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Beckham Out, Galaxy Falls

In a collision heard 'round the futbol world, and particularly in Los Angeles and London, David Beckham sprained his knee in the first half of an extraordinary SuperLiga final last night against Pachuca at HDC and will likely miss England's upcoming Euro qualifiers.

The injury came on a night when Pachuca took the lead on an awful own goal, the determined Galaxy threatened again and again before tying it in added time on a spectacular bicycle kick by Chris Klein, Landon Donovan blew a chance to win it in the fifth round of PKs and the Mexican side won it one round later.

With a second-place finish in this inaugural tournament, the MLS playoffs almost out of reach and Becks done for a while, the Galaxy has little left to offer this year. But let's give them credit for a spirited effort and entertaining performance against Mexico's finest.

Watch the highlights here.

Read the Beckham injury update here.

By Steve Goff  |  August 30, 2007; 8:28 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Third Victory for RSL
Next: USA Out of U-17s


Beckham should sit out the rest of the season and be 100% fit for the start of next season when the Gals will have a whole new team.

Posted by: Keenan | August 30, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Totally entertaining game. Too bad about Becks, it didn't look good when it happened. Sad too that Donavan ruins his otherwise outstanding (9) performance with a weenie PK try. Oh, and if Buddle had any foot skills at all, they wouldn't have gotten to PKs. He should have scored on that breakaway and how many time does he get to give it away before they haul him off the field. Man, hard as the other guys worked, he hurt them bad.

If LA plays like this for rest of season they may still not make it but it will be fun to watch.

Posted by: crowbar | August 30, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Becks will still play this year because marketing demands it. He doesn't have to play well and they don't have to win but he has to appear. This is a business and he's apiece of meat just like every other player in this league and professional sports.

Posted by: hamk | August 30, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure it'll be Beckham who decides if he plays again or not.

Posted by: Chico | August 30, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, anyone else "appreciate" the great bit of gamesmanship by the Pachuca keeper to feign injury and take the heat off when LA was really pressing. Ref totally blew that.

Posted by: crowbar | August 30, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

It's a pretty sad statement of the offense of both teams when LAG's defense has to score for both teams.

Posted by: adam | August 30, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Great game! Once again Landon pulls the choke in a game that matters! Maybe he can stop kissing himself before penalties now!

Posted by: Johnny | August 30, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of chocking, how about the giant hairball the U17's just coughed up?!? This is the future of American soccer? UGH!

Posted by: Throwin | August 30, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, ment "choking".

Posted by: Throwin | August 30, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

wow, he has to get better for the world tour.
how many 3-22-5 teams have made world tours in the past. anyone.

How about the argentines playing for RSL.
RSL wins 3-0 ov LA this weekend.
How about that goal for Andy williams

Posted by: vasco | August 30, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

To say that Donovan deserves a 9 rating is a massive stretch. More like a 6.

I don't think he played terribly, but by my count he missed two free headers (one over the bar on a sublime Beckham cross in the first half, one headed weakly right at Calero in the second half and both from about 8 or 10 yards), and had several horrendous free/corner kicks.

Donovan and his teammates put in a tremendous amount of hustling to get that equalizer, but he had several chances to net in regulation and to have the pk saved with the Superliga at his feet was a disappointment to say the least.

Posted by: tmc | August 30, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I watched the 90 minute portion of the game this morning on fast forward. Pachuca looked to control most of the first half, and the Galaxy the second. I missed the extra time and the PKs, but it did look like a good match.

But, now that that's overwith. LA should forfeit the rest of their season. There is no joy in watching that team play.

Fire Lalas
Fire Yallop
Trade Landon Donovan to San Jose for some wine
Send Becks to Hospital
Retire Cobi
and call it a season.

That team is done...

Actually, LA still has to play Houston (twice), Chivas, Dallas, and New York. If they get points in any of those games, I'll be ok with them playing the rest of the season.

Posted by: TCompton | August 30, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Good news: Atlanta local sports station talking soccer...about Beckham, of course.

Bad news: Atlanta local sports station talking soccer...about what a great goal Landon had.

Posted by: RK | August 30, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

The clear problem here is that Donovan's ritual before PKs is not long enough. What is the opposite of clutch?

Posted by: Greifie | August 30, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

This game had a really fast pace and no finishing, how many pieces of woodwork were kissed tonight?! Both goalies played well, but pachuca should have sealed the deal well before LA tied it up in extra time.

