CARSON, Calif. -- Once again, when the LA Galaxy needed him, Mike Magee was able to step up and deliver a timely goal.
Magee's goal in the 82nd minute -- which is up for Goal of the Week -- gave LA a 1-0 victory in Sunday's MLS Regular Season Finale against the Seattle Sounders, allowing the club to head into Thursday's Knockout Round game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on a winning note. The goal was Magee's fifth of the season and could be an important one as the versatile midfielder-turned-forward-turned-midfielder looks to fight for minutes in a highly-competitive Galaxy attack. The 28-year-old's clutch goal against Seattle is one that LA hopes is a sign of things to come as Magee tallied three of LA's four postseason matches during the Galaxy's run to MLS Cup last season.
Below Galaxy attacker discusses the victory, his goal and the role of his teammates like Josh Saunders...
MAGEE: "Momentum-wise, it’s huge, because this league you always see the teams doing well at the end of the year get in the playoffs. Having said that, we all know the real game’s on Thursday, so we all aren’t going to lose sight of that...I wouldn’t call it too clutch. I think if I do that again on Thursday, I’ll be a lot more happy. But we’ll take it, we always want to win, especially against a team that we’re hoping to see in a couple of weeks.
(On the intense nature of the match with Seattle...)
MAGEE: "No. I think every time we’ve played them it’s definitely been intense. They had to win tonight, obviously we didn’t but we didn’t want to give them any psychological advantage. We never want to lay down in front of our fans or anything like that, so it ‘s always going to be heated, no matter what the importance."
(On the play of Saunders...)
MAGEE: "Josh was ridiculous tonight. If it weren’t for him, I think we’re not winning tonight’s game. That’s how we need Josh, and that’s the Josh we know. That’s what we expect out of him, even though he’s making saves out of his ass."
A look at the LA Galaxy's Regular Season by the numbers...
0 - Number of goals the Galaxy allowed to Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center this season.
2 - Number of LA Galaxy players (Leonardo and Brian Rowe) with zero league minutes this season . Rafael Garcia played five minutes, lowest mark of those with one game appearance.
3 - Three games, the LA Galaxy's longest losing streak of the season from May 19 - May 26.
4 - Four games, the LA Galaxy's longest winning streak of the season from Aug. 26 - Sept. 22.
5 - Number of games the LA Galaxy must traverse to get to the MLS Cup Final.
6 - Six goals, number of game-winning-goals by Robbie Keane.
7 - Seven games, the LA Galaxy's longest unbeaten streak of the season from Aug. 13 - Sept. 30.
7 - Seven games, the LA Galaxy's longest winless streak of the season from Apr. 28 - May 26.
9 - Shutouts by the Galaxy, all earned by starting goalkeeper Josh Saunders. The Galaxy goalkeeper had eight last season, the team mark was 16.
13 - Number of starts by Omar Gonzalez. Gonzalez played 14 games and started 12 of LA's last 13 regular season games.
14 - Number of assists by Landon Donovan. Highest on the LA Galaxy and second-highest mark in MLS.
14 - Number of LA Galaxy players with at least one goal.
16 - Number of goals by Robbie Keane. Highest mark on the Galaxy.
16 - Number of LA Galaxy players with at least one assist.
47 - Goals allowed by the LA Galaxy.
49 - Fouls suffered by Marcelo Sarvas, most on LA Galaxy.
54 - Points earned by the LA Galaxy in 2012 season, eighth-highest mark in MLS Regular Season. LA finished with 67 points last season.
57 - Fouls committed by Marcelo Sarvas, most on LA Galaxy.
59 - Goals scored by the LA Galaxy. Second-highest in MLS to San Jose Earthquakes, who had 72.
61 - Number of assists by the LA Galaxy. Second-highest in MLS to San Jose Earthquakes, who had 73.
80 - Number of saves by Josh Saunders.
94 - Number of shots for Robbie Keane.
108 - Days since the founding of the LA Galaxy Insider Blog.
