Friday Derby Redux

Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz stirs the pot in his game story by focusing on the end of first half scrum at the Chivas USA-Galaxy game last night (which had no bearing on the game’s outcome), but at least gave some indication of the passion involved.

Jesse Marsch said he apologized to David Beckham afterward, by the way.



The BBC has more on the effects of the Beckham roadshow.

Ivan Orozco has more on two-goal hero Maykel Galindo.

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Result: Chivas USA 3 (10-6-3) Galaxy 0 (3-9-5)

Technical difficulties — my laptop wouldn’t boot up — meant no blogging tonight from the Home Depot Center.

An apt analogy for yet another inept Galaxy performance that does not compute before a capacity 27,000 crowd.

This was a comprehensive, well-deserved, put-the-Galaxy-in-their-place victory by Chivas USA. They have suffered a series of small indignities at the hands of the Galaxy and parent corporation Anschutz Entertainment Group in their time at the HDC on and off the field and are now trying not to gloat. Too much.

“They’ve had too much publicity, too much attention,” said two-goal striker Maykel Galindo, who is now tied for fourth with Taylor Twellman on the MLS scoring charts with 10 goals. “If they continue with that (sort of performance) they have a really hard time of making the playoffs.”

Um, yeah.

“It’s going to take something very special,” said GM Alexi Lalas. He is talking more softly with every loss and frankly increasingly reminds me of a dead man walking (as in the team he has (de)constructed are pretty close to being members of the living dead already, to mix my movie metaphors).

“I’m not going to sugercoat it,” he added. “We’re in a very difficult position to make the playoffs.”

How bad is it?

Most of the regular reporting corps seemed to take it easy on Galaxy Coach Frank Yallop in the post-game press conference. He appeared genuinely hurt when one journalist rubbed it in a bit and mentioned that the Galaxy were the worst team in Carson.

“I’m not sure where to start,” Yallop said at the outset. “(That was), if not the worst result since I’ve been here, pretty close.”

David Beckham played the entire 90 minutes, his second game in two days and clearly should not have done so, as Yallop conceded.

“At the end he looked hobbled,” said Yallop. “I can’t see him playing on Sunday (in Colorado).

“I feel sorry for him to be honest,” he added. “His body’s sore because of what he’s done over the last 10 days.”

There is an increasing air of desperation around the Galaxy these days, while for Chivas USA the prevailing atmosphere is vindication.

“Of course, I am proud of my guys,” said Preki when asked if there was some measure of satisfaction in beating the high-profile, free-spending Galaxy, while Chivas USA is getting much smaller crowds, yet getting things done on a much smaller budget.

“Publicity or no publicity, we can’t really worry about that,” he added.

It’s hard not to feel happy for co-owner Antonio Cue who is reaping the rewards of a slow, steady rebuilding process after a humiliating first season.

“It is a very important victory,” said Cue. “It’s not only how we played, but who we played against.”


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Thursday Gameday

Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz breaks down tonight’s SuperClassico between Chivas USA and the Galaxy at Home Depot Center focusing on the jet-lagged trio on both teams who played last night in Europe.

The Times (of London) has more on David Beckham’s schedule of transatlantic treks.

Beckham is also the focus of a post-game analysis in the same publication. The less said on England’s goalkeeping woes, the better, I guess.

And a round-up of last night’s soccer action including the losing efforts by Mexico, U.S. and England is here.

Incidentally, former Southern California players played major roles in the Wizards-Fire game last night. Former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman made a half dozen saves, including one on a penalty kick to help preserve the win for the Wizards, former Galaxy midfielder Sasha Victorine notched an assist and former UCLA striker Chad Barrett scored a goal for the Fire.

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Wednesday Gameday

Brazil, the U.S and England games are all televised today on Fox Soccer Channel topped off with a choice of two MLS games for those fanatics with Direct Kick. And Mexico plays in prime time against Colombia.

Check your local listings here.

And most of the action is broken down into an easy to digest chunk here.

Hold my calls please.

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Women’s World Cup Tuesday

Shannon Boxx in action Sunday at Home Depot Center.

A determined Abby Wambach practices for the Finland game.

