12 August 2007

Debriefing for 12.18: Los Angeles Galaxy

DC United 1 : 0 Los Angeles Galaxy

Six Word Novel Recap

Beckham played, United won, Everybody happy.

Media, Traditional and Otherwise

The Washington Post, Steve Goff: "The English superstar, whose first appearance in a league match had been delayed by an ankle injury, entered in the 72nd minute and provided a couple of his trademark passes in a losing cause, a 1-0 defeat to D.C. United before 46,686 spectators, including England Manager Steve McClaren."
The Washington Post, Michael Wilbon: "Beckham did that last night, put 46,686 fannies in RFK Stadium, which is five grand more than ever watched the Nationals at RFK this season."
The Washington Post, Katie Carrera: "Beckham entered the game in the 72nd minute, to a loud and mixed reaction. Some fans booed him, but most cheered."
The Washington Times, John Hayden: "While Beckham sat on the bench there was plenty of action on the field. In the 27th minute United's Luciano Emilio scored a stunning goal from 25 yards out. Galaxy goalie Joe Cannon got his hands on the ball, but the shot was much too powerful. Emilio notched his league-leading 13th goal of the season."
The Los Angeles Times, Grahame Jones: "Beckham seemed to enjoy it all and was laughing with Cobi Jones on the Galaxy bench, perhaps amused by a huge sign that read: "We Sing Better Than Your Wife."
The Guardian, Saptarshi Ray: "'I've supported DC United for years but something like this has never happened before," said Robert Park, 27, one of the many thousands of Washington regulars sporting a Beckham shirt. "He's the biggest name I've ever seen so I had to get a shirt with his name on.'"
US Soccer Players Association, Ian Plenderleith: "It was just like watching England at RFK Stadium last night. There was David Beckham in the middle of the field, in a white shirt, playing long balls up to a struggling forward line in a desperate but ultimately failed and unimaginative attempt to claw back a 1-0 deficit. To make him feel even more at home, it was raining too."
MLSNet, Charles Boehm: "On a night when David Beckham made his debut in Major League Soccer, it was Luciano Emilio's goal that proved to be the difference as D.C. United defeated a 10-man Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0 on MLS Primetime Thursday before a sold-out RFK Stadium."
Six Yards North, QJA: "Emilio's strike sent the crowd into raptures. It was so unexpected: all season long he's played the poacher, finding the odd ball in the box and slotting it home easily. This was the first taste of Emilio long distance, and it was very, very sweet."
Poplar Point Perspective: "United's red card luck continues. This makes three of four where United is up 1-0 and is the beneficiary of an opponent's red card. Two of three they have won the game 1-0 and one 1-1 tie. This will not continue. Combine this with DC's recent run of futility near the goal and it could go bad for United if they can't muster the second goal on a semi regular basis."
BlckDgRd, BDR: "If MLS becomes the league where fat and washed-up Ronaldos come to make one last paycheck, if MLS becomes a league of fat and washed-up foreign mercenaries first rather than a league that develops American soccer players, Beckham is a minus."
The Offside: DC United, Max: "This, by the way, is a point that needs thinking about. The trend of late, the New England win aside, seems to have been “Well, we could have scored (x goals), but it just wasn’t there tonight.” A couple of times and that’s a good if irksome sign of progress. After a while it just becomes ridiculous lack of killer instinct up top. It’s hard to place a lot of blame on the players tonight because of the rain and turf, but at some point soon, if not already, the shanking and pretty passing leading nowhere are going to be the reasons for a loss."
The Offside: LA Galaxy, Laurie: "David Beckham’s MLS debut! (I have to put that first. If I didn’t, it would violate some unspoken law of the universe and I would end up in Galaxy blogger hell. And Eric Wynalda would be there, talking incessantly. And Tommy Smyth would be there too, saying “Onion bag. Onion bag. Onion bag…” over and over and over. No thanks. Beckham comes first.)"
Center Holds It, Jeff Bull: "To return to the first kiss analogy, consider Beckham an intriguingly deep and tender kiss…while the rest of the Galaxy amounts to a rough, mildly painful groping of our collective breasts."
Screaming Eagles Podcast, Administrator: "I didn't stay for the Galaxy press conference so that I could talk to the DC players, but I left all the quotes about him from the other reporters in their in case you're interested, and Eric, Aaron and I do get into a lot of that in our discussion of the game."
Ted's Take, Ted Leonsis: "It started to pour and as it really picked up in volume, the fans started to scream and cheer. DC United fans are true fans and they packed the parking lots before and after the game, hooting and hollering."

The Good

  1. Attacking Soccer: United came out and attacked Los Angeles. They had good possesion soccer with dangerous penetrating runs. About three different times they put together long uninterupted passing sequences. United wanted this one in and played like it until they scored. Once they scored they continued to play attacking soccer but seemed to take their foot off the accelerator.
  2. Defense: United bent but didn't break. After all the goals Donovan has scored at RFK, keeping a clean sheet is impressive. Kudos to the back line and Perkins for their second consecutive shutout.
  3. Crowd: More pro DC than I had hoped. Still not perfect but better than I thought it was going to be. I couldn't tell if there were more cheers or boos for Beckham, which was good. Hopefully some of the people will be back. Or at least check this blog to get their United fix, right?

The Bad

  1. Finishing: Pure and simple, United needs to learn how to finish. The game should have been over before Beckham even stepped onto the field. But because United hasn't been able to finish well (NE game excepting) the Galaxy had a chance to steal some points. Which bring us to problem number 2.
  2. Killing Off the Game: I litterally forgot the Gals were down to ten men when I was watching the last ten minutes of the game. United played some amazing possesion ball in the first half but when they really needed it most they were in a defensive shell and just booting the ball upfield. Kill off the game, don't bunker and wait for Beckham or Donovan to kill you.

Man of the Match

Luciano Emilio. He scored the game winner and nobody else really out played him.

Karma Bank

+1 for Emilio's goal. -1 for United's missed chances. -1 for LA's missed chances, -1 for bunkering against 10 men, -2 for McTavish's NFL defending, +2 for Martino's "tackle", which leaves us -1 for the game and +2 for the season.

Final Thoughts

So much has already been said I don't really know what to say. I loved having RFK full and loud. We need to do that again sometime. I brought 16 friends most of whom had been to at least one game before. About half of them helped me start some chants in 327. Another one bought a DC United shirt to represent. Hopefully everyone else brought some friends and had a great time as well.

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