Final: Galaxy 1 Philadelphia Union 0
Union substitute Jack McInerney also got a straight red after retaliating because he didn’t like a Chad Barrett tackle in second half stoppage time. That led to a bit of a scrum, but was largely uneventful, much like the game really.
Philadelphia didn’t have a single shot on target.
The Galaxy did what they needed to do and got the win with a minimum of fuss. The Union didn’t offer much offense in what was a fairly comfortable win for the Galaxy, if not a particularly inspiring one.
David Beckham got a yellow card for time-wasting in the 89th minute, although it was fairly obvious he was waiting for the Union wall to go back a full 10 yards. Why didn’t the ref use that temporary turf spray to mark 10 yards you randomly see in some MLS games and not others?
The Galaxy got their second shutout win of the season and are now alone atop the Western Conference..
Tonight’s attendance: 24,998.
The overly-officious referee handed out 10 cards (!) in what was not a bad-tempered or violent game.
Factoid: This MLS game was the only one with a winner today; every other one ended in a tie.
Juan Pablo Angel should have had a second for the Galaxy from a six-yard header after a speedy Landon Donovan outran the Union defense. If he had put it on target instead of wide with only the goalkeeper to beat, it would have been a goal in all likelihood.
Carlos Ruiz just had a header in the 78th minute from close range, but Donovan Ricketts was there to collect easily enough.
Bryan Jordan replaced the ineffective Miguel Lopez, who suffered a bloody nose from an elbow in the first half, in the 57th minute. Three minutes later Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts received a yellow card, apparently for time wasting while “taking” a goal kick, even though the ball was in the stands at the time.
Chris Birchall has received what appears an unduly harsh straight red after fouling Carlos Ruiz, who received a yellow in the 53rd minute. If there was an altercation between the two after the initial foul, I missed it. Something fishy there, huh?
The ejection comes seconds after a stunning Juninho blast off the bar from 18 yards.
A relatively uneventful half with the Galaxy doing just enough to deserve the lead. The best Union chance may have been a high Leonardo slice just before halftime that Donovan Ricketts saved on the goal line.
There were zero Union shots, period, let alone any on target.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Union Coach Peter Nowak, looking for more punch up front, replaced striker Danny Mwanga with Keon Daniel at the half.
The Philadelphia just conceded their first goal of the season, Galaxy defender Leonardo, who was completely unmarked, scoring his first-ever MLS goal in the 33rd minute with an eight-yard header from a David Beckham free kick.
We’re 23 minutes into this one in Carson and most press box scribes have barely typed a word. Slow start at the extreme for both sides. Every MLS game so far today has ended in a tie and it doesn’t look like anyone wants to take the initiative in this one.
The weather is a helluva lot better tonight in Carson than it was for the home opener, with overcast skies, but relatively balmy temperatures.
Coach Bruce Arena has made four changes to the starting XI that lost badly to a good Real Salt Lake City side last week.
Center back Omar Gonzalez returns to man the middle with his former college teammate A.J. DeLaGarza giving way and Donovan Ricketts returning behind him between the posts in place of Josh Saunders. Both are making their first appearances of the season after nursing sprains and the Jamaican goalkeeper has already received a warm round of applause from the sprinkling of fans in the stands as he came out to limber up.
Landon Donovan returns from international duty to man the midfield in place of Michael Stephens who doesn’t even dress tonight, while rookie Miguel Lopez gets a first MLS start partnering Juan Pablo Angel up front and Chad Barrett drops to the bench.
Galaxy XI: Donovan Ricketts-Sean Franklin, Leonardo, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant,-David Beckham, Chris Birchall, Juninho, Landon Donovan-Juan Pablo Angel, Miguel Lopez.
Bench options include Mike Magee and Jovan Kirovski.
The undefeated Philadelphia Union proudly sit atop the Eastern Conference for the first time ever having won two successive games for the first time in franchise history.
The Union have Faryd Mondragon in goal who Beckham scored on 13 years ago from a 30-yard free kick in his first World Cup start as England defeated Colombia in France.
UCLA midfielder Kyle Nakazawa of Palos Verdes Estates makes his third successive start in the Union midfield.
Former Galaxy striker Carlos Ruiz partners Danny Mwanga up front, while former Galaxy midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi joins Brian Carroll, the always dangerous Sebastien Le Toux and Nakazawa in the Union midfield.
Former Galaxy defender Danny Califf is in the starting Union back four, apparently able to overcome his knee issue.
The game is on Fox Sports West beginning at 7:30 p.m.
I’ll update this post throughout the game.