Former South (Torrance) High star Shannon Boxx, Hermosa Beach resident Abby Wambach and the rest of the World Cup-bound U.S. Women’s National Team as they prepare for the final tune-up game Saturday against Finland in Carson is the subject of this week’s column.

Incidentally, I asked both Coach Greg Ryan and striker Abby Wambach who among the young(er) Americans they believed capable of emerging as a star in the tournament.

Ryan, who knows the value of a good defense, went with goalkeeper Hope Solo, who has now displaced Briana Scurry as the number one between the posts for the U.S.

Wambach went with midfielder Carlie Lloyd, who was named tournament MVP while scoring four goals at the Algarve Cup earlier this year in Portugal.

“When she’s faced with a bigger challenge she rises to the occasion,” said Wambach, adding that the Rutgers product has the potential to emerge as the new face of the U.S. team.

“I’d like to get that off my back,” Wambach said.

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Monday Wrap

Tuesday’s column will have a preview of the final World Cup warm-up game for the U.S. women set for Saturday in Carson.

Meanwhile, here’s a (belated) look at some of Monday’s local soccer headlines.

And Then There Were Nine

The Galaxy lost defender Ante Jazic to a right ankle sprain Saturday in the 17th minute of the loss in New York.

That means nine of the 25 players on the clubs roster are on the injury list for Thursday’s SuperClassico against Chivas USA:
Out Chris Albright (R-Hamstring), Kelly Gray (R-Calf), Ante Jazic (R-Ankle).
Questionable David Beckham (L-Ankle), Cobi Jones (R-Hip), Quavas Kirk (L-Foot), Troy Roberts (R-Ankle), Kyle Veris (R-Hip), Abel Xavier (L-Knee).

The Galaxy have lost 140 “man games” to injury in all competitions, with six players missing 10 games or more already this season.

Toros at Sweet 16

The Cal State Dominguez Hills Mens Team, begins the defense of its unprecedented seventh California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) title, with a National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas No. 16 pre-season ranking.

CSUDH won their fifth championship in eight years last season with a 15-7-1 record.

The Toros were the highest-ranking CCAA school chosen in the NSCAA/adidas poll and were joined by Cal State L.A. at No. 17.

CSUDH kicks off its regular season at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Toro Stadium against Concordia.

Tajikistan beats U.S. at U-17 World Cup

Tajikstan twice rallied from one-goal deficits to beat the U.S. 4-3 in the opening Group E game today at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea. The winner came four minutes from time.

It was disappointing for us, because we know we let a lead slip away, said U.S. Coach John Hackworth. We didnt manage the match very well at the end, and I think we played a little bit too defensively and too conservatively. Its not over. There are still six points out there, we still have two more games left to try and advance out of this group.

The U.S. started the match without leading scorer Ellis McLoughlin (strep throat).

Next up: Group E leaders Tunisia at 12:45 a.m. Thursday on ESPN2 and ESPNU.

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Sunday Soccer

Full details of last night’s Galaxy loss are here.

Here’s the most important stat for Galaxy fans: The Galaxy remains 12 points behind the Columbus Crew (which lost to D.C. Saturday) in the race for the final MLS playoff berth. The Galaxy has 14 games remaining, the Crew nine.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy are getting all the attention, but Chivas USA are the best team in Carson, beating expansion team Toronto FC Saturday. Clink on the link for more on Chivas USA and other MLS action Saturday, find out what prompted Zinedine Zidane’s infamous World Cup final head-butt and more.

Oh, and Chivas USA reserves won, too, 1-3, over Toronto.

Line-ups: Toronto FC Reserves (0-2-2) GK David Monsalve (Srdjan Djekanovic, 45), D Tyler Hemming, D Marco Reda, D Nana Attakokora-Gyan, D Gabe Gala, M Chris Pozniak, M Christian Nunez (Kayin Jeffers, 78), M Joey Melo, Miguel Canizalez, F David Guzman (Stephen Lumley, 64), F Andrea Lombardo (Ryan Fante, 60)

Chivas USA (4-1-2) GK Justin Myers, D Desmond Brooks, D Jorge Flores, D Brent Whitfield, D Oscar Garcia, M Rodrigo Lopez (Orlando Perez, 75), M Erasmo Solorzano, M John Cunliffe, M Ramon Nunez (David Arvizu,66) F Anthony Hamilton, F Laurent Merlin

Scoring Summary
CHV Brent Whitfield 52
CHV Anthony Hamilton (Ramon Nunez) 60
TFC Miguel Canizalez (Christian Nunez) 66
CHV John Cunliffe 78

Updated 2:45 p.m.

