Good grief, what a great goal, and well deserved, as LA fought back. Early on, Vagenas sadly cleared the ball not out for a corner but into his own goal as Pachgua weaved a neat give and go looked to go ahead soon. LA didn’t give up though, hail to Vagenas and Cobi Jones (he does bring something to a team no doubt, fight and experience) and the entire LA Galaxy team for clawing their way to a draw. But Landon was the messenger, look at me he said, stop watching Becks.
Sadly though, in the end, the Galaxy lost in a penalty shootout as Vagenas missed early on and then Landon missed a million dollar shot and Xavier missed the entire goal.
As Beckham left with a knee strain, Donavon slips on his cap, I mean his captain’s arm band again, and begins to lead his team back into the game. Donavon’s used to being the best player on the team and have all the balls go through him. He’s such a dangerous player. I’d like to see him show this in the EPL or even La Liga. He could do it.
Beckham went in a bit recklessly or late on a tackle twenty or so minutes in. Looks like he’s got a MCL strain on his knee, what a shame it is to see him go out. He brings calmness to their club. But he takes some of the shine off of Landon, when he should really only add to it. Think Donavon and Becks will develop a superb partnership, but Landon's not used to the second fiddle role, or something like that.
Pachuca plays with such skill and speed. The difference between the two teams, ever player on Pahguca can play with the ball and want the ball, at times for LA that doesn’t seem like the case. But LA played with great fight, particularly Klein, Vagenas, Xavier (always), and Donavon. Dominic Kennear said it best:
"For me -- and this is by no means a slap or insult -- they don't play like a Mexican team," Kinnear said. "They play like a Spanish team. They're very up-tempo. They pressure the ball better than any team I've seen from south of the border, just in the numbers they have on the ball."
In the 90 something minute, after a desperate cross into the box by Beckham, a header off the post, a free ball then in the air and two players fighting for it, the ball ended up on the back of the foot of Klein as he turned an amazing bicycle kick.
Over the course of the match Pachuca lost some of their flair as LA continued to pressure them. Really, both keepers saved their teams on at least three or four occasions. Galaxy’s keeper, Mr. Joe Cannon, should also get a shot overseas. But perhaps the physical play and speed in some areas started to wear down Pachuca--they missed a few chances that would have sealed the game, deft one twos foiled by Cannon.
Without tying the game, what a crushing loss this game would have been for the LA Galaxy striving to be empire and MLS. Losing out on the prize money, disappointing the crowd, losing Becks—but the team fought back, seemingly raising their game more when Beckham was injured.
Respect to Beckham, as Ali G would say, late in the game he was on his feet yelling at the linesmen and cheering his club on, no acting, but sincerely. Hopefully he’ll be back in the side soon.
I love the way Beckham plays, smart, tough, simple and a ‘surprise’ bending ball or long pass (credit to for the ‘surprise phrase, but I didn’t say definition, to announcer Chris Sullivan), but does the MLS need Beckham? He brings a spotlight to the game, it does need that—needs a few Blancos and Beckhams and now should bring in the Chinese market, no? Who’s good from China, Japan or S. Korea? Small stadiums, cultivating young talent, bringing in young talent (Fred from DC), bring in a few stars, not too many. I’d like to see the league enrapture fans with derbies and rivalries, and safely fall into the fourth sport in the US, no need to overrun the others, just comfortably create a sport that’s respected.
The game was wonderful. Maybe they should just put up more prize money, or a promotion system, hey USL?
In the second overtime, Buddle had a clear one on one, the defender caught up to him and Buddle didn’t get a good shot off when he should have.
Tough loss for a club that's been fighting but just lacked the colletive skill of Pachuca.