Thursday, August 21, 2008

Galaxy Fall 1-0 in Arena's Debut

LA Galaxy 0, Chicago Fire 1
August 21, 2008
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
CHI – John Thorrington 5 (Brian McBride 1) 65’

Misconduct Summary:
CHI – Bakary Soumare (Yellow Card) 40’
CHI – Brandon Prideaux (Yellow Card) 74’
LA – Josh Tudela (Yellow Card) 92+

LA Galaxy: Steve Cronin, Sean Franklin, Troy Roberts, Greg Vanney, Ante Jazic, Alvaro Pires (Josh Tudela 50’), Peter Vagenas, Chris Klein©, Ely Allen (Mike Randolph 67’), Edson Buddle, Alan Gordon (Israel Sesay 86’).

Subs Not Used: Josh Wicks, Eduardo Dominguez, Julian Valentin, Mike Munoz.

Chicago Fire: Jon Busch, Brandon Prideaux, Wilman Conde, Bakary Soumare, Diego Gutierrez, Logan Pause©, John Thorrington, Stephen King (Andy Herron 63’), Patrick Nyarko (Justin Mapp 22’), Chris Rolfe (Dasan Robinson 90’), Brian McBride.

Subs Not Used: Nick Noble, Lider Marmol, Mike Banner, Tomasz Frankowski.

· With the loss, the Galaxy are now to 6-9-6 on the season and remain on 24 points. They remain tied for fourth place in the Western Conference with the Colorado Rapids who play at D.C. United on Saturday. LA is still eight points behind the first place Houston Dynamo.
· This game marks Bruce Arena’s first game as Galaxy head coach. He is the seventh head coach in Galaxy history. He is the fourth consecutive Galaxy head coach who has failed to win in his debut with the club.
· Arena made two changes to the lineup that played to a 2-2 draw last Thursday against Chivas USA. Alan Gordon, who scored the game-tying goal late in the game was back in the starting lineup, as was Troy Roberts who was making his first appearance in more than a month after recovering from a heel injury. They replaced David Beckham and Landon Donovan.
· Landon Donovan and Eddie Lewis were not available for the Galaxy after having played for the U.S. National Team on Wednesday night in Guatemala.
· David Beckham was not available for selection after having played for England on Wednesday against the Czech Republic.
· This is just the second time this season that the Galaxy have played without both Beckham and Donovan and the first time that neither of them have been in the 18-man squad.
· With both Beckham and Donovan out of the lineup, Chris Klein wore the captain’s armband for the second time this season. He was also the Galaxy captain in the 2-0 loss at Toronto FC on May 31.
· Today’s game was scoreless at the half, which was just the second time this year that the opening 45 minutes of a Galaxy game finished 0-0. The only other time was in the 2-0 loss at Toronto FC on May 31.
· Josh Tudela came on in the 50th minute when he replace Alvaro Pires. It was his first appearance since June 29 at D.C. United.
· Israel Sesay entered the game in the 86th minute, making his 2008 debut. It was the second game of Sesay’s MLS career after playing the final minute a game against Chivas USA on September 13, 2007. At 17-years of age, he is the youngest player on the Galaxy roster.
· The Fire’s John Thorrington, a native of Palos Verdes, Calif., has now scored in each of his last two games against the Galaxy. He also scored the game’s opening goal in Chicago’s 1-0 win over the Galaxy in the final game of the 2007 season.
· The Galaxy’s winless streak is now at nine games, setting the mark for the second longest winless streak in club history. During this current streak, the Galaxy are 0-5-4 and have been outscored 22-12.
· The attendance for tonight’s game was 27,000. This is the fourth consecutive home sellout for the Galaxy and the seventh in 11 home games this year.
· For more about tonight’s game, please visit
· The Galaxy are back in action on Saturday, August 30, when travel East to take on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. The match will kick off at 4:30 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live on FSN West and HDNet. The match will also be available live on the radio starting on AM 570 (English) and KWKW 1330 ESPN Deportes (Spanish).


charlesj27 said...

