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Galaxy Ties, Angel Doesn't

With David Beckham back in action after a long layoff, Los Angeles kept alive its chances of making the playoffs -- barely -- with a 1-1 tie late Thursday night against New York at Home Depot Center. Red Bulls striker Juan Pablo Angel had an abundance of opportunities to tie or surpass D.C.'s Luciano Emilio in the chase for the Golden Boot, but missed them all.

The Galaxy (34 points) must win at Chicago (37) on Sunday and hope either Colorado (35) or Kansas City (37) does not win Saturday. If K.C. loses at Dallas, Colorado wins at home against RSL and L.A. wins, the Galaxy finishes fifth and will play United in the first round. I still think United will end up playing Chicago, a series that would begin Thursday night at Bridgeview on ESPN2.

Meantime, Angel's pursuit of Emilio is over, and unless Eddie Johnson or Taylor Twellman nets five tomorrow, the United striker has the goal-scoring title to himself.

The video is here.

By Steve Goff  |  October 19, 2007; 9:18 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: The Day Before the Finale [updated]

Comments

I really have to admit that I'm pulling for Colorado and LA to make the playoffs - I feel that facing the LA Girls will be a better matchup in the first round for United.

I don't like matchups with Chicago or KC - KC could get hot in the playoffs and Chicago is a matchup that I don't think United does well with right now.

Posted by: River Place Stadium | October 19, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Plus - it would be nice to have 45K on hand for the Thursday "Black Out"

Posted by: River Place Stadium | October 19, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

So it's either LA, Denver or Chicago. My VISA card is going to get scorched.

Posted by: Chico | October 19, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Strange game last night. A lot of back and forth, but mainly because LA couldn't do much and lost the ball a lot. Angel had some nice chances, but also took too many touches before some of his 95 or-so shots. Nice goals though, but LA let their concentration lapse and left Altidore wide open.

I really didn't need to see Wyanlda's HS yearbook picture.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 19, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I'd expect a MASSIVE "Beckham Blitz" in the local media if that comes to pass.

Posted by: AlecW81 | October 19, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Any one hear the catfight between Tommy Smythe and Wynalda last night? Wynalda brought out the exasperated, "Whatever, buddy."

Posted by: hoyanick | October 19, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The game was a little midfield muddy, lots of lost balls and lackadaisical effort by both sides. Beckham's corner kicks showed that he's got some rust to shake off, so hopefully he'll get there by Sunday. I for one would love to see LA in the playoffs.

Posted by: Logan Circle | October 19, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Forgive the off-thread question, but what's the best way to get to the game for someone driving from the north side of Baltimore? Park somewhere (any tips?) & take the Metro?

Thanks for any help...

Posted by: Susan | October 19, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

No - from what I gather - It's only possible to play LA, KC, or Chicago.

No chance to play Mile High Arsenal.

Posted by: UVA United | October 19, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the concerns about Chicago. There's something about that team... must be the hangover from that 4-0 match.

45k for the Blackout. I won't be there, but seeing it on TV would be awfully cool.

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 19, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Per Steve Goff:

If KC loses, Colorado ties and LA wins, United will play the fifth place Rapids.

Posted by: Chico | October 19, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

hoyanick:

the lovers spat was over LA's substitutions. Wynalda felt that Frank Yallop should stick to the players that got the Gals streaking. Tommy Smyth's point (which I agreed with) was that when one of your options off the bench is Sir David Beckham, you go with Beckham 10 times out of 10.

Posted by: d, dc | October 19, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

My bad. If KC loses, they finish with 37. Chicago already has 37 and wins the tiebreaker over KC. A Colorado tie leaves them with 36. LA beats Chicago to get to 37. Colorado is out.

I've deleted the Colorado-finishes-fifth scenario above.

Posted by: Goff | October 19, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Joe Doc: You had to bring up the 4-0 loss, didn't you? I thought we agreed never to talk about it.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 19, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

My VISA card thanks you.

