Saturday, August 20, 2011

Robbie Keane's Galaxy debut

So there is general consensus among the Galaxy fans I talked to that Robbie Keane is a good signing for the squad. One, however, admitted to being a disgruntled West Ham fan and said that the Galaxy would regret the move. 
There's a bit of extra pressure on Robbie tonight, perhaps, because the player moved in order for him to be signed, Juan Pablo Angel, scored tonight for Chivas USA. 
One Galaxy administrator was up here in the pressbox and commented on how he was surprised that Galaxy fans were so patient with Angel, given that he really didn't do what he'd been signed to do. 
However, Angel is just a class act. Even if he wasn't scoring, he clearly wanted to do so, and he never blamed anyone or anything for his lack of production. Taking responsibility goes a long way with fans, and I think many of them sincerely hoped Angel would bust out of the slump. 
Yet there's already some grumbling in the pressbox as well from a few of the Spanish media, with a couple of reporters exclaiming that the Keane signing (and the Angel trade) is another example of the team ignoring the Hispanic community.  We'll see soon if Keane performs in a way that wins hearts and influences people. 
LA Galaxy fans want this win over San Jose badly. The fires of the old rivalry still burn deep. The Angel City Brigade brought Smurf posters to mock the SJ fans who made the trip. 
Keane gets a good cheer from the fans in the player announcements. They want this signing to work.
The anthem has been played, and Keane posed with the squad for the team photo. They're throwing him right into the mix from the start. 
Not every seat is full in the stands, but LA fans arrive late. The grass section has been opened up for general seating, and that usually means an official sell out. 27, 000.
1 - The Galaxy have a chance right from the start, as Busch dives but can't reach a Christman shot after Juninho found him with a sweet pass. Off the post! 
3 - MacDonald with the shot, but Saunders blocks it and Hejduk is on to the rebound to clear before the much-younger Wondo can react. 
5 - Keane gets the ball to LD, who gives it right back. Keane doesn't make a total hash out of it, but neither is he able to shoot, and the Earthquakes eventually win the ball.
7 - Hejduk with a good run helps the Galaxy earn a corner.  It's not a great one by Becks - short, and the Galaxy don't get the call on last touch. Goal kick. 
9 - Keane is wearing Edson Buddle's old number. He hasn't proved he can score like Edson did for the Galaxy, though. Incidently, the scuttlebut in the pressbox is that the Galaxy tried to bring Edson back to the team, but he turned down the offer, miffed that the team had moved for Angel in the first place instead of simply paying their scoring star more money.  
12 - Wily Hejduk outhustles Khari Stephenson to the ball in the box. That's got to be embarrassing.  40 is around the corner for Frankie. 
13 - Keane with a shot! Busch saves. Although it looked like offside on the play, it wasn't because SJ played the ball back, though unintentionally via a bad rebounded pass.  
14 - Franklin with a shot as the ball bounced out to him from the corner. 
15 - Keane gets the ball in the net this time, but this time, the offside was valid and called. No goal.  Actually, it wasn't in the net, either, but the outside of it. 
16 - Corrales with a chippy foul on LD just outside the box. Freekick hits the wall. 
17 - Dunivant threads a cross in front of goal, but Cristman misses the header. Opportunity blown. 
19 - Now it's Keane's turn to miss one. Hejduk cross, Cristman whiffs on the header, which turns into a dummy pass for a surprised Keane, who still manages to connect, but it's wide by a foot. 
20 - GOAL! Keane. Franklin, no, Beckham with a long pass out of the back, which bounces perfectly for Keane to rush past the backline. Busch is discomfited running out for the ball, tries to block a shot he anticipates, but Keane plays and cool and just follows the bouncing ball past the keeper. With the goal wide open, Keane hits a sliding angled shot for the goal and celebrates with a cartwheel.  His teammates swarm over him, welcoming the new guy.
23 - Cristman is down outside the box, but doesn't get the call.
27 - Good interplay as LD to Keane, to Cristman, to LD, who shoots, and earns a corner. Corner comes to nothing, though. 
29 - Becks is having words with the ref.  
30 - Pretty lively play from both sides. SJ not laying down.  
32 - Good play gets Bobby Convey in the Galaxy box for a shot that just barely gets deflected wide. Corner is cleared.  
34 - Becks trips Convery from behind. That's one way to stop him. The freekick leads to a shot that a diving Saunders barely stops. Quakes looking good.  
36 - Galaxy corner - this one is good from Becks, but everyone misses it.  
37 - Quakes turn with a corner, but the Galaxy clear. 
38 - Wondo whiffs! How on earth did he beat Buddle out for the Golden Boot last year?
