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Magee scores, Balotelli shocks as Galaxy fall in penalties to Manchester City



CARSON, Calif –The LA Galaxy earned MLS their first points in the World Football Challenge on Sunday falling on penalties to Manchester City in front of 24,897 at the Home Depot Center.  

Mario Balotelli and Mike Magee provided the scoring in a lively match that went to penalty kicks with Manchester City taking it 7-6 after a World Football Challenge mandated Penalty Kick shootout. The Galaxy acquitted themselves well throughout the match, consistently challenging City despite having Landon Donovan sit out with a calf strain.

With Donovan out and due to the fact the team played in a league match on Wednesday, it was up to Los Angeles' youngsters to perform and after the match, head coach Bruce Arena was pleased that much of his team got experience against high level talent. 

"It was constructive for both teams, Man City wanted to move some players along and allow them to see extended minutes," said Arena after the match. "We had the opportunity to play 22 players as well as some young players, who haven't had a lot of playing time this year so that was a really positive for us." 

City opened the scoring in the when Bryan Jordan brought down Micah Richards in the box allowing Balotelli to step up and scored the first goal off a penalty kick. Balotelli nearly tallied again several moments later when the Italian found himself alone on net, but attempted an audacious right footed back heel that went painfully wide. The mercurial forward was removed immediately from the match by a furious Roberto Mancini following his painful display. 

After wholesale changes in the second half, the Galaxy came out and began to test the City net. The Galaxy got on the board in the 54th minute when Mike Magee fired a looping shot that beat City goalkeeper Joe Hart. Minutes later, the Galaxy nearly took the lead when amid pressure, left back Todd Dunivant nearly placed a rebound in the City net before Hart covered on the chance.

As the match wore on, both teams found chances difficult to come by, but the match was sealed for penalties after Galaxy back up goalkeeper Brian Perk stopped a John Guidetti shot from close range. City finally earned the glory during the shoot out as  Hart made two saves and buried the winning penalty to allow City to go undefeated during the WFC. Although City earned themselves a victory, the main questions were surrounding the Balotelli incident.

"We always need to be professional and for me the case was [Balotelli] wasn't professional so I changed him," Mancini told reporters after the match. "He knows that he made a mistake and that he should be serious, when you have a chance to score, you should score, but for me it is finished. I hope that this will be an important lesson for him."

Manchester City departs back for England with three victories in the World Football Challenge, but will now prepare for their match against arch-rivals Manchester United in the Community Shield on August 7th. The Galaxy return to league play and travel to Canada to face off against the Vancouver Whitecaps next Saturday. 

Much was made during the game of Man City using this particular match to round into form ahead of the grueling Premiership season, but it was the Galaxy, who felt particularly invigorated. With their own difficult stretch in the CONCACAF Champions League looming, Arena felt that this match provided the Galaxy reserves the needed experience to compete going forward. 

"We're going to have to be playing three games a week for an extended period of time so we'll be going deep into our roster," said Arena. "We'll have to play with around 18 players and today there were indications that we've got some players that we can use."


  1. At 20, I made plenty of questionable judgment calls.

    But I wasn’t being paid millions of dollars to perform on a world stage. My contract wasn’t purchased with somebody thinking that my years of high-level academy work translated into a professionalism that could not be questioned.

    And I wont even mention how at 20, I never threw spoiled child tantrums like Balotelli did on Sunday.

  2. A friendly is simply a match that doesn’t count toward standings or trophies of import. You know this, so stop trying to claim ignorance about it. It insults us all.

    But a friendly is still a match. And the competitive nature of human beings demand a winner. Friendlies ensure the match is played on more gentlemanly terms: everyone is to make it out in one piece if possible. But just because you’re holding back the hard, nasty, exhausting punches doesn’t mean you’re going to not throw punches – and it doesn’t mean you’re going to roll over and take one, either.

    And a friendly certainly doesnt give you the right to try to embarrass or shame your hosts. It doesn’t give you the right to display poor sportsmanship just because you think your opponent isn’t deserving of any different.

  3. I was at the game, sitting about 30 feet from the play, and I didn’t think so. Dzeko asked him what the hell that was.

  4. So you’re the type who believes a player when he commits a hard foul and then puts his hands in the air like he’s innocent?

  5. Why doesnt LA play Frankie H more? He still has his pace and is fun to watch. Also, the Jimenez KO of Clichy was funny. What a match…

  6. Finally an MLS figured out that you should probably have some starters in the 2nd half. The back 4 held up as usual. Galaxy is still lacking in attack though. Stephens was invisible and Kirovski and Cristman are worthless…

  7. “And 20,000+ people didn’t pay good money to watch the visitors not take things seriously enough to justify the expense.”

