Well, I'm at home for reasons that would bore the hell out of you, might as well fake liveblog it.
Preceding program - Who Killed the USFL? Fascinating. Probably not what an MLS fan wants to see.
Wow, a sellout! I mean, David Beckham. Not attendance. I talk a lot about how illegitimate Chivas USA is, how bad they are for MLS, how bad they are for soccer, and what a great day it will be when they finally dry up and blow away...but, y'know, one way to get "recognition" is to be the team that inflicted a career-ending injury on David Beckham.
Yes, I know. What an awful thing to say, wishing harm on someone. Screw that. He can spend more time with his kids, England can move past him, the Galaxy can move past him, MLS can move past him.
I'm sure "Beckham Experiment" was a wonderful book and all, but before it was released, Landon Donovan turned the world on its ear in the Confederations Cup. So, maybe the book made him a better player, but on the other hand, chronology.
Speaking of Beckham, the Riot Squad board pointed out that Beckham will miss an England friendly against Brazil, unless the Galaxy lose, or unless he gets suspended for some reason. More generally, any kind of injury screws up his trips to Italy and South Africa. In other words, I don't think it's a coincidence that week in and week out, Beckham's recent behavior has been more cardworthy than the World Series of Poker. He's going to do something equally disrespectful and disgusting against CUSA this afternoon, too, and he'll be called a Tough, Professional Competitor for his trouble.
Oh, the New England-Chicago game? Pretty fantastic. I dunno what Kevin Payne and Grahame Jones have against MLS. I'm sure Fire fans are extremely unhappy, if only because of that bit where Busch fell to the turf, and New England took a shot on goal. Way to spit on the spirit of sportsmanship, Revs. Here's your series lead. On the other hand, Busch was a fool on that play, which foreshadowed the foolishness on the winning goal.
God, now a Scientology commercial. I'm twitchy enough without having to hear from those tools. Pay your damn taxes, Hubbardites. Oh, and stop killing people. Yeah, I said it.
Highlights of the early game. Reis isn't what he was, either. Now they have to go to Chicago for game two, where the Fire have been - what's the word - testicutacular. Remember, the second game, all the pressure is on the Dynamo.
Yeah, Reis and Busch looking bad - Salt Lake must feel good. Bill is the latest guy to complain about RSL defensive-mindedness, but what's a less talented team supposed to do? Quit? So we get the occasional Italy as World Cup winners. If people hate defensive minded teams, beat them. Going into the second game in Columbus, where all the pressure is on the Dynamo, they may indeed sneak into the finals as Eastern Division champions. Smell the ratings!
Besides, it's only fair and just that the Supporters Shield winner gets a first round bye and home field advantage. Wait, I mean, a one goal deficit with the season at stake.
If you ask me? If there's any F in the Columbus locker room, it should be "Foudy."
LOOK at that crowd! Thanks for saving me a seat or two, but you didn't have to. My fault, I should have RSVP'd. You know, for as much as I trash Chivas USA, they're always very diligent about making sure there's a seat for me if I ever do want to show up. (Not like the Galaxy home game will be any more crowded.)
One greeting does stand the test of time - the extended middle finger. It's the "Ciao!" or "Aloha!" of MLS fans.
Geek Squad commercial is awesome. Best Buy brings in about three hundred caps for Mexico, a Boca legend - and Chris Klein. And the kid's super-excited to meet Klein. Kids dig the Iron Man.
Someday, I'll see MLS fan ads where I don't go "Hey, I know that guy!" Not yet. A couple of times, though, it was "Hey! That's me!" So we're making progress.
If they don't mention Stefani Miglioranzi as a huge reason for the Galaxy's revival, there's no justice.
Nope. No justice.
Way to torture the data, guys. "With Beckham" includes the Dallas 6-3 debacle, but doesn't include the 1-0 loss to Seattle...where Becks was red-carded. STOP SELLING BECKHAM. He doesn't love you, he just wants all your money. (Cerebus reference.)
CHIVAS USA LINEUP - who cares. Will never respect this team, ever. Galaxy has a first round bye, as far as I'm concerned.
Hey, they got Kljestan back from Celtic! Jackoff.
GALAXY LINEUP - and, no sooner do I talk up Stefani than he's benched for Dema and Me Mum. Well, Bruce is the coach.
