Galaxy-Timbers Post-game

Galaxy 3 Portland Timbers 0

i-ba704f548696e87946420a8ebbf95c89-dunivantcooper.jpgWhile Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant was flying through the air in this shot, it was Kenny Cooper and the expansion Portland Timbers who got cut down to size Saturday in Carson (AP Photo).

A dominating performance by the Galaxy who had the game all but sewn up inside the first 10 minutes after going up 2-0 and never looked like losing their grip on the game to the visitors from the pacific Northwest.

“To be up two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game is important,” said Coach Bruce Arena, who pronounced the performance a “little sloppy” but “a good win overall.”

Juan Pablo Angel called it the team’s best performance of the season so far.

Stats don’t tell the story of this one: Portland finished with 11 shots to the Galaxy’s 12, but in truth the Galaxy dominated possession and were rarely troubled by the Timbers.

“We knew if we kept the ball on the ground and passed like we know we can pass we’d win the game,” David Beckham said.

And so it came to pass.

Phil Collin has the game story.


Next for the Galaxy: Sunday, May 1 at FC Dallas. Dallas will be without last year’s MLS MVP David Ferrara who broke his ankle today in their 2-1 road win over the Whitecaps.

The Galaxy and the Timbers play a reserve league game at noon on Easter Sunday at the Track & Field Stadium at Home Depot Center. The public is welcome to watch at no charge.

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Live: Portland Timbers (2-2-1) at Galaxy (3-1-3) at Home Depot Center

Final: Galaxy 3 Portland Timbers 0

Unbeaten in four games now – and with just one defeat so far this season – the Galaxy also have their third shutout of the season in comfortably dispatching the expansion Timbers.

Kenny Cooper had their best two chances of the game – Donovan Ricketts also pushed a second half Cooper effort around the far post – but the Galaxy defense was never overly troubled.

With Real Salt Lake not playing this weekend to rest up for their CONCACAF Champions League commitments the Galaxy now have sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.

More later.

Donovan Ricketts just made a point blank save from Kenny Cooper in an effort to preserve the shutout in the 80th minute. Cooper getting on the end of a Jorge Perlaza cross – but failing to connect very proficiently from seven yards out – was the closest Portland has come all night to a goal.


Landon Donovan was replaced in the 74th minute by Paolo Cardozo.


Landon Donovan started and finished the sequence that led to the Galaxy’s third in the 68th minute, winning the ball just outside the Timbers’ box and then getting on the head of the subsequent Juan Pablo Angel cross, heading home from seven yards out.

The Galaxy are making it look easy.


Darlington Nagbe came on for Jeremy Hall in the 59th minute. Also, was remiss in not noting that the Timbers’ first designated player, Colombian Diego Chara, entered the game at the half, too, replacing James Marcelin.


Juan Pablo Angel has replaced the largely anonymous Miguel Lopez at the outset of the second 45 minutes. BTW, we were told Angel didn’t start tonight for reasons of continuity – why change a winning offense.


This game already began to peter out at the end of the first half. The Galaxy are firmly in control of this game.

Surprising stat: The Galaxy have five shots on goal, the Timbers three.


We’re 30 minutes in here and if the Timbers were feeling cocky after scoring seven goals and reeling off two wins in their last two games, the Galaxy are setting them straight.

This is as dominant a Galaxy performance as we’ve seen this season. The Galaxy have the vast majority of the possession with Portland finding it tough to get out of their own half.

Sean Franklin picked up a yellow card in the 18th minute.


The Galaxy took the lead for the second consecutive game via Chad Barrett. He struck a sweet half-volley from the top of the D outside the penalty box just 3:32 into the game.

David Beckham started the move, Landon Donovan fed Barrett who touched the ball once with his foot and once with the top of his arm/shoulder before lashing it home.

The Galaxy went up by two goals in the eighth minute, Rodney Wallace holding Landon Donovan in the box and then the Redlands native converting the PK.

Happy Easter to all from Home Depot Center where we have a celebrity guest, former Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas, slumming with us ink-stained wretches in the press box.

The Galaxy return home unbeaten from their longest road trip of the year to face the expansion Timbers, fourth in the Western Conference after beating FC Dallas 3-2 last Sunday.

With Leonardo suffering a season-ending knee injury in the 2-1 win last Sunday at Chicago, Coach Bruce Arena shuffles his back four, dropping Frankie Hejduk to the bench and restoring Sean Franklin and A.J. DeLaGarza to starting roles on the back four.

There’s wholesale changes in midfield too, where Michael Stephens, Chris Birchall and Paulo Cardozo all are on the bench and Juninho (who returns from suspension), David Beckham (ditto) and Landon Donovan (who returns from injury) replace them.