I'm sure all of us (especially me included) had hoped that LA Galaxy would somehow miraculously get a win - even if it was by a tight, small margin. We all know how extremely difficult it is to wear down the Chicago back-line! Wilman Conde and Bakary Soumare are two of the most excellent solid central defenders in this league. They're sole jobs are to thwart all incoming plays from the opposing team - and, they do that convincingly and decidingly in practically every match that they're paired up together. Today's score could have very well been 0 - 0. It could have been. But, if we're going to gamble on which team members would break-down or make mistakes first... Guess what - I'm pretty sure all of us inside know that it would be our team. And, this is because, this team in all of its 28 members (each & every one) does not get pushed, shoved, yelled at, reprimanded, and beaten again by all of its coaching staff. I guarantee you that Steve Nicol, Paul Mariner, Dominic Kinnear, and John Spencer rips into each and every player 24/7 - no matter who they are. Because, to those coaches, everything is about winning - being victors - and, NO ifs, or buts about it. We have players on this team that are not mentally brutal and tough - they have been softened by all of the coddling they've received. To be winners in this league takes a hard, hard mentality that only winning teams with winning coaches and cut-throat players get, show, and prove.
In today's match, I clearly saw the benefits and evidences of Bruce Arena's and Dave Sarachan's influence and teachings. This was one of the few times I saw our team keep excellent formation, shape, counter-runs, and switch-overs in marking. Excellent work by Bruce and Dave in starting to teacxh them that! And, keep in mind, we kept the Chicago team at 0 - 0... with Patrick Nyarko, Brian McBride, John Thorrington, and Chris Rolfe playing... To me - that is impressive; to me, that is definite improvement!!!
Our weaknesses: Alan Gordon (he is NOT a true striker; he is a post-up player to offer cover, defense, and bouce-off balls - he is not a true striker0... and, today we needed two very good, clever, crafty strikers up front. Buddle tried his damn best to create something - but, in the end, it just ended up tiring him out by the 66th minute. Next, Greg Vanney (come on folks... this is not about having nice, easy-goign, chillin' type of guys so our locker room stays pristine and harmonius... this is about victories, trophies, titles, and becoming the BEST soccer team in this league unquestioned... Greg might have been the model defender in his hey-day; but, that time is gone now... sorry, he is slow and getting out-run a LOT!!!). Then, we come to Ely Allen (yes, he is a rookie, and just stat=rted this year... so, he is still growing, learning, and adjusting... I get that; but, our coaches have got to work with him on teaching him how to control and keep the ball; and, to stop jumping on players and getting yellow-carded; and, to also follow formation and his duties. He is trying overly hard to do it all - that needs to stop... because, when a player does that it leaves other team members or positions vulnerable.
Peter Vagenas played "out-of-my-wildest-expectations/huh?" good tonight. Yes, there were a few mistakes... but, overall he played BOTH OFFENSIVELY & DEFENSIVELY. Crazy - friggin' unbelievable. This meant that all this time - he was holding back how good he can play, so that he's invloved in the political scheming and over-throw of coaching and manager staff. This is what I'm going to have to assume about Peter.
Every member of this team MUST work on crosses and passes - in each practice! These two things are essential in our game. Everybody has got to get better at it. Next, every player must be constantly practicing 1-touch, 2-touch soccer and including traingle and trapezoidal escape/release mechanisms. Also, every player has got to keep on practicing keeping hold and control of the ball while moving forward. MLS is a physical, high-pressure, difficult circumstance, questionable officiating, intensity, will, drive, and stamina requiring soccer play and atmosphere. Our players must understand that, accept that, and conform to that.
Alan and Greg has to be let go; we need tall, pacy, strong, fiery players (MUST be above 6 ft tall, must be physically agile, endurance-driven, and always pushing and charging forward... this is the only way Buddle, Donovan, Beckham, and Lewis will get actual, real chances to score convincingly early on and decidedly win games!

