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Fire snuffed 4-0 in season opener; Galaxy’s Magee scores 3

Chicago Fire v Los Angeles Galaxy

Chicago Fire v Los Angeles Galaxy

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Updated: March 3, 2013 11:52PM

CARSON, Calif. — Mike Magee scored three times as the two-time defending Major League Soccer champion Los Angeles Galaxy beat the Fire 4-0 in the season opener for both teams Sunday in front of 20,104 at the Home Depot Center.

Magee, a Chicago native, volleyed home a deflected cross in the 38th minute, converted Robbie ­Keane’s pass in the 68th and finished a rebound in the 74th. Keane then finished the scoring in the 80th minute.

The Galaxy, transitioning to a new style of attack after David Beckham’s departure to French club Paris Saint-Germain, dictated most of the action in a game played largely between the 18-yard boxes.

‘‘You see the quality that he has,’’ said Keane, who played a role in all three of Magee’s goals. ‘‘The three goals that he scored were exceptional goals. It was one of those things. Sometimes you just hit ­everything and it hits the back of the net.’’

It was Magee’s first career hat trick and just his second multigoal game in 11 MLS regular seasons.

“It was cool,” said Magee, who scored six goals in 10 playoff games during the Galaxy’s title runs the last two seasons. “The hat trick was cool, the win was cool, and the best part of the day was getting the [championship] rings.”

The Fire had two good scoring chances, but Chris Rolfe shot wide after Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini’s giveaway in the 32nd minute, and Cudicini deflected a Maicon Santos free kick in the 60th.

The Fire played six returning starters from its 17-win season last year but was without veterans Arne Friedrich and Logan Pause, who suffered injuries late in the week.

Fire defender Steven Kinney appeared in his first MLS match since rupturing his Achilles on Oct. 23, 2010, the final match of his rookie season.

The Fire hosts the New England Revolution in its home opener at Toyota Park on Saturday.

Sun-Times wires

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