A glance at MLS stories around the country today yielded New England Revolution Coach Steve Nichol complaining to The Boston Globe about MLS teams’ travel schedules, a recurring subject of criticism.

The Scot, one of the league’s more colorful quotes, was unhappy because the Revs played last night in their seventh game in 21 days.

Of course, the Galaxy, who saw Beckham fly back to England after the game Saturday night are in the same boat, but can’t really complain because their schedule was designed around Becks’.

Nichol doesn’t have that concern so can happily blast away.

“Los Angeles’ schedule is ridiculous,” Nichol reportedly said. “The schedule they have doesn’t particularly lend itself to success. It is important to allow players to recover from games. It’s not like you are playing a game and then sitting on a bus for an hour. You are changing altitudes, time differences, all those things.”

Something to keep in mind Thursday night when Beckham and the Galaxy will play Chivas USA; three of the players who could be involved that game (Landon Donovan, Jonathan Bornstein and Beckham) will all have played games in Europe the day before.

Which reminds me: Wednesday is good day to play hooky from work.

Brazil plays Algeria live at 9:30 a.m., U.S. plays Sweden live at 11:30 a.m., while England and Beckham takes on Germany at 2 p.m. All games are on Fox Soccer Channel.

Time to start acting like you’re coming down with something.

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Result: Galaxy 4 NY Red Bulls 5

In what was surely one of the best MLS games ever, New York just outlasted the Galaxy tonight in a goalfest at Giant’s Stadium.

This was a game that had it all.

A crowd of more than 66,000 — apparently the largest ever attendance for a stand alone MLS game in the Big Apple — saw a back and forth battle.

There were three goals in the first 10 minutes and at the end Galaxy striker Carlos Pavon and Red Bulls stars Jozy Altidore and Juan Pablo Angel each had two goals while David Beckham clocked in with a pair of assists.

Each team took 21 shots, but the Galaxy had just five on goal and scored with four of them.

“It was great, it’s the type of atmosphere we want to see in Major League Soccer,” Chris Klein, a 10-year MLS veteran told me after the game via cell phone. “The difference was not much tonight, it really wasnt. We played hard, we fought hard.”

Rookie defender Ty Harden, out of the University of Washington, didn’t get into details about what goalkeeper Joe Cannon was saying to his leaky defense during the game.

“It was so loud it was really hard to hear anything,” he said. “The difference was defending in those key areas. The difference was very small tonight. It came down to they had one more chance than we did.

And they took it.

Obviously, (do I sound like Sigi Schmid?) the Galaxy’s precarious position in the Western Conference was not helped tonight.

But what a game and what an ad for MLS.

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Friday’s (Late) Daily Beckham


Doncha hate it when actual work gets in the way of blogging?

So I’m (very) late in noting that, as expected, David Beckham earned a recall today to the England squad for the game against Germany next week.

It’s impressive just to go down the list of players on the England squad and their teams and see “David Beckham, LA Galaxy.”

It’s a reminder that a player The Times (of London) recently called the 32nd best player in the world is now playing in MLS.

And if Wednesday’s game is any indication, Beckham (when fit) won’t just play. He’ll dominate.

It’s instructive to note that since Juan Pablo Angel joined the Red Bulls he has become the league’s most exciting player. Today the third leading goalscorer in MLS, Angel never really blossomed in England. He was too small, not physical enough.

In MLS though, Angel’s skill comes through.

It will be the same with Beckham. Judging by Wednesday’s sterling performance, where frankly at times he looked like a man playing against boys, Beckham will shine.

His soccer brain, anticipation and touch were so superior to every other player on the field that in a sport where one player usually does not dominate the other 21 on the field, Beckham will become an exception.

“The difference is the game savvy,” said Landon Donovan. “He understands the game on every level. And he knows how to win a game.”

Judge for yourself by checking out Wednesday’s action:

For more on Beckham’s impact on MLS, this is what Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz wrote today.

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