Good evening folks. The Opening match of the Pan Pacific Championship, between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Gamba Osaka, is fast approaching, and for those of you who plan on watching, it will be the first chance to watch an MLS team play in 2008.
The Houston Dynamo-Sydney FC match that follows the LA-Osaka match should be the better match from a soccer standpoint, but both games will offer very enticing match-ups as we get a glimpse of how MLS teams stack up against clubs from Australia and Japan.
For a preview of the matches, check out Jeff Carlisle’s preview on ESPN.com.
I plan on watching tonight’s matches and will look to do a light running commentary on both games (at least that’s the plan, I have a feeling those plans will chance). At the very least, I will offer you night owls and West Coast SBI members a place to discuss the matches as they happen (and also offer up your own play by play on the matches for those unfortunate souls who don’t have ESPN Classic.)
Check back here throughout the night as we try to keep you updated on the Pan Pacific Championship. Enjoy the action.
10th minute- Okay folks, I’m done for the night. I’ll watch this in the morning. Thanks for following along tonight.
6th minute– Is anyone still watching (or reading here)? If so, let me know in the comments section.
3rd minute- Yes, I’m up and watching this match. I can’t promise that I’ll make the full 90 minutes.
HOUSTON DYNAMO vs. SYDNEY FC
FINAL– Gamba Osaka 1, LA Galaxy 0. The second half from LA was better than the first half, but that wasn’t really saying much. Having Landon Donovan and Carlos Ruiz would certainly help, but I still wonder about that defense.
91st minute– Good second half from Beckham, who has to be dead tired.
90th minute– If there is any stoppage time in this game somebody should slap the referee.
85th minute– I’ve made fun of the Galaxy tonight but I do actually think they will be a good team this year. Assuming the defense can be pieced together and there are no serious injuries.
And Beckham tackles Lucas cleanly, nice bit of revenge there. He’s a tough cookie.
83rd minute– I’m going out on a limb and saying Beckham won’t play in the third-place game.
81st minute– Wow, nice sequence for LA, a long wicks through to Beckham, who delivers a laser to Ely Allen in the area. The rookie doesn’t do a thing with it. LA keeps the ball and had some looks but the Galaxy’s forwards are horrendous.
79th minute– Somebody wake me up when Josh Tudela wins a tackle.
78th minute- Why in the world is Beckham in this match? Did Frank Yallop show up to guest-coach the second half?
76th minute– McDonald completely ruins a wide-open look by blasting a short-range shot into the stands. That was the Galaxy’s best chance to equalize.
71st minute– Is anybody still following along on the commentary? If so, please let me know in the comments section.
66th minute– Nice camera shot of Beckham going at it with Gamba Osaka’s Lucas. He must have said something about Beckham’s tattoo of Posh.
64th minute– Beckham is still in the game for some reason. Apparently he lost a bet with Ruud Gullit.
62nd minute– Wicks does well to come off his line and thwart a dangerous Osaka sequence.
61st minute– Two-thirds into this match and I’m convinced that somebody needs to start airing J-League games. Osaka is playing some nice soccer.
56th minute- Here’s hoping the Houston-Sydney game is a bit more competitive than this one.
54th minute– Bare with a good shot that Wicks saves with ease.
51st minute– Josh Wicks races out of the area to head the ball clear. What’s with the LA goalkeepers rushing off their lines?
49th minute– We’re under way in the second half and the poor soccer has picked right up.
HALFTIME– The Galaxy is making some subs at halftime. We will get to see Sean Franklin and Julian Valentin, a pair of rookie defenders who have impressed in preseason. I’m actually interested to watch now.
HALFTIME– So for those of you who noticed, this is my second running commentary of the day. After watching Milan-Arsenal and Barcelona-Celtic, and now watching this, I’m at a loss for an analogy to describe the disparity between the two.
It’s like going from being at the Playboy Mansion to being on The View.
HALFTIME– I must confess, I have switched the game to ESPN360.com and am watching on the laptop as I catch up on my Rob & Big.
HALFTIME– Gamba Osaka 1, Galaxy 0. You’re not missing much if you haven’t been able to see this match. Osaka has been sharper and passing better while the Galaxy has looked extremely rusty.
45th minute– If you’re wondering about actual action, there hasn’t been much, not from the Galaxy anyway.
SAVE CRONIN. Bare with another shot on goal and Cronin does well to stop it.
41st minute– Anybody else think Josh Tudela wears a beard so he doesn’t look 12 on the field?
