CARSON CA - OCTOBER 24: David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates his first half goal against FC Dallas during the MLS match on October 24 2010 in Carson California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
4 Total Updates since October 18, 2010
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The Los Angeles Galaxy knew going into tonight that they’d only secure the Supporter’s Shield with a draw or a win. So when Atiba Harris of FC Dallas headed an Eric Alexander cross left as Donovan Ricketts went right, many fans hearts sunk just a little. However, before they could even think about making flight arrangements to Dallas, Landon Donovan fought for the ball in the back, then found David Beckham standing at the 20’ mark, just outside the box. Beckham hit a clean strike to the back of the net, sending the 24,993 fans at the Home Depot Center into a frenzy.
The Galaxy weren’t satisfied with the tie, as they came out right after halftime to score a goal in the first minute. Juninho picked up a loose ball at the top of the box and sent a low roller just out of the reach of Dario Sala. Juninho looked pleased as punch, and the crowd appreciated the effort.
"It was great win," Coach Bruce Arena said. "We had to show up tonight, and we played as good a team as there is in this league. They came out with all their guns, for the most part, and we had to earn it tonight. We had to come from behind and we had to play an excellent team and a tough demanding game. I think we needed this game. I don't think we've been in a game where we've been forced to win, forced show up and play hard and fight and scrap for everything we could get, and we did that tonight. I'm real proud of our team and this is the kind of game that should give our team confidence going forward."
The Galaxy (1st in the West, 18-7-5, 59 pts.) now will take on the Seattle Sounders (4th in the West, 14-10-6, 48 pts.) in the first round of the playoffs. The first leg will be held on Sunday, Oct. 31, at Quest Field in Seattle, with the return leg played Nov. 7 at Home Depot Center. When asked about playing Seattle, most players were concerned first about the turf, and second about the rabid Seattle fanbase.
"Seattle's not going to be easy, it never is," Coach Arena said. "I prefer going to Seattle than going to altitude, and the one thing we've assured ourselves is we won't be playing at altitude. I think it's a lot easier for our players to adjust to playing on the artificial field than it is playing at altitude."
Winning the shield gives the Galaxy several benefits. They are guaranteed home field throughout the playoffs, meaning they get to close the first round series at home, and host the Western Conference championship should they make it past Seattle. It also guarantees the Galaxy a spot in next year's CONCACAF Champions League.
Eddie Lewis and Chris Klein, who are retiring at the end of the Galaxy’s season, came in at the end of the game to much applause, and were honored at the end of the match. The Galaxy also announced the winners of their yearly awards. The MVP this year went to Edson Buddle, in a near sweep of the Galaxy’s available awards. Humanitarian of the year and the Golden Boot award also went to Edson Buddle, while Omar Gonzalez claimed the Defender of the Year award. Buddle narrowly edged out Landon Donovan for the MVP award, which would have been a third straight MVP performance for Donovan, not including 2007 when the award was controversially given to Chris Klein.
"I think [Buddle winning MVP] was richly deserved," Coach Arena said. "There were certainly some other candidates, but he's a pretty good choice, he's had a fantastic season. He was an important part in the beginning of the year, he scored probably seven or eight of our initial goals. He's consistently been good throughout the season."
Donovan Ricketts was in top form, saving three and only letting in the initial tough goal. Dario Sala, despite letting in two goals, still saved more than he gave up. The Galaxy gave Edson plenty of chances to get his Golden Boot goal, setting him up for three shots. Buddle's best opportunity for the boot went for naught as a David Beckham volley was stopped brilliantly by defender Zach Loyd. Were it not for Lloyd's excellent play in the back Buddle would have been all alone with the keeper.
Buddle's next great scoring attempt came during the 67'. Beckham took a corner kick and placed it perfectly in the box where it met Buddle's head. The header from the left corner of the six yard box fell to the right of the keeper, but Sala was able to make an excellent leg save. The next Beckham corner found Buddle near the right post, but he was falling and the ball ended up going wide right.
