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Donovan and Beckham hug it out, Galaxy roll to 3-1 victory

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When Landon Donovan and David Beckham embraced before Thursday night's match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls, the gesture suggested that the two had put aside any issues that may have arisen from Donovan's comments about Beckham in the recent book, "The Beckham Experiment." After helping the Galaxy beat the Red Bulls, 3-1, it was clear that any issues between the two had been resolved and the pair are ready to play some soccer.

Play is what they did. Donovan scored a goal and set up another while Beckham played an effective but not overly flashy game as the Galaxy rattled off three first-half goals to down the hopeless Red Bulls, 3-1, at Giants Stadium on Thursday night.

A crowd of 23,238, a good size for a mid-week game, watched Donovan and Beckham control the midfield and help the Galaxy to a fourth consecutive victory. Alecko Eskandarian opened the scoring with a beautiful left-footed blast, while Donovan made it 2-0 with a right-footed shot from 30 yards out. By the time Eddie Lewis converted a Donovan pass to make the score 3-0, the Red Bulls were already finished.

Here are some observations, notes and quotes from Thursday night's match:

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena wasn't exactly surprised to see Donovan and Beckham hug after Donovan's 31st-minute goal, but he still enjoyed seeing his two stars working well together and celebrating together.

"There was never any doubt in our minds that these guys would work together, but it was certainly a great moment with all of the build-up with the so-called questionable relationship," Arena said of Donovan and Beckham. "They're going to be good together. They're good professionals and certainly it was a nice moment and hopefully there's going to be more of those.


Landon Donovan didn't seem to be affected too much by having flown in for the match the day of the game. Having attended the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Donovan took a red-eye flight and arrived in New Jersey on Thursday morning. He defended the decision, and to be fair, he sure didn't show any fatigue, scoring a beautiful goal and setting up another.

"We felt, collectively, that being at the ESPY's was a big opportunity," Donovan said. "It's not often that soccer is on the front of people's minds in this country and right now it seems to be. Not necessarily for the right reasons for the last couple of weeks, but people are talking about it and that's good.

"I felt it was important, Bruce thought it was important, and Tim Lieweke thought it was important," Donovan said. "And I'm in a place now where it doesn't matter when I arrive or that the preperation is ideal. I know how I'm going to perform. I promised Bruce that and I think it worked out."

That's right folks, it doesn't matter when Donovan arrives. He will score goals. Get ready for that same-day flight to Mexico.


One of the best moments of the post-game press conference was Donovan fielding a question from ESPN's Jeremy Schaap, and going, "That's Jeremy Schaap." Yes, Donovan's an ESPY-winning, same-day flying, goal-scoring star, but he can still appreciate when some high-profile media cover one of his matches.


Alecko Eskandarian scored a goal in what will likely be his last game at Giants Stadium. The son of former Cosmos defender Andranik Eskandarian, Alecko is a New Jersey native who made his last game at the storied stadium a memorable one.


Macoumba Kandji said what everyone is already thinking about the Red Bulls. "I think we're cursed this season," Kandji said after Thursday's loss.


The Red Bulls have now gone eleven straight matches without a win and have lost four in a row to drop to 2-14-4. To put that into perspective, during the club's nightmare 1999 season the MetroStars once lost twelve straight matches over a period of almost four months. That year, the MetroStars were 5-15 after 20 matches, with nine points. The Red Bulls have 10 points right now.


The win moves the Galaxy to 6-3-9, with 27 points, to move into a tie for third place in the West. LA's point total is the third-highest in MLS.


Share your thoughts on the Galaxy's 3-1 win over New York in the comments section below.


  1. Nick–

    I diasgree on the coaching change. If you pull the trigger now and they lose the remaining games (a likely outcoem given the personnel), you get no bump for the new stadium.

    On the other hand, if you wait until the season is over and then hire a new coach… well, hope springs eternal.

    Also, watch 3-4 games on tape and it’s really not that hard to assess this group. There’s about 6 players to hang on to–the rest are expendable

  2. Given that the Red Bulls will be moving to a new stadium next year, you have to believe Mgmt is going to pull the trigger and replace the coaching/player personnel hierarchy soon.

    This way you can bring in a new coach to evaluate what he wants to keep for next year, and sweep away the rest of the garbage.

    Otherwise, if you wait until the end of the season, it will make the situation very difficult for the new coach in pre season to first assess what he has and then go about filling the holes.

    If you look at Arena, last year was a lost cause, but he had a chance to really get a sense of what was missing and have the offseason to get his team together.

  3. anyone who questions beckham’s ability to affect an mls match is out to lunch and getting caught up in the hype. even if he doesn’t make the score sheet he has a tremendously positive effect.

    i didnt watch him play at all while he was with LAG last year so i can’t comment on the criticism, but as a milan fan who saw nearly every game last season, he should make LAG that much better in the second half.

    worked tirelessly, great distribution and really fit in well to a very technical team setup with the rossoneri. i wonder if that is the problem.. not enough technique around him to play the type of game he excels at??

  4. Aljarov, you should definitely write a letter. The entire world is definitely awaiting your judgment and instruction on how licensed referees should call hand balls. Lord knows youa re way more knowledgeable about the rules of the sport than the guys who have to obtain a license from an official ruling body in order to do their job. Or you could just shut up.

    Alecko is a scumbag.

  5. First Off – Metro Boy- SPELL CHECK – USE IT!!

    I am surprised none of the local coverage (except the Metrofanatic Site) has mentioned the angle about Bruce Arena coming back and beating the heck out of the geniuses that fired him. He has too much class to say anything in public, but I can imagine him in his hotel room going “YES YES YES!!!!”

    While I understand the viewpoint of keeping Osorio around for continuity, based on last night’s debacle it seems to make more sense to cut the cord and see if Richie Williams can do something. They had a week off, a fairly healthy lineup (though Goldthwaite was a big loss), were playing before their biggest crowd of the year, and came out flat and uninspired. If they believed in their coach they’d have been playing with passion and heart, none of which was in evidence. My son’s youth team played in one of the mini games at halftime and those kids showed 100% more spunk (they also didn’t give up a goal)

    The biggest mistake (among many) was letting Van Den Bergh go. He said it was for family reasons but I read he would have stayed but JCO didn’t want to pay him. Angel is the only warrior we have. He is playing hurt and has no one to feed him the ball….. like Van Den Bergh!

    Mike Ammann’s assessment of Osorio was damning. I know it can be perceived as piling on, but results speak for themselves.

    The RB’s are awful but are still my team. I stuck with my Giants through the 70’s and they eventually got it right and I hope it will happen here, but NOT with the current crew running things!

  6. “MLS refs seem to have no idea that a ball can touch a hand WITHOUT awarding a pk.”

    Not when it’s extended to gain an advantage, then it doesn’t matter, ball to hand or hand to ball. But I’m not saying it was. Think of a free kick into the wall where a defender had his arms extended over his head and the ball hits them.

  7. Mike Caramba, back in 1999 games that were tied after regulation were decided by penalty shootouts. The team that would win the shootout would get a win on their record, but would only get one point instead of three.

  8. I’m confused. I read through this blog post twice, and didn’t find anything in it about Osorio taking the team to the MLS Cup Final last year.


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