The L.A. Galaxy’s 2013 season opener against the Chicago Fire Sunday March 3, would be a game of many firsts. The first game of the season for the back-to-back MLS Cup champs would be without David Beckham, who left the team at the end of last season and after lots of speculation, signed with Paris Saint-Germaine.
No Landon Donovan at this match either, away on an extended, vaguely explained sabbatical, replaced as Team Captain by the somersaulting Irish forward with the fancy footwork, Robbie Keane.
Many new faces join the roster this season, other players return from injury. It was good to see Leonardo holding down the backfield alongside Omar Gonzalez, once again. English Premiere League veteran, new to the Galaxy this season, goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was not called on right away to defend during Sunday’s game, but his perfectly timed, tip of the finger save in the 2nd half helped to secure the shut out.
Juninho has stepped into Beckham’s role, taking every corner kick, with decent, if slightly mixed results. Overall the team seemed prepared, organized, and looking to be just fine without two conspicuously missing, former team celebrities.
When mid-fielder Mike Magee scored the first goal in the 38th minute, the crowd stood and cheered, and by the 90th minute, fans had chanted Magee’s name a total of nine times, three per goal, after Magee’s hat trick. Robbie Keane added icing to the cake when he scored the Galaxy’s fourth goal, with an assist from Omar Gonzalez.