Not so coincidentally, the 7:30 p.m. Saturday game is designated as Hispanic Heritage Night.
Here’s more from the Galaxy press release:
During Saturday’s Hispanic Heritage Night celebrations, the Galaxy will honor seven countries and celebrate their independence as representatives from Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Chile will be in attendance for the match. Additionally, StubHub Center will feature food, drink, dancing and live music from the various countries represented before and during the match. At halftime, each country’s leader will receive special recognition on the field during a parade of flags.
The question in the headline of this post is somewhat tongue in cheek, but worth asking given Chivas USA’s deteriorating fan base and the free admission and parking to the Galaxy II’s first-ever home playoff game on Saturday.
Apparently encouraged by what he saw from deploying a three-man backline in the 6-0 win against the Colorado Rapids last Friday, Arena tried the same tactic from the outset of the contest on the road in Montreal against the Eastern Conference basement dwelling Impact with almost catastrophic results.
Montreal’s heretofore anemic attack bagged two first half goals, forcing the Galaxy to belatedly install a four-man back line and come from behind to grab a 2-2 draw. The frantic fight back contributed to yellow cards defender Dan Gargan and Landon Donovan received, who will now miss Sunday’s game in San Jose against the Earthquakes. And the tactical error was compounded by the fact that the lone point from the road tie cost the Galaxy the opportunity to overtake the Seattle Sounders for the overall MLS lead with a win.
“Yes, we switched,” Arena said after the game, “because we didn’t have the team I needed on the field to do the changes I was asking for. That`s my responsibility, because I put out a formation on the field that wasn’t effective with the players I put in the lineup. At halftime the message was to get a goal in, to get back in the game.”
Experienced striker Robbie Keane agreed with Arena’s assessment:
“You could see we didn’t have the personnel to play there, so when we went back to the original 4-4-2, then we got back into the game,” he said. “It was obvious to see.”
Fans could have told Arena he was playing with fire.
The three-man defensive corps included much-maligned Brazilian defender Leonardo. While he didn’t make any of the huge defensive blunders he is known for, Leonardo also looked way too passive on at least one of the goals.
It’s unclear what Arena sees in Leonardo that virtually everyone else does not, but he wasn’t the only disappointment. So, too, was Stefan Ishizaki, who was hauled off at half time and replaced with Robbie Rogers when the switch was made, and seems to be regressing rather than progressing after a relatively bright start to his MLS career.
So should fans pat themselves collectively on the back and cluck “told you so’s” at Arena?
Another player fans love to hate, forward Alan Gordon, who was not known as a prolific goalscorer in his first go round with the Galaxy, scored the equalizer Wednesday and now has three goals in seven games since his return from San Jose.
The Fury will play 20 games – 10 home and 10 away — during the inaugural MASL season. The MASL was launched this summer out of a merger between the Professional Arena Soccer League – the Fury’s previous league — and Major Indoor Soccer League.
Ontario will play in the Pacific Division, along with the Las Vegas Legends, Sacramento Surge, San Diego Sockers, Seattle Impact and Turlock Express. The Fury will play 16 division games this season, facing each team at least once at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
As part of the schedule, the Fury have planned a series of theme nights and giveaways for the fans of the Inland Empire. Among the planned events are Military Appreciation Weekend (Nov. 7 and Nov. 9), Mascot Night (Dec. 7), Local Heroes Night (Jan. 7), Faith and Family Night (Jan. 9) and Teacher Appreciation Night (Jan. 18). The Fury will wrap up its home schedule Feb. 15 against the San Diego Sockers. The Fury will close out the regular season at San Diego on Feb. 21.
Of the Fury’s 10 regular season home games, there will be five Sunday games, three Saturday matches and two Friday night games. Games on Fridays and Saturdays will begin at 7 p.m., while Sunday games kick off at 3 p.m.
Besides the Pacific Division rivals, the Fury will play four games outside of their division – two at home and two away. The Monterrey (Mexico) Flash of the Southern Division will visit for the regular season opener Nov. 7, while the Eastern Division’s Harrisburg (Penn.) Heat will visit Jan. 9. Ontario will travel to New York state for two games in late November, as they will take on a pair of former MISL clubs: the Syracuse Silver Knights (Nov. 21) and Rochester Lancers (Nov. 22).