35th minute– Hey, it’s David Becham. I didn’t know he was going to be here.
33rd minute– It’s official, Alvaro is a diving machine.
32nd minute– I would hate to have paid for a ticket to this match. Then again, if I was at this game it would mean I was in Hawaii. I could put up with this mess if I were in Hawaii.
27th minute- Osaka is knocking the ball around pretty well. Not bad for a team missing more than half of its starters.
25th minute– I know it’s just the pre-season, and LA is missing some key players, but if this is "Sexy Football" I think the Galaxy should try abstinence.
23rd minute– I wonder how much it would cost an MLS team to pry Bare away from Gamba Osaka. I’m sure some MLS teams are wondering that same thing right now.
22nd minute– This game is awful. Osaka looks sharp and the Galaxy looks a mess. Shouldn’t be a surprise really.
15th minute– The Galaxy dodge a bullet as Bare breaks in on an empty net but can’t catch up to the ball after beating Cronin to the ball.
12th minute– Wow, Gavin with a great pass to the opposition, which nearly leads to a goal.
And there’s Edson Buddle, with a chance in the box only to lose it on his own.
SAVE STEVE CRONIN. Nice shot on goal and Cronin pushes it wide.
11th minute– It’s easy to forget that this is an early pre-season game for the Galaxy….until you look at some of the names in the LA lineup.
8th minute– I must say the crowd is pretty disappointing. I don’t think we’ll have to worry about a Hawaii expansion franchise any time soon (Damn).
6th minute– WOW, What an acting job by LA’s Pires. He gets kicked and goes down like someone sprayed him with an Uzi.
4th minute- GOAL GAMBA Osaka. And just like that, the Galaxy’s 2008 is off to a flying start.
3rd minute– Don’t you love it. It’s the Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii and an MLS team still has to play on football lines. Funny.
1st minute– We’re under way.
PRE-GAME– If you know who all eleven Galaxy players are you deserve a prize.
PRE-GAME– A pretty sparse crowd at the match. Figures the one MLS team not used to that is playing.
PRE-GAME– And Greg Vanney, the newest Galaxy player, is in the lineup. And was that Jay-Z’s older brother in the Barcelona jersey?
PRE-GAME– We’re almost under way and the anthems are being played.
10:30pm– Okay, I’ll admit it, I thought the game started at 10pm. With an 11pm start I’m curious how many of you will be staying up to watch.
LA were, for the most part, dreadful.
LA need Donovan and Ruiz. They will score goals with Beckham delivering those amazing crosses to someone other than Allen.
The central midfield wasn’t there. That Brazilian “Buffalo” is a disgrace. The first 2 signs from him were pretending to be hurt and then demanding a yellow card from the referee.
Klein & Buddle are too slow: waste of (cap) space.
Impressed with Franklin at RB.
You have to feel for Beckham b/c he is so clearly a class above these college graduates.
Thanks Ives for the running commentary.
The first 15 minutes of the Houston game is a stark contrast b/w Houston and LA. I really like Ashe’s attacking mentality down the left flank.
¡Estoy aqui Ives!
Yeah still following on and off for the Houston game, but I will not be lasting the full 90 so as far as I am concerned, certainly don’t feel bad if you don’t feel like doing a running commentary
Okay, folks, I’m done. Thanks to those of you followed along here.
Just checking in to make sure you’re still paying attention, Ives. Only 12:45 in Houston.
Houston’s gonna win this thing.
Every GK should be required to wear windpants stuck into their socks like Houston’s…haha…I’m headed to bed
That was seriously difficult to watch. especially after the champions league these past couple days…. ugh.
I thought that Valentin and Franklin did well in defense for LA. The team played way better than when they were on the bench in the first half. Becks showed he’s still got it. It’s a shame the Galaxy couldn’t even earn a decent set piece opportunity. I think they’ll have a solid offense once Donovan and Ruiz get on the field.
I dont even know how to start.
I feel bad for beckham.too bad ruiz and Donovan werent there.they would of put those goals away.
too bad babayaro and xavier werent there either.that defense just might be the worst in the league this year again.they have no speed whatsoever.
Pretty sad for the Galaxy when the two best players outside of Beckham were Portland Timbers Bryan Jordan and Goalie Josh Wicks. Wicks looked much better than Cronin.
woo, that was ugly.
Really? I thought it was like Hopkins giving a sidelines report the entire game. I mean he was talking more than the play-by-play guy.
TERRIBLE..WHERE IS THE REAL GALAXY?
