Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pan-Pacific running blog

No Landon Donovan - he's out with a tendon injury. Beckham is starting, though. Anthems are playing.
Steve Cronin, Michael Gavin, Greg Vanney, Troy Roberts and Chris Klein on defense
Alvaro, Josh Tudela and Kelly Gray midline
Ely Allen, Beckham, Edson Buddle on the top line

2- Announcers are talking about the Brazilian influence in Japanese soccer.
3- GOAL! Gamba Osaka - all those of our readers who didn't buy Luis ranking the Galaxy defense so low, please take note - the poor marking and a rather simple finish from Bare that defeats Cronin.
10- Almost another goal. Cronin is saved by the crossbar.
12- Bare is teeing up on Cronin, but this time Cronin gets in a decent save.
13- I've covered the Galaxy for years and when I was posting the line-up, "Who are these guys?" crossed my mind.
15- The Galaxy are scrambling, but they often are hitting bad passes. They're not giving up, but they look desperate.
16- Nice through ball for Bare, Cronin comes off his line, Bare touches ball around him but puts it too far and over the goal line.
19- Galaxy with a nice little run of possession - but it doesn't lead to anything threatening - oh, wait, Beckham puts the ball on Buddle's head, but Buddle heads it over the bar.
22- The turf is pretty poor. It's making the ball bounce strangely.
26- I wish this was on the Spanish channel. These guys aren't even talking about the game.
They just showed a replay of the goal - Bare was arguably offsides, but it was still poor defending.
30- Ely with a through-ball is into the box, turns back, lays the ball off - not well. At least the Galaxy got within range of the goal.
31- Ely again with the ball, but the defense cuts off the middle and starts a counter. Still a good run from the Galaxy.
33- Alvaro looks perpetually angry. He earns a free kick on the right. Beckham lines it up, hits Kelly Gray in the stomach, but Gray doesn't recover in time to kick the ball into the goal. Sad.
36- Ooh, another through ball leaves Cronin exposed and facing two attackers, he comes out quick and gets a palm on it - the follow is denied off the line by Troy Roberts. Cronin is looking better, even if the defense is still shambolic.
39- Gavin with a nice cross pass to Beckham, who then hits a really poor cross out of bounds. That play would have made more sense if the names were reversed.
40- Cronin with another save. He looks more comfortable now.
42-Becks lines up another freekick - Fugikaya catches it.
43- Freekick for Gamba Osaka - Becks is in the 4-man wall - I think the ball hit him, actually.
44- Bare tees up on Cronin again, this time with another low shot, but Cronin gets down for the save.
46- Becks is still around for the second half. Josh Wicks is in goal, Valentin looks like a little like a cyborg warrior with his face patched and that Full90 helmet thing.
53- Gamba looks a little tired, or perhaps they're just content with their one-goal lead. They're not pressuring the Galaxy much, but the Galaxy still can't put together a decent attack.
56- Free kick for Osaka - but wide of goal
58- The Galaxy just keep making simple mistakes. There are a lot of young players out there right now, and i'm sure they're nervous, but some of the gaffes are terribly amateur.
60- Roberts bundles away a ball in the box. Out for a corner, which gets cleared.
61- Galaxy get the ball in the box and get a shot off, but it bounces off a defender.
62- Beckham can't corral a long ball. He seems really irritated. It's not a pretty match, can't blame him.
64- Gavin on an overlapping run gets into the box, but takes too long to shoot and gets blocked.
67- Looked like a handball in the box, but Baldomero Toledo lets it go. Corner. Beckham takes, ball comes out to Josh Tudela, who shoots way over the bar. Gray comes off for Jordan (more who?)
70- Give Beckham credit - he's out there with his team still, trying to make things happen.
71- Buddle brings down a pass, gets the ball in front of goal, but Jordan can't shove past his defender to poke it into goal.
74- That was weird, a graphic showed up briefly of David Beckham wearing the old Galaxy gold uniform. But he never wore it - they had switched to the current look before he joined the team.
76- Buddle with a sweet flick in the box to MacDonald, who skies it. Another chance lost.
78- MacDonald serves a random ball into the box, Osaka clears the Galaxy half-chance.
80- Corner for Gamba, cleared out.
81- Beckham initiates a comedy of errors, he steals a ball and passes into the box, MacDonald misses the header, Ely Allen whifs on the kick, than pulls the ball away from his charging teammate, Tudela, then centers for a miss by Buddle? Not sure.
85- Galaxy playing long-ball looking for a goal chance.
89- Gamba freekick - served out.
90- Ball into the area, but MacDonald can't get a head on it. Probably last chance for the Galaxy.
90+ Nope, Buddle brings the ball down in the area and manages to turn his defender, but after all that work, his shot was weak and easily caught by the goalkeeper.
90+ Wicks saves one final shot.
LA loses, will play third place game on Saturday.


Anonymous said...

bahahahaha 3 minueds in and Osaka 1.

Freon said...

Is J League a better league than MLS or is this just the Galaxy doing really really bad?

Jess said...

Yes. Based on this game it has now been determined that J league is better than MLS.

Toddzilla said...'s the Galaxy's pre-pre-season. That doesn't excuse the crappiness of that first half, but they are much more up for it in the second half.

But my Lord, I hope that the Galaxy have no intention of playing a few of the players they have up front in this one. They've had some good looking build-ups and counters in the second half just brutalized by some horrid 'finishing' that doesn't even get on target. They don't deserve to be winning this game, but they should be on the scoreboard. McDonald looks horrendous.

But hey, it beats writing this research paper that's due tomorrow. (Uh...make that 'today'.)

Toddzilla said...

I should add that I'm not a Galaxy fan...I'm saying I hope they don't use these guys for the good of the human race.

(Game over.)

I'll also add that the backup keeper Wicks looked pretty good - very aggressive and did a great job on quickly distributing the ball upfield with accurate throws.

pate said...

So is Josh Wicks from the Portland Timbers? I thought he'd re-signed with them for 2008, did the Galaxy end up catching him somehow?

Anonymous said...

I watched it in the stadium in Honolulu. Galaxy looked pretty lame for most of the game. Beckham had some fantastic pinpoint long passes and a few dangerous crosses, but no one capable of turning them into shots. Gamba was composed the whole time -- never seriously challenged.

Houston came out on fire the second game and torched Sydney. Fast, crisp, in sync. Can't wait to see them take on Gamba on Saturday. Sorry Galaxy fans, but the difference in MLS team quality was on full display tonight...


Anonymous said...

Edson Buddle is useless. SUGGESTION FOR THE GALAXY FRONT OFFICE: sign Jesus Padilla!

L.B. said...

Hey Keith, thanks for posting. What was the environment like? It was hard to tell from TV.

Anonymous said...

Luis - the crowd appeared to be mostly local soccer players and their families -- lots of kids. Not really a 'big game atmosphere' since people didn't know the teams very well, and the local media didn't talk it up that much ahead of time. But people were very attentive, appreciated good plays by any team. I think folks were blown away by how well Houston played, especially the first half.

Aloha Stadium isn't a terrific soccer venue, but fans were close enough to see well. But the fast surface and narrow field clearly interrupted a lot of possession.

If future Pan Pacific tournaments are held here, they need much better marketing, and they need to draw more fans from Japan. They come by the thousands to run in our marathons, see the Sony Open Golf tournament, etc.