TUCSON, Ariz. — During the playoffs last fall, it seemed as if any time the LA Galaxy took the field, Mike Magee scored thanks to a David Beckham assist. In fact, it happened three times in LA’s run to the MLS Cup.
Some things don’t change.
On Saturday night, the Galaxy defeated nine-man Real Salt Lake, 2-0, in both teams’ second match here at the Desert Diamond Cup. And, lo and behold, Magee scored again courtesy of a pinpoint-perfect cross from Beckham.
“That’s their bread and butter,” RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando said after the game. “Put the ball on Beckham’s foot, and he does special things with it. He found Magee, who had a great finish.”
Great finish, indeed. The one-time cross from Beckham curled gently into a seam in the RSL defense, and Magee struck a twisting side volley that gave the goalkeeper no chance.
“Whenever [Beckham] gets the ball, you just have to run towards the goal,” Magee said. “The pace that he put on it, all I had to do was strike it.”
By that point, the Galaxy were already up a goal through Paolo Cardozo. But the Magee strike was the most memorable moment on the evening, and the one that energized the crowd of 8,000-plus. They had come to see Beckham do something special, and he generously obliged.
“David put his stamp on the game,” head coach Bruce Arena said. “He brought a good attitude to the game. That made a difference. For an experienced player like him, a player with his kind of skill, who comes into a game at that point, playing with an advantage, it’s going to give him an opportunity to deliver some balls to good spots in front of the goal.”
And when Beckham does that, odds are Mike Magee will be there to finish it off.
The LA Galaxy next face the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, 10 pm ET. Watch live on MLSsoccer.com Channel 1.