1 - 0 Final
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Thorrington, Fire spoil Galaxy debut of Arena

Aug 22, 2008 - 5:48 AM CARSON, California (Ticker) -- John Thorrington ended the Los Angeles Galaxy's 2007 on a down note. On Thursday, he started Bruce Arena's tenure with the Galaxy in similar fashion.

Thorrington scored the game's only goal to lift the Chicago Fire to a 1-0 win over Los Angeles, spoiling Arena's coaching debut with the Galaxy.

Arena, the former United States national team coach, was named the new boss and general manager of the Galaxy on Monday, one week after GM Alexi Lalas was fired and coach Ruud Gullit resigned for "personal reasons."

Thorrington kept it from being a memorable occasion for Arena, once again tormenting the Galaxy with the lone tally in a 1-0 contest.

"I'm glad obviously to get the goal," Thorrington said. "I'd say tonight that I wasn't my sharpest but I found my way into the game and we all worked really hard to get these three points."

Last season, with the playoff hopes of both teams riding on the outcome of the regular-season finale, Thorrington scored in stoppage time to end a scoreless duel and snuff out Los Angeles' postseason hopes.

With the teams locked in a scoreless deadlock Thursday, Thorrington took possession on the left side, moved toward the top of the box and curled a perfect kick inside the right post and past goalkeeper Steve Cronin in the 65th minute.

"We gave up the ball in a bad spot and did not react well to it," Arena said. "Give Thorrington credit, it was a very good finish."

It also was Thorrington's third goal in the past two seasons against Los Angeles.

"It's a nice phase in my career right now but it's definitely not about me," Thorrington said. "The biggest part of it is that it's helping us win."

The loss dropped the Galaxy to 6-9-6 and extended their winless streak to nine matches. It did not help Arena to be without Landon Donovan - the league's leader in goals and assists - and English star midfielder David Beckham, who both were called up to their respective national teams.

"First of all I thought we played a pretty good team. I think there're one of the better teams," Arena said. "They put us under a lot of pressure early and it took us 20 minutes to settle in to the game.

"What pleases me is the guys hung on for 90 minutes. The effort was good but ultimately not enough."

The Fire, who were without Mexican standout Cuauhtemoc Blanco and two other players on international duty, improved to 10-6-5 despite scoring just eight goals in their last 11 games - including six in which they were shut out.

Goalkeeper Jon Busch recorded five saves for his league-leading ninth shutout, helping the Fire vault into second place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Chicago's Chris Rolfe had the best scoring chance in the first half, only to be denied on a brilliant save by Cronin.

Diego Gutierrez lofted a pass ahead to Rolfe, who quickly settled the ball and fired a shot headed to the left corner, but Cronin lunged to get a fingertip on the ball and it caromed off the goalpost.

"I thought that we played well right from the first whistle and we were a little unfortunate to not have scored early," Chicago coach Denis Hamlett said. "We kept playing our game in the second half and got a great goal from John."

Arena is in his third tour of coaching in MLS. He resigned as coach of the New York Red Bulls in November after they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the second time in as many seasons.

However, Arena led D.C. United to back-to-back MLS titles in 1996-97 before leaving to become the U.S. national coach and guiding the Americans to two World Cup appearances.

  • MLS

    Aug 22 12:23 AM

    CHICAGO SUBSTITUTION: Dasan Robinson for Chris Rolfe
    in the 90th minute

    Aug 22 12:19 AM

    CHICAGO GOAL: John Thorrington in the 65th minute

    Fire 1, Galaxy 0  2nd - 65'Aug 21 11:53 PM

  • MLS

    Aug 21 11:17 PM