Posted by: Chico | October 19, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if there's a loophole in the rules MLS could exploit to allow LA to play anyone *but* DCU so that they could possibly make it all the way to the finals and play DCU in the finals...

I know, I know, a lotta other stuff would have to happen, the stars would have to align perfectly, etc, but a championship game at noon Eastern on a Saturday featuring DCU and Becks and his Gals? How hard is ESPN gonna lobby to make that possibly happen?

Of course, if LA loses this Sunday the whole thing's moot, but...

Posted by: Juan-John | October 19, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Whether or not the Gals make it in, you've got to hand it to them. They could have folded their tents weeks ago. Big ups to LA.

And I'd like to face 'em in the playoffs, too. It would be a spectacle with Becks back, and we'd still beat them.

Posted by: KR in DC | October 19, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

No - a true conspiracy theorist for MLS has Colorado losing to that dump of a club at home in Denver, then seeing FCD jump all over KC (this one is not a stretch) and having a gentlemen's agreement (as it is the LAST game of the season) for Chicago and the Galaxy to split the points - make it 1-1 for some drama and showmanship and see them both get in.

There - that's Juan-John's ideal scenario to see Mr. Beckham back for the Final. I bet MLS/DCSEC would find some additional seating for that.

Posted by: UVA United | October 19, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

An LA/DC final? They'd have to move it to Raljon and triple the ticket price!

Posted by: RK | October 19, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but the Wynalda and Rob Stone(r) are a complete joke. Can we get some decent people in the booth? Half the time they are ingoring the game and rambling on and on. Please spare us their high school pictures and give some real analysis about the game. At least Tommy Smythe is respectable the other two are more concerned about putting their stamp on the game.

Posted by: Quake Fan | October 19, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Well - unless Derek Rae reverses course and starts calling MLS matches get used to them. You might as well hope that there's some future ESPNer at Syracuse University right now that loves soccer.

Posted by: UVA United | October 19, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Luci-gol on the Golden Boot.

MVP! MVP! MVP!

Posted by: Shatz / DCUMD | October 19, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

---------
a true conspiracy theorist for MLS has Colorado losing to that dump of a club at home in Denver, then seeing FCD jump all over KC (this one is not a stretch) and having a gentlemen's agreement (as it is the LAST game of the season) for Chicago and the Galaxy to split the points - make it 1-1 for some drama and showmanship and see them both get in.
------

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but something along these lines above is what I think will happen (although a Rapids/RSL would also give the same final standings). And Chivas will get a result against Houston.

Chicago (4E) v DC (1E)
NY (3E) v NE (2E)

LA (4W) v ChivasUSA (1W)
Dallas (3W) v Houston (2W)

MLS could not be happier.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 19, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Juan-John:

ESPN wants LA in the final. After that, they just want easy storylines (after all, they've turned the easy story into a way of life). Here are your easy story candidates:

DC United - "Beckham and the Galaxy face United and its home crowd!"
Chivas USA - "Beckham and the Galaxy face their archrivals!"
New York - "Beckham versus Angel!"
Chicago - "Beckham versus Blanco!"

However, screw what they want. Their coverage this season has shown that, despite the financial investment they put in, they still don't actually know how to put on an MLS game. If it wasn't for games in HD, I don't know if they'd be any better than FSC's coverage, which is often disbalancing (thanks, Christopher Sullivan).

Susan:

The absolutely simplest route, not knowing where exactly you're coming from, is to get on the BW Parkway. Follow it all the way into DC, where it becomes DC 295. Follow that to the East Capitol St. exit (on the right). You will come around the bend and be looking at RFK. Most of the parking lots are around the other side of the stadium, so I'd recommend getting into the left lane so you can circle around. There are plenty of signs directing you to the various lots.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | October 19, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Goff, explain to me how Luci always knotched up the boot? Doesnt Angel play over the weekend? Im confused.

Posted by: Kenny | October 19, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

----
An LA/DC final? They'd have to move it to Raljon and triple the ticket price!
----

No, if those were the teams in the final, they'd want to keep it at RFK, but I would hope they could bring in some temporary bleachers for the north and south ends to really fill in the lower bowl.

