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Not Just a Liga -- It's SuperLiga!

Beckham's magic leads the Galaxy to a 2-1 victory over tournament favorite Pachuca on the first night of SuperLiga -- wonderful ball to Alan Gordon for the first goal and then a clever redirection of Cobi Jones's bid for the late game-winner.

What? Beckham didn't play? That was Donovan, not Becks? Oh, never mind.

Very nice night for the struggling Galaxy, nonetheless.

(Um, can Pachuca fit any more advertisements onto their jerseys? They look like 11 NASCAR drivers.)

Dallas, meantime, settles for a 1-1 tie with Chivas after a classy goal by Arturo Alvarez, a non-call that allowed for a sensational equalizer and a red card to Drew Moor for retaliation.

Video highlights of the Dallas match here.......

Video highlights of the L.A. match here.......

I'm starting to like this tournament. So much so, I wrote a long story about it. You'll notice that, if an MLS team wins it, the players get to share only $150K of the $1 million prize.

By Steve Goff  |  July 25, 2007; 1:08 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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dude you're up late.

Posted by: longfellow | July 25, 2007 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Insider sleeps with his eyes open

Posted by: Goff | July 25, 2007 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Dallas was totally jobbed. Clear handball just outside the box. And as always, the ref only sees the retaliation, not the whack job that led to it.

However, nice night for the Herbalife gang. Hope they're ready to be the "away" team on Saturday, though. The over/under on the percentage of fans wearing red and white stripes at the Coliseum is 85...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | July 25, 2007 1:33 AM | Report abuse

LD was making long accurate passes. i guess he learned a thing or two in training with the Beckham.
LA Game looked like a redux of USMNT against Mexico national team. Sit back on defense. Let them attack. Hit them with the counter attack. and sneak an elbow to the gringo's face every now and then.

Posted by: Davidwho | July 25, 2007 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Sweet goal by Alvarez. I guess our little MLS is holding it's own?

Nice to take them in their pre-season too.

Posted by: D | July 25, 2007 1:56 AM | Report abuse

cool intro to the Galaxy game, and the Nascar reference deserves the"qoute of the day"

hope Galaxy will finally wear the much better looking away shirts and Mr Becks might even get on the pitch to play.

Posted by: Ben | July 25, 2007 2:54 AM | Report abuse

If the Galaxy win the tournament then they are only in debt for the Beckham deal by 249 million wing wangs.

Posted by: $1 Million | July 25, 2007 4:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh sweet Jesus...

I heard the Victoria Beckham show was on Lord help me, I actually kind of liked it.

Kill me now.

Posted by: P | July 25, 2007 5:46 AM | Report abuse

I think it will be great to see Beckham playing in an international (club international) to see how much pride he really has for MLS. If a fight with a Mexican club broke out, would he stand up for the Galaxy like he would Man U. or Real?

Posted by: Sorkin | July 25, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't think that was Chivas' real A team. Can anyone shed some light?

Posted by: Hoost | July 25, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

The word "golazo" has lost all meaning...

Posted by: RK | July 25, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Landon should transfer to FMF. Lord knows he plays like Pele whenever he's going against a Mexican team.

I hope whoever is coaching USMNT in 2030 calls a 50 year old Donovan out of retirement just to play the qualification game versus Mexico. He'll be sure to net a goal or two.

Posted by: Mark in NRH | July 25, 2007 7:59 AM | Report abuse

FMF and DC United. Landon belongs on our side as he has a tendency to score a lot of goals at RFK. Maybe we can take him on loan for the rest of the tourney?

I can't wait for the game tonight, it already feels like its going to be an unproductive day of clock watching.

Posted by: Southeasterner | July 25, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

That Dallas game felt like watching the old WWF - Chivas in the role of the Iron Sheik and Dallas in the role of Iron Mike Sharpe. It's entertaining for a while, but you know Sharpe ain't gonna win.

Dallas should come out with little black forearm bands on all of their players for their next match in this thing.

Did Tim Donaghy work the middle for that match? I hear he's looking for work.

Posted by: writered21 | July 25, 2007 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Dallas really did get ripped off. But Moor was fairly naive thinking he could touch that dude near his face and he wouldn't go down like he had been shot. Those Chivas guys are a bunch of cheating punks.

Posted by: Glenn | July 25, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I never understood why such a competition was never in place; perhaps MLS wasn't ready?

But now that it is here, it should grow in significance to be CONCACAF's "Champions League."

Posted by: 12th man | July 25, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Did I read today's article right? The winning SL team gets $150k to split between the players? Where does the other $850k go?

Posted by: stevo | July 25, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Into MLS's coffers...just like the bulk of the $2M transfer fee for Freddy.

Posted by: DE | July 25, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Chivas didn't have the players from nat'l team, morales, bravo, pineda, medina, etc.

Pachuca was also missing the three nat'l team players

can anyone explain what adu's contract would be, who pays and who gets 2 million

if eddie johnson took the transfer of 3.6 million offered this month would MLS gain any money?