Anonymous said...

Remember that one time Sesay was harassing Conde and caused the announcer to remark about the difference in size between them? That gave me a little smile. Showed some tenacity, at least, which has occasionally been lacking on this team.

Sec 133 said...

I've had season tickets for a long time, and have been going to games since the LA Salsa days at CSU Fullerton. Wow, one of the most boring, awfully frustrating games to watch. The general team's lack of passion filled the crowd, especially as the barely lifted a finger to score at the end. I hope Arenas can find a way to have the players play with eagerness, passion, and a winning-is-everything attitude. But ultimately it's the responsibilty of each player to find that fire. Bottom line: they haven't proven to all of us fans that they even care.

Anonymous said...

Considering the notable absences, i don't put much stock in the result. I had a bad feeling when i saw the shots on goal climbing for Chicago. One of them was bound to go in. A 0-0 tie was the best to hope for considering Bush and the Chicago roster. Mapp, McBride, Nyarko, Thorrington, Rolfe...there is a lot of depth there. Apart from Buddle and Gordon, there isn't much in the way in scoring depth.

I would have like to have seen Munoz and Sesay more...maybe 30 minutes each. Why didn't Dominguez start over Vanney or Roberts?

Anonymous said...

Charles you only look at the bad in people on the team i think the team did really well considering their circumstances without donovan and beckham the team was playing defense the whole time i bet that is what the coaches told them to do cuz that is what it seemed like and i think they did a good job considering they were doing that yea there was some mistakes but that doesnt mean you have to say they suck if you havent noticed gordon is like the gavin glinton of last years team the "super sub" they called him cuz he is known for the headers in the last couple of minutes and cronin again had to work to hard last night hes going to be pro by the end of the season with how much work hes been having to do.

Anonymous said...

Charles, you forgot Cronin. This guy has been given two thirds of the season to perform and he is one of the weakest links in our team if not THE weakest link. Yes I know, our defense sucks but the guy doesn't seem to improve at all. How many more games or chances will he get? The US is the breeding ground for the world's goalkeepers and what do we have in our team? I can not believe there isn't someone out there better than Cronin. I would even take Preston Burpo any day over Cronin. I know Burpo is old but at this point we just need Cronin Out. How about Coundoul? He is being kept on the bench. I am so desperate to see Cronin out I would suggest we get Jorge Campos and his neon colors jerseys un-retired or give Loco Higuita a chance.

charlesj27 said...

Guys / Gals:
Honestly, I try NOT to state the "bad things" of this team in the beginning. I try. But, at some point - we have to STOP being so soft and sympathetic to our guys. Yes, there are times when we should show and act with care & sympathy. Those times are pre-season and the first 10 games of the season... After that - we as enthusiasts of the sport, teh organization, and this team should, by all accounts, expect MORE!!! Yes, our defense collectively as a team improved markedly on Thursday night against Chicago. Of course, I'll admit that - but, the fact of the matter is... there are ONLY Winners and Losers at the end... and, as it stands now - our team has handed to us 9 games without wins. Yes, I know... I know... David, Landon, and Eddie were not there to work their skill and magic. But, Chicago did not have Cuahtemoc either. I know many of you will still disagree with me... but, I am NOT willing to make excuses for the performance of our team - 2/3rds into the 2008 MLS season... To me, there are two obvious players that needs to be shed from this team. Fresh, strong, young, hungry players need to be brought in to inject that vigor, energy, competition, and fire!
I'm not harsh on Cronin - because we all know that he was basically a "newbie" / a "sub" on this team for the longest time. He only got 1st starting 11 since the beginning of this year, mostly. It takes 2.5 years of starting 11 to become a dependable, reliable goal-keeper. So, in my mind - I'll give Steve until June 2010 before I can criticize him. Alan and Greg have been playing in MLS for more than 3 years, at least now. I'm not willing to be as generous to them! I would love to have Bouna Condoul as a goal keeper for the LA Galaxy... He is a very alert & aware GK - with drive, energy,a nd competition inside of him!

