The California heat wave welcomes MLS soccer this evening.
Crew: William Hesmer, Frankie Hejduk, Chad Marshall, Danny O'Rourke, Ryan Junge, Brad Evans, Guillermo Barros Schellotto, Brian Carroll, Nocolas Hernandez, Robbie Rogers, Alejandro Moreno
Galaxy: Steve Cronin, Chris Klein, Sean Franklin, Abel Xavier, Mike Randolph, David Beckham, Ely Allen, Alvaro Pires, Ante Jazic, Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan
Actually, the sun has dropped enough that none of the seats get hit directly, and there's a cooling breeze - perhaps from the ocean. It's not tooooo hot, in other words. Course, I'm just sitting in the press box.
The Crew have added a lot of black to the jersey they have on - the yellow is reduced to a big vertical stripe down the center. It looks slimming from the front, but then there's a yellow square on the black back of it, on their butts, practically. That seems like a target. Or something.
1 - Ale Mo is running to goal, but he's not fast enough to outrace Randolph. Ale boots ball forward and Cronin collects.
3 - Crew corner, Guille takes it, strikes it far. Beckham clears.
4 - GOAL! Beckham high-kicks a cross, and Donovan challenges Hesmer for it. Hesmer is a good goalkeeper, but he drops the ball, and Donovan pokes it into the net. 1-0 Galaxy.
6 - Pressbox is discussing Hesmer's bobble. They describe it as a Tony Caig moment. Poor Caig. Even mistakes he doesn't make have people referencing him.
7 - Crew on the attack in the Galaxy area, but the corner gets cleared.
9 - Cronin goes high to catch a throw-in. He falls, but hangs on to the ball. Hesmer takes note.
10 - Beckham to an overlapping Klein, who whips a cross in to Donovan, who makes a hash of the redirect - ball goes wide.
15 - It's been back and forth, but no clear chances for either side for a while.
16 - Ely in the box, but gets tentative on his cross, which is cut off for a corner. Donovan takes it. It's a good kick but Hesmer is interfered with.
18 - The call and response of "LA!" "Galaxy!" on the ends of the stadium is going on.
20 - Crew corner. Donovan gets the clear, tries to hit Beckham with a long pass, but doesn't have the skills of Becks there. Crew recover, but are then called offside.
22 - Ale in the box, beats Randolph, crosses, Xavier, clears, nearly an own goal. Corner falls invitingly, but the Galaxy eventually clear.
23 - Bad Crew pass leaves Becks with the ball and he tries to catch Hesmer off his line. Misses high.
24 - Guille in the box - lays pass off for Rogers, whose sliding shot gets deflected outside netting by Cronin. Corner causes problems for the Galaxy, but they eventually clear.
26 - A crush of bodies near the edge of the area, and Franklin's tackle takes down Guille. Sean gets a yellow for that.
28 - Neither team has any decent rhythm right now. It's a choppy game. Passes are nearly as likely to go to the other team, it seems. That's partly due to the pressure defending from both sides.
30 - Becks to Buddle! But Edson's header is just wide.
32 - Jazic gets taken down hard by Frankie, but no card. Geiger has a chat with him, though. Becks lines up the free. Hesmer catches it.
34 - Guille is in deep, crosses, Cronin catches.
36 - Pires gets fouled, but it's too far out for Beckham to even bother. Franklin takes it.
38 - Buddle is down in the box, but Geiger isn't buying.
39 Buddle on the break, but screws it up. The Crew are scrappy defenders, not that I expected any less from a squad with O'Rourke.
41 - The Galaxy players seem to be off - Donovan hits a pass to Beckham, Beckham loses the ball, there's very little precision here.
42 - Jazic nearly on the breaks from a Becks pass, but Hesmer is out of the area to boot the ball back.
44 - Ale finally drops in a bit of skill - a perfect loft pass to Rogers to run on to int the box. Cronin comes out and Rogers tries to chip him - nearly worked.
45+ Another deep FK, but Becks takes this one. It's knocked out for a throw, but the whistle blows.
Halftime - The Galaxy are off tonight for some reason, but the Crew's one major error means LA has the lead.
47 - GOAL! The Galaxy start the second half fast. They keep the ball out on the left for a while, working short passes against the defense of the Crew, who seem to be expecting a switch to Becks at any moment. Instead, Buddle beat O'Rourke to a ball and gets into the box, where, he puts the ball away far post when Hesmer comes out. 2-0 Galaxy.
50 - Ale handball in the box kills a Crew attack.
51 - Becks long pass to Donovan - LD corrals it in the box and crosses, where it gets put out for a corner. LD to take. Hesmer catches it.
54 - Marshall header from a Guille corner - wide by a bit.
55 - Crew earn another corner for a Frankie effort. It's cleared for a deep throw. Cronin punches that out, and LD harasses Hernandez into shooting wide.
57 - Another Crew corner. This one is dangerous, but the Crew can't get a shot off. The Galaxy have lost momentum, and the Crew is pressuring hard.
58 - Becks on a break, but his cross is behind Buddle, and the Crew reclaim possession.
60 - Guille fouls Xavier, who is down for a bit.
62 - Ale in alone - Galaxy backline expected offside, but no call. Cronin comes out, Ale misses! He shoots far post and goes wide. Yikes. The chance to ruin Cronin's shutout was right there.
64 - Ale tries to atone on the throw, but Cronin punches the ball out to Becks for a counter. Ball eventually works its way to Ely, who puts a move on his defender in the box, but then his shot is deflected.
66 - Rogers low shot from outside is deflected. The breeze in the stadium has died, so it's actually hotter now than when the game started. Stifling.
67 - GOAL! Cronin loses the shutout. Guille serves the ball into the box and it drops for Evans, who strikes it into the goal. 2-1 Galaxy. Gordon comes in for Jazic.
71 - Penalty! Klein brings down Rogers in the box. Guille steps up to the spot. He puts it away hard. 2-2 Tied up.
73 - Once again, the Galaxy defense lets opponents back into the match. Gordon takes an outside shot that is high.
74 - Becks crosses, Frankie puts it out for a corner. LD takes - it's cleared to Becks, who pops ball back to LD, whose pass gets cut off for another corner.
75 - LD takes - Gordon heads it down - just misses the net. So close. Steven Lenhart comes in for Nico Hernandez.
77 - Crew circle the Galaxy goal, pinning them back.
79 - This is why no one can leave a Galaxy game early. Ya never know.
82 - Penalty! Becks in the box gets brought down. LD goes through his ritual. Hesmer has saved a bunch of PKs this season.
83 - GOAl! Not this one. LD puts it away. 3-2
85 - Gulle FK - it's cleared, but Crew recover ball and earn a corner.
86 - Becks starts a counter, ball to Ely, then a pass for Gordon, but Hesmer gets there first and passes to start a Crew counter.
87 - Xavi slide-tackles the ball on the edge of the area. It looked like he got ball, but he gets a yellow card.
88 - GOAL! FK goes to the top of the area, and Cronin blocks that shot, but he can't control the rebound and the Galaxy can't clear. Lenhart knocks it in. 3-3 All square again.
90 - Press box debates the call on Xavie. They're split.
Galaxy attack! Becks is in the box, he beats his defender, he shoots! Wow. Way high. Yikes.
90 + Lenhart in the box - shot goes wide.
Randolph fouls Guille but is hurt on the play and limps off. Franchino gets set to come in, but Crew get to play a man up for a bit.
Final whistle. The crowd hates the ref. I called a draw for this game, but I never expected six goals. Cronin's GAA continues to stink.