Posted by: more seats at RFK! | October 19, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

---
Goff, explain to me how Luci always knotched up the boot? Doesnt Angel play over the weekend? Im confused.
---

NY RedDonkeys have finished thier regular season. Their 30th game was last night at LA.

Angel did have an incredible strike rate this season, but Emilio will be top scorer (unless EJ or TT do something awesome on Saturday).

Posted by: 20-goals | October 19, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Kenny,

NYRB has completed its regular season schedule of 30 games. With 13 teams, not everyone can play this weekend.

Posted by: Kim | October 19, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Ignore my ignorance with my last comment. NY doesnt play this weekend. Sorry, i shall never question you again sir goff.

Just another trophy to the case.

Posted by: Kenny | October 19, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hoyanick and D,DC:

Yeah, that Smyth-Winalda spat was pricelss. How about with Smyth essentially told Wynalds to STFU? Awesome!

Winalda was arguing perhaps it was too tough on Beckham putting him into the "fire" of an MLS playoff-clinching match after a long layoff.

Smyth, exasperated, treated Wynald like an idiot and blustered: "Please, Beckham has been in much tougher spots that this."

True!

I normally think Winalda adds to the conversation, but last night he showed his a$$ and spoke before thinking it through. Becks has played in World Cup, Euro, Champions League, FA Cup, Premier League, etc. and his knees would wobble playing against a team named after a beverage? C'mon!

Props to Tommy for smacking Winalda back into reality.

Posted by: Erick | October 19, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Someone should invent a drinking game for every time ESPN switches its shot to a sideline reporter or a childhood photo of a color commentator.

Posted by: Juan-John | October 19, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Dear I-270, Exit I and fellow The SI colleagues:

I apologize for bringing up The Loss. Completely unacceptable. It will never happen again.

Sorrowfully,
Joe Doc

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 19, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I shut off that game at halftime. I figured that if the announcers weren't interested in talking about and showing the game,why should I be interested in watching it???

Posted by: Lloyd Heilbrunn | October 19, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Susan:

Follow Chest Rockwell's directions only if you want to park at the stadium and be stuck for a long time getting out. YOU mentioned the Metro, so I'm thinking that 's more what you have in mind. In which case, take 95 down and stay with 495 South (or East - I never remember) towards Virginia. Get off at exit 19B -- you'll see teh signs -- for New Carrolton train station (It's Amtrak and Metro). Once you've turned into the station area -- you'll see a light in front of you and a garage. Ignore the garage. Turn left at the light, go past the garage, then right turn and follow signs into the Metro's Park and Ride lot. Then go get on the Metro to Stadium/Armory stop. After the game, the only trick is to make sure you get on the right train --- most folks will be traveling in the other direction (towards downtown). Also be careful about the "color" since both Orange and Blue lines leave from Stadium stop, but only the Orange line gets you to New Carrolton.

Posted by: FischFry | October 19, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I have a bit of a problem with the playoff system due to the unbalanced schedules. If Chicago and KC go to a tie breaker for the last playoff spot (Colorado wins AND KC and Chicago both tie OR Colorado doesn't win and both KC and Chicago lose), KC is out.

The tie breaker is head-to-head, which seems fair. Except that Chicago got 2 home games to KC's one, with the home team winning every time. Not the end of the world, but sure would suck for KC to have a better goal differential and lose the head-to-head with one less home game.

Posted by: Dancy | October 19, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

It's true that ESPN does a rotten job with its broadcasts. On the other hand they get stuck with some desultory matches. Last week, they had a Chivas-Dallas game that gave new meaning to "boring." If I owned one of those teams, I'd hold back the paychecks. The players were just standing around -- no one was running with the ball, and no one was running to space when their team got the ball. Absolutely dreadful game.

Two days later, I'm at RFK watching United and the Fire go at each other in a completely thrilling match -- up and down the pitch with real pace, determination and danger.

