Categorized | MLS Match Reports

Whitecaps Knocked Out by Magee & Galaxy

Posted on 02 November 2012 by Kyle Alm

If it’s the MLS Cup Playoffs, it can mean only one thing for the Los Angeles Galaxy; it’s Mike Magee’s time to shine.

 

The midfielder, who came through time after time for the Galaxy in its run to the MLS Cup last season and sent an advanced warning last Sunday with his winner against the Seattle Sounders did it again for Los Angeles in the Western Conference play-in game against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Thursday night. This time, his goal, which came in the  69th minute, was an equalizer after the Galaxy trailed for 65 minute, and Landon Donovan’s penalty kick four minutes later enabled LA to start of its 2012 playoff run in grad fashion courtesy of a 2-1 win over the Whitecaps at the Home Depot Center.

 

“Hats off to them because they made it so difficult,” Magee said. “If it would’ve gone to extra time, we would’ve had the tired legs. Hats off to them but it shows how good our team is.”

 

The win sends the Galaxy into the conference semifinals and with it, a much anticipated showdown between its archrival San Jose Earthquakes, starting Sunday evening at the Home Depot Center. The two California rivals have played three heated matches this season, with San Jose having captured the series with a 2-0-1 record. The points earned by the Quakes weren’t easy though, as they had to come from behind in all three games.

 

“We were asking for San Jose,” Magee said. “Obviously, it’s been a nice rivalry, we wanted them and now we got them.”

 

Magee’s moment came after the Galaxy had snubbed out three Whitecaps attempts on their counter attack and thus staged its own counter. LA eventually settled for a corner, Beckham went short on the corner to Juninho, who then crossed into the 18 and Magee’s right-footed volley beat keeper Brandon Knighton left post to send the Home Depot Center crowd into a frenzy.

 

“A great goal, obviously an important goal and we’re real pleased with the result, because it was not an easy game,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said.

 

Then in the 71st minute, LA got a chance to take the lead when Juninho sprung Landon Donovan into the penalty area, Defender Martin Bonjour took him down on the challenge and referee Silviu Petrescu whistled for the penalty spot. Two minutes went by before Donovan sent his penalty left while Knighton went right to put the Galaxy in front. Vancouver thought it should’ve had a penalty of its own in the 79th minute when Miller sent Thorrington into the area, LA’s Marcelo Sarvas came in for the challenge and apparently got a piece of Thorrington’s right foot as well as his face, but no call was made on that challenge and the Galaxy eventually killed off the match and thus set up its date with the Earthquakes.

 

“We had to try to break them down and get them out,” Magee said. “It showed a lot to our patience and our belief in each other to keep plugging away.”

 

Already without Center Back AJ DeLaGarza, LA received even more bad news in the days leading up to the match when midfielder Christian Wilhelmsson pulled up lame with what Arena described was a “quad injury” during practice yesterday while the tightness in the hamstring of right back Sean Franklin sustained during Sunday’s match apparently did not heal in time and both players were scratched from the final 18 for Thursday. Hector Jimenez took Franklin’s place at the RB spot and the Whitecaps took advantage, as midfielder Matt Watson turned Jimenez and charged for the penalty area. Watson then laid a ball off to Darren Mattocks and the Jamaican International’s one-timer beat Saunders, bounced off the far post and across the goal line to stake Vancouver to the lead.

“If then could’ve written up the perfect game for them, it would’ve been scoring in the third of fourth minute” Magee said.

 

LA came back with a flurry of chances throughout the rest of the first half as well as the second half that went begging  and Vancouver had a counter attack in the 69th minute and had a chance to take a two-goal lead. Whitecaps’ midfielder Matt Watson had the ball near the left corner of the 18 and laid a ball for striker Kenny Miller. Miller then touched a ball back to Watson, who quickly shot for goal, but was turned back by Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders. The ball however went to Miller, who immediately shot on the rebound, but was deflected by Center Back Tommy Meyer. Vancouver’s Barry Robson kept the threat alive, but his shot in the box was knocked away by Omar Gonzalez before Saunders finally came in to secure the ball.

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