For a second consecutive game striker Juan Pablo Angel will see the start of this game from the bench.

Galaxy XI: Ricketts-Franklin, DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Dunivant-Magee, Juninho, Beckham, Donovan-Lopez, Barrett.

The Timbers start former D.C. United goalkeeper Troy Perkins in goal; he’s making his 100th MLS appearance.

Timbers XI: Troy Perkins-Steve Purdy, Eric Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace-Jeremy Hall, Jack Jewsbury, James Marcelin, Kalif Alhassan-Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza

Former Chivas USA midfielder Sal Zizzo is on the bench and so is top MLS draft pick Darlington Nagbe.

The game is live on Fox Soccer Channel.

Refresh this page for updates throughout the game.

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Final: Chivas USA at San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose Earthquakes 1 Chivas USA 2

i-111452f0b5cc07427d4c4e68f3236337-morenoelliott.jpgGolden goal or ghostly goal? Alejandro Moreno, left, and Simon Elliott celebrate Chivas USA’s equalizer – but did Moreno get a foot on the ball after Ante Jazic’s free kick or did it go straight in? Looked like the latter to me (AP Photo).

Chivas USA Coach Robin Fraser got his first MLS win – and Chivas their first victory since Oct. 9 – in the Bay Area Saturday afternoon with a Mariano Trujillo effort five minutes from time over the San Jose Earthquakes (1-3-2). Justin Braun played the role of creator, showing his strength by holding off two San Jose players to get the cross in so Trujillo could score his first-ever MLS goal.

The result allowed 1-2-3 Chivas USA to leapfrog their opponents and escape the bottom of the Western Conference.

San Jose looked unconvincing to say the least and Chivas USA played with growing conviction as the game wore on.

More later.

*Notable: Chivas USA now haven’t tasted defeat in their last four games.


“The win was going to come,” Fraser said. “I’m more happy for the guys because they’ve worked incredibly hard in the last four months so for them to come and to get the first win on the road it’s a huge a testament to what they have done.”

‘Quakes Coach Frank Yallop plans changes after what he witnessed:

“I’m a little bit lost for words to be honest. I was not happy from the opening whistle. I didn’t see commitment or fight from anyone. We will have to take a hard look at the team and make some decisions for next week. We need to come out with more energy. One thing that I always want to see is fight and that wasn’t there today.

“Chivas were way better than us to be honest, and they deserved it to win the game. We have to compete better than that at home and get some results. It was a really poor performance by us, collectively and individually.”


Next for Chivas USA: New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. Saturday Home Depot Center

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Video: The beautiful and the ugly in MLS

Two nights, two very different MLS moments, both played out on national television.

First, here’s the ugly coming just a few minutes into Friday’s MLS game between the Seattle Sounders and the Colorado Rapids veteran Brian Mullan’s uncharacteristically brutal and potentially career-ending tackle on Steve Zakuani, one of the brightest young talents in the league, casting a huge shadow over the rest of the game:

The sound of the impact on television was absolutely sickening, by the way. Let’s hope Zakuani recovers fully and will soon be on the field again.

As an antidote, here’s perhaps one of the most stunningly gorgeous goals ever seen in MLS in the Thursday night game on ESPN2 between New York and D.C. United. It is very difficult not to gush effusively when it comes to Juan Aguedelo. An immense talent as this goal proves (yet again) in his nascent career:


*Mullan’s reaction to the injury.

*Zakuani’s status.

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Friday Football: Donovan to return for the Galaxy this weekend & more

*Landon Donovan is set to return for the Galaxy in their 8 p.m. Saturday game against the Portland Timbers at Home Depot Center. The game is live on Fox Soccer Channel.

*Trivia question: What does Landon Donovan have in common with Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tiger Woods?

*Best TV game of the weekend: Tim Howard and Everton at Old Trafford to take on Manchester United at 4:30 a.m. Saturday on ESPN2.

Chivas USA plays in San Jose against the Earthquakes at 1 p.m. Saturday on KFTR.

For the rest of this weekend’s lineup, click the Live Soccer TV link at top right.

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Thursday Kicks

While we recover from a scintillating Wednesday of televised games that included the 3-3 London derby between Spurs and Arsenal, the 1-0 Real Madrid OT win over Barcelona in the final of the Spanish Cup (especially enjoyed by the trio of women wearing replica Barca jerseys at the BJ’s in Torrance where I ate lunch, the final result aside) and Real Salt Lake’s fine 2-2 road draw against Monterrey in the opening leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final (pant pant), it’s good to know you can have a perfect day of soccer where nothing goes wrong:

OK, scratch that.