If the MLS wants to make it as a solid entertainment, it doesn't matter who's broadcasting the game -- it's the product on the field that has to change. All games should be like the one last weekend at RFK. It was a 0-0 tie, and it was incredibly exciting to watch. If, on the other hand, we keep getting games like the Chivas-Dallas tilt, I'm going to spend much more time watching the EPL.

Posted by: FIschFry | October 19, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

-------
I have a bit of a problem with the playoff system due to the unbalanced schedules. If Chicago and KC go to a tie breaker for the last playoff spot (Colorado wins AND KC and Chicago both tie OR Colorado doesn't win and both KC and Chicago lose), KC is out.

The tie breaker is head-to-head, which seems fair. Except that Chicago got 2 home games to KC's one, with the home team winning every time. Not the end of the world, but sure would suck for KC to have a better goal differential and lose the head-to-head with one less home game.
-----------

I see you point.

But if KC can win at Dallas (who have nothing to play for really on Saturday), then KC are in and they don't need to worry about tie-breakers (perhaps other than -- should Chicago also win -- for deciding who heads out west to face Chivas USA/Houston or who stays in the east to face DC).

Posted by: KC Blues | October 19, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, FischFry. That's why I don't understand why the MNF booth is such a big deal -- I'm tuning in for a game, not to hear people talk. I doubt there has ever been a time where I've tuned in to a bad game so I could hear what any announcer has to say, for any sport.

Posted by: RK | October 19, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Susan: You will also need a SmarTrip prepaid card to use Metro-provided parking. That will take care of the train ride itself, too. Further, the card can be used on any subsequent trip into the District that you might take, such as later-round playoff matches, next year's home games, etc. For more details go to:

http://www.wmata.com/riding/smartrip.cfm

Posted by: Section 410 | October 19, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Announcers and Refs - They do their best jobs when you they go unnoticed.

Their goal should be to be a useful and non-distracting exterior part of the game that helps things run smoothly, but they certainly shouldn't draw attention to themselves -- as that is not at all needed for the game.

MLS, their broadcast partners and their on-field officials have a bit of work to do in these areas.

Posted by: Announcers and Refs | October 19, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

UVA-United, just curious, does Syracuse University have a big sports broacasting academic program? Had not heard of that...

Posted by: Ron | October 19, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Susan:

FischFry is mostly correct in his directions, EXCEPT for one glaring error. Take 95S and when you get to the National Beltway STAY on 95S, do not get on 495W, to get to the New Carrolton exit. The eastern half of the National Beltway is I-95 and the western half is I-495. I'm sure the rest of his directions are OK.

Enjoy the game. Lord knows I can't wait for tommorow evening to wear my new, long sleeve, home jersey WITHOUT any sponsor's logo defacing the Glorious Black (and Red?... I don't get that... we should be the Black and White... Bianconeri... like another winningest team in Serie A)

Posted by: Soy United! | October 19, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Off-topic:

Did anybody see that the SBIer changed his mind on Coach of the Year honors? He makes a good argument. Will MLS and whoever else votes see it that way?

http://njmg.typepad.com/sbi/2007/10/sbi-mls-award-1.html

Posted by: Soy United! | October 19, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The ref blew the penalty and stole the game away from NY. Bruce Arena looked like he was going to explode.

Donavan played great.

Posted by: Marvin | October 19, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Does Soehn have a shot at coach of the year? He should. After the way we started, all the competitions, trades, injuries, etc...he still put his imprint on this team and made it a real force. Great first year. He should definately be considered.

Posted by: Chico | October 19, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Susan:

I said National Beltway. I meant to say Capital Beltway. Sorry.

Posted by: Soy United! | October 19, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

What about Emilio - does he win MVP or New Comer or both ?

Posted by: emanon | October 19, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Million thanks to Chest Rockwell, FischFry, Section 410 and Soy United for the help. See you tomorrow.

