Galaxy-AC Milan Post-Game

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David Beckham’s first home game back with the Galaxy was (almost) everything you could ask for from a preseason (for Milan) friendly that was more about the show than the result and the money AEG was making from its prize soccer asset.

Was it a coincidence David Beckham was playing against his former and likely future club and looked more interested performing for the Galaxy Sunday night than he did for half of last season?

I think not.

Beckham created both L.A. goals and indeed during the first half he seemed responsible for virtually every Galaxy attack of note in front of as packed a stadium as I’ve ever seen at Home Depot Center (but it nevertheless worked out to exactly an announced 27,000 as usual). It was a pleasure to watch, but somehow it felt more than a little calculated.

Beckham played this game and this crowd like the savvy public relations expert he is. The prestigious event against classy European opposition. Buddy Tom Cruise watching from the stands. And a little slice of anti-hero just to add spice.

i-0f1dc6af9167b0050195f19b9347b81f-becksmilan.jpgDavid Beckham controls the ball against AC Milan defenders Massimo Ambrosini (23) and Mathieu Flamini. (AP Photo).

Beckham even had the obligatory confrontation with the unforgiving Riot Squad just before half time that was suitably provocative and inconsequential enough to bolster, not harm his pseudo-macho image (this is the second game in a row the usually reticent Becks has worn a – gasp- short sleeve soccer jersey that does nothing to hide his tats).

In contrast to what Beckham insisted he yelled at the crowd, one press box colleague related that he was told Becks said a word that starts with “m” and ends with “r” and taunted a fan to come on down and get a piece of him. So the fan did, never made it to the field and got thrown out (but not arrested), according to the Riot Squad message boards.

Notable: Milan Coach Leonardo expressing surprise at the Galaxy tactics given that Beckham was in midfield:

“The first half was very tough for both teams,” he said. “The long balls of the Galaxy was a big surprise to us.”


The AP game story is here.

Here’s the version in the Daily News, Daily Breeze and other MediaNews Los Angeles Newspaper Group papers.

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Final: Galaxy-AC Milan

Galaxy 2 AC Milan 2

This game petered out after the two second half goals as one might expect, with AC Milan satisfied to share the spoils and the Galaxy with both Landon Donovan and David Beckham subbed out by game’s end never likely to muster enough creativity to score a winner.

The Beckham boos diminished as the night went on and he actually received an ovation from some sections of the stands when subbed in the 71st minute.

I think most fans will say they got their value for money here tonight though – and you can’t say that about every Galaxy game this season.

More later.

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Update: Galaxy-AC Milan

Galaxy 2 AC Milan 2

(Blogging software issues – apologies).

AC Milan showed how fast it could strike in the 61st minute, half time substitute Filippo Inzaghi finishing off a a deadly move of stunning swiftness and simplicity with a shot from 12 yards out that beat sub Josh Saunders in the net. Ronaldhinho had begun the move, getting the ball out wide to Mathieu Flamini.

The Galaxy equalized four minutes later from a David Beckham corner kick taken from the corner in front of the Riot Squad who appeared to be giving him a bad time again.

Becks’ cross found its way through a gaggle of bodies in the box to Bryan Jordan who managed to turn it into the net. Becks gestured to the Riot Squad after the goal, making his point.

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Updated: Galaxy-AC Milan

Galaxy 0 AC Milan 1

AC Milan take the leak through a freakish free kick from 35 yards out when Davide Di Gennaro’s ball bounced through the Galaxy penalty area and then appeared to just brush an on-rushing Thiago Silva’s head and bounce past a stunned Donovan Rickets into the goal.

Bit of a weird one that.

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Galaxy-AC Milan at Home Depot Center

I’d say the boo to cheer ratio was 60:40 when David Beckham jogged out to warm-up.

The Riot Squad have unveiled some apt signs for the occasion including “Hey Becks! Here before you, here after you, here despite you,” “23 Repent” and “Go home fraud 23″

(Updated: It’s about 13 minutes before kickoff; the signs are gone, no doubt removed by AEG. Update 2: They’re back).

It’s thankfully cooling off here in Carson, but it will still be an endurance test for the capacity crowd where full sun remains.

Galaxy XI (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonazalez, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Eddie Lewis, David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Stefani Miglioranzi, Edson Buddle, Alecko Eskandarian.

Alan Gordon, Jovan Kirovski and Chris Birchall are among the bench options.

(Updated: Boos mixed with cheers when Beckham was introduced, too).

AC Milan lineup (4-4-2): Zeljko Kalac, Massimo Oddo, Alessandro Nesta, Thiago Silva, Marek Jankulovski, Mathieu Flamini, Massimo Ambrosini, Clarence Seedorf, Davide Di Gennaro, Marco Borriello, Ronaldinho.

