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Wonder goals from Husidic and Dos Santos lift Galaxy over Crew

Sep 3, 2016; Carson, CA, USA; LA Galaxy midfielder Baggio Husidic (6) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Columbus Crew SC during the second half at StubHub Center. The LA Galaxy won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy left it late, but finally unlocked the offense that had been missing for most of August, pulling away from the Columbus Crew, 2-1, on a pair of gorgeous goals by Baggio Husidic and Giovani Dos Santos.

Husidic’s wonder strike came fourteen minutes after being subbed on for an ineffective Mike Magee.  Sebastian Lletget worked the ball to the Crew endline, then laid it back to Husidic about 25 yards from goal.  Husidic had enough time to settle the ball before crushing a cannon shot into the far upper 90 past a sprawling Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark.

Giovani Dos Santos, who has faced much criticism lately for his lack of production in the absence of Robbie Keane, finally silenced some of those critics with a sparkling breakaway run down the center of the pitch, followed by a delightful chip over the head of the hard-charging Steve Clark.

The victory was Bruce Arena’s 200th MLS regular season victory, joining Sigi Schmid as the only coaches to reach that mark,

The Galaxy have been walloped by injuries and player movement recently.  Captain Robbie Keane has missed the last two matches due to international duty with the Republic of Ireland, his last.  Last week, starters Steven Gerrard, Gyasi Zardes, and Jelle Van Damme all went down with injuries, Zardes’ being the most serious with a broken foot.  Dutch international Nigel DeJong was allowed to depart the club on a free transfer to Turkish side Galatasaray, leaving the Galaxy without five players who formed the core of their starting lineup for the entirety of the season.

As a result, the Galaxy’s offense, which had failed to score in two of their last three games, once again seemed disjointed.  A frustrated Bruce Arena could be seen yelling at his attacking players, and his players were yelling at one another.

All that changed when Husidic’s golazo hit the back of the net.

Columbus was not without their own roster difficulties, missing four starters, including Tony Tchani, Will Trapp, and Justin Meram.  They dressed only seventeen players, had no center midfielders, and were forced to bring on an attacker at the half to replace center back Gaston Sauro, who was limited to only 45 minutes by the medical staff.

Still, with 12 minutes left, it appeared as if the Crew would depart the Stub Hub Center with a well-earned point.  That is, until Husidic reignited the Galaxy offense and sent the Crew home disappointed.

The Crew did manage to cut the lead in half in extra time when Daniel Steres knocked down Adam Jahn in the penalty area.  Ola Kamara missed the ensuing penalty kick on a great save by Brian Rowe, but Jahn raced in to poke home the rebound.

The Galaxy have a two-game week ahead of them, with a mid-week trip to Rio Tinto and a game against the Real Salt Lake, before returning home to host Orlando City SC for the first time.  The Crew return home to face Vancouver next Saturday.


Baggio Husidic thought he might have earned a start with so many Galaxy players on the injury list.  Instead, Galaxy head coach subbed the versatile midfielder on in the 65th minute.  Husidic responded by firing the strike of his career, smashing a knuckling ball from 25 yards that fooled Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark high and wide and gave the Galaxy their first win in seven games.


The goal by Husidic completely changed the mood inside the Stub Hub center, was well as the mood on the pitch.  The Crew seemed shocked that the typical “bunker in and try to score on the counter” strategy that has worked for other teams against the Galaxy recently had somehow let them down.  The Galaxy’s relief and newfound joy for the game of soccer resulted in another goal only four minutes later, and sealed the victory for the Galaxy.


Ola Kamara’s form has slipped enough that he probably needs to start looking over his shoulder each time Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter names his starting 11.  On Saturday, the striker managed no shots on goal, except for the PK he took in extra time, which he missed badly.


  1. Lleget was good getting the ball into the attacking half, then runs out of ideas, hold the ball far too long and stalls the Galaxy offense. It’s not his position though, he has usually been up top, a withdrawn forward or on the wings. So i don’t fault his play completely, he just needs a complementary player who knows what to do in the attacking 30. Mike Magee did not have a good day and should have been subbed earlier. The player of the match for me was Mendiola, he has a bright future, his play was not extraordinary, but it was calm, measured and assuring when he had the ball, made few mistakes and his exuberance caught up with his fitness and cramping big time, he was subbed. He should get another start.

    Danel Steres had contributed 6 major mistakes in front of the goal this season, all of them have led to goals with a resultant 2 (our of only 4) losses, two last minute ties by the opposition, and two wins. While everybody admires his physicality and tenacity, his mistakes in front of goal unless fixed or mitigated, will probably cost the Galaxy big time in the playoffs. When paired with Van Damme,less pressure is on him and his play is better.

    • I have to respectfully disagree about Lletget. This was his first game at center mid and I think he was tenuous and unsure at the beginning. However, he showed last night, as he has shown in the past, that he is very smooth on the ball. He manages to keep the ball well when tightly marked and is a good passer. He just needs more game time experience to learn when and where to pass. He played mostly winger in the past and it’s a whole different look at CAM. I hope Coach Arena keeps him there and plays him more. I think he could become an excellent CAM.and could even have a future there with the USMNT. You heard it here first.

      • I do not “follow” MLS the way i fervently follow Europe. But I can tell you this.

        We’ve envisioned that before, Page. Problem is, as other poster noted, that lletget holds on to the ball too long. It is actually that simple, and it’s a criticism that has dogged him throughout his non-career at West Ham and it was literally the very first comment that Robbie Keane made about Llet. Said he’s technically solid, smooth, but he has to learn how to get rid of the ball quicker. Let’s be honest Page – he’s sophomore slumping, and it does not bode well. Again, as previous poster noted, he is “running out of ideas” not only in the final third during games, but also in only his second season, he is running out of ideas. He exploded onto the MLS scene initially. Lletget seems, to me, someone who is a bit too concerned with life off the pitch to rectify the glaring issues that he has while on the pitch.

        All that being said, of course we envisioned him in the USMNT midfield when he first exploded onto the scene in MLS. I love his smooth operator abilities and his close control, and his ability to keep possession under pressure. If he doesn’t earn a solidified starting spot under Bruce (as it stands he seems to be relegated to second choice/rotational player), and if he cant flourish and take his game to the next level under Bruce, he likely never will. He’s had time now. He seems to be one of those players with great talent, but ultimately he fails to really “get it”. Full Picture.

      • M–You and bottlecaps could be right. You are describing him as he is. However, he played exactly 1 game for West Ham and 20 games for the Galaxy last year and has played less this year. I see what he can become, not what he is. It seems to me that the deficiency you point out is something that is a result of lack of game experience and something that can be learned. Of course, like any talented player, if he goes to the next level is determined a lot by his personality, character and inner drive. I don’t think anyone here can know what that is for him. However, if the talent is there and his problem is one of experience and learning, he looks like a promising prospect to me. I would just point out that Zardes was very raw and was less a finished product when he first joined the Galaxy. Let’s hope that Lletget learns from Zardes the value of hard work and determination.

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