Another injury for Beckham, this has just not been his year. He needs to take some time and get back to 100% before he returns, no matter how long it takes. And i thought the challenge was kind of reckless on his part and he knew instantly he was done for the night (although he apparently doesn't know the sign to be subbed out).

The gals have set themselves up perfectly for the spoiler role in MLS.

Posted by: J-Mart | August 30, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I've been a DC United supporter for years, and cant stand the Galaxy. Cobi, Donovan, the whole lot piss me off. But, I've always liked Joe Cannon (wanted DC to get him a few years back before Perkins emerged).

When I started watching the game, I was rooting against the Galaxy. But by the time Beckham was gone and it was basically Joe Cannon vs. Pachuca, I hate to admit it, I was rooting for LA. The fact that Donovan choked was expected, I had a feeling he wouldnt make the PK. But I wanted LA to win just so that Cannon wouldnt lose despite his huge effort in the next.

And the Pachuca keeper was amazing too, though he looks oddly like a bike messenger here in DC.

Posted by: the cheat | August 30, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

why were some of the LA players wearing black armbands last night? For the death of their season? Lalas's career?

Posted by: pat | August 30, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse


the Galaxy players wore the armbands in respect of Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta, who died after collapsing in a La Liga match.

Posted by: bill urban | August 30, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Hah! Hah! Hah! Galaxy. I did a flashdance around my house when Donovan missed his spot kick. Hilarious. I'll keep that on TiVo forever.

Posted by: Flashdance | August 30, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know why Joe Cannon got booked after the Landon miss?

Posted by: ek | August 30, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I think 41-*/Cannon's booking was for complaining the other goalie had left his line early.

Posted by: Bleary eyed | August 30, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

yes, I assumed Cannon's yellow was for arguing about the Pachuca goalie leaving early. Of course Cannon was practically at the 6 when he made his "save" so that was all even when Calero did the same thing. Of course both of the PKs were pretty bad in the first place.

Posted by: Glenn | August 30, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Add the folks at CONMEBOL to the list of saddened people. If LA had managed a win, I wonder how much brain work would have been required to use the "SuperLiga Champions" moniker as an excuse to invite Becks and his Gals to next year's Copa Sudamericana (and the possibility of Becks playing at a South American venue at some point)?

Posted by: Juan-John | August 30, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"What is the opposite of clutch?"


Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 30, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else perplexed on how a player like Buddle even is on the bench of a professional soccer team? Like someone mentioned his fumbling of the ball on the breakaway was scary and it seemed like he turned the ball over every time he touched it. I know depth is a problem, but I'm thinking they can find someone better at that position.

Posted by: Mike | August 30, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

ah - thanks for the update. super sad about Puerta, not trying to make light of his death.

Posted by: pat | August 30, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

what a terrible year for Landon Donovan. He skipped Copa America to "help" the Galaxy make playoffs, he lost the Captain's armband to David Beckham, and the Galaxy could finish as the worst team in a league with some truly terrible teams (see Salt Lake = Real). Alexi Lalas should be fired immediately, but I think Landon should be out the door as well. Maybe he should go join Freddy in Portugal?

Posted by: diego r. | August 30, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

A few observations:
1. Pachuca should have been up at least 3-0 at the half were it not for Cannon. In the second half he saved several more goals.
2. Donovan is not a consistent game winner. He faded down the stretch and was useless in extra time, just a spectator. His forgiveable penalty miss aside, he had other chances and couldn't put them away.
3. Alan Gordon is useless. Several headers into the keeper, and no feet.
4. Buddle should have put the game away on the break away, but couldn't. He dribbles around with his head down, with no pace, and no change of pace. Trade him.
5. Beckham should sit the rest of the season. The Galaxy has to pull themselves out of this hole, superstar or not.

Posted by: Andrew | August 30, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is the Galaxy are not a good team. They have four good players in Becks, Donovan, Xaiver and Cannon. The rest of the team ranges from very, very average to downright horrible.

Its time for the team to be completely remade. And MLS needs to up the Salary Cap so that Becks can have some decent support.

In addition its time to ask some hard questions of both Lalas and Yallop. The handling of Becks over the last couple of weeks has been ridiculous.

Posted by: Nick from Big Soccer | August 30, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I really and truly believe that Donovan should not get called to the National Team until he stops being a choke artist or disappearing act (or at least he should sit on the bench). Despite his skills and speed, he has grown too comfortable and complacent and needs a wake-up call. Lets give minutes to some boys with real fighting spirit and killer instinct (I guess we have to find them first).

