come on lads!

Am I sports fan?  What does fandom mean to me?

You obviously haven’t been paying attention…

So, we’re going to sit here and sing “Glory, Glory, Man United” until it sinks in.  Wait, hold that thought, I need to go get my jersey, scarf and beanie for the full affect.  And, yes, I do wear those when I watch games on TV.  Because how else will the team now I’m supporting them?

Paraphernalia is meaningless though… Any casual fan can pick up a jersey and throw it on to watch the games.  Any casual fan can pick up the songs and chants and incorporate those into their daily lives.  But, I am not a casual fan.  I will wake up at 4AM on the weekend to watch games live.  I could record them and watch them at a more reasonable hour… but live is so much better.  That’s where the magic is.  No mere casual fan would do that.

However, you are right, I’ve never been to Manchester.  I’ve never been to Old Trafford.  I’ve never gotten to see my beloved Red Devils storm the pitch in the flesh.  One day I will.  That’s the best I can do for now.

In the meantime, while I’m saving my pennies and waiting for the prince to get a little older, I’m going to say scream sing call out “LA” and if you could please provide the appropriate response of “Galaxy” that would be fantastic.  Ready?  Here we go:



Hmm… I couldn’t hear you… but I’m going to assume that’s just because I’m too far away and not because you didn’t loudly and proudly shout it out, and definitely not because you didn’t even open your mouth and say it at all.  You wouldn’t do that to me.

My hometown team, the LA Galaxy, formerly of David Beckham fame, are my go-to source for local soccer, football, footy, what have you.  I wear the jersey and the scarf and the beanie.  I know the chants and the call and response routines.  I go to the games and get lost in the frenzied madness and excitement of that atmosphere – there is nothing like being the twelfth man.  Even the queen has a jersey and comes out to the games, my enthusiasm, my fandom, has rubbed off on her.

And the little prince?  Let us not forget about him!  He already has a jersey style onesie, and he will wear it well…. as soon as he is big enough for it.

Come on lads!  This isn’t just a kick-about.  Get it up the wings, get those passes snapping in faster, get it in the box!  Shoot the ball!  I want to see that net bulge!  I need those goals.  I need those three points.

I’m a three points junkie!

and it was snowing

Manchester United went to 3 point *ahem* White Hart Lane and came with all three… oh wait, nevermind.

Clint Dempsey has broken my heart for the second time this season.  Really, I have no problem rooting for him the rest of the year through.  I want to see him do well and succeed at Tottenham and then carry that success over to the US Men’s National Team in their quest to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.  But, is it too much to ask that he stop scoring against my favorite team?!  I certainly don’t think so.

So, before his late late (Fergie time) equalizer, I was going to write about how Tottenham had done very well throughout the game, organized and solid at defense, good possession and passing, and they looked our best opponents in some time.  I was even going to say that United had some calls go their way that they may not have in other games.  But, now I don’t want to say any of that so forget I said anything.

I’m just going to sit here and mope about 2 lost points.  Wah.

But, we are still 5 points clear at the top, and Tottenham were always going to be one of our toughest games on the run in so I’m happy with the point.

Robin VanPersie seemed to be offsides more in this game than normally.  Did any one else notice that?  Wayne Rooney didn’t seem very effective in his cameo.  Valencia didn’t seem to add any pace on the right and I would have prefered to see Cleverely get the run out.  DeGea’s brace of leg saves doesn’t redeem him for only punching the ball away (weakly) at the end of the game instead of claiming it. If he had held it (or even punched it more solidly) Spurs wouldn’t have gotten the equalizer.  Jones and Carrick looked good in the center of the midfield.  Vidic and Ferdinand had good games in the center of defence.  The Red Devils will come out of this tie a force to reckon with in the next several games.  I feel a bit sorry for Fulham.

Oh, and it was snowing the whole game.  Just can’t beat a bit of footie on a Sunday afternoon in the snow.

And when your team lets you down…

throw a coin at the opposing team… ?!  Okay, we’ll come back to that.

Sunday was derby day in Manchester: United vs. City.  Blue hosting Red.  2nd against 1st in the early league standings.  So, pretty much epic on all fronts. 

Last year City won both derby matches, including a victory of monumental proportions away to United at Old Trafford that could be argued handed them the league, since they ended level on points but ahead on goal difference at the end of the season.  (My heart still hurts a little thinking about that game.)

To continue on my theme of not really doing a full review of anything, here are my comments on the game:

Wayne Rooney was immense.  Showing up at the right time for the second goal.  Creating good space for himself on the first goal.  His vision, his tracking back, and every other aspect of his game were spot on (except for a few passes that didn’t come off quite as he (and the rest of us) had hoped they would.)  He was the man of the match, without a doubt.  His 10 derby goals are a testament for what he has meant to United and what he will continue to mean for the Red Devils.