188 - Corner kicks by the LA Galaxy. Second-highest in MLS to Sporting KC, who had 199.
391 - Fouls suffered by the LA Galaxy. 14th in MLS.
421 - Fouls committed by the LA Galaxy. 10th in MLS.
2937- Number of regular season minutes played by Sean Franklin, the most on the team.
6-9-2: The LA Galaxy's record against all postseason teams (Eastern and Western Conference). Wins came against Seattle (1), Vancouver (2), Chicago (1), Real Salt Lake (1), D.C. United (1). Ties against Vancouver and San Jose.
CARSON, Calif. -- It was a rare sight to see the LA Galaxy's 2012 Regular Season minutes played leader Sean Franklin removed at the half of LA's 1-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Thursday but LA's coaching staff and Franklin are optimistic that he'll be back in time for Thursday's match.
Franklin was substituted at the 45 minute mark in favor of rookie Bryan Gaul, due to what Franklin described as "tightness in his left hamstring." The match was just the second time that Franklin -- who accrued 2937 minutes this season -- had been subbed out of a match, the first coming during LA's 4-0 defeat to Seattle on Aug. 5.
"Just feeling little tight. Knowing the more important game is Thursday, it's good to be smart about it. I could have gone the (second) half, but its better not to go and be safer for Thursday," said Franklin. "We were going to be in fourth place and we know we were going to play Vancouver, so it wasn't that big a difference to miss the second half."
CARSON, Calif. -- Head Coach Bruce Arena may not have expected to give Landon Donovan a full 90 minute run out in Sunday night's 1-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders, but he admitted that he was happy to give it to the LA Galaxy captain.
The match involved a different role for Donovan as the Galaxy captain, who is still dealing with the effects of a left knee bone bruise that kept him from appearing in last week's 2-2 draw in San Jose, started in midfield for the first game since June 17. With Christian Wilhelmsson on his opposite flank, Donovan and the Galaxy created numerous scoring opportunities -- albeit allowing many for Seattle -- throughout the action. Following the match, Arena admitted that he did not expect Donovan to go 90, but was pleased with his contributions.
"I told him that I wanted him to play a minimum of 60 minutes and gave him the call on whether to keep going and he was fine," said Arena. "Landon generally needs a half to get fit and he is one of those rare breeds and I think that the 90 minutes was good for him."
Donovan was quick to agree when asked about his injury, saying with a smile he'd rather not be asked about injuries any longer.
"Knee’s great, thanks for asking. Let’s not talk about it anymore, I'll be fine. We got a deal? No one asks me about injuries? I’ll be fine," Donovan said with a smirk. " When Sean came out, it put us a little bit behind the eight ball, so I was fine, I was a little tired but I was fine otherwise. We have enough days now, I haven’t played in a while, so I have enough days to get ready for Thursday, so it was good to get 90 in."
With the Knockout Round match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC looming on Thursday, Donovan admitted that Sunday's win was a major confidence boost for LA.
"I think the thought process behind Bruce putting out a real lineup as opposed to resting a bunch of guys was we wanted to get some rhythm and some continuity heading into the playoffs," said Donovan. "We certainly weren’t perfect, we were maybe a little lucky at times and Josh made some goods saves, but I thought we played, actually, pretty well and I think we feel good now going into the playoffs."
The LA Galaxy announced their team awards after the 1-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders.
GOLDEN BOOT WINNER
HUMANTARIAN OF THE YEAR
DEFENDER OF THE YEAR
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
A few notes and thoughts from Sunday's 1-0 LA Galaxy victory over the Seattle Sounders
*Mike Magee tallied his fifth goal of the season with his game-winning strike in the 83rd minute.
*Brad Evans had an equalizer negated in stoppage time due to a handball by Fredy Montero.
*Josh Saunders shutout was his ninth of the season. He tallied four saves.
