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MLS Playoffs: Chivas USA at Los Angeles Galaxy (Match Night Commentary)

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The Los Angeles 'Super Clasico' will determine a playoff winner for the first time as the LA Galaxy play host to Chivas USA at Home Depot Center in Game Two of their Western Conference playoff series.

The teams tied, 2-2, in Game One, and tonight the Galaxy will be the home team.

I will be providing commentary throughout the match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (commentary after the jump):

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FINAL– That's all for tonight. Thanks for following along tonight and please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

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FINAL– Chivas USA tried hard, but in the end its attack couldn't really threaten Ricketts much and the Galaxy controlled more of the play.

Kudos to several LA players who stepped up their play tonight, from Buddle to Kovalenko to Franklin to Donovan. In fact, there were few poor performances from the Galaxy tonight as they looked like a team ready to prove deserving of the No. 1 seed in the West.

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FINAL– The Galaxy will face the Houston Dynamo on Friday night at Home Depot Center.

Beckham does the post-game interview. His play in the second half was stellar, with some of the best passes you'll ever see in MLS, including a pass that led to the penalty kick.

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FINAL– Looks like Chivas USA took offense to some post-whistle celebrations. In fact, Preki went right after Kovalenko after the final whistle. Apparently Kovalenko directed something at the Chivas USA bench.

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FINAL– Galaxy 1, Chivas USA 0. A scuffle breaks out at the end.

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95th minute– We may get an extra minute of stoppage now.

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95th Minute– Final minute, Chivas USA losing its cool a bit, with Kljestan getting a yellow for dissent.

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94th Minute- Two minutes left. 

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93rd Minute– Chivas USA corner kick.

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92nd Minute– Three minutes to go.

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90th Minute– Five minutes of stoppage time. Not sure when that much time would have been accrued.

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89th Minute– Chivas USA corner.

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88th Minute– The corner is cleared away.

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87th Minute– Chivas USA corner.

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85th Minute– Galaxy trying to run the clock down with some possession.

Eddie Lewis is coming in for Mike Magee.

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84th Minute– Jorge Flores is in for Maicon Santos.

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83rd Minute– Great block by Berhalter to stop a Galindo shot from 18.

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81st Minute– Chivas has nine minutes to make something happen. Galindo and Lillingston are the subs that need to step up.

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80th Minute– Donovan's free kick is blocked by the wall and cleared away.

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79th Minute– Donovan is fouled for a dangerous free kick and Chivas USA earns two yellow cards in the process. One is for the foul, another for dissent (Nagamura).

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77th Minute- Beckham to Donovan, who forces THornton out of goal before finding Magee. Magee's shot is blocked by Thomas for an LA corner.

Alan Gordon comes in for Beckham. 

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76th Minute– Eduardo Lillingston comes into the lineup for Chivas USA. Lahoud comes out.

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75th Minute– Donovan's goal ties him for most career playoff goals in MLS with Carlos Ruiz.

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74th Minute– Chivas USA corner after Galindo got in behind Gonzalez.

Nagamura sends his kick off the corner way high.

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72nd Minute- GOAL GALAXY!!! Donovan converts the PK right down the middle. Galaxy 1, Chivas USA 0.

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71st Minute– Cuesta with the foul. Donovan to take the PK.

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70th Minute– PENALTY!!!! Chivas USA called for a foul on Magee in the area. Beautiful pass from Beckham to spark that sequence, finding Donovan, who found a wide-open Magee in the area.

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69th Minute– SAVE THORNTON! Stops a weak Kovalenko shot after Donovan sent in a nice pass to Kovalenko. Another quality passing sequence for LA, but another good save from Thornton.

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67th Minute– SAVE THORNTON. Klein with a shot from 23 yards out and Thornton gets in front of it. A great passing sequence by LA to set that up.

Kirovski is in for Klein.

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66th Minute– Jovan Kirovski is set to come in for LA.

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63rd Minute– Chivas on the counter and Kljestan starts a dangerous sequence, but Galindo can't get to Santos' pass. Galaxy dodged a bullet there.

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60th Minute– Maykel Galindo comes in for Jesus Padilla. Can he make an impact like he did in game one?

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59th Minute– MAGEE WIDE!! Dangerous chance for LA as Beckham sent a short pass across the goal-mouth to Magee, but the angle is too tight.

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53rd Minute– Chivas uSA with a corner. Headed away by Beckham, who looks to be nursing an injury.

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50th Minute– Michael Lahoud is such a smooth and tidy midfielder. He didn't play as many games as some other top MLS rookies this year, but he's got a great future.

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48th Minute– Nagamura WIDE. He pounces on a poor clearance and blasts it wide.

