Result: Chivas 2 Galaxy 1

The game wasn’t as close as the scoreline suggests, with Chivas notching a comprehensive win tonight against a thoroughly outclassed Galaxy team, which became the first American side to lose so far in SuperLiga.

The first goal came in the 59th minute when Francisco Rodriguez outjumped a ruck of players to latch onto an Omar Esparza cross.

The second came in the 82nd minute when Galaxy defender Abel Xavier couldn’t quite cut out a Ramon Morales cross that was met by substitute Omar Bravo, Chivas’ top scorer last season.

The Galaxy pulled one back in the 88th minute, when Rodriguez inadvertantly chested a hopeful cross into the path of Landon Donovan, who made no mistake from close range.

The Galaxy should have had another, but striker Carlos Parvon (who has been rather invisible so far in his short Galaxy career) put his shot over the bar from just five yards in the 77th minute.

Rodriguez was named Man of the Match.


After the game, Coach Frank Yallop said he was encouraged by his team’s second half showing.

“We had some chances to score, we fought back into the game,” he said. “We’re still growing as a unit. …I wouldn’t say it was a step back.”

Abel Xavier, who has emerged as a leader in marshalling the defense, said he was encouraged by the seven offside calls in the second half (it was actually five) that he believed illustrated improving organization at the back.

“We must believe we are strong and can match with any team,” he said, adding that many of the Galaxy’s problems are mental ones. “If you feel you are strong you don’t chase the game, you control the game.”

The crowd apparently filled in, too: 37,337 was the final attendance figure.

The result means the Galaxy sit second in SuperLiga Group B to Chivas, with Dallas third on two points and Pachuca trailing with just one point.

The final games in the group stage are set for Tuesday with the Galaxy on the road against Dallas and Chivas playing Pachuca in Denver.

Updated: Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz has a biting assessment: of the game.

Updated: The natives are restless.
(Parental discretion is advised)

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Chivas 0 Galaxy 0 (Half Time)

Chivas didn’t so much hold the Galaxy in check in the first half as had them checkmated.

Chivas totally dominated the tempo of the game — taking 11 shots to their opponent’s one – and the Galaxy found it difficult to get out of their own half.

The Galaxy had no shots on target at all. So ineffective were their forwards that Coach Frank Yallop pulled off striker Alan Gordon in the 40th minute, replaced him with defensive midfielder Pete Vagenas and moved Landon Donovan up front to get him nearer the goal.

Chivas had the game’s two best chances.

First, a punishing Ramon Morales run left Abel Xavier in his wake and he squared the ball perfectly to Omar Arellano, who missed a sitter from just seven yards out.

A couple of minutes later Morales sent a direct free kick blazing goalward only to see his effort pushed around the post by an acrobatic Joe Cannon save.

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Chivas at Galaxy

With a win tonight the Galaxy can clinch a berth in the semifinals, but now they run up against Chivas’ A team.

Chivas gave nine first team players time off after Copa America and they missed Tuesday’s 1-1 tie against F.C. Dallas, but most are back tonight.

In all, there are six changes to Chivas’ starting line-up tonight compared to the Dallas game.

Ernesto Michel remains in goal, but 25-year-old Hector Reynoso is the lone holdover in the back four from the team that played Dallas. In come Omar Esparza (a starter for Mexico at the Under-20 World Cup) and Mexican National Team players Francisco Rodriguez and Jonny Magallon.

In midfield, Edgar Mejia and Sergio Santana retain their places and are joined by captain Ramon Morales and Gonzalo Pineda, who were both with the Mexican National Team.

A young striking tandem sees Jesus Padilla, who was raised in San Jose and turned down the chance to play for the U.S. Under-20 National Team, starting up front alongside 21-year-old Omar Arellano.

The Galaxy make just one change from the starting 11 that beat Pachuca, drafting in young Quavas Kirk for Kyle Martino who has been bothered by a groin injury. David Beckham is on the bench

Kick off is at 7 p.m. on Telefutura.

There does not look to be 40,000 people in the stands though; press box wisdom is fewer than half that are here. (Perhaps slightly more the number that were here at the Coliseum for the USC spring football game, estimated Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz).

Updated: Ooops. The CD with the Mexican national anthem was skipping and they took it off and apologized for the “technical difficulties.”

Updated: F.C. Dallas and Pachuca tied 1-1 in the first SuperLiga game of the night in Frisco.

Former Galaxy star Carlos Ruiz gave Dallas the lead in the 75th minute; Argentine Christian Giminez tied it up on a penalty kick three minutes from time.

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SuperLiga Saturday (and more)

First off, David Beckham didn’t practice all week and won’t play today against Mexico’s Chivas at the Coliseum in the second Superliga group game (he’s targeting next Saturday’s MLS game in Toronto for a return to the field).

Still, Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz stirs the pot and revisits Landon Donovan’s on-field emnity for Mexican teams.

