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!

here we go again

And just like that, the Los Angeles Galaxy have booked their place in the post season again.  Were you worried?  I was…

I was worried at the beginning of the season when all of our talent was going to waste – we looked uninspired, bored, timid and were leaking goals like crazy.  We finally got most of that sorted out (thank goodness for Omar Gonzales) and have really turned things around.  From worst to, well, nipping at the heals of first.

But, there were moments in last night’s game where we were starting to look like the team from the beginning of the season again.  We started off great.  A wonderfully placed Juninho free kick, a thunderbolt also from Juninho, and a well worked team goal that led to Robbie Keane slotting home.  3 unanswered goals… and then we switched off a bit and let them score one.  Then in the second half we couldn’t seem to get the end product to return to that two goal cushion.  We had lots of creativity, lots of chances, but none of them were finding the back of the net.  The Toronto scored again…

I’ll admit it.  I was nervous.  Though Toronto never looked like scoring the equalizing goal, they never looked like they had any goals in them yesterday and somehow had managed to slot 2 home.  Why not a third?  Robbie Keane’s brilliance in slotting home his second of the night with a well worked move in the box and then a powerful shot driven past the Toronto Keeper settled it all.

So, is this a sign of what is to come in the post season?  We may let in some goals, we may find ourselves riding the edges of our coaches as nerves settle in, but in the end our class and talent will show through…  Do we have a shot at repeating?

I’ve always said the Supportors Shield is the only trophy I care about – the team with the best record at the end of the season.  But, if we win the cup again this year, hypocritically, I’ll be celebrating as if that’s the one that matters the most.  Hey, silverware is silverware.

Come on Galaxy!

what ever happened to just smashing it into the net?

What a strange game…

Yesterday’s UEFA Champions League game between Manchester United and Galatasary was, well, strange.  6 penalties could have easily been awarded, and only one of those was, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.  United started really well and then dropped off and part of that was due to the way Galatasaray was attacking (good on them for coming to Old Trafford and not parking the bus) but part of it was just down to the Red Devils not playing up to their potential.

Who knew how quickly I’d be coming back to my post from yesterday where I talked about saying “the best team won” because the team that scored the goals is all that matters…  United were not the better side.  Galatasary weren’t necessarily the better side either but I would be hard pressed to say that United deserved all 3 points, especially if I was strapped to a lie detector machine.  That might make that near impossible.

Was fantastic to see Darren Fletcher back on the field.  Hopefully his stomach issues are behind him now and he can help lift our midfield up.  David DeGea shined in goal when he was called upon.  He even came out and collected a few crosses rather than just punching them away.  Perhaps Fergie was on to something by saying he was going to make Lindergaard and DeGea compete for top spot all season long.  Carrick’s goal was well taken and I was happy he stayed on his feet rather than going for the penalty (which probably would have meant Galatasaray’s keeper was sent off and would have changed the complexion of the rest of the game.)

Scholes is still the man.  ‘Nuff said.

And Nani… well, what can you say about Nani?  I can’t say much good, that’s for sure.  All the pundits seemed surprised when he stepped up to the spot to take the penalty kick.  I wasn’t.  With United’s recent run of misses I suspected that someone different would step up.  And during this past summer’s European Championships Nani was the only one on Portugal to actually take a good PK.  But when did strikers (generic term for argument’s sake) decide that they needed to showboat while taking their spot kicks?  What ever happened to just smashing it into the net?  You have placement or you have power (and a select few have both), you are already 7/8 up on advantage against the keeper, so why do you feel like you need that little start-stop run up to make them go down early?  Just kick the ball!

All in all, I’m happy United got their Champions League campaign off to a winning start.  Galatasary should be extremely happy with their display and carry on with that for the rest of their group stage games.  I would expect the return game in Turkey to be another hard fought affair.  But, United really need to step up their possession game.

And maybe the team should spend some time working on realy penalty kicks.


In other Champions League news, CONCACAF Champions League that is, I also watched the Los Angeles Galaxy’s game against the Puerto Rico Islanders yesterday.  Not much to say other than the Galaxy youth did a good job in the first half.  In the end, it was a fairly droll game that ended 0-0.  The introduction of Landon, Juninho and Sarvas did boost the game play a bit but it was too little too late.  Hopefully they won’t have any slip ups when they head to El Savador next to face Metapan again.  With as well as the Galaxy started their group play it would be a shame for them to not advance to the next round.

Seeing red

Congratulations to the LA Galaxy on their 5 – 2 victory over El Salvador’s Isidro Metapan yesterday.  An own goal caused by a dangerous Beckham cross, a Robbie Keane header from a David Beckham cross, a goal from a corner by Beckham (that should probably count as an own goal against Metapan’s keeper), and two goals from Juninho after great interplay passing with Michael Stephens and Mike Magee.  (Yes, that is the one and only Mike Magee of #MikeMageeFacts twitter fame.)

The galaxy played as a team, good passing, good vision, and took (most of) their opportunities well.  They were the more dangerous of the two sides and deserved the win.  They didn’t deserve to be playing a large portion of the second half with only 10 men though.

In the 70th minute, Keane did very well to cause some havoc along Metapan’s back line and while slipping the ball through the last two defenders he went to ground.  It looked like a foul on first glance.  The slow motion replays clearly show the Metapan defender first clipping Keane’s right leg and then stepping on Keane’s left foot without getting any piece of the ball.  Somehow, though, the referee missed all of that completely and booked Keane for diving.

Okay, fine, that happens.  The ref missed a call.  That’s part of the game.  And, I have no problem with a ref showing a yellow card when he thinks a player has dived.  Good!  Let’s clean up the game and make it beautiful again.  What happened next was as far from beautiful as I can fathom.

Robbie Keane was incensed.  He knew he had been fouled and somehow the ref had decided to book him for diving.  He got up, looked to the sidelines, and made the twirling gesture with his hands to signify he wanted to be subbed out.  The ref took that as decent and booked him again, sending him to the showers early, forcing the Galaxy to plan a man down for the remaining twenty minutes, and making Keane ineligible for the Galaxy’s next Concacaf Champions League game next week. 

Was it decent?  Questionable.  Did it deserve a red card?  Absolutely not. 

Am I alone in wondering about the string of questionable calls American teams seem to have go against them in international competitions?  These questionable calls were very obvious during the South Africa World Cup but have been a consistent problem for a very long time.  Why is that?

On top of suspect officiating, their seem to be additional problems with the tournament.  The Metapan team were without several players for the game yesterday because they weren’t able to get the proper visas to enter the country.  How does that happen?  Can you imagine the uproar if starting players for Barcelona, Manchester United, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Porto, Ajax, etc…, etc… missed a UEFA Chamions League group game because they weren’t allowed to enter the country?