Landon Donovan picked up a red card in the middle of the pitch for a reckless tackle, but for the most part this game was a rough one. Landon was clearly pushed while making a run near the 30', which led to Donovan making a tough play on the line in the 33'. No foul was called on either play, and this allowed Donovan to make the assist to Beckham.
"The contact and the physically is going to be there, that's fine. We'd like to see it called the same way every time and that's where we've got to get a little bit better, in this league."
over 2 years ago Update 1 comment
Los Angeles Galaxy
1 Donovan Ricketts GK
28 Sean Franklin DEF
20 A.J. DeLaGarza DEF
4 Omar Gonzalez DEF
2 Todd Dunivant DEF
23 David Beckham MID
19 Juninho MID
21 Dema Kovalenko MID
10 Landon Donovan MID – Captain
14 Edson Buddle FWD
18 Mike Magee FWD
subs: Saunders, Cazumba, Leonardo, Klein, Lewis, Bowen, Kirovski
44 Dario Sala GK
6 Jackson Goncalves DEF
19 Zach Loyd DEF
14 George John DEF
5 Jair Benitez DEF
16 Atiba Harris MID
13 Dax McCarty MID
24 Eric Alexander MID
18 Marvin Chavez MID
9 Jeff Cunningham FWD
10 David Ferreira FWD – Captain
subs: Hartman, Ihemelu, Avila, Guarda, Hernandez, Shea, Rodriguez
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The Home Depot Center, Carson Ca 5pm PDT (FS-West)
It's the last match on the last day of the MLS regular season, and for the Los Angeles Galaxy (17-7-5, 56pts.) the mission is simple: come away with points today against F.C. Dallas (12-3-14, 50pts.) and the Supporter's Shield will be theirs. Presented annually at the Supporter's Summit at the MLS Cup, the Supporter's Shield goes to the team with the most points at the end of the MLS regular season. As of this morning, the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake are tied with 56 points a piece with Salt Lake holding the tie breaker in goal differential. Last week's tumble means the Galaxy can't reach a record 60 points, but with any points today they'll ensure another piece of hardware in the trophy case.
Chris Birchall is listed as questionable with a calf contusion, an injury caused by direct contact with the muscle crushing it against the bone, after suffering a hard foul in last week's match against Colorado. Todd Dunivant and Leonardo remain listed as questionable. Dallas will be without star defender Heath Pierce, as he's suspended for caution accumulation. Galaxians Juninho and Michael Stephens are on yellow card warning.
The Galaxy lead the all time series 24-18-9. In their first meeting this year, the Galaxy defeated Dallas 1-0 at Pizza Hut Park. In recent history this series has been dominated by the away squad; Last year Dallas won 6-3 at Home Depot Center while in 2008 the Galaxy won 5-1 at Pizza Hut Park. Those six goals in 2009 were the most given up by the Galaxy in team history.
At that last meeting, the lone goal was scored in the 17th minute as Tristan Bowen found room to run along the right flank, then slid a centering pass right in front of Mike Magee who tapped it home easily. The Galaxy were without Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle in that match as they were off on World Cup duty. Yet the strong backfield of A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, and Todd Dunivant were able to keep Donovan Ricketts with the clean sheet.
Since they failed to clinch the Shield last match this week got ratcheted up in intensity, which may turn out to be a boon for the LA Galaxy:
"It’s changed from having more of a relaxed week to a not intense one but one that we have to be up for,"
Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. "It’s important that we now concentrate this week, put this game behind
us and hopefully win next week."
Gregg Berhalter, who was understandably a bit rusty last match, summed up the flow of play pretty well:
"We were in absolute control of the game, playing very well. Then that fluke goal comes. I think that was the
first time that they were actually in our 18 and they scored on an own goal that touched two of our players before going in which rarely ever happens and it changed the game," said Berhalter. "Our heads when down a bit, we were still dominating and then they get another chance and they score and we are down 2-1 all of a sudden out of nowhere."
