Light (and late) Monday post after a busy weekend. Chivas USA veteran Jesse Marsch blogs later today with his first post. Until then here are a few weekend left-overs:
MLS Playoff Update
Here’s an (edited) summary from MLS after this weekend’s games:
By defeating the Kansas City Wizards Saturday on a dramatic, stoppage-time goal, Chivas USA became the fourth MLS team to secure a berth in the playoffs, which begin Oct. 25 on ESPN2.
D.C. United, Houston Dynamo and the New England Revolution had previously clinched passage to the postseason.
Chivas USA, led by Ante Razovs two-goal performance against Kansas City, moved to the top of the Western Conference and closed within two points of D.C. United, the current overall leader in the MLS standings. When the regular season ends on Oct. 21, the team with the most points will win the Supporters Shield and will qualify for the 2008 CONCACAF Champions Cup. Most MLS teams have just four regular season games remaining.
FC Dallas and New York can book playoff slots this week, while Real Salt Lake and Toronto could be eliminated.
U.S. International Lauren Cheney had a breakout performance for UCLA Sunday in the program’s biggest win since 1995, while the USC women also won. Brief summaries are here.
Next for UCLA: at home at 7 p.m. Friday against No. 3-ranked Portland.
Meanwhile, second half strikes from senior Jamie Bell and junior Stefanie Baduria lifted the Loyola Marymount women to their fourth consecutive victory in a 2-0 win over visiting Fresno State Sunday afternoon at Sullivan Field in Westchester. The Lions (4-3-1) got their record above .500 for the first time this season, while handing the Bulldogs (3-4-0) their second straight defeat.
LMU continues its five-game home stand at 4 p.m. Friday against Idaho and 1 p.m. Sunday against UC Riverside.
In men’s soccer, LMU and Columbia battled to a goalless draw Sunday in the finale of the LMU Invitational at Sullivan Field. The LMU Lions (2-4-1), despite going 1-0-1 in the tournament, finished second to champions UC Santa Barbara on goal difference.
Next: The West Coast Conference home opener Oct. 5 against Santa Clara.
Best in the Galaxy
Finally, Sunday was the deadline for members of the media to choose the Galaxy MVP and defender of the year.
With two virtually completely different teams fielded this year, a ghastly season and so many injuries that Coach Frank Yallop has fielded the same lineup just twice, this was a crap shoot.
My picks are below. Discussion and ridicule welcome and expected.
MVP: Chris Klein – An ever-present this season starting 15 of 15 MLS games since joining the Galaxy from Real Salt Lake, the veteran utility man deserves the award for sheer perseverence if nothing else, filling in wherever needed. As a bonus he scored two of the most spectacular Galaxy goals seen this year, including that stunning SuperLiga equalizer that sent the final to penalty kicks.
Runner-up – Cobi Jones, not for his four goals in 18 games (12 starts), but for a sparkling 12-year MLS career (hey, the Oscars are often lifetime achievement awards).
Third – David Beckham. (What this isn’t for the richest player with the most valuables?). Beck’s gets it for sheer guts in trying to play through serious injuries and the exposure he brought to MLS. His goal in the SuperLiga semifinal and two assists in the 5-4 loss to New York in one of the most exciting MLS games ever weren’t bad either.
Defender of the Year – Goalkeeper Joe Cannon. He has the worst goals against average in the league, has lost more games than any other goalkeeper, is clearly not the player he once was and yet is the Galaxy’s best defender? That tells you more about anyone else than Cannon. But he’s played more games than any other Galaxy player and frankly was given virtually no support from the back four. Cannon made some fine saves and without him things could have been far, far worse.
Runner-up – Chris Albright. Played in just seven games (including two in the U.S. Open Cup) before going down with a season-ending torn hamstring. He’s blameless. And he’s also apparently in the last year of his contract; give him lots of money to return, Galaxy front office.
Third: Are you kidding me?