The SuperClasico is supposed to be the most passionate rivalry in
MLS, yet in some ways it played a reserve role Thursday night. With Bruce Arena
in attendance at Home Depot Center in the luxury box used by Anschutz Entertainment Group
president Tim Leiweke
, Cobi Jones
on the sideline making his debut as a head coach, and rumors swirling of Galaxy attempts to offload Carlos Ruiz
to make room for U.S. international Eddie Lewis
, the local teams played a sloppy yet riveting 2-2 tie.
Galaxy striker Alan Gordon
nailed a header
past Chivas USA keeper Zach Thornton
in the second minute of stoppage time to bring L.A. a point after it had surrendered two goals to squander a 1-0 lead. Goals 13 minutes apart
by Atiba Harris
and Paulo Nagamura
canceled out Landon Donovan
's 14th goal of the season, set up by Chris Klein
's ball up
the right flank and Donovan's sharp finish just inside the far post.
League-leading scorer Donovan and his mates controlled play for much of the first half but, as so often been
the case in 2008, couldn't add to their lead and eventually their creaky defense sprang leaks. Donovan, David Beckham
and Edson Buddle
all shot over the bar
with the score 1-0, and gradually Chivas USA gained a foothold in midfield and evened out the match, though not until the 44th minute did it force Galaxy keeper Steve Cronin
make a save.
Cronin got busy right away in the second half, saving four shots in as many minutes before Harris, who'd been stoned by Cronin just a minute earlier, ran onto a
Nagamura pass and thumped it home. Maykel Galindo
replaced Keith Savage
and an offensive frenzy ensued: end-to-end play rife with narrow misses until Nagamura and
Harris reversed their roles. Nagamura surged past a static Galaxy defense to tuck away Harris' pass in the 63rd minute.
Gordon replaced Alvaro Pires
later as the Galaxy regained the upper hand, but its chance at a point had seemingly slipped away in the 88th minute when Mike Randolph
buzzed up the left wing and smacked his
shot off the crossbar. Two minutes into stoppage time, Ante Jazic
lofted a ball into the goalmouth and Gordon easily outjumped Jim Curtin
to head home the
The tie didn't help either struggling team much in the standings. They remain fourth and fifth in the West. Los Angeles (6-8-6, 24 points) failed to win for the
eighth straight game; Chivas USA (6-8-5, 23 points) snapped a two-game losing streak but hasn't won since July 5, a span of seven league and SuperLiga matches.
, who scored two goals in China for the U.S. Olympic team, arrived at HDC in time for the game but didn't play.
In a live interview during the ESPN2
telecast, Leiweke said his meeting with Arena was a "conversation" not an "interview." But Leiweke also said, "No bones about it, he'd be the ideal guy to come in
here. There's not a better candidate or a better coach. We'd be honored to have him. Whether or not that happens, time will tell."
Arena was also seen talking with
director of soccer Paul Bravo
, who so far has escaped the purge that jettisoned Coach Ruud Gullit
and president/general manager Alexi Lalas
Donovan and Ruiz will head to Guatemala City to play in the Guatemala-USA CONCACAF World Cup qualifier on Wednesday. The Galaxy and MLS have been investigating loan deals for Ruiz to
play in his native country in case a trade can't be worked out. The MLS transfer window closes Friday; the MLS trade deadline is Aug. 31.
Lewis became available to the Galaxy,
first on the allocation list, when it declined an opportunity to use its the slot on defender Cory Gibbs, who has been signed by Colorado, which was second in line. But the Galaxy
must clear a roster spot and salary-cap space to sign Lewis.