The Galaxy lost the oh so prestigious Pan-Pacific Championship final 4-2 on penalty kicks tonight, Edson Buddle responsible for a horrendous opening kick that narrowly missed entering orbit and draft pick Kyle Patterson sealing the defeat by fluffing the fourth PK.
A 10-man Galaxy – defender Sean Franklin was issued a straight red for a foolish studs up tackle right in front of the referee in the 79th minute – forced penalty kicks by converting a spot kick 10 minutes after the ejection. Buddle was held from behind at the near post by a defender and Mike Magee scored.
In the end justice was done; the Bluewings out shot the Galaxy 17-9 despite what was a far better performance for the home side than Wednesday, which is what Bruce Arena will be most concerned about.
More after the press conference.
Updated: This is why I dislike mixed zones, which means reporters wait in the tunnel and hope a player wanders by. But tonight most chose to slip out by another door, save for a personable Mike Magee who chatted for quite a while. I’m short on time tonight, so I’ll post that Q&A later.
For now, here are some quotes from Coach Bruce Arena, who observed that the Bluewings were more experienced than a young Galaxy team and it showed.
“The first half we struggled with the speed of play,” he said. “The Suwon team put us under a lot of pressure, they did a great job stepping to the ball. We weren’t quick enough technically or mentally to deal with it. I thought they really had the better of us in the first half. In the second half I thought our team played much better and obviously the game had slowed down and it benefited us.
“Today we had an opportunity to play a lot of young kids – I thought Omar Gonzalez had a great game. Yohance Marshall did well and A.J. DeLaGarza. And these are young kids who have just played their first couple of games professionally, so I was impressed by that.
“We still haven’t passed the ball very well. Our passing was not good – that needs improvement. We need a little bit more speed in attack; (Landon) Donovan will give us that when he gets back.
“Defensively we were actually pretty solid compared to last year.”
BTW, Eddie Lewis, projected as the starting left back, has a strained hamstring and “will be out a few weeks,” Arena said. It’s the first time in his career the 34-year-old has had a hamstring injury.
Galaxy trivia question (and I’ll not take credit for recalling this) suggested by the resident stats guru on the Galaxy PR staff who remarked as the club chased a one-goal deficit in the game: when was the last time the Galaxy were down by an own goal late in a “championship” match played at Home Depot Center and what happened? I had to think for a moment about this one – and it was an unforgettable ending to a great game.
First to answer in the comment section gets a copy of oh, how about the Official Pan-Pacific Championship Program so you can truly experience the tournament in all its glory.