    But with that and other points you’re presuming that a friendly is really not a friendly: the people really wanted something competitive for their money (why? didn’t they know it was a friendly?), the other players really took it as something competitive, the coaching staff is really looking at it for competitive reasons, too…

    When is it really a friendly, then?

  8. So everyone here has had great judgement at 20? Come on some of you guys must have a dead hooker in your closet!

  9. Having fun and MAKING fun are two different things. Sure, this was a friendly, but you have to know the hosts weren’t in it to fool around and lose. And your teammates fighting for a Starting XI, so they’re going to put in a good effort as well. And 20,000+ people didn’t pay good money to watch the visitors not take things seriously enough to justify the expense.

    Balotelli’s actions told his teammates that he wasn’t going to honor their contributions in building up their play. And he told the folks at HDC that he didnt think they were worth the honest effort of an honest goal. That’s shown in the audience’s disapproval; they would rather their team go two down than be treated like punks.

    As for being “offside,” I’m with other commenters saying that if the guy pulled up before cracking a shot, he’d be the first striker to do that. At least he was quick enough to invent an excuse. But, honestly, aside from not wanting to employ an unprofessional player, I really wouldn’t want to employ one who hears phantom whistles.

  10. “Yeah shame on Balotelli for actually having fun with the game he plays…”

    Yeah, especially in a FRIENDLY. I mean, what the hell was he thinking, anyway?!? That it wasn’t a match of any competitive importance and that entertainment might actually be central to the whole affair?

  11. Yeah shame on Balotelli for actually having fun with the game he plays. If he would’ve scored it would’ve been awesome…even Taylor Twellman would agree. I don’t think Ronaldo (9) would care what you think of him he was just trying new things and trying to be creative and the best.

  12. You’re fooling yourself. I guess the striker standing two feet away from him (Dzeko I think) that was screaming at him after the play is as moronic as me too, right? Or the other players yelling at him? Or the entire crowd that saw what happened? or his coach, who followed him down the sideline berating him ONLY after hearing that lame excuse. NOBODY heard a whistle, especially not Balotelli. he did something dumb, and then made a dumb excuse to try and cover it up. This is par for the course for him. How Gullible are you?

  13. Your logic is more moronic that Balotelli thinking he was offside. He was telling and gesturing he thought he heard a whistle.
    Your post is as bad as his mistake.

  14. Any one who thinks he was just showboating and didn’t think he was off side needs help. He continually made a whistle gesture to everyone telling them he heard a whistle (for offside obviously). Still stupid but not the felonious assault on the game you think it is.

  15. “Higuita did the Scorpion when th eref blew the whistle and the play was dead.”

    Higuita pulled off the real move. Look up the video.

    As for the rest, again my question is, what is the point of friendlies?

  16. I wouldnt want to be in Mancini´s shoes. That locker room is a cancer.

    Then again its Mancini´s fault for buying these players.

  17. Higuita did the Scorpion when th eref blew the whistle and the play was dead.

    Mario did ti when there was no whistle and he has done a lot of stupid things. Thats why he has been described as a cancer.

    He is supposed to be fighting for a spot and so is Dzeko, if he doesnt care he should have passed the ball to Dzeko.

  18. A few more incidents out of this moron and he’s gonna have to worry about finding work commensurate w/ his skill level. Top clubs don’t need cancers like Balotelli infecting their team, regardless of how talented he may be… And the offside argument is bunk, how often is it that the only guy in the stadium who thinks a play is offside is the guy about the score? NEVER, usually they score, then piss and moan for the next 5 minutes about how they were onside

  19. What’s the point of friendlies?

    So if Higuita hadn’t been successful with the scorpion kick save that day in that friendly at Wembley — a completely unnecessary aftempt, of course, but highly entertaining and impressive — he would have been pulled immediately and his actions described as disgraceful?

  20. He thought he was offsides. just look at how the play unfolded. He went into the play hard, and then all of a sudden slowed down and did the heel flick. the heel flick occured at a much slower pace. At a level such as his, i would assume a player would attempt the heel flick at normal pace. also, he does not even look to see if the shot goes in. he just puts his head down and walks away. if he really attempted to score that way, he probably would of looked right away to see if he had scored.

  21. I wasn’t at the game but had the displeasure of hearing the Taylor Twellman whinefest about how Balotteli’s actions were the most disgraceful actions that World has ever seen.

    I tend to agree with you he just thought the play was dead and was kicking the ball away.

  22. Sounds like it was a good showing from both teams.

    And I’m sure the British media will have plenty to say about those silly Americans insisting on going to penalties, but having watched the full 10 minute clip of penalties it looked like it was a good time for all. Besides, you’d think English teams would relish a chance to practice penalties under semi-serious conditions.

  23. That Balotelli thing was shameful. I’ve always given him the benefit of the doubt, as I usually do with players, but, he’s on the list now.


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