substitute midfielder Baggio Husidi flung the ball with his head right into the feet of Keane. The number one Irish scorer and defending MLS most valuable player sent a powerful shot into the left-hand side of the net to give the Galaxy the 2-0 victory.
The Galaxy heads up to Oregon for their next match, when they face the Portland Timbers on Sunday, March 15th at Providence Park. Chicago will be go home after their loss to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, March 14th at Toyota Park.
Highlights provided by MLS.