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Chivas Versus Galaxy

7/10/08

Battle for first place in the West. Two teams that have to share facilities, that’s got to get annoying at times, especially if you lose when you play one another. So it was all to play for. A derby. Not quite on the level of the ones in the EPL, but the opening minutes were at a fast clip.

This Superclasico would end in a draw, but bubbled with intensity and there were some good moments from both sides. Sasha is an exciting player. Beckham is as good as it gets. Donovan needs a new challenge as he drifts in and out of the game. He must go over seas to play.

First Half

Ante Razov laced home a glorious goal in the run of play. Sasha Kljestan driving forward on the dribble laid the ball nicely back to Razov who was setting himself up to bend the ball on goal with his left foot. Razov has one of the smoothest shots in the league, and a pile of goals and assists to prove it. He didn’t just bend the ball on goal he perfectly stroked the ball into the upper near corner. 113 goals, second most in MLS history. This goal was a cracker.

Beckham was very active in the first half, darting all over the field to get the ball, and sliding to try to win the ball. But LA was a patchwork of players due to various injuries and it showed. Peter Vagenas and Mike Randolph both battled hard but seemed never quite able to settle into the game. The later stages of the half were a series of wrestling tie-ups between players, not much possession and not much good football.

Second Half

The later stages of the second half were wide open as the two teams tired. Vagenas redeemed himself in a way, putting through Buddle after he’d make a good run wide. Buddle notched his 11th goal as he shot the ball hard to the far post to beat Guzan and tie the game for LA.

Chivas has a bit more pop to their game, not sure if that comes from a team that’s played a bit longer together, Sash, Razov, and Jesse Marsch are a triumvirate that clicks quite well. Maybe it’s the energy that Preki imbues into this club. On the other side though for LA, with Beckham, Landon, and Buddle, they were equally troublesome. Landon didn’t shine too much in this game though. He didn’t go get the ball enough.

Chivas keeper Guzan, who’s headed to the EPL it seems in the next few weeks, made the save of the game. Carlos Ruiz was put in clear by Landon and tried to slot the ball home on the near post but Guzan came out strong to preserve the draw.

I’m high on Ely Allen, the young player out of the University of Washington, a school coached by Dean Wurzberger that seems to develop a lot of quality soccer players. Players who know how to play simple and smart soccer. Allen is one of those players and Wurzberger has helped a ton of player get into the MLS by laying a solid foundation of good soccer knowledge in his players.

Joe Franchino, another player out of the University of Washington, came on for Ante Jazic who went off with a back injury. But Franchino is the Incredible Hulk incarnate, the kid’s built like a tank.

Extra: Tom Cruise looked on from the upper box, sporting shades and all, celebrating when LA tied the game. I’m guessing we’ll see a soccer movie come out at some point that’s backed by Beckham and Cruise.


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