Friday, October 31, 2008

Video Time

Many of you had the chance to check out the Wall of Legends on Sunday afternoon or Monday night during the Season Ticket Holder event, but what you did not get to see was the unveiling ceremony that was held prior to Sunday's season finale.

Check out some highlights of the ceremony here...

Also, Major League Soccer has put together the following video to congratulate Landon Donovan for winning the Budweiser Golden Boot with an MLS-best 20 goals.

Lastly, don't forget to vote for Landon, David or Brandon in the Sierra Mist Goal of the Year voting here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

MLS Awards Finalists Announced

Major League Soccer announced the finalists for all of the league's year-end awards today, with a pair of Galaxy players highlighting the lists.

Landon Donovan, who has already won the Budweiser Golden Boot Award as the top goalscorer in MLS, was named a finalist for the Volkswagen Most Valuable Player award while Sean Franklin is a finalist for the Gatorade Rookie of the Year award. The finalists earned the most votes in polling of MLS players, general managers, coaches, referees and members of the media.

Additionally, three of the Galaxy’s MLS-best 55 goals this season have been named among the 35 finalists for the Sierra Mist Goal of the Year award. David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Brandon McDonald have all had goals nominated for the award. Donovan and McDonald each won the Goal of the Week award for their nominated goals, while Beckham’s 70-yard goal against Kansas City on May 24 was one of four goals that were added to the voting.

Fan voting, which determines the Goal of the Year award, begins today and runs through Nov. 5 when the original group of 35 is cut down to 10. That will be followed by another round of voting from Nov. 6 until Nov. 12 which will see the 10 semifinalists cut down to five finalists. Those five goals will then be voted on once again from Nov. 13 until Nov. 18, with the winner being announced on Wednesday, Nov. 19. Click here to place your vote for the Sierra Mist Goal of the Year Award.

Galaxy and AC Milan Issue Joint Statement [UPDATED]

An agreement has been reached between the LA Galaxy and AC Milan for the loan of Galaxy midfielder David Beckham effective in January 2009.

David Beckham remains under contract to the LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer and will return to the club for training and the start of the 2009 MLS season.

AC Milan and the LA Galaxy have additionally agreed to a technical partnership that will provide great benefit to both clubs.

Terms of the agreement will remain confidential.

Shortly after this statement was made public, Bruce Arena spoke to a collection of local and national media members via a conference call. Here is what he had to say...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oceania All-Star Team Announced

The Oceania Football Confederation has named the 18-man squad that will comprise the Oceania All-Star Team that will take on the Galaxy in Auckland, New Zealand on December 6.

The team, which is coached by OFC technical director Jim Selby, is led by former France international Christian Karembeu who hails from New Caledonia. The team will also feature New Zealand internationals Jarrod Smith, who plays for Toronto FC and scored against the Galaxy in TFC's 3-2 win over LA on April 13, as well as Steven Old, who played against the Galaxy last season as a member of the Wellington Phoenix.

The full roster can be found below, with their national team listed in parenthesis.

Jacob Spoonley (New Zealand), Benjamin Longue (New Caledonia), David Muta (Papua New Guinea), Fedy Vava (Vanuatu), Nelson Sale (Solomon Islands), Ivan Vicelich (NZ), Pierre Wajoka (New Caledonia), Raimana Lee Fung Kuee (Tahiti), Judd Molea (Solomon Islands), Jarrod Smith (New Zealand), Peni Finau (Fiji), Osea Vakatalesau (Fiji), Francois Sakama (Vanuatu), Malakai Tiwa (Fiji), Alick Maemae (Solomon Islands), Henry Faarodo (Solomon Islands), Christian Karembeu (France/New Caledonia), Steven Old (New Zealand).

Head coach Jim Selby (Australia); assistant coaches Colin Tuaa (NZ), Patrick Jacquemet (Tahiti); manager Seamus Marten (NZ).
The photo above, which is courtesy of Photosport, features, from left to right, Ivan Vicelich, Alick Maemae, Nelson Sale and Jacob Spoonley.

Brisbane Match Postponed

The LA Galaxy announced today that the club has postponed its international friendly against the Queensland Roar that was scheduled to be played on Thursday, December 11 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

Here is a statement from Tom Payne, the club's newly promoted President of Business Operations, on the Postponement:

“We were not in a position to absolutely guarantee David Beckham’s availability for our game against the Queensland Roar on December 11.”

“To avoid disappointment for the many fans that were expected to travel to Brisbane from all parts of Australia for this event, it was decided to postpone this game before tickets went on sale to the general public. Those fans with tickets as a result of a priority pre-purchase this week will receive a full refund. We are very hopeful that we will be able to re-schedule the game in Brisbane in the near future and will make this a priority for our organization.”

“The game to be played on December 6 in Auckland, New Zealand against an Oceania All-Star Invitational Team will take place as scheduled against a full Galaxy squad."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday Roundup

With the 2008 offseason officially underway today, we thought that we would wrap up a few items that were still out there.

Here are the press releases from yesterday's two pregame announcements, the retirement of Greg Vanney and the winners of the team's end of season awards.

Additionally, the Galaxy reserves wrapped up the season with a 2-0 loss to FC Dallas. You can read all about it here.

Also, if you want more quotes from yesterday's postgame press conferences, check them out here.

Lastly, the players wanted to thank the fans yesterday with their performance, as you can see by the following video, they really appreciate the effort that all the fans put in.

We'll be back with more throughout the week as we look back at the Wall of Legends unveiling, Landon capturing the Golden Boot and much more while also looking ahead to the upcoming games in New Zealand and Australia.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Season Ends With 2-2 Draw; Landon Wins Golden Boot

LA Galaxy 2, FC Dallas 2
October 26, 2008
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
LA – Edson Buddle 15 (David Beckham 10, Eddie Lewis 2) 21’
FCD – Drew Moor 2 (Adrian Serioux 4) 34’
FCD – Victor Sikora 1 (Duilio Davino 1) 39’
LA – Landon Donovan 20 (Penalty Kick) 79’

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Edson Buddle (Yellow Card) 4’
FCD – Aaron Pitchkolan (Yellow Card) 28’
LA – Alvaro Pires (Red Card) 40’
LA – David Beckham (Yellow Card) 42’
FCD – Adrian Serioux (Yellow Card) 42’
FCD – Aaron Pitchkolan (Red Card, Second Yellow) 49’
FCD – Dario Sala (Yellow Card) 92+

LA Galaxy: Josh Wicks, Mike Randolph, Sean Franklin, Julian Valentin (Bryan Jordan 54’), Chris Klein, Alvaro Pires, Eddie Lewis, David Beckham©, Landon Donovan, Alan Gordon (Brandon McDonald 46’, Greg Vanney 93+), Edson Buddle.

Subs Not Used: Steve Cronin, Ante Jazic, Troy Roberts, Josh Tudela

FC Dallas: Dario Sala, Drew Moor, Duilio Davino, Aaron Pitchkolan, Blake Wagner, Adrian Serioux (Michael Dello-Russo 67’), Bobby Rhine© (Chase Wileman 58’), Bruno Guarda, Victor Sikora (Andre Rocha 64’), Kenny Cooper, Jeff Cunningham.

Subs Not Used: Ray Burse, Eric Avila, Jamie Watson, Dominic Oduro.

· With the draw, the Galaxy finish the season 8-13-9 leaving them in sixth place in the Western Conference with 33 points. The Galaxy finish ahead of San Jose, who were also 8-13-9, on a tiebreaker as a result of their better record in head-to-head matches.
· Bruce Arena made six changes to the starting XI from last weekend’s 3-0 loss at Houston. Josh Wicks, Julian Valentin, Mike Randolph, Alvaro Pires, David Beckham and Alan Gordon were brought into the lineup, replacing Josh Saunders, Troy Roberts, Greg Vanney, Brandon McDonald, Bryan Jordan and Joe Franchino.
· With his 79th minute penalty kick, Landon Donovan became just the third 20-goal scorer in Galaxy history, joining Eduardo Hurtado (21 goals in 1996) and Carlos Ruiz (24 goals in 2002).
· Donovan’s goal also insured him the 2008 Budweiser Golden Boot as the top goalscorer in MLS. He entered the game one goal ahead of FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper, who did not score on the day. Donovan joins Carlos Ruiz as the only MLS top goalscorer in Galaxy history. Ruiz had an MLS best 24 goals in 2002 and was then the joint-top-scorer in 2003 with 15 goals.
· Edson Buddle’s goal in the 21st minute was his career-best 15th of the season, with four of those goals coming against FC Dallas. Buddle and Landon Donovan became the first teammates in MLS history since 2001 to each score 15+ goals in a season. Back then it was Diego Serna and Alex Pineda Chacon of the Miami Fusion who accomplished the feat. Prior to today, Cobi Jones and Welton were the only Galaxy players to each score 15 goals in a season, tallying 19 and 17 respectively in 1998.
· David Beckham’s assist on Edson Buddle’s goal was his 10th of the season. He is now the sixth different player in club history to record 10 or more assists in a season, joining Mauricio Cienfuegos (1996-1999) Landon Donovan (2005 and 2007), Simon Elliott (2001-02), Cobi Jones (1998, 2001-02) and Martin Machon (1998).
· The game marked the final game in the MLS career of defender Greg Vanney, who announced prior to the game that he will retire at the end of this season. Vanney finishes his 10-year MLS career with 270 career regular season games played, with 193 of those games coming as a member of the Galaxy. This season in played in 25 games, making 24 starts.
· Alvaro Pires was sent off in the 40th minute of the game for a foul on Victor Sikora. It was the first red card to a Galaxy player since Alan Gordon was sent off in the 3-2 home win over Colorado on June 7.
· FC Dallas defender Aaron Pitchkolan was also sent off in the game. It was the first time since that June 7 game against Colorado that both the Galaxy and their opposition had a player sent off. On that day, it was Alan Gordon and Facundo Erpen who were each sent off just before halftime.
· Mike Randolph played his 20th game of the season, setting a new career-high for games played. It was also his 15th start of the year, tying a career-high that was set in 2007.
· The Galaxy finished the season 6-0-5 when scoring the first goal of the year compared to 2-13-4 when allowing the first goal of the game.
· The Galaxy will enter the season with the No. 3 pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. The only other time that the Galaxy picked third or better in a SuperDraft (or College Draft as it was formerly called) was in 2004 when the club selected forward Joseph Ngwenya.
· The attendance for tonight’s game was a sellout of 27,000. The Galaxy finished the season with eight consecutive sellouts and 11 in 15 regular season home games in 2008.
· The Galaxy finished the season with an average crowd of 26,009, which is their highest since 1996 when the club played at the Rose Bowl. The 26,009 average attendance marked a 96.3% capacity for Galaxy home games this season.
· For more about tonight’s game, please visit

It's Game Time

We're ready to go for the final time this season, but before we get to the lineup, which has a number of changes from last weekend, there is a bit of news to announce.

First, after an impressive 10-year MLS career, Greg Vanney has elected to retire from professional soccer following today's game. He is not in the starting lineup today, but will be honored in a short pregame ceremony.

Additionally, before the game the Galaxy will give out their team awards before the game, with Landon Donovan taking the team MVP award, the U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award and the club's Golden Boot award, while Sean Franklin has been named the Defender of the Year.

We'll have more on this, as well as the unveiling of the Wall of Legends later, but for now, here's today's lineup.






Subs: Cronin, Vanney, Roberts, Jazic, Tudela, McDonald, Jordan.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Day Before Dallas

This afternoon, the Galaxy held their final training session before the season finale against FC Dallas. Like most pregame sessions, there was a lot of tactical and set piece work done before the guys broke up into small groups to stay loose by juggling, passing, working on long balls or playing soccer horseshoes.

Bruce, David and Landon all spoke to the media after the practice and here is some of what they had to say.




Friday, October 24, 2008

David Speaks

For the first time since the rumors of a loan to AC Milan began, David Beckham answered questions today. Check out the video below...

Cien: "To Remember is to Live Again"

Galaxy Legend Mauricio Cienfuegos, pictured with long-time Galaxy Spanish radio announcer Rolando "El Veloz" Gonzalez, was in the ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 KWKW station this morning to talk to the guys from the morning show -- LA Maquina Deportiva (The L.A. Sports Machine).

Cien had no problem reminising about the old days. "To remember is to live again,"he said during the interview.

The Galaxy's El Presidente talked about being part of the initial class of the Galaxy Wall of Fame, the Rose Bowl years, El Salvador and his coaching career.

If you understand Spanish, you can listen to the interview here.

Below is a picture of Cien with show's hosts and producers, (left to right) Mario Amaya, Rolando Gonzalez, Armando Aguayo, Celso Gaspar and Edu Villamar.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wall of Legends - Doug, Cien and Cobi

The LA Galaxy have established the Wall of Legends, which will honor those individuals or groups who have significantly contributed to the growth and success of the club, On Sunday morning, the club will honor the first members in a ceremony at The Home Depot Center.

In a special selection process unique to the inaugural class, the first honorees to be chosen were former President and General Manager Doug Hamilton, as well as former midfielders Mauricio Cienfuegos and Cobi Jones.

Through the Wall of Legends, the LA Galaxy honor members of the organization who displayed the qualities the club embodies: passion, innovation, excellence, leadership and integrity. In recognition of all their contributions, the Galaxy will be unveiling a commemorative plaque in honor of each that will be hung on the Western Wall outside of Event Suite #6 on the Southwest Concourse. Be sure to check it out before the game.

What do you think of the first honorees? Who should be next?

Congrats Cal!

UCLA, Galaxy and USA soccer legend Paul Caligiuri has been selected to the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer 50th Anniversary team. A list of more than 100 student-athletes and 10 head coaches was narrowed down to 32 and six, respectively, through a voting subcommittee. The finalists were then put on an online ballot and voted on by the public through

The 11 student-athletes who make up the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer 50th Anniversary team are: Jeff Agoos, Virginia; Armando Betancourt, Indiana; Paul Caligiuri, UCLA; Richard Chinapoo, Long Island; Angelo DiBernardo, Indiana; Brad Friedel, UCLA; John Harkes, Virginia; Glenn Myernick, Hartwick; Farrukh Quraishi, SUNY Oneonta; Claudio Reyna, Virginia; and Al Trost, Saint Louis. The NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer 50th Anniversary coach is Indiana’s Jerry Yeagley. Click here for the complete story.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

History in the Making?

Despite the fact that the Galaxy have missed the MLS Playoffs this season and won't have a chance to win the MLS Cup here at The Home Depot Center, there has been some bright spots on the campaign.

Perhaps the brightest of those has been the play of first-year defender Sean Franklin. The 23-year old leads all rookies this season in games played, games started and minutes played and is among the Galaxy's leaders in all of those categories. A star defender who played most of the season in central defense after spending most of his college and National Team career, as well as this preseason, at right back.

As a result, Sean Franklin gets our vote for MLS Rookie of the Year and could become the first MLS Rookie of the Year in Galaxy history.

Watch this video and let us know if you agree...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Postseason Hopes Dashed; Galaxy Fall 3-0

LA Galaxy 0, Houston Dynamo 3
October 18, 2008
Robertson Stadium – Houston, Texas

Scoring Summary:
HOU – Own Goal (Bryan Jordan) 14’
HOU – Dwayne DeRosario 6 (Unassisted) 20’
HOU – Brian Ching 13 (Nate Jaqua 4, Bobby Boswell 1) 23’

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Alvaro Pires (Yellow Card) 86’
LA – Troy Roberts (Yellow Card) 89’

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders, Greg Vanney (Mike Randolph 46’), Sean Franklin, Troy Roberts, Chris Klein, Brandon McDonald (Alvaro Pires 79’), Joe Franchino, Eddie Lewis, Bryan Jordan (Alan Gordon 40’), Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan©.

Subs Not Used: Josh Wicks, Julian Valentin, Ante Jazic, Ely Allen.

Houston Dynamo: Pat Onstad, Craig Waibel, Bobby boswell, Geoff Cameron, Wade Barrett©, Ricardo Clark (Richard Mulrooney 46’), Brian Mullan, Brad Davis (Corey Ashe 85’), Dwayne DeRosario (Stuart Holden 79’), Brian Ching, Nate Jaqua.

Subs Not Used: Tony Caig, Patrick Ianni, Mike Chabala, Chris Wondolowski.

· With the loss, the Galaxy are now 8-13-8 on the season, leaving them with 32 points. The Galaxy remain in sixth place in the Western Conference but have now been eliminated from postseason contention.
· Bruce Arena made two changes to the starting XI from last weekend’s 3-2 win over the Colorado Rapids. Landon Donovan and Brandon McDonald were back in the starting lineup, replacing Alan Gordon, who starts the game on the bench, and Peter Vagenas who misses the game with a right quad injury.
· For the first time this season, Landon Donovan wore the captain’s armband for the Galaxy. He joins David Beckham, Chris Klein and Peter Vagenas as Galaxy captains this season.
· David Beckham misses the game through suspension. It is the first game that he has missed this season for a reason other than National Team duty.
· For Brandon McDonald, it was his first start since May 31 in a 2-0 loss at Toronto FC. That was the 10th game of the season and he was making his eighth start of the year in that game.
· The own goal by Bryan Jordan in the 14th minute was the first own goal by the Galaxy this season and their first since August 26, 2006, when Chris Albright scored an own goal against D.C. United. That goal came in the 9th minute of a game that the Galaxy won 5-2.
· The three goals allowed in the first half was the most allowed by the Galaxy in the opening 45 minutes of a game since July 27 in a 4-0 loss at FC Dallas.
· The Galaxy are now 2-13-4 when allowing the first goal of the game, compared to 6-0-4 when scoring the game’s first goal.
· This is the second time in Galaxy history that the club has been eliminated from postseason contention before the season’s final game. In 2006, LA lost 2-1 at FC Dallas on October 7, eliminating them from postseason contention with one game left in the year. The Galaxy went on to win that game at home 5-2 over FC Dallas on October 14, 2006.
· The Galaxy were the third team in MLS to be eliminated from postseason contention this season. Toronto FC and San Jose were each eliminated from postseason contention with the Earthquakes 3-2 loss at Kansas City earlier in the day.
· The Dynamo clinched first place in the Western Conference with the win.
· The attendance for tonight’s game was a 30,361, the biggest crowd to see a Dynamo home game this season and the second biggest in the stadium’s history for an MLS game. The biggest came last season when the Galaxy won 2-1 in Houston on October 7, 2007.
· For more about tonight’s game, please visit
· The Galaxy are back in action on Sunday, October 26, when they host FC Dallas in the regular season finale at The Home Depot Center. The match, which will be Fan Appreciation Day at The Home Depot Center, will kick off at 12 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live locally on FSN West, starting with the ‘Galaxy Live’ Pregame show at 11:30 a.m., and nationally on Telefutura. The match will also be available live on the radio on AM 570 (English) and KWKW 1330 ESPN Deportes Radio (Spanish).