Posted by: Juan Pablo | July 25, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Chivas team is not the regular team, I don't recognize one player they brought,

Magallon is nat'l team player left at home too, so 5 key members of nat'l team at home, whats the point of the superliga then, its 2 weeks into mexican training and they leave the best at home, i.e. usa in copa. great game by la, pachuca put on a show!

United faced the real team earlier this year.

Posted by: Juan Pablo | July 25, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

12th man, CONCACAF already has a Champion's League. And they're not going to change the timing of it from early spring to mid summer, as I think all the other leagues in CONCACAF play September to April. MLS is the oddball. That's (at least one reason) why our teams fare poorly in Champion's League play. Plus, Super Liga only includes Mexican and U.S. clubs. Champion's League for a region must, by definition, include clubs from all countries in the region.

Here's the roster I want to see tonight:
McTavish Vanney Boswell Burch
Olsen Gomez Simms Gros
Fred Emelio

Posted by: Matt | July 25, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

If Chivas is the Iron Sheik and Dallas is Iron Mike Sharpe, what does that make DCU? Ricky Steamboat? The Hart Foundation?

(I refuse to say Hulk Hogan)

RBNY is obviously the Honky Tonk Man.

Posted by: silentbob | July 25, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Goff -- any thoughts on the news that EJ rejected an offer made to go to Derby in the EPL?

And silentbob -- RBNY is not the Honky Tonk Man, maybe more like "The Z Man" Tom Zenk or Paul Roma

Posted by: RIP General | July 25, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Hey P, regarding the Posh show...I liked it too...she's got a nice wit about her.

Posted by: seahawkdad | July 25, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Goff -- "I'm starting to like this tournament."

It took you long enough.

This tournament has some great potential, and I don't know why so many were down on it, or not fully behind it as soon as it was announced.

Certainly there are many things to not like about SuperLiga in year one (the invitational-ness of it, the home-field advantage for MLS, the pre-season Mexican clubs), but there are so many positives, and potential positives in the long-run for SuperLiga that I feel it is really worth supporting and enjoying.

Any word on expected attendance for 7/25 and 7/29? And can RFK host a semifinal match should United win their group?

Posted by: Bandwagon | July 25, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I guess RBNY can't be the Honky Tonk Man -- he's actually won the Intercontinental Title, after all.

How about a JTTS like John K-9 or Barry O?

[Bandwagon: I think Goff posted something recently about how RFK is unavailable for a SuperLiga semifinal, and that DCU would host at FedEx or up in Baltimore.]

Posted by: silentbob | July 25, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

As long as the games are in the US we have a chance. Mexican refs should join the NBA.

Posted by: hacksaw | July 25, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Don't look now, but it seems like our little league is growing a wispy mustache. Welcome to puberty, MLS!

Posted by: Logan Circle | July 25, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I didn't get to see any SuperLiga, but I did get to watch the second half of RSL v Boca this morning (they conveniently are playing it 3 times today in Argentina). Ridiculous PK call that Adu converted (ridiculous in that it should have been a card for a dive). Otherwise Freddy may as well have not even dressed. Boca didn't look as good as one would expect playing RSL reserves, but who is this Forko(?) left back for RSL - he had a good game!

Posted by: Lost in BA | July 25, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

wonderful ball to Alan Gordon for the first goal and then a clever redirection of Cobi Jones's bid for the late game-winner.

Donovan certainly has game (excellent assist to Gordon) and knows how to do enough to defeat the Mexicans (at home at least), but i'd say his redirection on the game-winner was more "lucky" than "clever".

he didn't know much about that shot hitting him, but he did a decent job of putting himself in a dangerous spot and jumped high enough to not completely block the shot by Jones.

nice to see an MLS side get a win in the second game after a tough struggle (and a fairly unjustified draw in SuperLiga's first game).

Looking for more MLS success tonight. (hopefully if anyone receives an elbow from an FMF defender they won't naively retaliate and get sent off like Moor did for FCD).

Certainly, in future years, they could find a different part of the calendar to hold this month-long tournament so none of the teams would be in their off- or pre-season.

Posted by: Cakes | July 25, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

is beckham even training with LA yet? is he going to appear in SuperLiga at all or is he just being rested for MLS games?

Posted by: becks? | July 25, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Beckham played briefly last Saturday. He did not train Monday. He did not play Tuesday. He might play Saturday vs. Chivas.

Posted by: Goff | July 25, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused: Is $150K split among the 30 guys ($5K each)? Doesn't seem like much, IMHO. And, what happens to the rest of the $1M?

From Goff in WaPo: "SUM will reward the tournament champion $1 million. If an MLS team wins, $150,000 of the prize money will be earmarked for the players to divide. The league also will award $100,000 to the players on an MLS team that loses in the final, and $50,000 to the players on any MLS team that loses in the semifinals."

