The Los Angeles Galaxy came roaring back in the second half behind substitute Mike Magee’s brace performance as LA defeated D.C. United 4-1 on Sunday night at the StubHub Center.
LA started the second half down 1-0, but that all changed when Magee entered the match for Giovani Dos Santos at halftime. He scored two goals, assisted on another and was the main reason why the Galaxy was rewarded a penalty in the 83rd minute.
Los Angeles was able to start the 2016 Major League Soccer (MLS) season with a victory. However, the game was a tale of two halves, DC United was in control of the tempo in the first 45 minutes. The LA Galaxy appeared to still be hung over from the 4-0 defeat from Santos Laguna in the quarterfinal round of the CONCACAF Champions League when this match started.
However, a few decisions from LA’s manager Bruce Arena completely changed the final outcome of the match for both clubs. Now let’s take a look at the ratings of the Galaxy players in their 4-1 comeback victory.
Dan Kennedy: 5, he only played 20 minutes in the match before being subbed out for Brain Rowe due to a muscle injury he suffered. Lamar Neagle’s goal for the Black and Red was not a well hit shot from long range, yet he was still beat to the right hand post.
A.J. DeLaGarza: 6, this was not his best match by far, but he was still able to be somewhat effective.
Ashley Cole: 6, in the first half the former English international seemed frustrate. In the second half he recovered and had a better performance both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Daniel Steres: 7, on his debut for the first team he performed well and managed to even score. Steres is lacking experience, which is to be expected from someone playing their first match in the MLS. His most recent experience before this game was in the third tier of professional soccer in America, the United Soccer League.
Robbie Rogers: 6, he had his moments but it was obvious that he still getting use to playing on the right side. Overall his defense in the match struggled for the majority of the game. The main evidence for that is DC created 16 shots in the match. If LA had played a better opponent, the match would most definitely end in a one sided defeat for LA.
Giovani Dos Santos: 4, the Mexican play maker was simply struggling on the pitch. He failed to impact the game at all. In fact, the only thing he did was commit a foul and was whistled for an off sides. Due to his poor performance, Arena subbed the World Cup veteran from the match at the halftime break.
Gyasi Zardes: 5, in the second half he began to find his rhythm, however, he still performed well below his normal standards. The U.S. international is clearly struggling as a winger.
Nigel de Jong: 6, the Dutch international was brought to Southern California to bring stability in the midfield. He failed to do that consistently on Sunday; maybe the World Cup veteran is still finding his form. If not then the Galaxy have a serious problem on their hands.
Sebastian Lleget: 6, similar to the rest of the midfield he struggled at times. On the contrary, the San Francisco native was still able to deliver an assist for Magee’s first goal of the match.
Steven Gerrard: 6, the expectations for Gerrard are high and he has yet to put in a complete 90 minute performance for the Galaxy since he arrived. That being said, he did redeem himself in the second half. The former Liverpool F.C. captain was able to create a few scoring chances including a set up Magee's second goal.
Robbie Keane: 7, regardless that the midfield of LA is still trying to discover itself Keane was still hustling and being a pest for the Black and Red. Both of his shots were on target, he was fouled three times and also converted the penalty in 83rd minute.
(GK) Brian Rowe (20th minute): 8, Rowe has struggled to find consistent playing time for the first team. When he is called upon to bail out LA, he performs like a regular starter. Sunday was no different for the 27-year-old keeper.
He entered the match in the 20th minute for the injured Kennedy. With little time to prepare for the game, he was still able to come up big and make five saves in the match.
(MID) Mike Magee (45th minute): 9, he was the man of the match and possibly the player of the week in MLS. The Galaxy offense in the first half looked one dimensional and D.C. pretty much had them figured out. Everything changed when the former MLS MVP entered the match at halftime.
All of sudden the attack came to life, LA was moving up and down the pitch. They ended up creating nine out of their 13 shots in the final 45 minutes. Magee was involved in all four goals that LA scored in the second half.
He delivered the perfect ball from a corner kick to the head of Steres for the first goal in the 54th minute. Then he displayed some class by flicking the ball into the back of the net for his first goal in 64th minute.
For Keane’s penalty, he made a run into the heart of the box after receiving a pass. He seemed destined to score once again until D.C.’s goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra brought down the 31-year-old attacker in the box. Then Magee ended the match by heading in his second goal in the 87th minute.
(MID) Baggio Husidic (80th minute): N/A, he was not able to make his presence felt on the pitch.
Bruce Arena: 7, the risk that he took by subbing out Dos Santos for Magee at halftime paid off big time for the veteran coach. Despite the substitution, the first half was still a poor performance from the Galaxy. He needs to figure out quickly which starting 11 works on the field.
If he does not then it will be a repeat ending of the 2015 season. Los Angeles was able to beat down weaker clubs, but whenever they faced a competitive team they lost. However, Arena's ability to react quickly and change things up before D.C. United was able to double their lead gives him the seven.