Originally written on 90Soccer  |  Last updated 8/24/14
Mike Magee looked to be in playoff form as he scored a hat trick to lead the Galaxy to win over the Chicago Fire. Magee opened the scoring in the 38th minute as he slotted a Todd Dunivant cross past Chicago’s Sean Johnson with a left-footed volley. Magee added his second in the 68th as Robbie Keane found Magee behind the Chicago defense, allowing him to finish is second of the night.  But the Chicago native wasn’t done yet as he combined again with Keane to cap his first career hat trick. Not only was the match Magee’s first career hat trick, but it was just his second multi-goal game as a member of the Galaxy (third in MLS) and his first since a Sept. 2011 match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. After spending nearly two years recovering from the effects of a gruesome knee injury, Brazilian center back Leonardo was solid in his first MLS regular season appearance since April of 2011. Partnered alongside Omar Gonzalez, the Brazilian stifled Chicago’s attack as the Fire found themselves unable to find space behind LA’s defense.  Despite playing together in just two preseason games, the pair was vocal and seemed to be in sync for much of the match. Where Leonardo was particularly effective was in the box as he made several clearances to end Chicago forays forward. The LA Galaxy were not the trendy pick to repeat as MLS Cup champions for the third consecutive year, but the club got the season off to a bang with their performance against the Fire. In particular, the midfield combination of Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas provided a different type of presence in the center of the park than we saw during the David Beckham era. Gone were the long passes from deep in midfield, replaced by combination play that saw LA string together numerous passes in order to create opportunities. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini opened his MLS career with a up-and-down performance as he suffered a poor turnover in the 31st minute that led to a breakaway from Chris Rolfe that was fired just wide of the net. However, the veteran Italian came up big when it mattered as he made a stunning one handed save on Maicon Santos shot in the 60th minute  to preserve a one-goal lead that was pushed to two just eight minutes later.

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