Ready to Go

We're about 45 minutes away from kickoff and the teams are on the field for warmups ahead of tonight's must-win for the Galaxy.

Bruce Arena has made two changes to his starting lineup from last week, with Landon Donovan replacing Alan Gordon up front and Brandon McDonald in for the injured Peter Vagenas. However, unlike last week when the club opened in a 3-5-2, Bruce has the guys back in a 4-4-2 tonight.






Subs: Wicks, Valentin, Randolph, Jazic, Pires, Allen and Gordon.

Three points!

A True Must Win

The guys are ready for tonight's game knowing that nothing less than a win will do. Following D.C. United's win over New England on Thursday, the best that the Galaxy could do with a draw tonight would be 36 points, opening the possibility of a four-way tie at 36 between LA, FC Dallas, New York and Kansas City.

Per league rules, the first tiebreaker would be head-to-head record against all other teams that you are tied with. The Galaxy would come in with a 3-3-1 record (including a win over FCD in the season finale, allowing us to get to the tie), while FCD would be 2-3-2, New York would be 2-2-2 and KC would be 2-1-3. Here is where it gets tricky.

While LA's 10 points would be the most of those four, it be earned over seven games, compared to the Wizards nine points in six games. That would leave KC with an average of 1.5 points per game compared to the Galaxy's 1.43 points per game, meaning that the Wizards would go to the playoffs.

Suffice to say, this is a must win and the guys know it.

Check it out.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Going Behind The Scenes, Err, Net

The team held a light practice at The Home Depot Center today before departing for Houston. Just because it was light, however, doesn't mean it wasn't competitive.

After the training session, the guys broke up into three groups for a round of soccer horseshoes.

Even young Tristan Bowen got into the mix.

The most competitive competition was the one with the veterans, where Dave Sarachan was the unofficial official.

Earlier in the day, Josh Saunders got some work in on corner kicks...

And Chris Klein on free kicks...

As the team walked off the field, reigning Goal-of-the-Week-winner Brandon McDonald took a ball and placed it on the PK mark. Soon a lot of the players were taking PK practice, but with equipment manager Raul Vargas as the goalkeeper.

Wanting to provide his teammates with a tougher challenge, Josh Wicks jumped in and faced off against McDonald. Who won?

McDonald is just en fuego this week.

We caught up with Bruce, Edson Buddle and the aforementioned McDonald before they went to the airport. Here's some of what they had to say.




Thursday, October 16, 2008

In a Texas State of Mind

John Steinbeck once wrote: "Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession."

That is definitely the case for the Galaxy these next two weeks as they travel to Houston this Saturday and then square-off against FC Dallas at home next Sunday, Oct. 26, on the last day of the regular season.

The guys had an intense day of training on Thursday. Since the reserve team is also going on this trip, trainer John Ireland took those guys into the Athletes' Performance gym for a regeneration session following yesterday's 0-0 tie against Real Salt Lake.

The group that stayed on the field worked with Bruce, Dave and the rest of coaching staff. They were put through a grueling day of work, but quickly got into it. Players were communicating with one another, making hard tackles and doing everything possible to score -- you know, things they'll likely do on Saturday in order to secure the three points.

Afterward, Landon Donovan, Alan Gordon and Bryan Jordan took turns in a scoring drill from inside the penalty box. Donovan scored on almost every shot he took.

The guys are ready for this one. Are you?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Galaxy Are Going Back Down Under

Last month we announced that the club was heading back to New Zealand for a friendly in Auckland on December 6. We can now tell you that the club will be in Australia a few days later to take on the Queensland Roar of the A-League. That game will be played on Thursday, December 11 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Here is the text from today's official press release, but first, a quick video to get you ready for the game.

CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, October 15, 2008) – For the second straight year, the LA Galaxy will play a team from the Hyundai A-League in an international friendly in Australia. On Thursday, December 11, the Galaxy will take on the Queensland Roar at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. The match is part of the Galaxy’s two match Oceania tour, which will also feature a game against an Oceania All Stars Invitational Team in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday, December 6.

In 2007, the Galaxy played the A-League’s Sydney FC and the Wellington Phoenix during a two match tour of the region; losing 5-3 to Sydney FC in front of more than 80,000 at Telstra Stadium in Sydney and defeating the Phoenix 4-1 in front of one of the biggest crowd ever to see a soccer game in New Zealand a few days later.

“With the overwhelming response from fans in Australia last year, we are very excited to be returning there for a match in Brisbane against the Queensland Roar,” said Galaxy Assistant General Manager Tom Payne. “We are looking forward to another successful postseason friendly against a quality A-League side that will expose more people to our club and our league.

“On behalf of the Galaxy, I would like to thank the Bligh Government, Sport Minister Judy Spence, John O’Sullivan and Ben Buckley with the FFA, the Queensland Roar and our partners with AEG/Ogden and Suncorp Stadium for all of their efforts in making this game possible,” added Payne.

The Roar are currently fifth in the eight-team A-League standings with nine points through the first third of the 2008/09 season completed. Queensland currently has a record of 2-2-3 heading into a meeting with Adelaide this week and is just one point out of the final postseason spot with 14 games left in the season.