Chivas has no home games.
And we're off. Enjoy shadows for the next two weeks, thanks to our crack ESPN camera crew.
Route One? From the Galaxy? The devil you say.
Santos - who at the beginning of the year had a real job - humiliates the Galaxy defense, and CUSA has their first goal against LA of the year. What was Omar doing? What was our midfield doing?
Well. That's just super.
The Galaxy? Coming out flat in an important game after a week or so of hearing how great they are? That's absolutely heard of!
Well, the Galaxy aren't used to playing on this turf, so they have that to deal with.
Good shot from Santos, it was.
Seriously, if the mission here is to go for a tie on the road, I might...be upset.
Oh, well, the sun's bothering Ricketts. That's a perfectly understandable reason. I'm just gonna load this bullet in the chamber for a second.
Should I wait for halftime before rating this entry one star, or do it right now? (Yeah, you didn't know bloggers could rate their own entries, did you?)
Magee - boy, he makes Kirovski look like Wolyniec.
The good news is, Buddle's eligible for Comeback Player of the Year again.
ROUTE ONE IS NOT "VISION" GET OFF BECKHAM'S JOCK oh, what's the use
That's what we're expecting? A corner kick good enough for the keeper to come out on? "Despite the evidence of your eyes, Beckham is having a great game."
It's been characteristic of Beckham's MLS free kicks, John, because Beckham phones it in for MLS. Stop me if I've told you that.
Should have been a CUSA goal.
Oh, good, the marching band.
Well, don't get me wrong, I'm happy for the equalizer. It was just that, while I did spend five minutes hyperventilating with relief...yeah, not pretty. I feel I should mention that. Nice Galaxy-style defense, Goatlings.
An exciting series will kill my ass dead.
Wait, the Red Bulls have regrets this year, and MAGEE is the biggest? Oh, I misheard. Letting go of Bruce. Yeah, I agree. I don't like him as a Galaxy coach, but I like him coaching the enemy. Respectfully. I like Preki coaching Chivas USA because I don't respect them. You understand.
Although, that technically isn't a Red Bull regret for this year.
Really? MLS coaches would like Landon on their roster. Call Baskin-Robbins, we got us a SCOOP!
No, Harkes was right. If Buddle had made the pass, easy goal. I'm not saying Harkes can't read a game. I think it's Buddle still hurt/out of form/whatevs.
This soccer in sun and shadow stuff is pure WPS at Harvard Stadium. It's not impossible to adjust exposures, and it certainly is possible to keep a sideline camera focused for the shade. Christ.
Midfield kicking, bascially. Occasionally at the ball, too.
Nice passing from LA. CUSA closes on Landon, one against four, like JP says. Smart gameplan. Not that it took a genius like Preki to figure it out.
Being among the best defenses in MLS this year is like being among the cutest baby penguins. Just happens too often to be an accomplishment.
One forward against four, and I'm worried. Why do you think Arena focused on defense this year? He had to!
It only just hit me that AJ De La Garza is benched, too. Must want Birchall's muscle in there a lot, moving Sean back like that.
Chivas USA has won a playoff series. Not that ANYONE CARES.
...sure they have. Their first year, with Bradley, right? Houston knocked them out. I'm SURE of this.
Donovan - nope. Ref doesn't buy Magee's dive. LA controlling this game. Beckham's free kick was...why am I thinking of Wellington Sanchez all of a sudden?
I paused this sonofabitching game to be sure. 2006. Chivas beat I Forget Who in the first round, toasted by Houston. Oh, nope, I'm an idiot. They won game one in the first round against Houston. In the other bracket, Colorado and Dallas were fighting it out, literally. Okay, I'm back. Thank you for indulging me this tangent.
Because I don't wanna think about this series too hard, that's why. When the GOOD outcome is another two weeks of how Beckham is leading LA to glory, you can imagine how I'm taking it.
Birchall, with the Dema move. the Galaxy, with a cynical foul in midfield? Well, I ever.
Total message foul. Yellow card only meaningful if someone gets redded, because that's the kind of rivalry this is.
Sacha is upset because Birchall was woofing. God, I'm defending Kljestan.
Beckham? Overhitting a ball? I can believe my eyes.
