Saturday Kicks: World Cup & MLS winners & losers

i-884585734bb078ce3944ba7018e8ba32-forlanSami Khedira.jpgWinner: Uruguay’s Diego Forlan. One of the most crowd-pleasing players in the tournament, Diego Forlan in full flight – seen here speeding past Germany’s Sami Khedira today – was a thrilling sight (AP Photo).

Winner: the back and forth third-place game that saw Germany beat Uruguay 3-2 but in truth provided a riveting display that made both teams – and the viewing public – winners.

On to Sunday’s final.

i-53713bcf882745377f43a9994b1b694f-akexcaz.jpgNo way through: Alex Cazumba and the Galaxy tried their best to make the Revolution look good Saturday (AP Photo).

Loser: the Landon Donovan-less LA Galaxy who gave a wretched display in an abysmal game against a desperate New England Revolution side grateful for a morale-boosting win. Mind you, New England are still crap and it was the Galaxy’s fifth game in 15 days so perhaps one can forgive the total lack of creativity.

Here are the responsible parties: Donovan Ricketts; Sean Franklin, Leonardo, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant; Chris Birchall (Eddie Lewis 71′), Michael Stephens, Juninho, Alex Cazumba (Chris Klein 77′); Edson Buddle, Tristan Bowen (Alan Gordon 63′). (Leonardo replaced the suspended Omar Gonzalez and Alex Cazumba Landon Donovan).

Notable: The Galaxy are scoreless in their last three road games.

Quotable:

“He (Landon Donovan) hasn’t been around for two months, that’s not an excuse (for losing),” said Coach Bruce Arena. “He hasn’t been here for two months, why would that be a reason?

Next: at D.C. United July 18.

Winner: Chivas USA, who finally got their first MLS win since May 5 – and are unbeaten in four games – over a disintegrating Kansas City Wizards team that managed to make their opponent look, well, better than them. BTW, where was Maykel Galindo for a second consecutive MLS game? Is he the next Chivas USA player on the way out?

Chivas USA lineup: Zach Thornton (Dan Kennedy 36), Mariano Trujillo, Ante Jazic, Michael Umaa, Yamith Cuesta, Ben Zemanski, Michael Lahoud, Blair Gavin (Osael Romero 52), Marcelo Saragosa, Justin Braun, Jess Padilla (Daro Delgado 70)

Notable: Thornton came out after injuring an ankle.

Quotable:

“A great effort from our guys, especially coming from playing against Houston a few days ago, and on the road, and against a very good team,” said Coach Martin Vasquez.”We knew it was going to be difficult; winning here 2-0 is going to help us keep building.”

Next: hosting Puebla in SuperLiga Thursday at Home Depot Center where re-signed midfielder Paulo Nagamura and newly-signed forward Giancarlo Maldonado could make their debuts. The players will be formally introduced to the media Monday.

Loser: Jimmy Conrad, responsible for the gaffes that led to both Wizards goals. That’s the sort of display that cost him his national team job; is his professional career far behind?

Winner: Chivas USA’s two-goal Justin Braun, whose fine opportunistic efforts punctuated an otherwise abysmal game. Check them out here:

Loser: MLS. With an engrossing World Cup game as a lead-in, Chivas USA and the Galaxy – and MLS in general given their ghastly opposition today – missed an opportunity to convert some new fans in Southern California with a pair of not just dull, but exceedingly unattractive games.

Bonus losers: even the streakers in Kansas City at halftime were pretty lame:

I’ve seen Wizards strikers with more speed.

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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!
  • Kingsnake

    You may have seen Wizards strikers with more speed, but I doubt you have seen a Wizards game even half as exciting. (Btw, where were the Paraguayan girls?)