Former Scotland international Charlie Miller leads the team in scoring with five goals in just seven games during his debut season with the club while the club’s all-time leading scorer, Brazilian forward Reinaldo also poses a threat up front for the Roar.

With those two handling much of the scoring load for Queensland, former English Premier League stalwarts and Australian internationals Craig Moore and Danny Tiatto are left to lead the Roar defense.

Moore rose to fame in Scotland with Rangers, spending most of the first 12 years of his professional career with the club, eventually becoming the club’s captain while leading them to seven Scottish Premier League titles. He would go on to spend time in England, with Crystal Palace and Newcastle United, and Germany, with Borussia Mönchengladbach, before signing with the Roar prior to the start of the 2007/08 season. A veteran of the Australian National Team, Moore has 40 caps for the Socceroos and played for his country at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, scoring in the 2-2 draw with Croatia.

Joining Moore for the last two years has been Danny Tiatto, a fellow Socceroo who collected 25 caps for his National Team during a 10-year international career. The 35-year old defender rose to prominence with Manchester City, where he spent five seasons before playing four more years at fellow English club Leicester City. He appeared in more than 200 games during his nine-year career in England, before signing with the Roar prior to the start of the 2007/08 campaign, helping lead Queensland to the A-League Finals series for the first time in the club’s four-year history.

Reserves Play to Scoreless Draw with RSL

The LA Galaxy Reserves played to a 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake this morning at The Home Depot Center. Michael Gavin scored for the Galaxy midway through the second half, but was ruled offsides, keeping the game scoreless. With the draw, the Galaxy Reserves record now stands at 1-6-3, while the Real Salt Lake Reserves are now 6-3-2 with one game remaining in their season.

The opening 45 minutes to the game saw each team create a pair of chances but struggle to challenge the opposition’s goalkeeper. Tino Nunez and Robbie Findley each sent shots wide from inside the box, while Tristan Bowen narrowly missed getting on the end of an Ely Allen cross in front of goal. Brandon McDonald challenged Chris Seitz twice, but the RSL goalkeeper was able to save his header from a Josh Tudela freekick and his low shot from distance.

Following a string of substitutions at the start of the second half, the game burst to life over the final half hour, with each team creating chances.

In the 68th minute the Galaxy looked to have gone ahead when Ely Allen’s pass through the Salt Lake defense allowed Michael Gavin to get free inside the box before clipping a shot past Chris Seitz, only to be whistled for offsides, keeping the game scoreless.

Eight minutes later the Galaxy again went close as Allen’s corner kick found Jeremy Barlow at the back post. Barlow hit a first time ball back into the center of the box for Israel Sesay, who flashed a shot just wide of Seitz’s left post.

A minute later it was Real’s turn to go close as a quickly taken freekick was played through for Tino Nunez who raced into the box and fired a low shot on goal, only for Steve Cronin to make the save.

The final real chance of the game came ten minutes from the end when Eduardo Dominguez went close with a header from 18 yards out, off a cross from Vardan Adzemian, only for Seitz to parry it over the bar.

The Galaxy Reserve are back in action on Saturday night in Houston before wrapping up the season with a home game against FC Dallas on October 26 at 2:30 p.m. at The Home Depot Center.

Scoring Summary:

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Leonard Griffin (Caution) 73’

LA Galaxy Reserves – Josh Wicks (Steve Cronin 46’), Mike Randolph (Ante Jazic 46’), Julian Valentin, Vardan Adzemian, Leonard Griffin, Alvaro Pires (Michael Gavin 61’), Josh Tudela (Jeremy Barlow 61’), Brandon McDonald (Eduardo Dominguez 46’), Ely Allen (Brandon Owens 87’), Tristan Bowen (Mike Muñoz 46’), Israel Sesay (Raul Palomares 80’).

Real Salt Lake Reserves – Chris Seitz, Brennan Tennelle (Kevin Reiman 52’), Dustin Kirby, David Horst, Tony Beltran, Nathan Sturgis (Adam Acosta 60’), Kenny Cutler, Dema Kovalenko (Nik Besango 46’), Alex Nimo, Robbie Findley (Kenny Deuchar 56’), Tino Nunez.
Subs not used: Kyle Reynish

Afternoon Update

As we all suspected, Brandon McDonald has in fact won the Sierra Mist Goal of the Week award, taking nearly half of the votes.

Congrats to him.

Also, the Reserves played to a 0-0 draw this morning with Real Salt Lake, with Josh Wicks and Steve Cronin combining for the clean sheet. Michael Gavin, Eduardo Dominguez and Ante Jazic all continued their rehab from various injuries to play a part in the game, with Gavin even scoring a goal midway through the second half, only for it to be called back for offsides.

Back with more later.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brandon Speaks

Brandon McDonald spoke to our video crew about his Goal of the Week-worthy strike from Sunday.

Here's what he had to say.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Was There Ever Any Doubt

In the shock of the century, Brandon McDonald's game-winning goal from Sunday night's game against the Rapids has been nominated for the Sierra Mist Goal of the Week award. It was B-Mac's first-ever goal for the Galaxy and we can think of no better way of awarding him for that than with the Goal of the Week award.

Go here to vote for McDonald and make sure that the award comes back to Los Angeles!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Galaxy Win 3-2 Over Colorado

LA Galaxy 3, Colorado Rapids 2
October 12, 2008
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
LA – Edson Buddle 14 (Sean Franklin 1) 36’
COL – Cory Gibbs 1 (Terry Cooke 11) 43’
LA – Own Goal (Ugo Ihemelu) 71’
LA – Brandon McDonald 1 (Alvaro Pires 1) 80’
COL – Tom McManus 5 (Penalty Kick) 88’

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Joe Franchino (Yellow Card) 58’
COL – Cory Gibbs (Yellow Card) 66’
LA – Eddie Lewis (Yellow Card) 74’

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders, Greg Vanney, Troy Roberts, Sean Franklin, Peter Vagenas© (Brandon McDonald 38’), Joe Franchino (Alvaro Pires 78’), Eddie Lewis, Chris Klein, Bryan Jordan, Edson Buddle, Alan Gordon (Landon Donovan 63’).