Posted by: jj | July 25, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Also, I would have called "mano" on the equalizer in the Dallas game.

And, what a strike by Dallas! Classy goal.

Posted by: jj | July 25, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

150K is split among the players on the championship team. How they divide it up is up to them. If a player didn't get into one of the games, he'd probably get a smaller share.

Posted by: Goff | July 25, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"Certainly there are many things to not like about SuperLiga in year one (the invitational-ness of it, the home-field advantage for MLS, the pre-season Mexican clubs),..."

I seem to recall the Guadalajara Goats having a rather large contingent of supporters when they played at RFK a few months ago, so it'll be interesting to see how much of a "home-field advantage" DCU actually has.

Posted by: Juan-John | July 25, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

And slightly dumb question, but the DCU-Houston game counts for *both* SuperLiga and the MLS regular season, not just SL, right?

Posted by: Juan-John | July 25, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

SuperLiga games are SuperLiga games. MLS games are MLS games. No crossover.

Posted by: Goff | July 25, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse just reported Zizzo to Hannover 96. Seems like u20 guys are hot commodities right now

Posted by: wayne | July 25, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone else not at all surprised that both games last night featured a near-brawl? It's so easy to hate Mexican teams when they resort to dirty instigating.

Posted by: Kenobi | July 25, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I guess they want as much "gate" income as possible, then, huh?

Any word on advance ticket sales, Goff?

Posted by: Juan-John | July 25, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Zizzo lit up UVa in the NCAA semifinals...

Loved that early Donovan cross -- you just don't see enough of that in MLS or on that Nats. That new Galaxy player tends to do those well, too.

Posted by: RK | July 25, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Just to clarify, if an MFL team wins das uberliga, do the players receive the same $150k reward?

In the case of MLS, I'm assuming the rest of the purse goes to the local team, and not the league, as it would essentially amount to SUM taking money out of its left pocket and placing it in its right pocket.

Posted by: Logan Circle | July 25, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse TV (en inglés)?

Posted by: ? | July 25, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty shocked by the Galaxy win last night. I watched the first 15 or 20 minutes before going to bed. LA was getting completely schooled by Pachuca although it remained scoreless up to that point.

I like Pachuca's away uniform, it reminds me of Halloween candy corn!

Posted by: garbaggio | July 25, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Goff: How does the prize money compare with that for the U.S. Open Cup, and how might that affect the clubs' approach to the respective tournaments? (I recognize that it may be not just the gross amount, but the split among MLS/clubs/players, that may be relevant.)

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 25, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse


Go to the Superliga website. They ran video of the game with Allan Hopkins announcing (and doing an acceptable job) last night that only lagged on me once. Barring that, your only options are en Espanol.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 25, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

superliga games are on Telefutura.

"If Chivas is the Iron Sheik and Dallas is Iron Mike Sharpe, what does that make DCU? Ricky Steamboat? The Hart Foundation?"

With the results DC has gotten lately, they are an off-form Tito Santana. But a good performance and win tonight should certainly put them back in Tully Blanchard territory.

Posted by: writered21 | July 25, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I watched the Dallas game online last night -- the quality may surprise you.

Posted by: RK | July 25, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I'll give the webcast a look. The quality can't be much worse than the broadcasts of the U-20 World Cup that looked like it was filmed on a webcam.

Posted by: ? | July 25, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

All of the wrestling references have me very, very afraid. Combine that with the NASCAR uniforms, and I'm starting to feel like we crossed over into some parallel West Virginia dimension. When the BSPN Thursday-night coverage starts off with Hank Williams Jr. shouting "Are you ready for some Futbol?" I'll know that we've truly flipped. I can't wait to read the Bizarro Goff blog however.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | July 25, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

GoPennState - the total prize money for the USOC winner is only $100K

Posted by: brian | July 25, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"the total prize money for the USOC winner is only $100K"

That explains a great deal, doesn't it?

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 25, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

brian-just a clarification, USOC winners also get a pizza party and orange soda.

Posted by: Logan Circle | July 25, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Also, the best USOC teams have players whose dedicated parents bring orange slices for them after games.

Posted by: silentbob | July 25, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Great to see MLS trying to gain legitimacy by playing the FMF but I think they should add more incentive than just cash. How about merging this tournament with the Mexican SuperLiga for qualification to the Copa Libertadores? Kind of like an Intertoto Cup for Concacaf.

Posted by: Giordano | July 25, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Correction: I meant to say, in the post above, the Mexican INTERLIGA qualification tournament ....

Posted by: Giordano | July 25, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

which side does the Galaxy sit on at the LA Coliseum?

Posted by: Mayaeve23 | July 27, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't the Galaxy now use the Home Depot Center almost exclusively? If they ever had an occasion to exploit the larger capacity of the Coliseum or the Rose Bowl, it would have been that match against Chelsea last weekend, and that took place at HDC.

Posted by: Go Penn State! | July 27, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

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