Pachuca 4 Galaxy 3 — Pachuca wins SuperLiga on PK’s

Defender Abel Xavier missed the Galaxy’s sixth penalty kick sending it far, far wide into the stands and Pachuca won the inaugural tournament on a PK from substitute midfielder Carlos Rodriguez.

(Pant, pant)

It was a breathless climax to a thrilling game.

Donovan had the chance with the fifth and last of the first round of penalty kicks to win it for the Galaxy, but his shot was saved by Calero.

The Galaxy may look woeful in MLS, but this was an inspired, determined performance that did them credit. They went to to toe with Mexico’s champions and lost by the narrowest of margins.

One thought: are the Galaxy now the second best team in Mexico and the U.S.?

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pachuca 1 Galaxy 1 — SuperLiga goes to penalty kicks

No score in 30 minutes of extra time means the inaugural SuperLiga final will go to penalty kicks.

It will be five apiece to start, as usual, and then if the score is still tied we’ll go until someone misses.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber is here along with his Mexican counterpart and Chuck Blazer, secretary general of CONCACAF. Bet they’re all basking in this great ad for the competition.

Remember: $1 million is on the line.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pachuca 1 Galaxy 1 — SuperLiga goes to OT

Galaxy defender Chris Klein scored a spectacular bicycle kick from seven yards out in the third minute of stoppage time to send the final into overtime. The ball had come out to him via a couple of headers after a Mike Randolph header hit the bar.

Donovan had almost scored four minutes from time when Pachuca goalkeeper Miguel Calero failed to hold his shot from close range and it dribbled agonizingly past the post.

It was a dramatic end to a thrilling 90 minutes of regulation and sent the crowd of 12,500 into rapture.

The Galaxy looked like a different team and never stopped pressing.

It’s two 15 minute overtime periods, with no golden goal.

Updated: Beck’s is on the bench in his gray Burberry suit for OT.

Hold on.

Updated: It’s still 1-1 at the end of the first abbreviated half.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Pachuca 1 Galaxy 0 (Half Time); Beckham Out Injured

David Beckham left the game in the 33rd minute with a right knee strain after going in hard for a 50-50 ball with Pachuca’s Fernando Salazar, who suffered exactly the same injury.

Beck’s immediately signaled he wanted to come out, probably to ensure he doesn’t miss England’s Euro 2008 qualifier Sept. 8 against Israel.

Frankly, he looked like he was going to cry as he sat on the bench disconsolately and he slowly limped off at the end of the half, cutting a lonely figure.

Striker Alan Gordon came in for Beck’s.

Until then, with Beckham setting up most of the attacks for the Galaxy, the game had a wide-open feel with plenty of opportunities at both ends.

Upon his departure, Pachuca began to take control with Cacho and Alvarez combining well in particular. They have 10 shots to the Galaxy’s two, although neither was on target.

In the end the Galaxy were fortunate to be down by just one goal.

Pete Vagenas scored it at the wrong end, almost slamming home a Christian Gimenez cross in the 28th minute with a touch he rarely displays at the right end of the field.

Cannon has made several fine saves to keep the Galaxy in it and Roberts cleared another near goal off the line.

Updated: They’ve changed Beckham’s injury from strain to a sprain. says a “sprain refers to damage or tearing of ligaments or a joint capsule. Strain refers to damage or tearing of a muscle.”

Which is worse?

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

SuperLiga Final: Pachuca at Galaxy

The Galaxy have most of their regular starters back, but the question is how fit are they and can they stay with Mexico’s best team?

Joe Cannon is in goal as usual, while Chris Klein, Troy Roberts, Abel Xavier and Mike Randolph make up the back four.

Pete Vagenas is restored to what is an increasingly infrequent starting role as defensive midfielder, while David Beckham is in the center of midfierld. Kevin Harmse and Kyle Martiono are the other two midfielders; up front it’s Carlos Pavon and Landon Donovan.