Subs Not Used: Josh Wicks, Julian Valentin, Mike Randolph, Israel Sesay.

Colorado Rapids: Preston Burpo, Kosuke Kimura, Gory Gibbs, Ugo Ihemelu, Jordan Harvey (Mike Petke 85’), Pablo Mastroeni, Nick LaBrocca (Jacob Peterson 78’), Mehdi Ballouchy, Colin Clark, Terry Cooke (Jose Burciaga Jr. 78’), Tom McManus.

Subs Not Used: Mike Graczyk, Greg Dalby, John DiRaimondo, Nico Colaluca.

· With the win, the Galaxy are now 8-12-8 on the season, giving them 32 points. The Galaxy are now in sixth place in the Western Conference, four points behind Real Salt Lake for the third and final guaranteed playoff spot and three points behind FC Dallas for fourth place in the Conference. Kansas City and New York hold the two wildcard positions with 36 points each, four points ahead of the Galaxy.
· Bruce Arena made two changes to the starting XI from last weekend’s 1-0 loss at Colorado. David Beckham and Landon Donovan were out of the lineup after having played for their National Teams on Saturday. They were replaced in the lineup by Bryan Jordan and Alan Gordon.
· Despite playing 90 minutes for the U.S. National Team on Saturday in Washington D.C., Landon Donovan flew cross-country on Sunday morning and was an available substitute for the game. He entered the game in the 63rd minute, replacing Alan Gordon.
· Edson Buddle scored his 14th goal of the season in the 38th minute of the game, giving LA a 1-0 lead. He remains third in MLS in scoring, five goals behind Landon Donovan (19 goals) and four behind Kenny Cooper of FC Dallas (18 goals).
· The Galaxy are now 3-0-3 when Edson Buddle scores at home and 5-2-3 overall when he scores.
· Sean Franklin assisted on that goal for the first assist of his MLS career.
· This was the first time since the 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake on September 6 that the Galaxy scored the game’s opening goal. They are now 6-0-4 this season when scoring the first goal of the game.
· The Galaxy took a 2-1 lead on an own goal by former Galaxy defender Ugo Ihemelu. It was the second own goal scored for the Galaxy this season, with the first being scored by Duilio Davino in the 5-1 win over FC Dallas on May 18.
· Brandon McDonald scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute with the first goal of his MLS career.
· Alvaro Pires assisted on that goal for the first assist of his MLS career. Pires also has one goal in MLS, with that coming against the Rapids in the 3-2 win on June 7 at The Home Depot Center.
· Cory Gibbs tied the score at 1-1 just before halftime with his first goal of the season. It was the 12th goal allowed by the Galaxy in the final 15 minutes of the first half and the fifth goal allowed in the final five minutes of the first half.
· The attendance for tonight’s game was a sellout of 27,000. This was the seventh consecutive sellout for the Galaxy and the 10th in 14 home games this season.
· For more about tonight’s game, please visit
· The Galaxy are back in action on Saturday, October 18, when they take on the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium. The match will kick off at 5:30 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live locally on FSN West, starting with the ‘Galaxy Live’ Pregame show at 5 p.m., and nationally on HDNet. The match will also be available live on the radio on AM 570 (English) and KWKW 1330 ESPN Deportes Radio (Spanish).

And We're Off

A point is needed tonight and a win would help a whole lot more as the Galaxy are into the final stretch of the 2008 season, with three games to go. The first of those is underway now against the Rapids.

Here is the lineup that Bruce is going with today.






Subs: Wicks, Valentin, Randolph, Pires, McDonald, Sesay, Donovan.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ready for the Rapids

The team went through their final training session this morning at The Home Depot Center before Sunday's all important game against the Rapids. With all other games in MLS being completed, the Galaxy will know exactly where they stand going into kickoff tomorrow night. They are currently seven points behind Real Salt Lake for third place in the Western Conference and five points behind the Rapids for the second and final wildcard spot.

Even without knowing the other results, the Galaxy know that they need three points to keep the playoff hopes alive. Making that more difficult will be the loss of David and Landon who are each away on international duty. LA is 0-2-1 this season when those two are not in the lineup, but the Galaxy did get a point the last time the pair were gone (a 2-2 draw with RSL on 9/6) and they will be looking to build upon that in front of another great crowd at The HDC on Sunday.

The game kicks off at 5 p.m. and can be seen on FSN West starting at 9 p.m. with a postgame show following the match. The game is also tape delayed on KTLK 1150 AM, with the game set to air at the conclusion on the network's broadcast of the Kings home opener against San Jose.

ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 AM will have all the action live and fans can also follow along on or through the MLS Direct Kick package, though you will have to listen to the visiting broadcasters from Altitude.

Finally, get yourself ready for the game by checking out this game preview and Mark Rogondino's weekly Rollin with Rogo column.

See you Sunday and remember that after the completion of the first team game, there will be a Reserve Division game played between the Galaxy and Rapids inside the track stadium. Galaxy fans will have a chance to see Tristan Bowen, a member of the Galaxy Rios program who led them to the USL Super 20 League title this summer, in a Galaxy uniform as he has been called up by the club to play as a guest player in this reserve game.

Fans might also get a chance to see this guy, goalkeeper Steve Cronin, who returned to training this week after missing just more than a month with a right hand fracture.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Awards Time

A number of past and present members of the Galaxy have been nominated for a series of different awards this week.

Landon Donovan was named as one of three finalists (Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard are the others) for the Honda Player of the Year Award, which is given to the player who is voted as having had the best year for the U.S. National Team, as chosen by the media. Donovan won the award in 2007, becoming the first player ever to win the award four times. He was also named the Honda Player of the Year in 2002, 2003 and 2004, while finishing second in 2005 to Kasey Keller.

Additionally, former Galaxy defenders Paul Caligiuri and Alexi Lalas were two of 32 players who were on the final ballot for the NCAA Men's Soccer 50th Anniversary Team.

Caligiuri was a two-time NSCAA All-American (1985 and 1986) and the 1986 Soccer America Player of the Year. He led UCLA to the 1985 NCAA title, the program's first-ever in soccer. He joined the Galaxy in 1997 and played five years with the club, appearing in over 100 games and winning the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup and the 2001 U.S. Open Cup.

