The man of the moment for the Galaxy
For a moment Donovan Ricketts looked like he was going to burst a blood vessel after the Chivas attack had carved up the LA defense again and again. After he saved a sure goal from Maicon Santos he launched into a tirade against his defenders. His fury was absolutely justified at those bunch of clowns. Before that he was forced into a superlative save from a thunderous shot by Paulo Nagamura. To add to his woes, he picked up a hip flexor strain and provided Bruce Arena some anxious minutes.
The underdog theme seen in the MLS playoffs was very evident in this match too as Chivas held the more high profile Galaxy with Landon Donovan and David Beckham to a 2-2 draw.
All four goals came from atrocious mistakes although it can be argued that Maykel Galindo’s effort was also a piece of good anticipation.
Maicon Santos got things rolling for Chivas in the 4th minute as he latched onto a heads up pass made by Kljestan. However a backpedaling Omar Gonzalez gave up too much space and then Ricketts reacted too late to his driving shot hit low and hard to his left. Mike Magee’s equalizer came 10 minutes later as Cuesta flubbed a clearance over his head and gifted the ball to the Galaxy midfielder who put it past Zach Thornton.
Things got worse for Chivas in the 42nd minute when a goal mouth scramble results in a half clearance out of the box which goes to Santos who instead of controlling it, mishits it and sends it back. The ball lands at the feet of Donovan who is onside and fights of Talley for the goal. Right after resumption, Preki introduces Galindo who immediately puts the Galaxy defense on notice with a shot that just goes over the cross bar. But in the 51st minute Omar Gonzalez makes nowhere back pass which Galindo picks up, accelerates, turns around Ricketts to get the equalizer.
Beckham was on the money with his passes but the Chivas defense was quite vigilant and he was unable to do much damage. Jonathan Bornstein and Cuesta tangling with Becks a few times. Both Galindo and Eddie Lewis proved to be effective substitutes for their teams with Galindo blistering the Galaxy’s left flank and Eddie Lewis reciprocating against Chivas. There were some great opportunities when Alan Gordon dragged a cross too far ahead of Donovan and the ball rolled harmlessly over the sideline. Soon after it was Donovan’s turn to provide but Gordon failed to connect.
There was some rough stuff between the two teams. Becks seemed to be involved in most of them. The Galaxy “go back home” now to face Chivas but it was underwhelming stuff from the top rated team. Donovan perked up in the second half and Beckham seemed to be more interested in being ornery. Veteran Eddie Lewis was far more effective.
The MLS playoffs so far have proved very competitive and the tense edge to them have been very welcome.