Posted by: Sean G | August 30, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's fair to blame Donovan for this loss. He was really driving that team after Beckham went down. But two outstanding keepers and some unlucky bounces kept the score down.

On the other hand, as a DC fan, if I got to write the script for yesterday I would've had RSL win, LA in last place, and Donovan missing the PK to seal the Superliga. So it's all good.

Posted by: Seth | August 30, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to hear that Yallop finally spoke up - he's been getting way too much blame for the losses and current state of the team.

Posted by: emanon | August 30, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Landon is dead to me

Posted by: Golazo | August 30, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

1) I thought Cannon got the yellow for getting the Pachuca keeper's face about his "not in my house" finger wave after the Donovan PK...

2) Cannon was MOTM for the Gals... It's wierd, seems like he's either toally on, or totally off.

3) Crowbar is dead on about the gamesmanship "by the Pachuca keeper to feign injury and take the heat off when LA was really pressing."

4) Anyone else think Donovan deserved a PK for the takedown in the box?

5) I'm not sure 'cause my Spanish is non-existant, but I think the Telefutura announcers were comparing Klein's golasso to Kirk Gibson's famous late '80s homerun in the World Series.

6) Vanegas's finishing was cool and clinical, if the MNT can ever find that form, we might make some noise in 2010. Xavier almost had a sweet finish as well, forcing the best save of the night.

7) When are the refs going to start calling keepers for coming off the line early? The Pachuca keeper did it outrageously on every PK in the Houston game and nothing happened...

8) Buddle's breakaway was one of the worst I can recall, more like a breakdown. For those who didn't see it, he make a nice run around midfield and is released with the ball in front of him and a good 5-10 yards on the last defener. He manages to completely slow down and let the dude catch up before biffing a useless shot. You'd think he had money on the game for Pachuca.

Overall, an entertaining match, and I look forward to future incarnations of the series.

Posted by: edgeonyou | August 30, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Open Letter to SuperLiga

Dear SuperLiga Executives -
Congratulations on having concluded a massively entertaining and highly passionate tournament. The event surpasses my wildest expectations and I look forward to seeing how it will evolve in the futures. For the sake of publicity, momentum and posterity please make a high quality highlight show of the inaugural SuperLiga.

There were some tremendous games played with exciting highlights, interesting storylines and passionate fans that should be memorialized and used as a foundation
on which this event can be built upon. In the run-up to next year's tournament, this video could be used as publicity. Alternatively, if a grassroots/viral marketing effort were preferred it could be distributed via YouTube and sent to various blogs (please contact me if you would like a suggested list of blogs).

I suggest it should be edited as follows:
1. Overview of basis for tournament, its founding and format. (2-5 mins)
2. Quick overview of teams involved. (2 mins)
3. Group 1 recap. Show highlights from each game. Show bracket with points at end. (10-12 mins)
4. Group 2 recap. Show highlights from each game. Show bracket with points at end. (10-12 mins)
5. Show both brackets and tell which teams made it to knock-out round. (1 min)
6. Highlights from semi-final games (10 mins)
7. Highlights from final, celebration, presser (5-10 mins)

We're looking at 48-50 mins of running time. Add commercials for TV viewing to get to an hour or add some post-game interviews for a behind-the-scenes look and feel.

I will name Beckham's next 3 sons Pride, Honor, and Victory if you fulfill this request.


Posted by: Matt L | August 30, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I loved the tournament, even though I missed half when I was overseas. I'm still depressed about Buddle's play though.

Posted by: Mike | August 30, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone really think Abel could put it away?

Posted by: UVA to RFK | August 30, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Pretty much everything I was going to write has already been said.

So here's my 2 cents!

I went to bed at halftime but luckily set the VCR to record the needed 3 hours.
When I went to bed I thought the Galaxy were on the verge of being blown out a la DC United at UNAM 2 years ago. But they played much better in the 2nd half and Klein's goal deserves a spot in the history books.

Pachuca are clearly a much better team than LA but the game showed that almost anything can happen in a "one off" single decisive game.

I enjoyed the games against Morelia and Club America at RFK and watching the later round games on TV.

I hope SuperLiga continues and gets recognition. This could make the MLS season more meaningful a la other leagues around the world as teams fight for spots in international competition.

Posted by: garbaggio | August 30, 2007 7:45 PM | Report abuse

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