Posted by: Susan | October 19, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Being new as a fan who's willing to, you know, actually show up to games, what's the best way to go about getting tickets? If I just show up tomorrow, will buying tickets at the gate work out okay? Obviously I'm not looking for front row seats or anything. If I want a good feel for the atmosphere, but am too intimidated to fully join in the antics of the loud side, where's a good section?

Posted by: New fan | October 19, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Ron -

Syracuse:Broadcastin::Northwestern:Journalism

DCUnited:Silverware::Red Bull NY:Tragedy

Posted by: UVA United | October 19, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Worst performance by David Beckham since 2002 World Cup Quarter-final against Brazil. I don't think I've seen so many bad passes/crosses. He looked like he belonged on that terrible squad.

Anyone notice how LA's attack/momentum just evaporated as soon as he came on the pitch?

Posted by: bristol | October 19, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

New Fan, buy some tickets in the 400 section on the quiet side. You'll have an awesome view of the field and get to watch the Barra Brava in all their glory.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | October 19, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"I'm sorry but the Wynalda and Rob Stone(r) are a complete joke. Can we get some decent people in the booth? Half the time they are ingoring the game and rambling on and on."

Couldn't agree more. They sound like baseball commentators:

"And the pitch . . . foul ball. So I had some really excellent pot roast for dinner last night at a place down town."

"Oh yeah?"

Posted by: UVA to RFK | October 19, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

For Susan, one last comment

I didn't make a glaring error in my directions, I didn't say take 495 West. That's towards Silver Spring. But the split is 495W to the right and I'm pretty sure to the left it's considered 95/495 (I just can't recall if it's considered 495 East or 495 South, at that point). Anyway, stay to the left, when the highway divides.

And Section 419 is sort of right to warn you about getting a SmartCard. Those paper farecards won't get you out of the parking lot -- However, if we're talking about a weekend game, it's free to park, and the gates will be up, so you won't need the plastic SmartCard.

Posted by: FischFry | October 19, 2007 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"New Fan, buy some tickets in the 400 section on the quiet side. You'll have an awesome view of the field and get to watch the Barra Brava in all their glory.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | October 19, 2007 01:42 PM "

***********

DITTO!! Best seats in the house if you wanna watch the game.........

Posted by: Soy United! | October 19, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"Being new as a fan who's willing to, you know, actually show up to games, what's the best way to go about getting tickets? If I just show up tomorrow, will buying tickets at the gate work out okay? Obviously I'm not looking for front row seats or anything. If I want a good feel for the atmosphere, but am too intimidated to fully join in the antics of the loud side, where's a good section? "

Posted by: New fan | October 19, 2007 12:58 PM

Hi, New Fan. Welcome to DC United and "Estadio RFK" as it's known on this blog - Spanish for 'Stadium'. The good news is that game-day tickets are always available (Beckham's visit and MLS Cup excluded). And tickets on 'the quiet side' are usually what you'll end up with. To be sure, you can order them in advance and pick them up at will call. The problem there is that you'll end up paying a bunch to Ticketmaster in fees. Another option is the DCU sales office at
(202) 587-5000

Posted by: David | October 19, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

congrats to Emilio on the GB. A great addition to the league.

MLS clearly is pulling for LA and Chicago to make the playoffs and to make the final. They have the two biggest stars and Blanco has beef with Beckham. The story writes itself.
I have my doubts that Dallas will beat KC and RSL beats Colorado at home though so I'm guessing we only see one of the 2 in the playoffs.

Posted by: papa bear | October 19, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Dear new fan,
I don't think you would be intimidated to join the loud side. I myself a new fan and just decided to join them after a couple of games and will be in 235 section. It is an amazing feeling. Have fun and thanks for coming!

Posted by: t | October 19, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

To be sure, you can order them in advance and pick them up at will call. The problem there is that you'll end up paying a bunch to Ticketmaster in fees.
__________________________________________

You can also order online and print out your ticket. The ability to avoid long lines at will call is worth the fees for a lot of us.

Posted by: Section 410 | October 20, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

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