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
No joy for Arena in Galaxy debut
by Ridge Mahoney, August 22nd, 2008 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily



David Beckham wasn't in the house, but Landon Donovan arrived in time to watch from a luxury box and Eddie Lewis, the newest member of the Galaxy, observed from an adjoining suite.

The former didn't miss much and the latter pair probably saw more than they wanted to.

The Bruce Arena Era, Galaxy Edition, debuted Thursday at Home Depot Center tepidly, at best, with a 1-0 loss to Chicago. Denuded of its best attackers, the Galaxy conjured up precious few scoring chances, and a revamped back line did reach the hour mark without having conceded a goal.

Yet soon enough the Galaxy defense split wide open to permit southern California native son John Thorrington to finish off a one-two with Brian McBride and drill a low shot inside the far post. Chicago should have taken a lead long before Thorrington's goal; it bombarded the Galaxy goal in the opening minute, and only a fingertip deflection from keeper Steve Cronin and the goalpost kept a rasping Chris Rolfe shot from hitting the net later in the half.

Despite a league-leading total of 40 goals scored, the Galaxy had been shut out three times this season coming into the match, and it seldom tested Fire keeper Jon Busch while enduring a fourth blanking. Alan Gordon glanced a header wide during a rare Galaxy attack early in the match, and his forward partner, Edson Buddle, seldom displayed the menace and confidence that have brought him a dozen goals this season.

Rookie Ely Allen and Buddle shot straight at Busch with the Galaxy's best looks at goal. The match cried out for the pace and guile of Donovan, and yes, even the brazen goalmouth bravado of Carlos Ruiz in years past. The trade of Ruiz to Toronto FC cleared draft picks and salary-cap space used to fit Lewis under the league's budgetary constraints.

Arena pushed Chris Klein from his right spot into midfield to replace Beckham, moved rookie central defender Sean Franklin to right back, and gave defender Troy Roberts just his sixth start of the season in place of Franklin. Alvaro Pires and Pete Vagenas couldn't secure the middle; Josh Tudela replaced Pires five minutes into the second half in an effort to seize some stability in midfield, but during the times one team held sway usually it was Chicago in command, and the helter-skelter periods forced Galaxy players to backpedal.

Arena proclaimed when he took the job no magic wand could transform the Galaxy (6-9-6, 24 points) overnight. There are nine games remaining and so tight is the Western Conference the short-term dilemma can be rectified, if not redeemed, with a few good results. But can it be done? The last nine games have failed to produce a win.

In his first start for the Fire, McBride contributed his usual rugged, selfless play as well as an assist. From the players he's inherited, Arena needs the same caliber of performance and commitment.

No comments yet.

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



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Jake Edwards    
"It'll evolve slightly for some of those teams over the coming seasons, I believe. We'll find ...
MLS Decision Day: What's at stake    
The 2016 Supporters' Shield and the final two playoff berths are on the line on Sunday ...
MLS Countdown: Donovan, Gordon are Galaxy wild cards    
Last weekend Landon Donovan started his first game since coming out of retirement yet it was ...
This week in women's college soccer    
Stanford junior Andi Sullivan and BYU senior Ashley Hatch made their national team debuts with the ...
This week in men's college soccer    
One of the most impressive streaks in recent years in men's college soccer is Denver's 32-game ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"I would love to do that, but there's still this thing, stigma, lack of respect or ...
CCL: FC Dallas rallies to clinch group title    
Needing at least a tie to advance, FC Dallas rallied from 2-0 down after 22 minutes ...
USL Final: Red Bulls II favored, but Rangers are ready    
The USL season concludes Sunday at Red Bull Arena, where the home team, New York Red ...
CCL: Seedings give MLS chance of two teams in semis    
Concacaf pairs the teams for the quarterfinals of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League by seeding them ...
U.S. U-18 women lose to England, beat France     
The U.S. U-18 women's national team, coached by April Heinrichs, opened the 2016 Women's International Cup ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives