Despite starting an unusually large number of regulars (there were still six changes to the lineup that faced Real Salt Lake Saturday), it took Landon Donovan coming on as a substitute for the Galaxy to unlock the rear guard action of their Costa Rican opponents Tuesday in Carson in a CONCACAF Champions League opener the home team wanted to win by two clear goals.
MLS beat writer Phil Collin was one of 9,474 on hand for the game and filed this report.
Notable: Defender Kofi Opare made his debut and midfielder Robbie Rogers will undergo a scan today to determine the severity of a hamstring issue that forced him from the game prematurely.
Quotable: “It wasn’t a convincing performance but we played well enough to certainly win the game,” said striker Robbie Keane. “It’s always nice to get a couple of goals because goal difference is very important in this [competition.]”
Here’s the significance of the win in the tournament, according to the Galaxy website:
The Galaxy are now tied with Cartagines for the top spot in Group 8. Both teams have three points with the Galaxy standing at 1-0-0 while Cartagines are 1-1-0. Isidro Metapan are in third place with an 0-1-0 record and no points.
The Galaxy also have the best goal difference in the group at +2 while Cartagines are even and Metapan are -2.
It figures in a column about the Galaxy’s visibility among general sports fans in Southern California, the piece would go AWOL — on our own web sites (and we’re still awaiting the return of the dedicated soccer page on our websites since a radical redesign last week, in case you were wondering, BTW).
Still, you can belatedly read the column online as the Galaxy embarks on their final 10-game MLS stretch as well as the start of the CONCACAF Champions League tonight in Carson here.
Incidentally, regular Galaxy sellouts at home may be a thing of the past in Carson, but not elsewhere.
The Vancouver Whitecaps announced today that fewer than 1,000 tickets remain for Saturday’s game against the Galaxy.
Two hat tricks in two weeks by Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane respectively must have MLS rivals wondering whether the Galaxy’s knack of peaking at exactly the right time over the last two seasons could lead to a third successive MLS title.
The Galaxy threw off the unimaginative shackles of a sterile first half to come from behind in relentless fashion and run away with a 4-2 game with the type of attacking soccer remniscent of those halycon free-scoring days of 1997 and 1998, apt for the debut of the retro-style third strip Saturday in Carson.
Beat writer Phil Collin has the details, while reporter Aaron Falk with our sister paper The Salt Lake Tribune has the perspective of Western Conference leading Real Salt Lake.
NBC’s soccer team: Hosts Rebecca Lowe, Kyle Martino, Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe have replaced Fox’s Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Brian McBride presenting the English Premier League. (Photo courtesy NBC).
New EPL season, new channel, new presenting team.
The EPL on NBC cranks up Tuesday meaning soccer fans have a whole new set of channels to get used to seeing their favorite teams on.
But the trickiest part will be finding out where and how to watch games initially.
NBC has set up this website to help soccer fans find out what’s on where and when.
NBC says subscribers of nine of the 10 largest cable and satellite TV providers including DirecTV, DISH and AT&T U-verse are all set to go. Judging by the list I saw, Time Warner Cable subscribers are going to be disappointed.
Here’s more from NBC:
For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.
Events airing on:
NBC will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra;
NBC Sports Network will live stream to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra, and to the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs.
The club signed Colombian forward Jose Erik Correa today on loan, according to Chivas USA.
Guess a sparse total of three goals in 32 appearances over two seasons gets you an MLS exit.
Chivas USA are off this weekend and play FC Dallas Wednesday in Carson.
Meanwhile, MLS handed down additional one-game suspensions to Gabe Farfan and Tristan Bowen Friday after the pair were sent off against Colorado, meaning they will miss two games apiece instead of one. Both will be eligible to play again in the Sept. 1 game against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Chivas USA has said they intend to discipline players after a rash of red cards.
The news conference announcing the move was perfunctory since the move was widely anticipated anyway.
Everyone thanked everyone else.
And coach Bruce Arena told Omar “welcome” and thanked former DP David Beckham for making the designation possible when he retired and vacated the DP slot.
Arena observed that the unspecified pay raise Gonzalez will receive will reward him “accordingly” for his level of play on the back four.
“When we drafted him in 2009, we thought he’d be a good player in this league,” Arena said. “This signing today is significant for all American players. It gives them something to shoot for … This is what our young kids are going to aspire to.”
Gonzalez, 24, is the first American defender named a DP.
“It’s really an honor to be named the third DP here at the Galaxy,” he said.
Just to refresh your memory, here’s the previous story on the first lawsuit filed this spring.
And here’s the club statement released in the wake of stories about that lawsuit:
Chivas USA is and has always been an organization that respects everyone without any distinction, and knows that its employees are the most valuable asset the company has. That is why it implements the best practices in terms of equality and respect and it stands against any sort of discrimination in terms of gender, health, religion, opinion or physical disabilities.
Robbie Rogers, who grew up on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and became the first openly gay athlete in MLS when he signed for the Galaxy earlier this year, has addressed the issue of Russia’s anti-gay laws against the backdrop of the forthcoming Olympics in this USA Today column.