Live CONCACAF Champions League: LD Alajuelense at Galaxy from Home Depot Center

Final: Galaxy 2 Alajuelense 0

The Galaxy have done just what Coach Bruce Arena wanted – gone 2-0 to open their CONCACAF Champions League campaign.

The 9,855 in attendance got value for money tonight.

More later.

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Robbie Keane has made the longest run he’s made all night – to the sideline to get subbed out and replaced by Chris Birchall. Four minutes of stoppage remain.

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Juninho has been sent off for a high elbow on Jhonny Acosta in the 88th minute; that was an unnecessary – and potentially dangerous – challenge from the Brazilian.

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Saunders was needed to save a long-range, but strong shot from at least 30 yards by Pablo Gabas in the 84th minute. May have been the visitors’ best attempt on goal all night.

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Fewer than 10 minutes left for Robbie Keane to make an impression; been AWOL much of the night.

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Chad Barrett has his fifth goal of the season in the 77th minute. The pretty build up was conjured up by David Beckham, whose vision and right foot found a speeding Sean Franklin on the right wing. Franklin intelligently pulled it back to a waiting Barrett, who side footed it in from seven yards.

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Galaxy forward Chad Barrett enters the game in the 74th minute for Adam Cristman; it’s the UCLA product’s first appearance since July 4.

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Landon Donovan got a 68th minute yellow card for flinging an opponent to the ground.

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The Costa Ricans had a goal disallowed for offside in the 65th minute. Y’know, this looks like a team without its leading scorer; the visitors, for instance, have had several fast breaks on the Galaxy defense, but seem to run out of ideas in the final third.

The Galaxy do not have the same affliction; Mike Magee just had a 66th minute shot stopped by the Costa Rican goalkeeper.

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The Galaxy outplayed Alajuelense for the most part in the opening 45 minutes. In fact, Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders may have had the most trouble from three sluggish back passes from his defenders.

The Galaxy were especially prolific on corner kicks; they had five to their opponents’ one and, of course, the goal came from a Beckham corner.

The second half is about to start.

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The injury to Gregg Berhalter in the first half had to do with his right foot, incidentally, although the severity is unknown.

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Unremitting Galaxy pressure paid off when Omar Gonzlez outjumped – bowled over is more like it – Costa Rican defender Geancarlo Gonzalez at the near post in the 38th minute for the goal from another David Beckham corner kick. Arena pumps his fists in approval on the touchline.

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David Beckham picked up a yellow card in the 31st minute although it’s not at all clear why. It appears the ref believed he was delaying the game, but it looked like Beckham was waiting for the go ahead to take the set piece from the assistant referee.

Quite weird. But the small knot of fans of the Costa Rican club near that side of the field near the corner post thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.

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David Beckham is signaling the bench that the Galaxy need a sub. It’s Gregg Berhalter coming out, I believe, in the 26th minute. It looks like a foot issue.

Sean Franklin is preparing to come in. Franklin has slotted into the right back spot, with DeLaGarza moving into the middle with former Maryland central defensive partner Omar Gonzalez.

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A.J. DeLaGarza began the most promising Galaxy attack of the night in the 11th minute with a long pass upfield that beat Robbie Keane’s lone marker. The Irishman crossed to Adam Cristman who headed over the bar from close range.

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With Sunday’s game in New York against the Red Bulls postponed because of Hurricane Irene, Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena goes with what is pretty much a first choice starting lineup tonight.

A.J. DeLaGarza returns in defense to replace Frankie Hejduk and Mike Magee takes over from Sean Franklin in midfield, but otherwise it’s fairly close to the same starting lineup that beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 in Robbie Keane’s debut last weekend.

Also available for the first time in several weeks is striker Chad Barrett, who is on the bench tonight.

The Galaxy XI: Josh Saunders-Todd Dunivant, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLagarza-Landon Donovan, Juninho, David Beckham, Mike Magee-Adam Cristman, Robbie Keane

Jonathan McDonald, Alajuelense’s leading scorer and the player who scored last week to beat Morelia 1-0 in the opening CONCACAF Champions League fixture, will not play tonight because of injury.

It’s a clash of the two leaders of their respective leagues tonight: the visitors lead the Costa Rican league with four wins and one draw having scored a dozen coals and conceding just five.

The game is on Fox Soccer Channel.

Refresh this post for updates throughout the game

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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!
  • studs & elbows down

    that was UGLEEEEEE but kinda fun. Keane is making me miss JPA already, what a horrible showing. the dude cannot dribble if his life depended on it. he messed up most of his opportunities in the first half save the one cross and It seemed the team was playing away from him all of the second half. Don’t recall many touches by him in the second half at all. I must watch the replay to see how it looked on TV. Donovan was a non-factor again in the attack. It was mostly Beckham and a little bit of Juninho and Mageee on the soccer front.

    But the star of the show was Count Dracula as usual. He upstaged all the players with his immaculate and subtle game management! I’ll never berate the MLS refs again. Never, ever! He did have his match in the near side linesman (I don’t call them assistants) with his comical start and stops on the corner that throw Beckham off continually which lead to his yellow card. His missed hand ball was brilliant.

  • studs & elbows down

    that was UGLEEEEEE but kinda fun. Keane is making me miss JPA already, what a horrible showing. the dude cannot dribble if his life depended on it. he messed up most of his opportunities in the first half save the one cross and It seemed the team was playing away from him all of the second half. Don’t recall many touches by him in the second half at all. I must watch the replay to see how it looked on TV. Donovan was a non-factor again in the attack. It was mostly Beckham and a little bit of Juninho and Mageee on the soccer front.

    But the star of the show was Count Dracula as usual. He upstaged all the players with his immaculate and subtle game management! I’ll never berate the MLS refs again. Never, ever! He did have his match in the near side linesman (I don’t call them assistants) with his comical start and stops on the corner that throw Beckham off continually which lead to his yellow card. His missed hand ball was brilliant.

  • studs & elbows down

    that was UGLEEEEEE but kinda fun. Keane is making me miss JPA already, what a horrible showing. the dude cannot dribble if his life depended on it. he messed up most of his opportunities in the first half save the one cross and It seemed the team was playing away from him all of the second half. Don’t recall many touches by him in the second half at all. I must watch the replay to see how it looked on TV. Donovan was a non-factor again in the attack. It was mostly Beckham and a little bit of Juninho and Mageee on the soccer front.

    But the star of the show was Count Dracula as usual. He upstaged all the players with his immaculate and subtle game management! I’ll never berate the MLS refs again. Never, ever! He did have his match in the near side linesman (I don’t call them assistants) with his comical start and stops on the corner that throw Beckham off continually which lead to his yellow card. His missed hand ball was brilliant.

  • studs & elbows down

    that was UGLEEEEEE but kinda fun. Keane is making me miss JPA already, what a horrible showing. the dude cannot dribble if his life depended on it. he messed up most of his opportunities in the first half save the one cross and It seemed the team was playing away from him all of the second half. Don’t recall many touches by him in the second half at all. I must watch the replay to see how it looked on TV. Donovan was a non-factor again in the attack. It was mostly Beckham and a little bit of Juninho and Mageee on the soccer front.

    But the star of the show was Count Dracula as usual. He upstaged all the players with his immaculate and subtle game management! I’ll never berate the MLS refs again. Never, ever! He did have his match in the near side linesman (I don’t call them assistants) with his comical start and stops on the corner that throw Beckham off continually which lead to his yellow card. His missed hand ball was brilliant.