CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s impressive 3-0 shutout of Minnesota United FC on Sunday in front of an appreciative StubHub Center crowd of 23,377 was noteworthy on several fronts.
Most of all, the Galaxy (8-17-8, including 3-9-5 at home) avoided tying the record for fewest home wins in MLS history. That dubious honor still belongs to the 2001 Tampa Bay Mutiny, who went 2-10-2 that year and were disbanded before the start of the following season.
Sunday’s victory, fashioned on two goals and an assist from Romain Alessandrini and another goal from Jonathan dos Santos, also was the Galaxy’s first one at home since a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Sept. 2.
The triumph over Minnesota was notable on a much smaller scale as well. It marked the return of midfielder Baggio Husidic, who was seeing his first game action since May 21, when he suffered a broken left fibula in a 2-1 win at Minnesota.
Husidic couldn’t help but smile at the irony of facing the same team he got hurt against.
“Yeah,” he grinned as he shook his head. “We had all sorts of different timelines set up and it ends up being Minnesota.
“It is pretty ironic.”
Husidic played the final 14 minutes of Sunday’s match in relief of Emmanuel Boateng and understandably was thankful for the opportunity, considering he only recently returned to full training.
His 21-game absence, he agreed, was as long as it sounded.
“That seems like a lot,” the 30-year-old said. “It was nice (playing again). Obviously being out that long you kind of forget what it feels to be out on the pitch.
“It felt pretty nice. Being welcomed by the boys was nice.”
Husidic said there never was any question he wanted to return this season instead of focusing on preparations for 2018.
“I think my main goal was to try and get some minutes by the end of the year,” he said. “That was the goal, to achieve that. To do it is pretty satisfying, but with a losing season you want to get back even quicker to help the team.”
Husidic admitted it was difficult watching from afar as the five-time MLS Cup champions struggled through one of their most trying seasons.
“You see the whole field,” he said. “Even today sitting on the bench, it’s a different feeling than being in the stands or up in a suite and seeing the fans’ reaction to the performances.
“It’s hard to swallow. I think this is a sign of good things to happen now and moving forward.”
The StubHub Center fans certainly let him know they hadn’t forgotten about him. They applauded him during pregame warm-ups and again when he substituted in.
“It was nice,” he said. “They appreciate the simple guys once in a while.”