That’s kind of all I want to say… but, since that doesn’t seem like enough, here are some extra tidbits:

It was good to have Valencia back on the right side, and I hope with some more game time he’ll get in a few better crosses in the coming games.  Ashley Young had a great game and it’s not often I find myself saying that.  I have a bit of a man crush on Robin van Persie.  And, if it wasn’t him, then it would probably be Rafael.  It’s too bad that someone didn’t step in front of Yaya Toure’s shot because if that hadn’t resulted in a goal, David De Gea’s two saves right before that would have been contenders for save of the year.  Zaboleta’s goal was fantastic.  There isn’t much I like about Samir Nasri, but I find myself strangely fond of his right foot this morning.

Okay, that pretty much wraps that up.

What?  Really?  Okay fine…  The officiating:  Yes, Smalling handled the ball.  Yes, Evra should have been awarded a PK.  I still think Young was offside.  Yes, the ref should have given Toure the advantage when he was on a breakaway rather than halting the play to hand Rooney a yellow card.  It pretty much all evened out.  Pretty sure the game would have ended with the 3 points going to United even if all of the above had been called “correctly.”  Argue with me if you want.

Okay, now, that pretty much wraps it up.

Wait, what?  Oh, yeah, I guess I should explain the title of this post.  You are correct, my team didn’t let me down.  So, what am I talking about?  In the 92nd minute, after Robin van Persie had scored the winner for United, a City fan threw a coin out of the stands that struck Rio Ferdinand in the face, opening a gash that forced him to come off the pitch to get the blood cleaned up.

I’m fairly passionate when it comes to football (soccer).  I will readily admit that I am a fan in the true sense of the word (fanatic) when it comes to my two teams: Los Angeles Galaxy and Manchester United.  But never at any point when I’ve experienced a frustrating and demoralizing loss (including a certain derby last season already mentioned above) did I think, “Hey, I’m very upset and I just happen to have this coin in my pocket, maybe I should throw it.”

Who does that?

where were you?

I was there when Landon Donovan hoisted the MLS Cup this afternoon…

I was there when Juninho borrowed one of the giant Galaxy flags and waved it in celebration.

I was there when David Beckham was substituted in stoppage time at the end of the second half to a prolonged standing ovation.

I was there when Beckham threw himself at the far post trying to turn in Robbie Keane’s cross.

I was there when Robbie Keane slotted home the third Galaxy goal and went into his sommersaulting routine, knowing he had just put the game out of Houston’s reach.

I was there when Landon Donovan sent his spot kick bulging out the back of the net to put the Galaxy in the lead.

I was there when Omar Gonzalez rose highest and slotted home the equalizer.

I was there while Josh Saunders came up with save after save to keep the Galaxy in the game.

I was there early, I was there late, I was there singing, and chanting, and clapping and screaming.

I am losing my voice, much to my wife’s immense humor.  Totally worth it.


Adieu Beckham.  You are class.  You’re heart and your quality can never be questioned.  Thank you for the six years of memories and best of luck on your next adventure.

Donovan…  if you choose to walk away, I support that 100%, you need to do what is right for you.  But you will be missed.

Omar Gonzalez, you fully deserved the MVP today.  Thank you for being the general on that back line and cleaning up cross after cross after cross.

Robbie Keane, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Is it March yet?  I’m ready for the next season to begin now!

two losses and a victory all the same

Both of my teams lost this weekend…

Manchester United fell to the resolute defending of Norwich City and one great attacking move that we were unable to stop.  At this point I might try and rale against our defense to say they should have done better… but, it was a really well taken goal.  We needed to do better on the other end of the pitch where we had plenty of possession but weren’t creating all that many chances.  It was a game missing that bit of extra inspiration and impetus that Wayne Rooney provides. 

It’s still early in the season.  Though I don’t like surrendering top spot to City, we have plenty of time to regain the pinnacle.  I’m already salivating over the derby next month.  Come on you Red Devils!

So, that was one loss.  It hurt.  I was depressed, but these things happen.  United are still in second… and we have a habit of dropping points away to lower table teams.  The Christmas season is coming and I’m sure we will go on a tear like we normally do.  I’m not worried.


As understanding as I was about United’s loss, as much as it hurt, as much as I was depressed about it, all of those feels were nothing compared to watching the Los Angeles Galaxy get completely trounced for 80 minutes or so against the Seattle Sounders.

We got a little lucky with the PK call and that sort of calmed the game down for a bit.  But, Seattle played with heart, with passion, with crisp passing, and great interplay that made the Galaxy look like the local kids down at the park on the weekend kicking the ball about.  It was sad and ugly and it physically hurt me to watch.

But, through some miracle (and some questionable at times officiating) Seattle didn’t score enough to go ahead on the aggregate score and the Galaxy advance to the MLS Cup to face the Houston Dynamo for the second year in a row.  A repeat of last year’s final, but somehow I doubt the game will be anything like it was a year ago.

I waiting (somewhat impatiently) for tickets to go on sale… but, I’ll be there to root on the Galaxy.  This is LA!