Lalas, who played his college soccer at Rutgers, led the Scarlet Knights to the NCAA College Cup Final Four twice (1989 and 1990), including an appearance in the National Championship game in 1990, which ended in a loss to UCLA on penalties. After being named Third Team All-American in 1988 and 1989, Lalas was a First Team All-American in 1990, also winning the Hermann Trophy and Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year award. He appeared in 59 games during his three years with the Galaxy, winning the 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2002 MLS Cup in Galaxy colors. He returned to the club in 2006 as the President and General Manager, a role that he held until August 2008.

Bruce Arena, the Galaxy's current Head Coach/General Manager was one of six coaches nominated as the coach of the 50th Anniversary Team. Arena won five National Championships, including four in a row from 1991-1994, during his time at the University of Virginia, winning nearly 300 games in his 18 years with the Cavaliers.

Former Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid was also nominated as the coach of the 50th Anniversary Team for his successful spell at UCLA. In 19 years in charge of the Bruins, Schmid became the all-time winningest coach in UCLA history, winning 322 games and three (1985, 1990 and 1997) National Championships.

Voting for the 50th Anniversary team begins today at and will run until 9 a.m. (PT) on Wednesday, Oct. 15. Individual fans will only be able to submit one vote. To vote, click here.

Lastly, media voting for the Galaxy's MVP and Defender of the Year have opened as well, with the winners to be unveiled prior to the regular season finale against FC Dallas on the 26th.

Who do you think should win these awards?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Getting Down to Colorado Business

Welcome to Los Angeles. Where clear blue skies and palm trees provide the perfect backdrop for a training session.

Despite it's calm and serene appearance, today's session was intense. With only three games to go the guys are basically forced to win out in order to make it to the postseason. It won't be easy, but stranger things have happened in the past.

Since our last three posts have been without visuals, and we know how much you guys love visuals, we figure we would stop the streak at three. Below are a couple of pictures to complement the one on top of Julian Valentin.

Vanney heads ball into play as Jeremy Barlow and Mike Muñoz look on...

Steve Cronin returned to action this week, here's visual proof...

While we're at it with the whole "visual" thing, check out this slideshow of last week's game in Columbus by The Dispatch.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Broadcast Update

After having a day off on Monday, the Galaxy were back on the field this afternoon preparing for Sunday's game against the Rapids. The full team, minus David and Landon who are away on international duty, was on the field today, with even the injured players out on the field getting some extra work in.

Longtime Galaxy fans would have recognized a familiar face on the field today as Simon Elliott stopped by and stepped on the field, wearing the #5 shirt that has been left vacant since Chris Albright was traded to New England in January. Simon played for the Galaxy from 1999-2003, winning the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup, the 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2002 MLS Cup. He was traded to Columbus prior to the start of the 2004 campaign. He played two years with the Crew before signing with Fulham of the English Premier League. He was with Fulham through the end of the 2007/08 Premier League season when his contract expired.

Steve Cronin stepped up his recovery work when he jumped in goal for some of the small sided games and post-training finishing drills. Michael Gavin also participated in the session, serving a number of balls in from the left flank during the finishing drills and participating in some of the games in addition to his work with John Ireland.

Lastly, we said that this was a broadcast update so here is your broadcast update. Sunday's game will now be broadcast on tape delay on FSN West at 9 p.m., with a 30-minute postgame show following at 11 p.m. with a series of reactions from the broadcast booth and the Galaxy locker room. So come on out to the HDC for the 5 p.m. kickoff and then get home just in time to re-live (what we hope will be a Galaxy win) the action all over again. For those of you outside of the Southland who can't make it to Carson, you can also listen to the game live on KTLK 1150 AM (English) and 1330 AM ESPN Deportes Radio (Spanish) or watch it live on the MLS Direct Kick package, though you will have to listen to the Colorado broadcasters.

Also, for those of you who listen to Puro Galaxy every Saturday on ESPN Deportes Radio, it will begin at 11 a.m. this week.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Becks Suspension Clarified

As all of you know, David Beckham was booked in the first half of the 1-0 loss in Columbus on Saturday night. That was his fifth booking of the year, leading to a mandatory one game suspension from MLS.

Then, on Sunday it was announced that David was called in to the England squad for their upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus.

As a result, David will miss the home game against Colorado on the 12th as a result of National Team duty before serving his suspension for the trip to Houston on the 18th. He is eligible to be back in the lineup in the regular season finale against FC Dallas on the 26th.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Galaxy Fall 1-0 at Crew Stadium

LA Galaxy 0, Columbus Crew 1
October 4, 2008
Columbus Crew Stadium – Columbus, Ohio

Scoring Summary:
CLB – Alejandro Moreno 9 (Danny O’Rourke 3) 43’

Misconduct Summary:
CLB – Brian Carroll (Yellow Card) 9’
LA – Peter Vagenas (Yellow Card) 29’
LA – David Beckham (Yellow Card) 32’
LA – Bryan Jordan (Yellow Card) 83’

LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders, Chris Klein, Sean Franklin, Troy Roberts (Alan Gordon 81’), Greg Vanney, Joe Franchino (Bryan Jordan 69’), Peter Vagenas, Eddie Lewis, David Beckham©, Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle.

Subs Not Used: Josh Wicks, Ante Jazic, Julian Valentin, Mike Randolph, Brandon McDonald.

Columbus Crew: William Hesmer, Gino Padula, Andy Iro, Chad Marshall, Danny O’Rourke, Brian Carroll, Brad Evans, Eddie Gaven (Emmanuel Ekpo 69’), Robbie Rogers, Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Pat Noonan 61’), Alejandro Moreno.

Subs Not Used: Andy Gruenebaum, Ezra Hendrickson, Duncan Oughton, Stefani Miglioranzi, Jason Garey.

- With the loss, the Galaxy are now 7-12-8 on the season, leaving them on 29 points and alone in seventh place in the Western Conference. The Galaxy are currently six points behind Real Salt Lake for the third and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Western Conference and five points behind FC Dallas and Colorado (who play later tonight) for fourth place.