*The LA Galaxy trotted out a midfield of Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Juninho and Christian Wilhelmsson, while the midfield wasn't as speedy as the one that played to a 2-2 draw in San Jose a week prior, LA created a number of dangerous chances until the quartet was split up with Beckham's substitution in the 62nd minute.
*The back-and-forth action produced a total of seven saves between the two goalkeepers.
*Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Christian Wilhelmsson each went 90 minutes.
*A pair of Seattle players appear to have picked up injuries as Eddie Johnson (45th minute) and Jeff Parke (51st minute) left the game dealing with an ailment.
*The attendance at The Home Depot Center was 27,000, the Galaxy's sixth sellout of the season.
We're just hours away from tonight's LA Galaxy Regular Season Finale against the Seattle Sounders. Following tonight's match, the Galaxy will turn their focus to Thursday's First Round Knockout Round game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center.
A few notes and links to get you to the match...
*Playoff Scenario update: The only way that the Galaxy can host MLS Cup Final is with a win on Sunday and if the Houston Dynamo advance out of the Eastern Conference.
* Landon Donovan has declared himself fit and ready to play against Seattle.
* Also expected to participate is David Beckham, who is returning from left ankle soreness.
* Meanwhile on the defensive side of the ball, defender Omar Gonzalez and the LA defense are in the fine tuning process ahead of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
*Lastly, check out my Three Points to the match.
PREDICTED LINEUP: Saunders; Franklin, Meyer, Gonzalez, Dunivant; Wilhelmsson, Beckham, Juninho, Magee; Buddle, Keane
Below Galaxy broadcaster Mark Rogondino gives his "Playoff 101" for those still unfamiliar with the new MLS Cup Playoff format.
Add another cable provider to the list of distributors for Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.
On Saturday, Time Warner Cable Sports announced a deal with AT&T U-verse to distribute the networks. Starting on Oct. 30, the two channels will be available to AT&T's Southern California subscribers. The move comes on the heels of Time Warner Cable adding Charter Networks and Verizon FiOS a day earlier.
“We’re excited to work with AT&T U-verse to give our viewers and their customers in Southern California more access to the Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks than they’ve had before,” said Dan Finnerty, Senior Vice President, Time Warner Cable Sports said in a statement. “Southern California sports fans will now have more choices to watch Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks games and behind-the-scenes programming on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.”
Landon Donovan isn’t the only LA Galaxy player targeting a return to action this Sunday as David Beckham is ready to get back into action this Sunday.
Beckham has trained throughout the week, after left ankle soreness prevented him from taking part in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes. During training on Friday, Beckham told reporters that the soreness is a lasting effect of rolling his ankle through a mistimed tackle, which took place during a Sept. 1 match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. With just one game left before, what he describes the "do or die" time of the MLS Cup Playoffs, Beckham knows that he needs minutes on Sunday's MLS Regular Season Finale against Seattle Sounders FC to be ready for the postseason.
“Feeling a lot better now, obviously I’ve had another 10 days to kind of train, get my fitness up and get the ankle swelling down, so it’s feeling OK,” said Beckham after Friday’s training session. “I think it would be good to get some minutes this weekend, definitely. It would be good for myself to get up, and obviously get my heart rate up and get into a game, so yeah, it would be good to get some minutes.”
But even though Sunday's match means nothing to the Galaxy's playoff situation, Beckham believes that Sunday's match is important for LA ahead of the postseason.
“It’s not hard to prepare for, but you have to prepare for it like it was any other game during the season, in the playoffs," added Beckham. "I think what you have to prepare for is trying to not get any injuries through this game, and keeping every player fit and healthy and that’s what we need to do on Sunday. You can’t guarantee that, but I think as long as we play sensibly and play our game than we should be good.”
The LA Galaxy know that next Thursday, they'll face off against Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the First Round Knock Out match, but before they focus on the playoffs, they must wrap up the regular season against the Seattle Sounders . Ahead of Sunday's regular season finale, check out my Three Points to the game below.
Agree or disagree with my observations, leave your thoughts in the comments section below.