Pachuca have made five changes to the starting line-up they fielded against the Galaxy July 24 when the teams met in SuperLiga group play and they had players on international duty.

In come Mexican internationals Fausto Pinto at left back, Paraguyan international Julio Mansur in central defence, Argentine Damien Alvarez and Jaime Correa in midfield and striker Juan Cacho, who started for Mexico during the Gold Cup.

The game just kicked off. It’s on Telefutura.

Updated: The Galaxy are wearing black armbands in honor of Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta who died Tuesday, three days after collapsing on the field during a La Liga game. He was just 22 years old.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Tuesday’s column, Beckham and More

Former U.S. Soccer president Alan Rothenberg, former Cosmos defender Bobby Smith and retired U.S. internationals Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm donned red jackets Sunday for their induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Guess which one Tuesday’s column pays tribute to.

No Beckham, no SuperLiga title

Looks like the half-empty Home Depot Center Wednesday will see less than half a team with less than half a chance to win the inaugural SuperLiga tournament.

Updated 3:45 p.m.
Beck’s will play Wednesday after all.

Turns out the weekly Galaxy update issued every Monday had old info on players’ injuries. Naturally, our reporter assumed a current press release contained current information. Not so, apparently.

Wonder when the last time Beckham played in front of just 12,500 people (the stadium’s capacity was cut for the game because school has just resumed on the CSUDH campus)?

Harbor Hopes

September’s approach signals the start of the college soccer season. Here’s the Harbor College preview.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Result: D.C. United 0 Beckham 2

The Galaxy’s second goal was pure Beckham, too.

He made an inch perfect pass from inside the Galaxy’s half of the center circle that eluded Josh Gros and was clinically finished by Donovan.

United didn’t play poorly — they out shot the Galaxy 8-4 in the first half, for instance — but they didn’t have a player of Beckham’s undoubted class.

Clearly the outstanding player on the field, Beckham dominated the game, dictating the tempo, directing virtually all the Galaxy’s attacks and making the game look simple, a trait of all the greats.

Even Posh clapped after his goal.

Beck’s left in the 63rd minute, his job done and the field turf at Giant’s Stadium looming Saturday.

There were 17,223 in attendance and you’ve got to think those ticket stubs will be quite the piece of memorabilia in years to come.

Steve McClaren picks his England team Friday, by the way, but Beckham is already all but guaranteed a spot.

Next up for the Galaxy in SuperLiga: Pachuca on Wednesday Aug. 29 in the final, two days after the Galaxy visit Kansas City.

Updated 10:45 P.M.

Keep a bunch of sports writers on a tight deadline waiting for 90 minutes for an interview after a game (he needed treatment on the ankle) and you’re sure to get a hostile reception. Unless you’re Beck’s who disarms any hostility immediately with that “aw shucks” smile and a (genuine, you feel) comment of “Sorry to keep you waiting.”

Anyway, modest Becks talked for 14 minutes, thanked the ref for not giving him a red card for the foul and described both goals as owing something to a “certain amount of luck,” (!) but conceded “you create your own luck.”

“I felt I was going to score as soon as I had the ball in my hands,” he said of the free kick that was the first he’d taken in eight weeks. “If I hit it right I knew it was going in.”

Beckham said he was surprised at the strength of his left ankle.

“I was happy to get an hour on the pitch — I didn’t expect to last an hour,” he said. “It was a lot better than I actually thought it was going to be.”

I did get a knock on my ankle tonight,” he added. “It’s slightly swollen.”

Still, he hopes to play at least part of the game in New York before flying out to join up with the rest of the squad before England’s game on Wednesday against Germany.

Beckham was the talk of the post-game press conference even before his belated appearance.

D.C. United Coach Tom Soehn was asked four questions — and three were about Beckham.

Galaxy Coach Frank Yallop looked like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

“It was good for the locker room to be buoyant and happy because we haven’t had a lot of happiness this year,” he said. “We’ve all been waiting for that free kick.”

Landon Donovan said he had approached Beckham after training Tuesday to offer him the captaincy.