While we await tonight’s 5 o’clock NYRB-Philadelphia Union game on ESPN2, here’s three for Thursday:

*Here’s more proof David Beckham is primarily a businessman/celebrity these days rather than a soccer player.

*The USL Pro LA blues have won the first three games in franchise history – and all on the road.

*UCLA midfielder Kelyn Rowe is on trial with a French club.

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Wednesday Kicks: The “biggest game in the history of American club soccer” through a Galaxy lens

57373-ccllogo.jpgThat’s what some soccer fans are calling the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final tonight between Mexico’s Monterrey and Salt Lake City (7 o’clock Fox Soccer Channel).

To me, that’s a little over the top. And anyway, it’s all relative.

In Utah, they’re still trying to convince the casual sports fan of the import of RSL, let alone a competition with a tongue-twisting name.

And frankly, even most soccer fans would much rather pay attention to the UEFA Champions League, which for a second year running will be shown on a Saturday on a major network (Fox) rather than tucked away midweek on a niche channel not many Americans can even get.

What are the odds SportsCenter even mentions the game?

Considering the inauspicious record of MLS clubs in Mexico (an MLS team has never won a game in the country), perhaps we should wait to see if RSL still has a chance at home in the decisive second leg next week before we all hyperventilate.

But, of course, Galaxy fans will appreciate what RSL is trying to do because the team has been there, done that.

You remember that night, Galaxy fans right? There were all of 8,147 in attendance at the massive Coliseum.

And doesn’t that remain the biggest game in U.S. club soccer history? After all, the Galaxy won and as a RSL official pointed out before today’s game “we haven’t done anything yet.”

Still, a decade later at least there are more MLS fans period and that says something about the growth of the league.

Take four minutes and get acquainted with the two teams playing tonight:

Finally, a former Galaxy player who was a part of that victory in 2001 has seen his life take some serious twists and turns in the last few weeks.

Will you be watching tonight?

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Salary cap issues prompt Chivas USA to take a pass on USMNT midfielder Feilhaber

The afternoon drama is over.

Chivas USA Coach Robin Fraser said acquiring a highly-paid player such as UCLA product Benny Feilhaber would have hindered the rebuilding of the team (which, let’s face it, needs a lot of help in different areas):

“This was a really difficult decision because we had to look at a number of factors, first and foremost being if we take him and accommodate his salary within our salary cap, how much is that going to limit us going forward. Certainly we’re looking to address some needs on the team, and having Benny would’ve been great in our midfield, because he’s a very, very good player, but the fact of the matter is his salary would’ve been so high that we wouldn’t have been able to make any adjustments going forward.”

Translation: We need a goal scorer more than a midfielder.

Is this also related to the possibility of Ze Roberto moving to Chivas USA?

More details here.

Maybe they need to talk to the Galaxy about juggling DP’s.

Or couldn’t they have just asked Justin Braun to take a paycut?

Suggestion for Chivas USA’s new slogan: We don’t need Benny Feilhaber in midfield, we have Simon Elliott.

Judging by the results of this poll, just 5 percent of you or so agree with Chivas USA’s reasoning.

What do you think of this decision?


The Philadelphia Union have also reportedly decided Feilhaber’s salary demands are too high and have passed on the opportunity to acquire him as well.

New England is up next in the allocation order, I believe.

Updated Wednesday

The Revs announced this morning they will keep the 26-year-old Brazilian native.

“We’re very pleased that Benny was available to us through the Allocation Process,” Vice President of Player Personnel Michael Burns said. “Benny is a talented, versatile player who instantly will make our team better. We’re looking forward to getting him into a Revolution uniform as soon as possible.”

The 1-2-3 Revs are sixth in the nine-team Eastern Conference.

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Galaxy defender Leonardo out for season

The Galaxy confirmed today that Brazilian central defender Leonardo is out for the season with torn lateral collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments in his right knee, according to Daily Breeze reporter Phil Collin who attended practice in Carson.

Leonardo, one of two players to play all 90 minutes in the Galaxy’s seven games this season, is tentatively slated to have surgery next week.

The news was not unexpected with Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena saying after Sunday’s game in Chicago against the Fire that he expected Leonardo’s injury was serious and would likely end his season.

Leonardo sustained the injury in second half stoppage time after colliding with the Fire’s Patrick Nyarko.

Leonardo’s absence won’t be keenly felt by many of the club’s fans, however.

Leonardo has come in for repeated criticism for a series of defensive errors including Sunday’s game against the Fire when he was largely responsible for Chicago’s goal in the 2-1 victory.

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