Final: San Jose Earthquakes at Galaxy

Galaxy 2 San Jose Earthquakes 0

The Galaxy have held on for the win, but Seattle came back from a one-goal deficit to beat Dallas tonight.

The Galaxy are in the playoffs for the first time in four years.

What does that mean in terms of a playoff opponent?

The Galaxy will play the loser in Sunday’s noon game between Chivas and Houston in the opening round of the playoffs; if the game is tied they will play Chivas USA.

And that means, in turn, the Galaxy’s home playoff game will be 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8 on ESPN2.

Got that?

BTW, the Galaxy (wearing really ugly gold T-shirts) just saluted the Angel City Brigade.

The Galaxy just gave out their team awards: Landon Donovan won MVP and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts Defender of the Year.

More later.

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Update: Earthquakes at Galaxy

Galaxy 2 Earthquakes 0

After a rather listless first half, an end to end move by the Galaxy in the 77th minute has appeared to seal the win.

Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts started the play, getting the ball to David Beckham, who passed to Landon Donovan, who in turn got it out wide to substitute Chris Klein on the wing. He crossed the ball back to Donovan who nutmegged Cannon and then saw the ball go off the far post for the goal.

That’s an even dozen goals for LD this season.

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Halftime: Earthquakes at Galaxy

Galaxy 1 San Jose Earthquakes 0

The Galaxy gradually asserted their control as the first half wore on and although I’m sure Coach Bruce Arena would like to see more movement and that telling pass in the final third of the field L.A. have certainly subdued any early life the Earthquakes showed.

David Beckham just missed scoring the first when he sent a trademark curling free kick (ill-advisedly given up by former boy wonder Bobby Convey) just outside the near post from about 28 yards in the 18th minute.

Beckham also sent a 35-yard shot from open play in the 34th minute whistling over the bar.

For now the Bobby Burling own goal (combined with Atiba Harris’ goal for Dallas over Seattle) is getting exactly the job the Galaxy want done in terms of finishing atop the Western Conference. (Former Chivas USA players doing the Galaxy a couple of big favors you’ll notice tonight).

Key stat: the Galaxy finished the half with two shots on target, the Earthquakes one.

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Update: Earthquakes at Galaxy

Galaxy 1 San Jose Earthquakes 0

Former Chivas USA defender Bobby Burling deflected a Landon Donovan shot into the net in the 24th minute, the ball going up and over Joe Cannon and giving him no chance.

Incidentally, while I know it’s early if this result holds the Galaxy will play the Sounders, who are losing 1-0 to Dallas right now, in Seattle on Thursday. BTW, former Chivas USA midfielder Atiba Harris scored for Dallas

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San Jose Earthquakes (7-13-9) at Galaxy (11-6-12)

The Galaxy come into the season’s final game knowing a win will give them the top spot in the Western Conference and home field advantage in the playoffs because L.A. holds most of the tiebreakers over Houston and Chivas USA, which play each other at noon Sunday here at Home Depot Center, should either of those two teams finish tied with them on points.

The Galaxy haven’t beaten the Earthquakes this season, however, San Jose having won 2-1 in the two teams’ last meeting in June and the two teams drawing 1-1 back in April.

The Galaxy have a shutout in six of their last eight games, while the Earthquakes haven’t lost in their last four road games, although they have only won once on the road this season.

Back with the lineups in a bit.

The only change for the Galaxy tonight sees Landon Donovan replace Eddie Lewis in misfield, otherwise it’s the same XI that drew 0-0 last time out against Houston. That means A.J. DeLaGarza starts on the bench again, as does veteran midfielder Chris Klein, who seems to be out of favor with Coach Bruce Arena at the moment.

Here’s Arena’s team: Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, Chris Birchall, David Beckham, Dema Kovalenko, Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle, Mike Magee.

Bryan Jordan and Jovan Kirovski are offensive options on the bench in the absence of the suspended Alan Gordon.

BTW, Gonzalez will make his 30th MLS appearance for the Galaxy tonight; only five players in MLS had played 29 games coming into the weekend.

Earthquakes Coach Frank Yallop recalls former Galaxy goalkeeper Joe Cannon tonight, while former Galaxy striker Cornell Glen (last seen scoring two goals against Chivas USA in 2006 you’ll recall) is unavailable after undergoing surgery (the story of the Earthquakes’ season in large measure).

The game is delayed on FSW tonight (and is usually blacked out across the nation anyway on that channel because of Direct Kick) so stick with me here for regular updates.

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Saturday Galaxy Gameday

The possibilities are endless for tonight’s game in terms of where the Galaxy will end up in the standings.

The Earthquakes will be looking to put a season that initially promised so much behind them. Personally, I think the biggest mistake was getting rid of Ronnie O’Brien, but whatever.

