Pappa, John lead Fire to win over Galaxy

Pappa, John lead Fire to win over Galaxy

Sunday, August 1, 2010
11:35 PM

Associated Press

CARSON, Calif. (AP)Marco Pappa and Collins John scored about a minute apart early in the first half to lead the Chicago Fire to a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday night.

Mike Banner also scored for the Fire (5-5-5), which won its second consecutive game after losing five straight in all competitions. Goalkeeper Sean Johnson made four saves for his first Major League Soccer victory in his first start.

Were just a lot more confident, Fire midfielder Baggio Husidic said of his teams recent improvement. Were a lot sharper and a lot more disciplined.

Johnson added: Were finishing our chances and eliminating our mistakes. Its massive for us.

Landon Donovan scored both goals for the Galaxy (12-3-4), which lost its first home league game and is 1-4-1 in its past six games. Donovans first goal was the 100th of his MLS career.

Our execution was poor, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. It could be complacency. I think thats been the case with a number of players when they look at the league standings and see that were out in front.

Pappa gave Chicago a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute with a 13-yard shot inside the left post for his seventh goal.

John followed one minute later by firing a 6-yard shot between goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and the right post after making a solo run along the right flank.

We have to address the first 10 minutes of games, Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter said. Were not relaxed and doing our jobs. Were thinking too much, maybe. Were a little bit tense, maybe.

Banner made it 3-0 in the 19th minute with his first of the season. Ricketts dove to deflect Pappas 19-yard line drive with his left hand but Banner volleyed the rebound from seven yards.

We came out firing where we usually come out slow, Johnson said. Coming at a team aggressively and not sitting back has helped us for the past couple of games.

Donovan converted penalty kicks in the 37th and 81st minutes for his fourth and fifth goals and tied Taylor Twellman for fifth place in MLS career goal-scoring with 101.

We should have been scoring goals off the run of play, Arena said. We couldve scored five goals. There was failure on both ends of the field, no question about it.

Johnson kept Los Angeles from scoring the tying goal in the 85th minute when he dove to his right to block Alan Gordons 10-yard header with his right hand.

I couldnt aske for more, Johnson said of his first MLS start. I tried to keep myself calm going into it. I didnt really have time to be nervous. I had to made a save early and I think that was good for me to get a touch on the ball.

The Fires Freddie Ljungberg, acquired from Seattle on July 30, made his team debut when he replaced Pappa in the 58th minute. Nery Castillo, whom the Fire signed Aug. 1, did not make the trip.

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With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base

LOS ANGELES – The Cubs drafted and developed Ian Happ with the idea of turning him into a Ben Zobrist-type player who would move quickly through the farm system and surface as a versatile big-league contributor and/or legitimate trade chip.

With Zobrist sidelined because of a sore left wrist, the Cubs got their first look at Happ playing second base in The Show during Saturday’s 5-0 loss at Dodger Stadium. That kind of depth – plugging in a 2015 first-round pick while a World Series MVP rests – should ultimately propel the Cubs over the course of a 162-game season.

Even as the Cubs stutter-step through a 25-23 start, there are enough choices for the best defensive second baseman on the team and a National League Championship Series co-MVP (Javier Baez) to sit on the bench.

“We know that the talent’s there,” Zobrist said. “It’s not like having any one or two guys out of the lineup is a big drop-off for us because of the talent that’s there. And we know that just because we have a lot of young players doesn’t mean that they’re not extremely capable of doing the job as well.”

Zobrist – who’s reached base in 23 straight games and emerged as a new leadoff option with Kyle Schwarber struggling – felt something on an awkward swing in the first inning of Friday’s 4-0 loss to the Dodgers. Zobrist played through it that night and called it a “day-to-day thing” that didn’t require an MRI.

[MORE: Is Joe Maddon turning Kyle Schwarber into a platoon player?

Facing Clayton Kershaw on Sunday after back-to-back shutouts will be a game-time decision.

“It’s tough,” Zobrist said. “We just haven’t strung together enough quality at-bats to score runs the last two games. It’s not just because of us. They’ve pitched well. Their pitchers are pretty hot right now. They’ve spotted up. They’ve gotten early strikes where they needed to and then gone to work pretty well on us.

“The task doesn’t get any easier tomorrow with Kershaw. We just got to keep trying to chip away.”

Morning Update: White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert, split doubleheader

Morning Update: White Sox officially announce signing of Luis Robert, split doubleheader

Here are the top Chicago sports stories from Saturday: 

Preview: Cubs look to avoid getting swept by Dodgers today on CSN

Preview: Knights look to bounce back tonight on CSN

White Sox courting of Luis Robert leads to 'Christmas in May'

Cubs blanked again by Dodgers

Tyler Danish gets win in first big league start as White Sox beat Tigers in first game of doubleheader

After getting shut down by Buck Farmer, White Sox ninth-inning rally falls short

Scott Boras fires back at Jake Arrieta’s critics and makes another Max Scherzer comparison

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Luis Robert will start journey through White Sox organization in Dominican Summer League

With Ben Zobrist sidelined by sore wrist, Cubs move Ian Happ to second base