CUSA looks bad, by the way. If that's Kljestan back in form, well, not even Tony Mowbray is THAT desperate.
Buddle looks sharp today? Harkes doens't know a damn thing about soccer.
Beckham mugged. And he doesn't lose his temper. Huh. Was I wrong all these years?
Beckham, pass to nowhere. You know, it's his quality that stands out. His pure, pure class. Just raises the level of everyone around him.
November is National Novel Writing Month. Mine will be like Jack Nicholson's book in "The Shining," only it will be "I Hate David Beckham" instead of "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." I'm going to call it "Have Fantastic Sex Every Day," though, so it'll sell.
...people were in favor of casual drug use before Len Bias died? Excuse me, John Belushi.
Beckham is trying to intimidate RA's because he's a prick. If Blanco did this, he'd be barracked by the entire English-speaking soccer press in America, and rightly so. Competitive, my ass. If that's competitive spirit, so was Joan Crawford screaming about wire hangers.
Oh, GET ME STARTED on the Clippers-as-CUSA comparison. I'll make this post look short and terse.
Even Harkes is calling Beckham's passes lazy now, which should tell you something. CUSA, fortunately, is garbage.
Galaxy move forward. Nope. Wow, Donovan gets a shot off. The only thing CUSA has done right is cover Landon like a blanket.
Okay, I'm happy and all. I really am. My favorite player has taken the lead for my favorite team. I've been jumping around, really. But...what a fustercluck. I mean, what an Elbonian fire drill that was. That's going to be on constant loop in Bizarro Oneonta, which has a line out the door every day.
Early returns on this blog post are in, and it's 100% negative!
Well, if you stop reading, you'll miss the hardcore pornography I'm going to put in!
Replay of the go-ahead goal. I've seen better clearances at Pic 'n Save. (I've missed using that joke. Welcome back, old friend.)
Coming up at halftime - NO MENTION OF the NFL. Good. No World Series, no Packers-Vikes, just assball. If I wanted to hear about Bart Starr playing for the Vikings, I'd be watching that.
Two goals for the Galaxy at home? Wow, talk about a month of Sundays!
Another brilliant corner kick from the obscenely rich man's Eddie Lewis. Harkes and JP riff on Christmas Story.
Masterful first half of fantastic performances that will assure the future of the league and the sport. I feel like chugging a whisky and Drano, and MY TEAM IS WINNING. I don't know what my problem is, either.
Controversy on the second goal! Landon wasn't really offside, because ******** Chivas, is the official ruling.
Anyone else think that this series having zero travel miles is going to be a factor? Maybe if the other bracket was San Jose and Seattle, or RSL and Denver, airplane miles wouldn't be a factor, but both these teams stay at home every night for two weeks, and no other team gets that. If had the slightest faith in either team to make it to Seattle, I'd point to that as an important intangible.
Oh, I take it back. First NASCAR, then Bart Starr's return. Julie asks if Starr gets booed, and Stone and Lalas have the colossal nerve to mock her for it. Then don't bring the subject up, Stoner!
AXE shower gel - the Scientology of men's bathroom products.
Yeah, Dema and Omar weren't awesome on the Santos goal, but fairness would then demand "Yakety Sax" as background music on the Galaxy goals. Handball controversy, but the official ruling is that it's a goal, because ******** Chivas.
You know, if Carey Talley beats you, Carey Talley beats you. Can't stop, hope to contain, etc.
What do you call Carey in a brothel? TALLEY PROSTITUTE! wait, I told it wrong
Kljestan with the magnificent corner. Makes Beckham looks like an English international.
Well, that was absolutely majestic. A poor backpass? For reals? We're all tied up, and I count myself lucky that we get a whole other game of this after this one!
Galindo is a tactical sub...or, he's injury prone under Preki's injury-prone regime.
What are the Galaxy doing? Being not as good as people think. Did no one watch this team?
A lot of people are hitting "Undo" on their Rookie of the Year votes, I can tell you that.
I think unless the WHOLE TEAM has the playoff beard, it's just a few guys too lazy to shave.
Allen Hopkins on the LA defense: *"Price is Right" loser tuba*
Iraq flag behind the goal? Pretty edgy.
GREAT shot by Nagamura. That was going in. I didn't exactly expect to be typing "GREAT shot by Nagamura" any time soon.
