Magee hat trick leads Galaxy over Fire

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CARSON, CA (BDCi TV) – – Powered by 3 goals from Mike Magee, the defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the Chicago Fire easily 4-0 in their home opener at the Home Depot Center Sunday.

Magee started his goal flurry late in the first half with a 38th minute volley off a Todd Dunivant mini-cross in the box.  It stayed 1-0 at the half, and looked to be a slogging defensive struggle even though Los Angeles dominated time of possession 65% to 35% at that point.

The L.A. offensive continued in the second half until Magee struck in the 67th minute off a Robbie Keane through ball to make it 2-0.

It didn’t take long after that for the converted forward to achieve a hat trick. In the 73rd minute, Magee picked up a deflected ball in the box and delivered another surgically correct shot to the right corner of the net, beyond Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson’s outstretched hands.

Just when you thought the Galaxy would rest on the 3-0 lead, Magee’s partner up front Robbie Keane fought off defenders in front of the net and lasered one past Johnson for the 4th and final goal of the match.

The thumping the Galaxy attackers gave Sunday to last season’s MLS eastern conference runner-ups quickly put to rest whether this team could function without legends David Beckham and Landon Donovan.

There were several personnel and position changes – including Magee’s – and some even on the vaunted defense where Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant and AJ DeLaGarza reign. With new goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, and the return of Brazilian Leonardo after almost 2 years of knee rehab, the defense looked better than ever.

After the game, Coach Arena spoke about the work by Gonzalez and Leonardo in the central defense.

“They held up really well against a couple of tough forwards. Back in November we didn’t know how he (Leonardo) would be. He has spent an awful lot of time getting himself back, but he got a lot of great attention from our physical therapists and he was determined.”

The team plays a couple of CONCACAF Champions League matches back to back with Costa Rica’s Herediano with the first game in Costa Rica on Thursday the 7th.

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