Finally, I caught up with former Galaxy Coach Frank Yallop after the Earthquakes’ game against Chivas USA at the HDC last weekend and asked him to assess his old club:

“They’ve done well the Galaxy this year – they made the playoffs, which is everyone’s hope and dream before you start the season so they’ve done well. They’ve stuck to the task early in the season when it was touch and go in some of the games. They got good draws and hung in there, grinding a few points out and then they got the wins when they needed them and all of a sudden they were like ‘oh, we’re doing alright.’

“The Galaxy are well-balanced, they’re very organized and Landon is on his game – he just needs a split second to do anything, he’s dangerous. … The team is playing well, they’re confident. …. One good thing is they’ve had stability in the back, they’ve had the same goalkeeper nearly all year, the same back four, the same guys around. I thought Stefani (Miglioranzi) was playing terrific before he got injured.”

BTW, the game is delayed on TV tonight until 9 p.m. on FSN, so check back for live blogging (and tweeting) from Carson.

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Waiting for the Weekend

It’s the final weekend of the MLS regular season in what we are (constantly) reminded is the tightest playoff race in league history, while local colleges are also getting closer to making tournament plans. And, of course, the especially avid fan can see the Galaxy play San Jose at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Home Depot Center (9 p.m. FSN, delayed) and then turn around a few hours later to check in at noon Sunday at the same venue to see Chivas USA play the Houston Dynamo (live on Prime).

So there’s plenty to watch on TV, plenty to see locally, plenty to check out below:

TV highlights
*4:30 a.m. Saturday ESPN2 Wolverhampton Wanderers-Aston Villa
*7:55 a.m. Saturday Galavision Mexico-Switzerland (U-17 World Cup)
*9:30 a.m. Saturday FSC Chelsea-Blackburn Rovers
*6 p.m. Saturday FSC Real Salt Lake-Colorado Rapids

*7 a.m. Sunday FSC Liverpool-Manchester United
*9 a.m. Sunday FSC West Ham United-Arsenal
*12:30 p.m. Sunday FSC Chievo-AC Milan
*1 p.m. Sunday ESPN2 Barcelona-Real Zaragoza
*3 p.m. Sunday ESPN2 Columbus Crew-New England Revolution
*3 p.m. Sunday KMEX Club America-CD Guadalajara
*3 p.m. Sunday FSC River Plate-Boca Juniors

In college action Thursday, Torrance’s Tyler Krumpe (son of Coach Paul Krumpe) scored the winner in overtime Thursday as the Loyola Marymount men (7-6-1, 2-3-1 WCC) defeated San Diego, 2-1. Also Thursday, the Long Beach State women (5-9-2, 1-4-0 BWC) lost 2-0 to Cal State Fullerton.

Local women’s college games this weekend include:
*2:30 p.m. today Cal State Northridge-Cal State Bakersfield
*3 p.m. today USC-Oregon State
*7 p.m. Saturday CSUDH-Seattle Pacific
*1 p.m. Sunday USC-Oregon
*2 p.m. Sunday Long Beach State-UC Riverside
*2:30 p.m. Sunday Cal State Northridge-UC Irvine

Local men’s games:
*3 p.m. Sunday LMU-San Diego

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Final: Fire-Chivas USA

Chicago Fire 1 Chivas USA 0

Game story

Another drab, missed opportunity for Chivas USA.

They are masters of the bleeding obvious over at Chivas USA public relations, BTW:

Chivas USA now owns a record of 13-10-6 (W-L-T), and remains tied atop the Western Conference with the Houston Dynamo and the LA Galaxy with 45 points. All three teams have just one remaining match, with the Red-and-White hosting Houston on Sunday, and the LA Galaxy hosting San Jose on Saturday. Chivas USA can only finish first in the division if it does better than both Houston and LA this weekend.

No kidding.

Highlights (such as they are):

More confirmation

Chivas USA lineup: Zach Thornton, Jonathan Bornstein, Yamith Cuesta, Shavar Thomas, Mariano Trujillo (Paulo Nagamura 46), Sacha Kljestan, Gerson Mayen (Maicon Santos 62), Marcelo Saragosa, Jesus Padilla, Eduardo Lillingston, Maykel Galindo (Justin Braun 54).

Sacha Kljestan summed it up on Twitter: “Bummed we lost tonight… last game of the regular season on Sunday in LA”

Those of you near Redondo Beach might want to check out this event later today, BTW:


The mall is at 1815 Hawthorne Blvd., BTW.

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Becks Leaves Galaxy Practice Early With Leg Iced

Reporter Phil Collin, who was out at the Galaxy’s practice this morning before Saturday’s game against the San Jose Earthquakes, checks in with word that David Beckham left the field within the first hour with ice wrapped around a thigh.

Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena downplayed the apparent injury though saying “I think he’s fine” before being asked whether this was a new injury.

“At his age those aren’t new injuries,” Arena said. “He’s had that before. He’s fine. Just being cautious.”

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