Also of note from last match is David Beckham going the full 90 for only the second time this season. Said captain Landon Donovan:
"I think getting David back in has been a little difficult. We have to adjust, and I think tonight, performance-wise, is the best we have played together," said Landon Donovan. "It is still going to take time. Soccer at any level comes down to making plays and tonight they made the plays and we didn’t. In the playoffs, you have to do that."
Dallas, which saw it's unbeaten streak end at 19 games last week, comes into the match third place in the west, looking to bounce back from a 2-0 loss against second place Real Salt Lake. Should the Galaxy manage to get points out of this match they will start the post-season at Seattle for a home and home series. If Dallas is able to defeat the Galaxy, they would welcome Los Angles to Pizza Hut Park in the first round. However, Dallas will have to buck against a current trend; after not allowing more than one goal in a MLS game for more than five months, FC Dallas has allowed two goals in back to back games and in four of their last six.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Los Angeles Galaxy midfielders Eddie Lewis and Chris Klein today both announced their intention to retire at the end of the season. Eddie Lewis is an international, having played in two world cups, and an original to the MLS, having signed with San Jose back in 1996. This is his third season with the Galaxy, signing in August of 2008. After leaving San Jose, Lewis played with four different clubs in England before returning to play with the Galaxy.
"Eddie Lewis is arguably the finest left-sided midfielder in the history of U.S. Soccer," Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena said. "His play in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, MLS and English football secures his place in the Hall of Fame. We will miss having him here with us every day and we thank him for his outstanding contributions to our organization and the game and we wish him the best in all of his future endeavors."
Chris Klein has been with the Galaxy since June 2007 and ranks fifth in MLS history with 332 regular season games played. He has scored 49 goals and added 69 assists with three different clubs.
"The decision to step away from the game after 13 years is a difficult one, but one that I am ready for," Klein said. "I have had an amazing journey in MLS. I’ve had the ability to play with hundreds of teammates and for some of the best coaches that this league has ever produced, and I was able to forge relationships with them that extend beyond the soccer field. I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to play in front of some incredible fans in
Kansas City, and now here with the Galaxy; and those are the people that I will really miss." Salt Lake
Klein's glory years were with the Kansas City Wizards, where he was a four time All-Star, and also helped them win the MLS Cup in 2000 and the US Open Cup in 2004. He was traded to Real Salt Lake in 2006, and then to the LA Galaxy a year and a half later, where he's resided ever since.
Both players will finish out both the regular season and continue on with the Galaxy through the post-season.
Here's a little clip from when Chris Klein was able to top Sportscenter's top plays with a brilliant bicycle kick:
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
So it all comes down to this. After 29 MLS matches it is all quite simple for the Los Angeles Galaxy (17-7-5, 56pts). Win, and they take the Supporter's Shield. Lose and well it gets more complicated.
Despite losing to the Colorado Rapids 1 - 3 last week, the Galaxy just need a win over FC Dallas (12-3-14, 50pts) on Sunday at 5pm to clinch the Supporter's Shield. The other way the Galaxy can win the shield is with a result equal to Real Salt Lake's result on Saturday. Should Salt Lake lose to Colorado in the Rocky Mountain Cup, the shield would rest in Los Angeles by default. Real Salt Lake lead the Galaxy in goal differential, +25 to +17, so a tie in points would go to Salt Lake.
The Galaxy can finish no lower than second, which means they will have home field advantage in their first playoff matchup, playing away in the last week of October followed by a home leg the first week of November. Taking the Supporter's Shield would not only give them home field advantage through the playoffs, but give them a berth in the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League, bypassing the play in round where the Galaxy were eliminated this past year by the Puerto Rico Islanders.
Last Saturday's game saw two streaks snapped: winning when scoring first and when Edson Buddle scores a goal. The Galaxy were 16-0-0 on the season when scoring first, as opposed to 1-6-2 when conceding the first goal. Going back to last season, the Galaxy had won 27 straight games when scoring first going back to a 1-1 draw against Dallas on May 23, 2009. The Galaxy also had a streak of 44 games without a loss when scoring the first goal, going back to 2007.