Filippo Inzagi is on the bench; Alessandro Nesta, new signing Oguchi Onyewu and Pato are among those missing altogether for Milan.

The game is on FSN.

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Sunday’s Galaxy-AC Milan Game in Carson Sells Out

That means the expensive seats at the side of the field, the grass berm as well as the standing room only tickets the club put on sale last weekend (the first time I can recall them doing that).

The club made the announcement this afternoon and also announced that the game will be televised on Fox Sports West with coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Guess the furor over David Beckham is good for ticket sales, huh?

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Wednesday Wrap: Babbling Becks & Inter Milan at UCLA

Decided to take a break from blogging today, but was – well, perhaps inspired is not the right word – motivated to write something when I saw this headline.

Oh, brother. (Regular readers of my Tuesday column will understand the reference in the headline). This is a case of ‘if we say it enough times people will start believing it.” The word for this: propaganda.

BTW, did you see the Matt Lauer interview on “The Today Show”with Beckham this morning? My mother called to alert me it was on. Insipid.

*Several people have e-mailed to ask whether the Inter Milan practices at UCLA ahead of next week’s Chelsea game at the Rose Bowl are open to the public.

Here’s the best explanation I’ve seen in the Daily Bruin.

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Your Daily Beckham

AP Photo

i-65977dff5d29016e6c42a0d713fbf9fc-capt.88f3f2f0115f499092c6822401d4916d.italy_soccer_serie_a_alt121.jpg An easy win over lowly Siena today for AC Milan and David Beckham.

The Galaxy midfielder didn’t have an outstanding game, but then he didn’t have to. The star for Milan: Filippo Inzaghi, scoring his 300th career goal.

Meanwhile, the English are finally catching on to what Galaxy fans have learned over the last couple of years.

And Milan are reportedly not the only European club that wants Beckham.

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Saturday Soccer: Becks & Chivas USA

So it turns out David Beckham is absolutely selfless. How touching is this? What a guy:

MILAN (AP) — David Beckham is willing to give up a “mountain of money” to stay with AC Milan, club chairman Adriano Galliani said Saturday while working to close the deal.

“All players express their affection for a club, but few have showed it in a tangible
manner by renouncing a mountain of money. Beckham is one of these,” Galliani told
Milan’s TV channel.

Galliani has said that negotiations are on track for Beckham to extend his loan from the
Los Angeles Galaxy through the end of the Serie A season.

Beckham joined Milan in January for a two-month loan that is slated to expire after Sunday’s game with Atalanta. Galliani said Friday that documents were being exchanged with the Galaxy and that the deal was near completion.

Beckham has a five-year contract with the Galaxy worth $32.5 million.

Financial terms of the proposal are unknown, but the Galaxy had asked for $10 million
from Milan for the outright purchase of the former England captain. Milan had said it
would pay no more than $3 million, since he could become available anyway after the
MLS season.

Beckham has scored two goals in 11 games for Milan and looked to be in his best
form since leaving Real Madrid two years ago.

“The resolution of his situation here will give Beckham a few advantages because he
really wants to stay here and it would give him more motivation to do well,” Milan coach
Carlo Ancelotti told the club’s Web site.

Meanwhile, Chivas USA were sinking to a 2-1 defeat to the Chicago Fire Saturday in a preseason friendly at Home Depot Center.

Sacha Kljestan got the lone Chivas USA goal, but strikes by Justin Mapp and Brian McBride gave Chicago the win. The Palos Verdes Peninsula’s John Thorrington did not suit up for the Fire.

The Chivas USA XI: Dan Kennedy (Lance Parker 46), Ante Jazic, Jim Curtin, Shavar Thomas, Carey Talley (Mariano Trujillo 53), Michael Lahoud (Justin Braun 46), Bojan Stepanovic (Jamie Franks 82), Diego Scotti, Paulo Nagamura, Sacha Kljestan, Eduardo Lillingston (Maykel Galindo 60).

Galindo’s minutes were the first of preseason for him.

Chivas USA’s preseason record falls to 4-3-1.

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Sunday Soccer Update: Chivas USA, Becks, Donovan & Rogers

One last chance for the players on trial at Chivas USA to impress today against the Ventura County Fusion in Santa Clarita with roster and salary cap compliance day looming Monday. Details here.

David Beckham was a non-entity as AC Milan slumped to another defeat today. He came off with about 20 minutes left; Ronaldinho didn’t even make the bench. AC Milan also had a late equalizer disallowed for offside.

The Galaxy’s Landon Donovan was a late, ineffective sub today for Bayern Munich in their 0-0 tie with Werder Bremen.

Also in Europe, Rolling Hills Estates’ Robbie Rogers bagged a brace today as the Columbus Crew downed Everton Reserves 5-1 in Liverpool. He was actually outscored by Riverside’s Chad Marshall though who put the ball in the net three times; trouble is one of those went in his own net. Box score.

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