Beckham’s free kick goal in the 29’ proved to be the deciding point as the Galaxy hold on to defeat Chivas USA 2-1. Leading at halftime 2-0, the Galaxy gave up a controversial goal to former Galaxy forward Alan Gordon, making the score 2-1 but Chivas were unable to do any further damage. [Beckham's Goal]
Bruce Arena said about Beckham's goal:
We said on the bench that if he beats the keeper to the left it's going to be a goal, and it was. It was a great free kick.
After the game, the LA Galaxy were awarded the SuperClassico trophy, a large cup which goes to the winner of the derby each year. Galaxy supporters cheered as several members of the Galaxy presented them with the trophy and did the traditional victory celebration.
Edson Buddle was also a major contributor, with an early strike on an open goal bouncing off the top crossbar and finishing a later run on a Michael Stephens volley with a brilliant strike.
Buddle had a terrific finish when Stephens played a great ball. Had a couple chances earlier in particular when Beckham played it through and he hit the crossbar.
With the loss Chivas USA are officially eliminated from playoff contention, though sitting in last place that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The Galaxy retake first place in the west and in the league overall, Real Salt Lake had briefly overtaken Galaxy with 51 points with a victory on Saturday, but with the win the Galaxy now have 53 points, are en route for a record 60 points, and place 28 points between them and their SuperClassico rival. David Beckham had to say:
It was a big game for us tonight, another good performance from us, though a bit difficult at the end with only ten men. It was a big game, it was important that we won.
Although the Galaxy went up big in the first half, they didn't manage much going forward in the second, with only four shots, and only one of those on goal. Todd Dunivant had the only shot on goal, in the 71' a sideline shot which was knocked out by keeper Zach Thornton.
Donovon Ricketts was much busier. Though Bruce Arena protests that the Alan Gordon should have been offsides on his goal, Ricketts had to be in position for nine more shots, giving them a total of fifteen on the night to the Galaxy's ten. Gordon was the reason for most of it, peppering the goal with six shots on the night, four of them on goal, including obviously the one which went in but possibly shouldn't have counted.
The teams split the misconducts, though the Galaxy got punished more severly, with Eddie Lewis being sent off in the 76' for violent conduct, stomping on another player's feet. Chivas got the first two yellow cards for reckless behavior, with the Galaxy picking up a last minute yellow for delaying a restart.
*Edson Buddle's goal was his 15th, tying his career high and increasing his lead for the Golden Boot with his closest competitors two goals behind.
*David Beckham only went 65 minutes, where he was planned to finish last week. This time the reasoning was to keep him available for Thursday's match in Philadelphia.
*Landon Donovan started at Forward, which Bruce Arena said was planned as the way forward once David Beckham was back at full speed. Expect to see more of Landon and Buddle, but Arena did say that we'll see Donovan at Midfield as well.
*The US Men's National Team has a game against Poland in Chicago on Saturday, but neither Landon Donovan nor Edson Buddle will be with the team and are committed to play Thursday in Philadelphia. Via ussoccer.com
"We understand this is a critical point in the season for teams in MLS," said Bradley. "Given the circumstances, we felt it was important that the MLS players be given as much opportunity as possible to remain with their clubs and continue to make important contributions as the playoffs approach."