It's all CUSA this half, which means Preki has made the halftime adjustments and is outcoaching Arena. THANK YOU, GOD!
Magee and Buddle have been working as well together recently as peanut butter and AIDS, but that was a good sequence.
The Galaxy wanted Beckham to carry the entire load? Why, it's almost as if they couldn't afford anyone else.
Jeez, Todd, at least wave at Braun as he runs by.
Good defense on Landon by Cuesta.
Well, Bruce, as they said in German Navy headquarters...time for subs.
REALLY? Eddie Lewis has missed the playoffs every year since Jesse Marsch was a rookie? Yikes. Yeah, he didn't exactly leave San Jose at the perfect time.
Oh, awesome. Lewis looks hurt. Limping ain't easy, but it's necessary.
RapidStorm is right, NO WAY is anyone still reading. Now I know why I stopped doing these.
Not a great side volley attempt by Buddle. Better than McBride's earlier, though. I know it's unAmerican to criticize Brian McBride, but I died laughing, I'm sorry to say.
(1) First time reader, huh?
(2) Overexplain the joke much?
CUSA attack. Wow, didn't miss by much. If you had "acres of space" in the John Harkes trope pool, congratulations.
Alan Gordon! NOW we'll see some EXCITEMENT!
Ricketts hurt. Seattle Sounders fans, as one, roll their eyes. Now, for all I know, he's legit hurt, but the Galaxy are not above killing time on the road.
On the road. I should have "kill me now" on a macro.
...this Shemp joke interrupted to lambast the Chivas USA fans with the "2" signs. Um, Suarez wasn't in a fatal accident. He got OLD.
Shame, because I really up to now like and respected Chivas USA fans oh wait never mind
Beckham, losing his temper at a social inferior who had the temerity to cover him? I'll be darned to heck.
Galaxy have been pure creamery garbage this half. And, a Gordon attack! DONOVAN! CRUMMY SHOT!!!!!!!
Gordon, with the GREAT DECISION!!!!! Okay, where was CUSA's defense? You're aware Mr. Donovan can run a bit, no?
Beckham, giving it the full 5% getting back into the play.
Birchall out. I would hope that Ricketts told the defenders not to backpass.
Padilla in. Galaxy win.
Chris Klein in. I know a kid in Sherman Oaks who is STOKED!
Kljestan attacks - Ricketts comes off his line and gets the ball, because he's hurt. I hope everyone involved is proud.
George the Dream is in for Ante Jazz Hands. Coaches can just relax now, no more subs.
Gordon, offside. Great pass from Beckham! Just kidding, it was Lewis.
This 2-2 game is less exciting and sloppier than the Sounders-Dynamo goalless draw. There, I said it.
Ten minutes left.
...were these things always this long? God, I apologize for several years ago.
Because it was Beckham that Padilla clocked, it's funny. Who do I even root for in that fight?
You can feel the electricity. Like when you lick an outlet.
CUSA chance. PK? No call, because ******** Chivas.
Gordon down at midfield.
LOTS of space for Galindo, because he's offside.
Gordon, back up, and great defense! In other words, Galindo was clueless.
Ouch. Poor Eddie Lewis. Like, the last eight times I've seen him, he gets knocked down hard.
CUSA with the premature confetti.
Beckham, free kick. Crowd is electric, like eels. Idiot Legion puts debris on Thornton's goal, because they're idiots and slimeballs. I want the winning goal on a bad Becks free kick after Zach trips on a streamer.
Nearly happened, too.
The sad thing is, by putting "David Beckham" and "hardcore pornography" in the same post, I've made this my most popular post ever.
Beckham wide open. Cross. Accomplishes nothing. I'm as surprised as you aren't.
Stoppage time. Four minutes of extra time, or until Beckham makes a decent pass.
Kljestan humiliates Beckham, the makes a bad pass, then the Galaxy defense lets Galindo back in the play, until they foul to end the chance. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Superclasico!
Offside call, because ******** Chivas.
Route One. Alan Gordon is an American professional soccer player.
Huh. Didn't put an (R) in the subject line.
Because THAT's the problem with this post.
And, we're done. Second game is at the Home Depot Center, where all the pressure will be on the Dynamo.
Yeah, what say I not do this again.