Also, Mexican players talk nice about MLS.

The Galaxy-Chivas game begins at 7 p.m. on Telefutura. The F.C. Dallas-Pachuca game precedes it at 5 p.m. on the same channel.

Meanwhile, as the Women’s World Cup nears, the U.S. will beat Japan today (the U.S. has never lost to that nation) in the Bay Area in a game that can be seen at 7 p.m. on the Internet only.

There’s only one MLS game today — the Revs visit Real Salt Lake at 6:30 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel — while Chivas USA takes on the Wizards at 4 p.m. Sunday.

And we can’t forget the youth nationals.

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Result: Pachuca 1 Galaxy 2

Two second half strikes from Alan Gordon and Landon Donovon took the Galaxy to the top of SuperLiga Group B tonight in front of 19,317 in Carson.

The win broke a four-game Galaxy winless streak and was their first victory since Independence Day.

Alan Gordon claimed the opener five minues after the break, getting behind the last Pachuca defender and employing his left arm to control the long Landon Donovan cross before slotting it home.

The goal galvanized Pachuca and it was no surprise when striker Rafael Marquez Lugo equalized twelve minutes from the final whistle, stepping in front of Galaxy defender Abel Xavier and side-footing home a Damian Alvarez cross at the near post.

But the Galaxy struck back just three minutes later with a well-worked move begun by Chris Klein. Donovan received the ball, beat a defender and supplied Cobi Jones wide on the left, who beat two more defenders himself and shot a ball from 17 yards that deflected off Donovan into the net.

Updated 11:15 p.m.

Possession-oriented Pachuca still dominated the stats sheet in the second half — winning eight corners to the Galaxy’s one and getting twice as many shots (12) as the Galaxy on goal.

But it was the Galaxy that got the breaks — literally, said Coach Frank Yallop.

“(In the first half) we kind of allowed ourselves to let them play,” he said. “And I thought if we really, really decided to break on them we’d score goals and that proved right.”

Striker Alan Gordon acknowledged he handled the ball on his goal. But, y’know, he didn’t care.

“It wasn’t called,” he said with a laugh. “I kind of looked over my shoulder, but the flag was down. I’ll take it.”

Next up for the Galaxy: the real Chivas Saturday at the Coliseum.

Updated: Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz has more on the game here.

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Pachuca 0 Galaxy 0 (Half Time)

The first 45 minutes of the game reflected exactly what it was: a preseason game between the reigning Mexican champions and one of the worst teams in MLS.

Pachuca dominated possession, attacks and scoring opportunities — out shooting the Galaxy 11-3 — but most shots were from long range and dealt with easily by Galaxy goalkeeper Joe Cannon.

Pachuca’s best chance came in stoppage time when a hard shot by defender Carlos Rodriguez was parried by Cannon and cleared by Ante Jazic.

The Galaxy unimaginative offense generated few clear cut opportunities.

The best came midway through the first half when Landon Donovan put Chris Klein behind the Pachuca defense, but Carlos Pavon headed the cross into the side netting.

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Pachuca at the Galaxy

With David Beckham not dressed as expected, the champagne and caviar crowd are absent and the stands are sporting plenty of empty seats.

Chris Klein has returned to the starting line-up for the Galaxy and Cobi Jones is back on the bench for the Group B game, otherwise it’s the same starting 11 that began the game against Chelsea.

Pachuca are without three Mexican National Team players, who will join the team Wednesday.

SuperLiga is under way, however, with FC Dallas and CD Guadalajara tying 1-1 in the opening Group B game

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SuperLiga Tuesday

The inaugural SuperLiga tournament kicks off tonight when the Galaxy play Mexican champions Pachuca at Home Depot Center.

Here’s a tournament preview from my weekly column.

And here’s a Galaxy update from Monday’s training.

Wikipedia has more background on Pachuca here.

Updated 3:30 p.m.

SuperLiga is being televised in more than two dozen nations around the world including such unlikely spots as Somalia, Iran and Libya. And belatedly, MLS has announced that English-language commentary is available here, too.

Meanwhile, Chivas USA has a special ticket deal for Saturday’s Galaxy-CD Guadalajara SuperLiga game at the Coliseum.

Buy a ticket to that game (prices start at $25) and you’ll get a free ticket to the Sept. 6 Chivas USA-D.C. United game. That will save you at least $14.

To order, click here.

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SuperLiga Kick Off


The SuperLiga trophy was unveiled today at a press conference in Hollywood. It’s pretty cool looking as you can see above.

What inspired the design? Here are the details from MLS:

“The winning team will gain possession of a silver and gold eagle feather or la pluma, which has long been one of the most coveted objects in world history, revered as a sacred symbol of honor, bravery, strength, excellence and glory. The bald eagle (U.S. and Canada) and golden
eagle (Mexico) also carry great significance in North America with the golden
eagle featuring in Mexico’s national flag.”

Alrighty then.

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