- Head coach Bruce Arena made three changes to his starting lineup from the 3-1 loss at Chicago on August 25. Goalkeeper Josh Saunders and central midfielders Joe Franchino and Peter Vagenas were in the lineup, replacing Josh Wicks, Ante Jazic and Alan Gordon. Franchino and Vagenas each started in central midfield, with Greg Vanney moving to Jazic’s position of left back and Landon Donovan starting up front alongside Edson Buddle in lieu of Gordon.

- Josh Saunders made his MLS debut in goal for the Galaxy. An MLS veteran, Saunders spent two seasons (2003-04) with the San Jose Earthquakes, who drafted him in the third round of the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. He was with the Galaxy from 2005-06, winning an MLS Cup with the club before spending the last two years in the USL First Division with the Puerto Rico Islanders and Miami FC.

- Saunders is the third different goalkeeper to be used by the Galaxy this season, joining Steve Cronin and Josh Wicks. The only other time that the Galaxy have used three different goalkeepers in a season was in 1997 when Jorge Campos, David Kramer and Kevin Hartman each saw time in goal for the Galaxy.

- Joe Franchino started his first game since July 4, playing in central midfield for the opening 69 minutes before being replaced by Bryan Jordan.

- With his first half yellow card, David Beckham will be suspended for his next Galaxy game.

- Chris Klein started for the 112th consecutive game, extending his own MLS record. He is the only Galaxy player to appear in all 27 of the club’s games so far.

- With Alejandro Moreno’s goal in the 43rd minute have now allowed the first goal in eight of their last 10 games, including each of their last six away from The Home Depot Center. This year the Galaxy are 2-12-4 when allowing the first goal, while the Crew are 12-0-0 when scoring the first goal.

- The Galaxy were shutout for the sixth time this season, forcing three saves from Columbus goalkeeper William Hesmer. Despite the clean sheet, the Galaxy still lead MLS in goals scored with 50.

- With the loss, the Galaxy are now 1-6-4 all-time at Crew Stadium.

- The attendance for tonight’s game was a sellout crowd of 22,685, the biggest crowd for a game at Crew Stadium this season.

- For more about tonight’s game, please visit

- The Galaxy are back in action at home on Sunday, October 12, when they host the Colorado Rapids at The Home Depot Center. The match will kick off at 5 p.m. The match will be available live on the radio on KTLK 1150 AM (English) and KWKW 1330 ESPN Deportes (Spanish). FSN West will also carry the game on tape delay, with ‘Galaxy Live’ airing at 8 p.m. and the game starting at 8:30 p.m.

Saunders, Galaxy Ready To Go at Crew Stadium

Goalkeeper Josh Saunders, pictured, who was acquired on loan from Miami FC on Sept. 12, will make his MLS debut tonight when the Galaxy take on Columbus at sold out Crew Stadium.

Saunders, 27, was with the Galaxy in 2005 and Earthquakes in 2003, but did not play in an official league game. To learn more about Josh click here.

Inserting Saunders into the starting XI wasn't the only change head coach Bruce Arena made to the lineup. Joe Franchino, who is making his first start since July 4, and Peter Vagenas are also back in the starting XI.

Here's who the Galaxy will go with against the Crew.






Subs: Wicks, Jazic, Valentin, Randolph, McDonald, Jordan and Gordon

Center of Attention

The Columbus Dispatch gave tonight's game between the Galaxy and Crew center page of its sports section. On top of a story that ran on said front page, a sidebar and info box ran inside.

The game is expected to be a sellout, despite going head to head with Ohio State football. The Buckeyes are in Wisconsin tonight to take on the Badgers at 5 p.m while the Galaxy and Crew kickoff at 4:37 p.m.

Game is being televised locally on FSN Prime Ticket. Play-by-play man Jim Watson and analyst Mark Rogondino kickoff their pregame show at 4 p.m. Radio broadcast will be provided in English by Joe Tutino on 1150 AM and and in Spanish by Celso Gaspar and Edu Villamar on 1330 AM ESPN Deportes Radio .

Friday, October 3, 2008

Final Preparations

On Friday afternoon, the Galaxy took the field at Obetz Training Center in Columbus, OH looking to finalize their preparations for a crucial match against the top team in MLS. Following last week’s loss in Chicago, Bruce Arena put the players through a more intense training session and the players looked very sharp.

At the end of training, the players played a very spirited game of horseshoes with the winners being veteran midfielder Peter Vagenas and forward Alan Gordon. Feeling the victory, Pete prompted a reporter to ask David about the result which quickly ended the interview session with a laugh as he knew who had supplied the question.

Below are a few sound bites from today’s media access…

Bruce provides his analysis of the crew and touches on his favorite Columbus Crew Stadium memory…

David looks forward the hostile away environment expected at Crew Stadium…

Landon wants to make his case for MVP race in tomorrow’s game…

Edson reminisced with local media about his days in Columbus…

Here are a few photos from training…

Below are our two Horseshoes winners, Gordon and Vagenas...

Donovan at work...

Roberts very intense...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Heading to the Heartland

The squad is on its way to Columbus today with one task on its mind, victory against the Crew. LA was in a similar position last year when the club went to Crew Stadium, and despite allowing a 2nd minute goal to Alejandro Moreno, Troy Roberts and Kyle Martino scored three minutes apart in the first half for a 2-1 Galaxy win.

The guys think it can happen again and have put in the work this week in training to ensure that it does.

Read about the game here and check out the video below...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Off to Columbus

The club will leave for Columbus tomorrow morning so we caught up with a number of the guys to take a look at what the state of the team was before Saturday's all-important game.

Bruce Arena says the Crew is dangerous with or without midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto...

MVP candidate Landon Donovan is ready for the Crew, reaching the playoffs won't be easy, but nothing is impossible...

David Beckham says that the team is focused on the task at hand...

Eddie Lewis talks about taking it one-game at a time, but be sure to listen all the way through as he gives a little dig to U.S. National Team teammate Frankie Hejduk, who is suspended for the game, thus eliminating the many one-on-one battles that would have been expected between the two...