Thanks Ives…I’m not hanging around for the second…I’m sure you’re not either! I love MLS too, but that was 1 world class player with 10 dudes from my sunday rec league, I’m sure of it.
How about that Alan Hopkins? Kudos to ESPN for putting him in the booth. A VERY welcome change from Waldo the buffoon. Hopefully Hopkins stays in the booth for MLS and they get rid of the sideline reporter gimmick…
This game was such garbage. Poor Beckham, he looks like he’s playing with AYSO kids against Osaka. Pathetic.
Good on the Galaxy for at least getting some attacks and possession in the second half. Some of these scrubs are embarrassingly bad, but that’s to be expected. Beckham’s passing vision and technique are still superb.
Becks played much better in the latter part of the match and is certainly working as hard as anyone else on that team. But, my God, none of these guys can hold on to the ball even when Beckham is giving them great passes. It seems like some of these guys need to play at a park on the weekend, not on a professional team.
It’s hard to believe these guys are pursuing a career in professional soccer. Jordan, for instance, seems barely aware of the basic rules of the sport.
Allen should pull a Harden and retire right now…that was awful.
Wow if you are a Galaxy fan be very afraid if any of your starters are injured. I would hate to see many of these players forced into a start.
“It’s like going from being at the Playboy Mansion to being on The View.” – Great line!
like the announcer said, that would have been ruiz in the middle, and landon instead of gray. something to look forward to
The salaries from the J-League are not capped. The minimum salary for a non-developmental player is around $45,000 (though Japan has a higher cost of living), and there is no cap to max salary. Bare is probably pulling in DP money, so getting him to the US is unlikely.
Go to bed Ives, you work too hard.
I commend you for staying around this long…
I just saw Buddle actually give a decent pass – you see something new every day, I guess:)
Ah yup yup
Yeah, let me echo PJHardy. You’ve done yeoman’s work today. I don’t think anyone will be too outraged if you give yourself a break.
still following. for the chuckles
I’m still following, though not for long. What’s a good time in Hawaii is awfully late over here in Ohio, especially with work tomorrow.
I am, but you can quit if you want. There’s just not that much to say I know.
Thanks for asking though.
is beckham playing center back now? poor guy, he deserves a better team
GOod night Ives….this game is too awful to stay awake late.
Galaxy looked better in the last 2 minutes. Still, once they cross the middle of the field, they just look confused.
Plus, the concept of playing Beckham as a winger chasing inaccurate long balls needs to be scrapped ASAP.
I think I just figured out the Galaxy’s weakest aspect…soccer.
After Arsenal-Milan and Barcelona-Celtic, what better way to cap the night than to watch half of Gamba’s starters scrimmage 10 random guys and Beckham for a chance to crown the champions of the Pacific!
Wow, maybe the Galaxy will give me a tryout at defense. They have the worst defense I’ve seen. I understand their lack of offense, but their defense is just awful. Cronin isn’t great either. He needs to learn to use his feet and he could have saved the first one.
Rob and Big = kickass
Gamba vs LA = opposite of kickass
HAHA nice Rob & Big plug Ives! This game sucks. I’m glad I didn’t waste any space on my TIVO for it.
Rob & Big, hahaha.
They are the s**t, Ives.
Painful to watch, especially after Champions League. I need to keep reminding myself that this is pre-season . . .
Where’s Donovan and Ruiz? Xavier? Babayaro? Something is missing here for the Gals… and its players who are gonna stretch the field a little.
J.League is probably the most competitive league out of all of the one in the PPC. They have the attendance (close to 20K per match), the money (A lot of the Brazillians make 7-figure salaries), and the quality. Most Japanese players don’t go to Europe (Shunsuke Nakamura may be one of the only exceptions), and again, the money attracts some good players from Brazil.
I suppose the “real” reason for this tourney is to cash in on the Beckham-mania with another market, specifically Asia and the South Pacific. Make some money. No complaint here. You have to get yours when you can.
No fans in the seats coupled with the fact that the games aren’t even good enough to make anything more than ESPN Classic and ESPN360 means no PPC 2009. Yuck!
I’m anything but a soccer snob. I love me some MLS. Even if they’re losers, they’re OUR losers. That being said, this looks very bad.
horrible first half for the galaxy
Cronin’s getting better, maybe…
Hey, does anyone have an idea of what kind of payroll the typical J-League team has? Are they twice as high? Five times? Ten?
That Bare guy looks like he’d fit in MLS but I’m guessing a little too expensive.