A few links for today:
*With neither of tonight’s playoff games on free TV (yup, including Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls), we may as well look forward to the Real Salt Lake-Galaxy game where the home team is looking for penetrating passes and a goal or two to overcome their 1-0 first leg deficit.
*Guess which former Galaxy defender is the new Columbus Crew coach?
*Here’s your weekend EPL preview. The slate of games includes an 8 a.m. Sunday Manchester United-Arsenal encounter on NBCSN.
Here’s more from the press release on the eight-episode series:
The short-form, documentary-style series, directed by independent filmmaker Brandon Vedder (“Pearl Jam: Live at The Garden,” “La Source”), features eight episodes that holistically explore what it takes to be a professional soccer player through the eyes of LA Galaxy peak performers. Featuring Galaxy players including Omar Gonzalez, Marcelo Sarvas and Jaime Penedo, “Be A Pro” dives into the mental and physical commitments and sacrifices that are made in order to perform at the highest level.
Here’s episode three in the series called “The Finishing Touch:”
If you missed episode two, featuring Marcelo Sarvas, you can watch it here:
The first episode, with defender Omar Gonzalez, is below:
The next episode, featuring Pablo Mastroeni, is set for release Nov. 19
It could have been much worse for former Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid, but there is already blood in the water as predators circle and fans pile on the pressure.
By comparison Galaxy coach Bruce Arena’s two-time defending MLS Cup champions must merely struggle with being anointed favorites by the opposing coach, a statement that wasn’t so much mind game as stating a fact given the Galaxy’s advantage over RSL so far this season.
Bottom line: Playoffs are a different beast, but the Galaxy’s home form this season must surely be enough for a slim one goal advantage come halftime of the 180-minute contest tonight barring a late defensive collapse..
Mexico finally won in San Diego Wednesday night before an unusually small crowd that illustrates the depth of the skepticism over the quality of this Mexican team, while the U.S. women drew New Zealand.
A Portland team that could still win the MLS regular season crown meets one of the league’s chronic losers tonight in Carson, with Chivas USA needing a win merely to equal last year’s pathetic total of seven wins that itself represented the franchise’s worst performance since their opening season in 2005.
It’s an alleged “new era” that sadly looks a lot like the old one for a club that shows no signs of shaking off an ingrained malaise that should have the league office reacting in alarm as promised back in July, but instead leaves one wondering whether MLS Commish Don Garber is getting in some practice of genuflecting to wealthy, clueless team owners before fleeing for the NFL as conjectured.
In fairness, the club hinted at better times briefly late in the season, on the field at least. But with Chivas USA likely to start all over again in the offseason if the current coach leaves as expected, a roster largely bereft of MLS quality players and a management and ownership team that inspires confidence in virtually no one, it’s hard to see any end to one of the most slowly unfolding and humiliating marketing disasters in professional sports.
The Timbers, in contrast, are everything Chivas USA is not, but should be. A savvy owner, deliriously loyal fan base, quick to adapt to MLS wily coach, exciting players capable of incisive, cunning football, and superb venue have combined to make one of the league’s greatest success stories with the potential for much more to come.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy arguably have much more at stake in this game than their local rivals, who after this game will slink off into the wilderness of the MLS winter as much adrift as ever.