Lgald said...

YES !! YES !!!! I agree with Anonymous ! Cronin S-U-C-K-S !!! Why was he like 15 feet in front of his goal when Chi-town scored? Of course he wasnt going to be able to get it, he was way off his line...Bruce, first order of bizness for you, get yourself a real goal keeper....I want this accomplished by our next game.

Oscar said...

You know that familiar sports team saying: defense wins championships! Even if your team leads the league in scoring. Cronin is young and can learn but Greg Vanney knows the game better than what he has demonstrated. He has been hurting this team all season. The coaches need to step in here and make some changes in the back line: it's that simple. Loyal Galaxian.

Anonymous said...

Guys can anyone explain why Dominguez is not playing. Why the heck did we even get him then. Greg sucks and so does Troy and Dominguez needs to step up for one and LA should get another center back. if we get a defense then we are the best in the league by far.

neanderthal said...

I can not believe my eyes reading Charles last comments. Charles, I do not understand how you can give Cronin a year to prove himself because he is a "newbie". You, who hold such a hard line on playing only the ones who perform, who talks about winning with such passion, who gets after coaches a the organization for not demanding more of the players. Let Cronin get his year in another team, the reserves or the minor leagues, not the Galaxy. What you suggest contradicts all your faithful comments on drive, discipline, desire, etc. You already know (I do not have to tell you) that a succesfull team requires 4 basic factors: a Top of the line goalkeeper; a proven, strong central defender to build the defense around; a soccer brain playmaker who will conduct the orchestra and a lethal striker.
We have the last two and lack the firs two.
Letting Cronin finish the season on goal is like a building without foundation, like seeing Hercules (the guy in greek mithology, not Gomez)wearing high heel shoes.
I agree with you in almost all your comments, and respect you but I really think you are mistaken on the Cronin issue.

charlesj27 said...

Good to hear from you, sir! I know my comments in this post will not be agreeable to many a Galaxy fan. Many a Galaxy fan will think, "WHY? Why is charlesj27 giving Cronin such space/freedom/ benefit-of-the-doubt?" In my view, there are two positions on field that coaches/fans/judges/arbitrators must be careful, patient, and emotionally balanced when it comes to making decisions. The 1st = Forwards/Strikers & the 2nd = Goal-Keepers! When one passes critical judgements and makes decisions based on those critical judgements on forwards/strikers/goal-keepers... it can have a lasting, negative (often damaging) impact on their confidence, decision-making, readiness, and will-to-overcome. These two positions are positions where split-second decisions can make a game or break a game. To me, Steve Cronin has not been given a long enough day-in-day-out beating and testing as a starting 11 within MLS competition. To me, 1 year as a starting-11 goal-keeper is NOT long enough for me to pass a "foundationally sound" assessment. Again, many a Galaxy fan will disagree. I think many a Galaxy fan disagree because the Galaxy tradition is used to having damn-good gaol-keepers minding our nets (ie: Joe Cannon, Kevin Hartmann, Jorge Campos). For us to get climbing back in MLS conference standing... our immediate issue to fix is DEFENSE and having a more thorough, combative, 3-point attacking offense that will work in the absence of Landon Donovan. In my mind, we need these two areas fixed immediately to get us back in to contention.
You are correct to say that many of my comments come from a strict disciplinarian stand-point not unlike Coaches Dominic Kinnear and Steve Nicol. So, I can understand and accept if you still disagree with me... This is one of those areas where I will gladly accept when and if I'm wrong! No quams about it! And, your 4 basic factors to a successful team is also correct - until... until a play-maker or a striker gets a season-ending injury. And, then it's back to the planning boards. "Hercules in high-heels" - Geesh, thanks for putting that image in my mind :) Like I said, if & when I'm wrong, Neanderthal - you are more than in the right and in the pleasure of rubbing it in my face! Thanks for the dialogue!