Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Becks breaks through
by Ridge Mahoney, August 16th, 2007 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Okay, now, can everybody just get with the program? Just like the man's been saying for a month, this is about soccer, too.

With two graceful swipes of his right foot, supported ably by the touchy left one, David Beckham bent home a brilliant free kick and turned loose Landon Donovan for the goals that dumped D.C. United, 2-0, and earned Los Angeles a date in the first SuperLiga final.

(Click here for Beckham highlights.)

A small but enthralled crowd at Home Depot Center, inspired by the sight of Beckham standing at midfield for the opening kickoff wearing the captain's armband, generated a buzz from the first minute and the Galaxy players responded with a spirited effort. They were outshot, 18-7, and needed some sharp goalkeeping from Joe Cannon to fend off D.C., but as they had done against Pachuca in the first round of SuperLiga play, lost the stat battle but won the war.

Galaxy coach Frank Yallopdeployed Donovan on the right wing of a three-man front line, and started both Edson Buddle and Carlos Pavon. Beckham played in a three-man midfield with Kevin Harmse and Kyle Martino, and defender Abel Xavierreturned to the lineup to anchor the back line.

Cannon had to tip a cheeky 50-yard lob by Jaime Moreno over the crossbar, and soon afterwards he parried a fierce shot from Josh Gros. Beckham jolted his rather lethargic teammates with a hard tackle on Jaime Moreno that drew a caution.

A handball by Devon McTavish about 25 yards from the Galaxy goal primed the moment perfectly, and after a nervous D.C. wall set itself the required 10 yards away as the crowd's buzz rose in volume and intensity, Beckham's sharply swerved free kick utterly befuddled United keeper Troy Perkins as it rippled the side netting.

He wrestled roughly with his new teammates, he shook his fist, he screamed joyously. Relief, and perhaps redemption, lit up his face. He celebrated not just another brilliantly bent ball, but slightly more than a month of disdain, derogatory slurs and rampant ignorance aimed at him, his coach, his team and his life.

No matter. The ball was in the net, the Galaxy had the lead, the crowd savored a slice of history, and all was right with the world.

He opened his magic box again two minutes into the second half with the unwitting assistance of Gros, whose tangled legs couldn't reach a ball Beckham stroked into Donovan's path at midfield. Donovan bore down on goal and when his shot took a deflection off McTavish's foot, again Perkins was beaten.

Cannon made a few more saves, defenders Abel Xavier and Ty Harden crunched a few foes, and the insertion of Christian Gomez at halftime turned out to inconsequential. Pete Vagenas came on for Beckham in the 63rd minute and a half-full HDC trembled from the ovation.

Thus one of the league's worst teams will represent it against the defending Mexican champion in the SuperLiga final Aug. 29. A million bucks goes to the winning team. The opponent, Pachuca, and the venue, HDC, will be the same as when the Galaxy prevailed, 2-1, last month.

But everything else will be different because of Beckham, whose fine play may confirm the wishes of England coach Steve McLaren to summon him for a friendly against Germany next Wednesday.

The Galaxy still must make up a staggering gap to reach the playoff tier. A Beckham hopping back and forth across the Atlantic won't aid that cause. Without a few wins in the next few weeks, the rest of the MLS season will be nothing but Becksibitions.

But in about an hour of action, he displayed why AEG is investing in him a large fortune. He started, he scored, he conquered.

Aug. 15 in Carson, Calif.
Los Angeles 2 D.C. United 0.Goals: Beckham 27; Donovan (Beckham) 47.
Los Angeles -Cannon, Klein, Harden, Xavier, Randolph, Donovan, Beckham (Vagenas, 63), Harmse, Martino (Jones, 71), Buddle (Glinton, 76), Pavon.
D.C. United -Perkins, Boswell (Kpene, 66), McTavish, Namoff, Vanney (Gomez, 46), Fred (Moose, 86), Carroll, Olsen, Gros, Moreno, Emilio.
Yellow Cards:Los Angeles - Beckham 18; D.C. United - Carroll 59.
Referee:Alex Prus.
Att.:17,223.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Every day you learn. You learn about every individual, about your group, about the chemistry, about ...
MLS Week 16: Results & standings    
Chad Barrett scored in the 90th minute to give the San Jose Earthquakes a 1-1 tie ...
Euro 2016: Portugal saves it until late    
Portugal, which tied all three games in the group stage, was minutes away from heading to ...
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati    
"Our base-line [for average attendance] was 30,000; 35,000 would've been great, and 40,000 beyond our wildest ...
What They're Saying: Investment banker Keith Harris    
"It was a shock result. There are four players that we can reflect on and the ...
What They're Saying: Megan Rapinoe    
"Gay bars are so important for me and my community. That could have been me. That ...
What They're Saying: Gudmundur Benediktsson    
"It's been quite strange and actually hectic because the phone hasn't stopped ringing. But I'm really ...
MLS: Top fives in Fan XI voting remain steady    
The MLS All-Star Game will be played July 28 in San Jose and every few days ...
MLS Countdown: Rivals wrap up season series early    
The MLS campaign has yet to reach its midpoint yet already teams are facing each other ...
USA-Colombia: Lots at stake in third-place game    
The USA must quickly get back in the saddle after its disastrous semifinal against Argentina when ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives