Galaxy Put the Lights Out on Houston Postgame

i-1178b457f36936319d3aa1f0ecae174d-champions.jpg(AP Photo)

Galaxy 2 Houston 0

Game story.

The Houston Chronicle perspective.

It was a weird game in a weird season that started with a franchise coming off a worst-ever year, a new coach, 16 or so new players, seemingly interminable and in some cases lucky draws and a very public spat between the team’s two superstars.

On Friday, there were two lengthy and disorienting 18-minute power outages (attributed to overly-sensitive floodlights that cut out if there’s a power fluctuation) to add to the unusually late kickoff to accommodate TV as well as overtime that led to the game finishing just before 11:30 p.m.

There were unlikely heroes in Gregg Berhalter and Alan Gordon, who drew the penalty that allowed Donovan to nail the goal and sole posession of the MLS record for post-season goals.

This, players proclaimed in word and action, was a team.

Quotable:

“We don’t want to end it here,” said Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena. “A bunch of you know what we looked like at the start of the year. … At no time did I think we’d (have a chance to) win the MLS Cup.”

“We needed to make a play to kill the game and we made it and they didn’t,” said Landon Donovan. “We worked on set plays a lot over the past couple of weeks. It should be a bigger part of our game and it isn’t. We’ve got a few guys good in the air and we’ve got maybe the best server of the ball on the planet, so we want to be better at it and we scored a great goal today.

“You’ve got to put them away,” said defender Gregg Berhalter of his first Galaxy goal that came at a crucial time and was quite the ruthless display of opportunistic finishing the likes of Michael Owen would have been proud of. “It’s been a long time coming, seriously,” “We’re not happy with the fact we haven’t scored a lot of goals from set pieces and we scored one today.

Highlights:

Oh, and in other weirdness former Galaxy player Simon Elliott is World Cup bound; New Zealand beat Bahrain 1-0 Saturday to secure a spot in South Africa.

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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!
  • Inigo Montoya

    I hope you were warm up there in the press box, Nick. We were freezing out there in the dark, twice for Pete’s sake.

    It was a night of the bit-players. Exactly what is required to win championships, especially when well-matched teams are playing. The lower profile Galaxy players stepped up, and the lower profile Houston players didn’t.

    I’ll never speak ill of Alan Gordon again. Coming off the bench, his passing helped the attack, and he refused to quit as he bulled his way into the box to draw the penalty. (Contrast with Buddle, who was knocked to the ground twice in the box.) Gordon may not have great footwork or great finishing, but he wanted it bad and fought for it. Hats off to him.

    And Berhalter. Not just on the goal. He did well defending with DeLaGarza on that left side, clearly a target for Houston especially early on.

    What a night.

  • beck

    both soccer fans in LA were delighted. now please go away and leave us with our legitimate sports.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Perhaps instead of paying David Beckham the equivalent of the GNP of Andorra, Tim Leiweke should pay the electric bill.

    Or, he should buy more squirrels to run on the treadmills that power the HDC generators.

    Better yet, he can ask Beckham for an interest-free loan! ;)

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Perhaps instead of paying David Beckham the equivalent of the GNP of Andorra, Tim Leiweke should pay the electric bill.

    Or, he should buy more squirrels to run on the treadmills that power the HDC generators.

    Better yet, he can ask Beckham for an interest-free loan! ;)

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Perhaps instead of paying David Beckham the equivalent of the GNP of Andorra, Tim Leiweke should pay the electric bill.

    Or, he should buy more squirrels to run on the treadmills that power the HDC generators.

    Better yet, he can ask Beckham for an interest-free loan! ;)

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Perhaps instead of paying David Beckham the equivalent of the GNP of Andorra, Tim Leiweke should pay the electric bill.

    Or, he should buy more squirrels to run on the treadmills that power the HDC generators.

    Better yet, he can ask Beckham for an interest-free loan! ;)

  • Mike Watkins

    I didn’t know you could begin a sentence with or.

    Keep with the I don’t know what else to say, but I hate Beckham stance…Joseph turn your TV off.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Mike, sorry you can’t recognize cheeky humor when you see it.

    I don’t hate Beckham. (Leiweke, however, is another matter). If you want to see real Beckham “hate,” just go to the Riot Squad’s Web site and click on the thread dealing with Beckham’a arrival in L.A. (aka, “the thread that won’t die).

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Speaking of “putting out the lights,” here’s a comment from Big Soccer’s Dan Loney:

    “Even during two blackouts, the ad boards stayed lit. That’s AEG for you – play the game, don’t play the game, whatever. But for God’s sake, keep the commercials going.”

    Truer words have rarely been spoken.

  • Studs Up

    I’m Studs Up on all haters on this blog.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Well, Studs Up, I’m sure that Leiweke is not “loved” by a lot of the STHs, whether Galaxy or Chivas USA.

    If you want Leiweke to be “loved,” then perhaps you and the other Galaxy STHs can join with your counterparts with Chivas USA and demand changes (reduced parking, elimination of “valet” parking, reduced concessions costs, friendlier security, etc.). I can vent all I want but I don’t have the power that you and other STHs do. USE IT. Demand that you meet with Leiweke or else cancel your season-ticket subscriptions. That’s the only rationale that AEG would listen to.

    And if anybody from the Riot Squad site visits this blog, I suggest you get in on this action. Beckham is not the problem, nor is he a symptom of a problem. Stop dumping on him and start focusing on the real problem: AEG’s total dismissal of the fans.

  • Studs Up

    Disliking someone and ragging on him with every breath that one takes are two different matters. One is an opinion the other one is a twisted obsession bordering on insanity.

    Get it thru your head, I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM AS A GALAXY SEASON TICKET HOLDER. As a matter of fact, I’m very happy with the service that I get from the organization and my “fan experience” is great. I don’t have a personal vendetta against Tim Leiweke or Uncle Phil as you seem to have. I am actually very happy that a successful company has given me the pleasure of watching my favorite sport under the best of possible circumstances given everything that goes against our game in this country. W/o AEG carrying this league for many years there would be no MLS now.

    No stadium food is worth eating no matter what the price. I don’t eat garbage.

    I don’t have a problem with vallet parking, VIP gate, restaurant or any luxury service they want to offer. More power to the people that can afford to use them. It provides jobs.

    I don’t pay for parking at any venue in LA. I get there early and park on the street.

    PS – parking in SJ was $20.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Well, Studs Up, if you’re so happy with your “fan experience,” then why do you need to grouse about at me?

  • Studs Up

    Because you’re NEGATIVE, WRONG and you keep telling me to rise up, revolt and cancel my season tickets for the team that I SUPPORT.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Fine, Studs Up, you don’t have to listen to me. But when your season ticket prices — as well as parking –get hiked should the Galaxy win MLS Cup…well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    You want to know what Leiweke is really like? This is the man who refuses to reimburse the Los Angeles Police Department for security (when AEG can well afford it) for the Michael Jackson memorial/zoo/means to make money off the dead. This is at a time when the city (thanks to Mayor Villa-la-caca’s mismanagement) is in dire financial straits.

    This is a man whom City Attorney Carmen Trutanich wants to put in jail. Trutanich might not have a case (I don’t know all the legal ramifications). But you have to have some serious “not give a damn” in your system if you’re willing to infuriate the city attorney of the nation’s second-largest city.

  • Studs Up

    My season ticket prices have not gone up for several years and are fixed for next year as well. Got a nice gift already for renewing, thank you

    If you are so pissed why do even bother going to the Galaxy games in what ever capacity it is that you do. Isn’t that kind of hypocritcal.

    Stick to soccer on this blog.