Half Time: Galaxy-Chivas USA

Galaxy 0 Chivas USA 0

This is a typical derby with almost as many cards – five yellow and one red, the latter for Chivas USA’s Pablo Nagamura who received a second yellow for deliberately bringing down Landon Donovan, (who did his best to sell the foul and draw the ejection) just before the half ended – than shots on goal (7).

Referee Tim Weyland seems intent upon keeping players on a short leash, leaving both coaches shaking their heads on the sidelines at some of the disciplinary decisions.

Chivas USA have generally looked more threatening in attack than the Galaxy with both Eduardo Lillingston and Nagamura drawing good saves from Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts within a couple of minutes.

Lillingston and Donovan both had relatively quiet halves, although Sean Franklin is again looking much more comfortable going forward in midfield up the right wing than he did in defense.

Best chance of the half for Chivas USA fell to Jesse Marsch who saw a chance from about three yards saved by Ricketts.

Ricketts is looking considerably more comfortable than Josh Saunders did between the posts for the Galaxy, while 35-year-old Gregg Berhalter is looking solid on his MLS (but not Galaxy) debut.

Best atmosphere of the year at Home Depot Center, too, with an enthused crowd, Chivas USA fans beating drums and the L.A. Riot Squad brandishing inflatable goats.

Updated: Lillingston was pulled at the half for 10-man Chivas USA, as was Gerson Mayen; Coach Preki has brought in Alecko Eskandarian, who appears to be playing alone up front now, and Bojan Stepanovic.

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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!