The Galaxy held their annual fan appreciation day Sunday at StubHub Center, giving away prizes to thank their supporters for sticking with the team through what has been a dismal year.
But the most welcome gift may have been the final whistle from referee Alex Chilowicz. Because even with a 3-0 win over Minnesota United, 2017 will go into the books as the worst home season in the franchise’s 22-year history.
The victory was just the third of the year for the Galaxy at StubHub Center, one better than the 16-year-old MLS record for fewest home wins in a season.
Two years ago the Galaxy won 12 times at home. And their franchise-high nine home losses this season match their total from the last 4½ seasons combined.
Yet for 90 minutes Sunday, the Galaxy showed the faithful in the announced crowd of 23,377 how different things could have been — and how different things could be next season.
“We talked about that, of how do we want to be remembered for this season,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “We wanted to go out with good memories for ourselves and good memories for our fans. We’re capable of doing that.
“We’ve got to continue to build upon that.”
Romain Alessandrini got the scoring started in the 11th minute, taking a short feed from Gio dos Santos off a quick restart, backing Minnesota defender Marc Burch into the penalty area, then sending a long, low left-footed shot across the goal and into the side netting at the far post. He then finished the scoring in stoppage time, beating Minnesota keeper Bobby Shuttleworth at the end of a breakaway.
The two goals gave Alessandrini four goals in as many games and a team-high 13 for the season.
Jonathan dos Santos scored the one in between in the 22nd minute, although it took a video replay to confirm his header from the edge of the 18-yard box crossed the goal line after striking the underside of the cross bar. The goal was the first of Dos Santos’ brief MLS career.
Alessandrini, who is signed for next season (like the two Dos Santos brothers), got the assist, giving him a team-best 11 in that category and making him responsible for scoring or setting up more than half the Galaxy’s 44 goals this season.
Clement Diop stopped four shots in goal to make the lead stand up, although center back Michael Ciani made the save of the day, preventing a sure score by sliding in front of Minnesota’s Christian Ramirez to break up a well-placed cross in the 50th minute.
The shutout was the second of the season for Diop and the team’s third at home this year.
But with Colorado also winning Sunday, it wasn’t enough to lift the Galaxy out of the Western Conference cellar with one game left in the season.
Follow Kevin Baxter on Twitter @kbaxter11