Tuesday’s Column: Galaxy Can Return to Earth & More

Next for Becks: the bright lights of Milani-faf4e1fe111f4f4f951750557f4afd47-TS27-Galaxy.SV-248.jpgPhoto by Scott Varley

The dimming of the star power at the Galaxy is the subject of today’s column. It’s a good thing.

David Beckham and Landon Donovan have already left the building judging by their recent comments:

“I’m ready to take that step (of going to Europe) and I want to,” Donovan said Sunday. “Competitively I have that itch and I want to do it and I’ll make that very clear to people.”

And you don’t think Becks needs to play in the off-season? Rest is not what he needs. Minutes on the field are. Or his immobility on the field the Galaxy have seen on several occasions this season will be exacerbated. Beckham was hampered by a quad injury Sunday and one reporter observed he looked like he was running on a treadmill:

“It’s just my age, maybe,” he said only half joking.

By the way, in the wake of Beckham’s first full MLS season, I asked him Sunday about some of his impressions of players and teams so far:

*Toughest opponent: – None (he didn’t want to single anyone out, perhaps knowing anyone he didn’t name might want to make more of an, er, impression on him next time out).

*Best team to play against – “Every time we play against Chivas, for me it’s a tough game. I always enjoy that game. It’s obviously a huge rivalry, but that’s the game I personally enjoy playing in.”

*Best opposing player in MLS – “One of the best players in this league is (New York’s Juan Pablo) Angel. He’s obviously played in top flight football and you can see the quality of the player and how hard he works. He’s older now, but still a threat to many teams.”

And finally:

*The Houston Dynamo reserves (9-1-2) captured the MLS Reserve Division title Sunday with a 3-0 win over the Chivas USA reserves (4-5-3) at Home Depot Center, claiming a $20,000 first prize. Roberto Nurse was the Chivas USA leading goalscorer with four goals and one assist in six games.

*The Galaxy reserves (1-8-3) finished their season with a 2-0 loss Sunday to their FC Dallas counterparts at the HDC.

*The Chivas USA Under-18 team (5-1) won 5-2 over the San Diego Surf on Saturday keeping them in first place in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s SoCal Division. Polo Morales had his second hat-trick of the season, and Victor Sanchez, playing his first full game of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy season, added two more.

*The Galaxy Under-18 team (2-4) lost 3-2 to Nomads FC at the HDC.

*The Chivas USA Under-16 team fell 2-1 to the Surf on Saturday. The loss dropped the U-16’s to third in their division with a 2-3-1 record (W-L-T).

*The Galaxy Under-16 team (5-1) beat Nomads 1-0 at the HDC and lead the SoCal Division.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Let me review the accuracy of my pre-season predictions for the Galaxy:

    1. Last place in the Western Conference? CHECK (Yes, the Galaxy techincally is tied with San Jose, but that’s just a technicality).

    2. Winning less than 10 games this season? CHECK (8).

    3. Conceding at least 60 goals this season? CHECK (62).

    4. Gullit resigining before mid-season? CHECK.

    5. Xavier leaving the club before the end of the season? CHECK.

    J.P., next time you want to dispute my assertions about soccer, remember to whom you speak….

  • Inigo Montoya

    Kudos to you JDH. Your early predictions were annoyingly negative, but dead-on.

    Presuming Donovan is gone and Becks stays (because he won’t want to give up the money and life-style he’s found in LA, regardless of the soccer stuff), my questions:

    1) Is there a young core of players to begin building a new Galaxy team around?

    2) Will Arena be willing and able to do that, the way he patiently built a competitive US team in 1999-2002?

    3) Does AEG have any interest in seeing either of those two happen, given that it might take two or three years?

    Maybe those are the wrong questions?

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Thanks for the kudos, Inigo. As to your questions:

    1. Yes, the Galaxy has a core of young players to build around: Sean Franklin, Julian Valentin, Mike Randolph, Brandon McDonald, Josh Tudela, Bryan Jordan and, perhaps, Ely Allen.

    2. Will Arena be willing and able to be patient? He has shown that he can do that (you answered your own question, really). The question is whether and how much flack he can stand from Anschitz and Lie-weke.

    3. Will AEG be patient? AEG doesn’t have a choice if it wants the Galaxy to be taken seriously — and if it wants to keep what’s left of its season-ticket base. If Lie-weke screws with Arena, then Arena will bolt for the expansion team in Philadelphia. If that happens, then the Galaxy will never be able to hire another coach with a decent resume, let alone a stellar one.

  • I am not a big fan of David Beckham because I think he is one of the most overrated footballers in history. I would rather spend those US$ millions they paid him on fat old Diego Maradona.