40 - Quakes just welcomed Keane to MLS with a nice crunching tackle. Howyadoing, Ireland captain? 
41 - Becks freekick gets sent right back to him, and a Quakes outlet pass finds Stephenson racing Franklin to the ball - Steph hits side netting. 
42 - Saunders nice one-handed deflect of a Baca shot. Convey takes the corner to jeers of "US Reject!" from the LA Riot Squad. 
44 - Berhalter is helpfully cluing the linesman in to Wondo's offside even before the pass is sent.  
45 - Quakes pushing hard for the tying goal before the whistle.  
They don't get it. Halftime. Keane is the 18th Galaxy player to score on his debut with the team. I remember LD doing it. Beckham's not one of the other 16, though.  
47 - Alecko Eskandarian was the last player to score on his Galaxy debut. He's retired now, poor Alecko. Too many concussions. 
49 - Corrales with a good run builds a play that forces a Saunders save.  
50 - Cristman is awkwardly earnest up front, working hard, but just hashed up a Keane pass.  
52 - During halftime, an Irish reporter here for Keane's debut said the Earthquakes seemed "disorganized". They're looking more cohesive now, causing the Galaxy problems.  
53 - Interesting. Keane passes up the chance to pass to Cristman a through pass to give the youngster a shot on goal,  waiting instead to set up a give-go for his own run. By this time, the SJ defense has set up, and Cristman gets a nasty foul on Burling fighting for the ball. 
55 - Baca gets a yellow for simulation. It's true he wasn't touched by a Galaxy player, but he also seemed to trip, not dive. Then again, he didn't exactly bounce back up.  
56 - Saunders collides with Dunivant punching out a ball. He eventually shakes off the encounter, though is seemed to involve a twisted shoulder. 
57 - Stephenson misses just wide. 
59 - Quakes with the better of play of late.  
61 - Hernandez goes over the back of Cristman, but the big blonde shakes off the foul. 
62 - A group of Quakes fans faithful keep chanting in the corner - making the Galaxy fans work to drown them out. Builds a good atmosphere. 
63 - Gonzalez booms a long pass - over the top of the defense, perfect for Keane - who shanks it over the goal. Somewhere, West Ham fans are smiling, "I told you so." 
64 - Still a great pass from Gonzales. Juergen, are you watching? 
65 - Becks gets upended by a late tackle by Convey. Free kick reaches Dunivant, who can't direct header well from an awkward position. 
68 - Hejduk trips Morrow, sees yellow for it. 
69 - Galaxy defenders clear the freekick and Saunders catches the eventual shot that the Quakes manage to build up. 
71 - Wondo is out for Simon Dawkins, Steph out for Edmundo Zura. Galaxy bring in Mike Magee for Keane, who gets a standing ovation from the fans.  Mighty Magee gets a good cheer from fans, too, who still remember his exploits in goal.
74 - Quakes with a dangerous freekick, but the Galaxy clear it.  
76 - A bit of sting has gone out of the match. Quakes are still pushing, Galaxy still holding them off, but the pattern has set in.  
77 - Saunders and Zura tangle when the goalkeeper comes out to punch the ball, but a solid Gonzalez header clears the danger. Are you watching, Jurgen? 
79 - Cristman gets a nice cheer from the fans as he exits in favor of Miguel Lopez.  Hopefully, Cristman's hard work will overcome his ineptitude. Actually, he's a fairly decent forward, but injury has stunted his development. 
82 - Ouch. LD gets cleated in the knee by Steven Beitashour. Red card. That was stupid. SJ are basically doomed now.  
85 - Although not by that crappy Magee pass. He hits it behind an open LD, who slips trying to reverse direction.  
87 - SJ corner comes to nothing.  
89 - However, a focused SJ team is passing the ball fairly well - oh, there's a Galaxy break - but Lopez can't connect on the cross for the finishing goal. Decent try, though.  
90 - Great Becks cross - and Magee directs the header wide. Yikes. 
GOAL! Then another Galaxy play builds and Franklin slides a cross across goal for Magee - and he nails it.  Magee regains hero status.  
90+ Dan Keat  comes on for Franklin, who is subbed off to a big cheer.
QUakes build up a decent chance, but Baca misses the Corrales cross. 
Fulltime! Keane is welcome in Los Angeles. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Andrea, what do you think about the notion that the signing of Keane is an example of the team ignoring the hispanic community? Should the team have stuck with JPA to placate some sort of mystical vein of fanhood? Is there a hispanic goal scorer that the Galaxy should have gone after that was attainable with the same level of marquee value? Seems kind of silly, as a Galaxy fan that happens to be hispanic I want the best possible players on the field. I don't need a token spanish speaking player on the team in order for me to connect.