“I’m not stupid and I’m not naive,” he said. “This is someone who’s been the captain of England, one of the better teams in the world.

“(Becoming captain) made him immediately a part of the team.”

And his performance tonight instantly made him the most important part.

Updated 1 a.m.

For more details on the game, here’s what Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz had to say.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

D.C. United 0 Beckham 1 (Half Time)

Here’s how the Beckham goal was described on MLS’ Match tracker:

“LA -27th Minute. Goal Scored by 23-David Beckham, 1st of season. In Goal was 1-Troy Perkins. Goal scored from outside penalty area.”


What the crowd at a half-empty Home Depot Center really saw was a strike of transcendent beauty, a stunning free kick from 27 yards that left goalkeeper Troy Perkins rooted to the spot and staring at the ball rippling the inside netting. This is why the MLS suits wanted Beckham.

Beckham is wearing the captain’s armband and is displaying the sort of leadership the Galaxy direly needs.

Match Tracker does helpfully tell us Beck’s has completed 13 out of 17 passes though.

He also found time to pick up a yellow card for a nasty looking foul on Moreno that would have earned some players a straight red.

Let’s hope Beckham’s ankle holds up and he comes out for the second half.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

D.C. United at Galaxy

The game just kicked off (it’s on Telefutura)

Joe Cannon is in goal as usual for the Galaxy ahead of a back four of Chris Klein (Troy Roberts is out injured) at right back, Ty Harden and Abel Xavier in the middle and Mike Randolph on the left.

David Beckham starts in central midfield in his first first competitive game for the Galaxy (let’s hope his left ankle holds up on a terrible pitch thanks to the X Games), while Kyle Martino is wide on the left opposite Landon Donovan and Kevin Harmse is the holding midfielder.

Up front: Edson Buddle and Carlos Pavon.

Ante Jazic, Kelly Gray and Alan Gordon are all suspended.

Jaime Moreno has returned for D.C. United through injury, replacing Clyde Sims who is on the bench. Defender Marc Burch is out injured with former Galaxy defender Greg Vanney getting a start in his place, but otherwise it’s the same starting line-up as in United’s last game against the Galaxy, a 1-0 win last week in D.C.

Moreno just launched a 45-yard shot in the 11th minute that Cannon punched over the bar, an early salvo that should keep him from venturing too far off his goal line.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Galaxy 6 F.C. Dallas 5

That score line pretty much says it all.

In one of the biggest goal feasts involving MLS teams ever seen, the Galaxy outscored Dallas Tuesday to make it through to the semifinals of SuperLiga in a game that managed to minimize the absence of David Beckham.

The Galaxy was up 4-0 within the first 20 minutes of the game, but wise Galaxy fans who remembered the traumatizing 5-4 aggregate loss to the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2003 playoffs (when the Galaxy was up 4-0 at one point in the second game) didn’t budge from their television sets.

Indeed, Dallas improbably battled back, aided by a ultra-sloppy Galaxy defense. Goals were still popping in the back of the net in stoppage time.

It was the sort of game made more entertaining by mistakes. As if to confirm this, Pachuca beat Chivas (so superior to the Galaxy at the Coliseum Saturday) 1-0 in Denver in the other SuperLiga game of the night.

For those who missed the Galaxy game, the highlights are worth seeing here.

Those who missed the game included fans who apparently bought seats just to see the still-injured Beckham. Some of those disgruntled types did show up holding signs included one reading “David, Welcome to America Where People Like You Get Paid to do Nothing.”


The Galaxy’s semifinal is scheduled for Aug. 14, likely at Home Depot Center, just two days after a road game in Boston against the Revs. And Beckham thinks his ankle is sore now.

Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz was in Dallas for the occasion and filed this report.

The final two SuperLiga group games are on tap tonight: D.C.United meets the Houston Dynamo at 5 p.m. in the opener, while the Club America-Morelia game follows immediately after that. Both are live on Telefutura.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email