4 March 2013 06:40

Mike Magee netted a hat-trick as the LA Galaxy strolled to a 4-0 home win over the Chicago Fire in the opening game of the MLS season.

The defending MLS Cup champions stormed to the top of the Western Conference table with the victory.

The Galaxy scored the opener on 38 minutes when Magee fired a one-touch volley past Sean Johnson in the Chicago goals.

The Fire’s best chance came on the hour mark when Maicon Santos slammed a free-kick on target that Carlo Cudicini had to save. From the resulting corner, Jalil Anibaba headed over with Cudicini caught out.

And Magee made them pay for their misses. In the 68th minute, A.J. DeLaGarza surged forward and passed to Robbie Keane. The Irish striker shuffled to his right away from several defenders and slipped the ball through to Magee, who cut back and slammed a shot into the top corner of the goal.

Just minutes later, Johnson blocked a close shot from the outside of Keane’s foot, and the rebound fell to Magee. The 28-year-old took one touch to set up the ball and another to spin into another volley.

With 10 minutes left in the match, Magee and substitute Michael Stephens combined to work a corner high to the far post, where Omar Gonzalez headed it down, where Keane tucked the goal away.

Meanwhile, Portland and New York split six goals and several defensive blunders to walk away with a 3-3 draw.

Former Real Salt Lake players Fabian Espindola (twice) and Jamison Olave had New York up 3-1 before half-time.

But as they have done so often in the past, the Red Bulls let their advantage slip as first Darlington Nagbe tapped home, before Jose Valencia’s shot came off Olave and ended up in the New York net.

Despite a late push, Portland couldn’t finish off the comeback with a win and had to settle for a thrilling draw to open the season.

Sunday’s final MLS match saw Real Salt Lake beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 thanks to Alvaro Saborio’s double.


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