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Galaxy comes close in home opener
by Ridge Mahoney, March 23rd, 2009 7AM



[MLS] Considering its lowly finish in 2008 - tied at the bottom of the Western Conference with expansion San Jose with 33 points - it's not surprising that of the seven Western teams (in 2008), only the Galaxy had a losing record last year against the East.

Last season, Western teams at home compiled a 27-12-10 mark against the powerful Easterners, yet Los Angeles (2-4-1) could beat only Kansas City and D.C. United at home. The defeat of D.C. was a 5-2 thrashing fueled by a Landon Donovan hat trick.

Sunday at Home Depot, LA did everything it could to reverse its home hold over United.

Donovan chipped ex-Galaxy keeper Josh Wicks cleanly but his shot looped a yard wide of the post, rookie Omar Gonzalez and Jovan Kirovski missed open headers. United was just 10 minutes away from avenging last year's humiliation when referee Jair Marrufo whistled for a phantom handball on rookie Rodney Wallace, actually, the ball hit the underside of this leg and never come close to his upraised arms.

Donovan converted the penalty and five minutes later nailed a header to earn LA a 2-2 tie.

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