Real Thing: Inglewood’s Jose Villarreal, center, scored the tying goal Wednesday in only his second MLS game in the dying moments of the Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps giving Landon Donovan, left, Sean Franklin and Marcelo Sarvas reason to celebrate (AP Photo).
Teenage Inglewood resident Jose Villarreal’s second MLS game provided just the moment the Galaxy needed to save a road point Wednesday against the Vancouver Whitecaps
in a big game.
He was pretty happy:
David Beckham owes him lunch.
Chivas USA 1 Portland Timbers 0
English winger Ryan Smith rounds Portland’s Steven Smith en route to creating the winning goal for Chivas USA today over the Timbers at Home Depot Center (Photo by Staff Photographer Steve McCrank).
In the end it wasn’t much of a game with 10-man Chivas USA handling struggling Portland easily with a minimum of fuss.
The Timbers didn’t have a shot on target until around the 70th minute, Chivas USA posted a third consecutive MLS shutout and the lone goal, at least, was a thing of beauty.
And with Portland never scoring more than one goal on the road since joining the MLS, the lone strike – just the club’s 12th all year – was enough for the victory.
Staff Writer Phil Collin has the game story.
If you read my Tuesday column you know just how crucial this game is for both teams.
The viewing party for the game tonight is in Old Torrance at Tortilla Cantina. I’ll see you there.
It is an un usually grey and cool South Bay summer morning with even a slight chance of some rain, perfect weather for an unprecedented — well, for MLS, but we have seen this before in Carson — 1 p.m. kickoff between Western Conference rivals Chivas USA and the Portland Timbers.
The game is one of eight on tap in MLS today (including Seattle’s friendly against Chelsea) and one of two to get the unusual midweek afternoon start that in New York at least was called a “business decision.”
Given Chivas USA’s rather poor attendance record so far this season at home you wonder if a season low isn’t on the horizon, although I’m guessing scads of kids on deep group discounts will be in attendance at what’s being called Kids Day Out.
At least I hope so because Chivas USA defender Danny Califfe didn’t sound particularly excited about the prospect of a small audience:
“Not a huge fan,” he said the start time for the game. “We’ve had a hard enough time drawing on Saturday nights. It will be interesting to see what a one o’clock (start) will be like.”
“We have some things to build on,” said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. “We obviously need to be a little bit better in the seond half of the season. If we are better in the second half of the season we will have a very good chance at making the playoffs.”
Staff Writer Phil Collin has the previews of today’s game in Carson and the one up in Canada involving the Galaxy (more from me on that a little later).
Portland will also be seeking a little revenge for the defeat earlier this season inflicted by Chivas USA.
*The Galaxy announced today the upcoming home game against the Colorado Rapids was pushed forward two days to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 (live on KDOC) to give players extra time to recover before their first road Sept. 19 CONCACAF Champions League game against the Puerto Rico Islanders.
The MLS game was originally set for Sunday, Sept. 16.
“We have made this decision, with the support of Major League Soccer and our opponents the Colorado Rapids, for purely competitive reasons,” said Galaxy Vice President Chris Klein. “We want to position our team as best we can to be successful in our trip to Puerto Rico on September 19 to face the Islanders in the CONCACAF Champions League and felt that we would be more adequately prepared for that important game with two extra days of rest and training ahead of it.”
*Meanwhile, it’s city of Torrance Night at the Aug. 26 Galaxy-Dallas game at Home Depot Center.
*El Salvador will play Guatemala Aug. 11 at Home Depot Center. Tickets starting at $30 went on sale Monday.
*Chivas USA will give away 2,500 backpacks to children attending KIds Day Out, the unprecedented 1 p.m. Wednesday MLS game against the Portland Timbers at the HDC. The forecast high Wednesday for Carson: 72 degrees.
Games are coming thick and fast for the Galaxy and Chivas USA as the MLS season heats up and change is in the air.
Galaxy striker Chad Barrett and his $250,000 salary are training in Scandanavia presumably because the Galaxy are not happy with the one goal in 18 games return on their investment this season, while central defender Omar Gonzalez could get another run-out Wednesday in Vancouver despite the synthetic turf.
In fact, there’s lots going on for both local MLS clubs and I put it all in context in today’s column.
*Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who has overcome two serious injuries in his career and was selected Sunday for his first MLS All-Star Game, paid tribute to his defense after training Monday in reacting to his selection:
“I’m really excited to experience this,” he said. “It’s definitely something special for me personally. I always say goalkeepers are so dependent on their team. Our defense has been something special this season … Even though it’s me going I definitely owe the defense, maybe a dinner, for this.
“We work together more for championships than personal accomplishments, but for me, the path I’ve been down, its very fulfilling,” he added. “It will be fun to play against Chelsea and it will be fun to play with some other standout players in this league.”
Coach Robin Fraser called Kennedy’s selection “a tribute to Dan and a credit to the group for the hard work they’ve been doing.”
*Fraser announced Monday that midfielder Oswaldo Minda is out indefinitely after dislocating his shoulder in training Saturday after falling and simply landing awkwardly. He’s being evaluated by a doctor today.
*The status of injured striker Juan Agudelo is also up in the air for Wednesday’s unusual 1 p.m. game at Home Depot Center against the Portland Timbers.
“I can’t say whether he will be involved or not, but he’s definitely coming along,” Fraser said.
I’ll have more on Chivas USA and the Galaxy in Tuesday’s column leading up to this weekend’s SuperClasico at what is essentially the halfway point of the season
Portland Timbers 3 Galaxy 5
Two sublime moments from David Beckham, given way too much time and respect, hacked the emotionally spent Timbers down to size after an early shock.
The last time I scored a goal like that was for Manchester United against Deportivo [La Caruna], it was very similar to that,”Beckham said. “I was happy with it, but I’m more happy with the team’s performance tonight because I think we showed our character. I think we showed that when we pass the ball around we can go through teams.”
Next for the Galaxy: at Vancouver Wednesday.
Galaxy at Portland Timbers, 8 p.m. NBC Sports Network
I’m told a sizeable contengent of Galaxy fans have trekked north to see if the Galaxy can sweep the struggling Timbers tonight after a memorable performance for LA goalkeeper Josh Saunders the last time these two teams met and a spectacular strike from David Beckham back in April to seal victory.
But Timbers coach John Spencer was fired this week and it remains to be seen whether that will galvanize the players in the short term as coaching changes often do and Portland comes out as a very different proposition that might normally be expected for a struggling team.
The atmosphere in Portland always sends a tingle up the spine and provides a significant disadvantage for the visitors in the tight confines of Jeld-Wen Field, but is a hellluva lot of fun to watch on TV.