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47th Minute– Bornstein with a nice run to get into the attack, but LA recovers and Chivas USA has to settle for a corner.

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46th Minute– And we're back.

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HALFTIME– Thornton looks like he's nursing an injury, but will stay in the match. If he has to come out then Jon Conway would replace him.

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HALFTIME– Here are some thoughts:

Is it me or does Cuesta make you nervous anytime he has the ball at his feet?

Jesus Padilla had an early chance, but has been largely invisible since. He's too talented to be that invisible. He may wind up coming out for Maykel Galindo. Someone has to.

Dema Kovalenko is having a good game. He's all over the field and snuffing out Chivas USA build-ups.

Mike Magee hasn't been too involved, but Buddle certainly has been.

It's clear Bornstein has been given a mandate to get forward into attack, but he needs to pick his spots because letting LA counter with numbers against a shaky centerback tandem like Cuesta-Thomas is asking for trouble.

Omar Gonzalez struggled early on, but made some better players later in the half. If he has finally settled down then Chivas USA will have that much tougher a time finding the net.

Donovan has been very active and dangerous, though Beckham hasn't quite had the impact you'd like.

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HALFTIME– Galaxy 0, Chivas USA 0. Los Angeles had much better of the play for the first 25-30 minutes, but slowed down toward the end as Chivas USA got more involved. The series remains tied and it's tough to predict who will step up in the second half.

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45th Minute– Galaxy with a corner. It's cleared away easily.

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44th Minute– Great defensive plays by Gonzalez on one end, then Cuesta on the other end.

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43rd Minute– Galaxy has slowed down to end this half. Chivas USA showing signs of life.

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40th Minute– Questionable no-call on what looked like a foul from Donovan, who has been extremely active this half.

Chivas USA with a corner kick.

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38th Minute– Talley gets a yellow, looks like persistent infringement.

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37th Minute– Santos gets in behind Gonzalez, but can't put a shot on goal. Gonzalez got caught too far forward and was lucky not to get burned for a goal.

SHOT KLJESTAN. There he is, much better in the final third. He hit one from about 30 that was a foot wide.

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36th Minute– Kljestan has yet to show himself in the final third. He's not getting much of the ball, though he had a nice long pass just now.

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35th Minute– SAVE THORNTON. Klein curls one from distance and Thornton gets up to paw it away.

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34th Minute– BECKHAM HIGH!!! A great look right in front of goal from 18, but he sends it just over the bar.

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33rd Minute– Edso Buddle is moving very well tonight. He looks like he has a goal in him.

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32nd Minute– SAVE RICKETTS!!!! Justin Braun with a great shot from 25 yards out and Ricketts saves it on the full stretch.

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30th Minute– More shaky moments from the Chivas USA defense. Don't see this match staying scoreless long.

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29th Minute– Santos clears Beckham's long free kick away.

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29th Minute– Galaxy wtih a dangerous free kick about 36 yards out.

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28th Minute– No rhythm yet for CHivas USA, which can't get enough possession to really put a stamp on this game.

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25th Minute– Galaxy applying a lot of pressure here, but don't test Thornton.

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22nd Minute– Save RICKETTS!! Padilla with the hard shot after stripping Berhalter and breaking in on goal.

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20th Minute– Franklin has been all over the field early on. He's going to be key because his speed can cover for Berhalter and Gonzalez if and when they get into trouble.

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17th Minute– Gonzalez with a header high off a Beckham corner.

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16th Minute– Maicon Santos with a header wide of goal after an LA turnover.

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14th Minute– Chivas is on its heels right now as LA controls the early flow.

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12th Minute– Donovan is much more involved early here than last game. Chivas USA can't give him too much room because he will torch Chivas USA's centerbacks if given the chance.

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9th Minute– Some nervy moments from the Chivas USA back-line. How will the group respond to the changes in the back four?

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6th Minute- Donovan WIDE, great chance and Thornton gets a hand on it for a Galaxy corner.

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5th Minute- Chris Birchall is out of the Galaxy lineup due to illness, and he's replaced by Chris Klein today.

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4th Minute- The Galaxy fans at Home Depot are providing a great atmosphere as these teams go for the final spot in the MLS Conference finals. The winner tonight faces Houston.

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3rd Minute- We're underway.

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PRE-GAME- Here is the Chivas USA starting lineup:

—————-Braun——-Maicon——————-

Kljestan——-Nagamura—-Lahoud——-Padilla

Bornstein——Thomas——Cuesta——–Talley

———————-Thornton———————-

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PRE-GAME– Here is the Galaxy lineup:

————Magee———-Buddle————-

Donovan———-Beckham—————Klein

——————–Kovalenko——————

Dunivant——-Gonzalez—Berhalter—-Franklin

———————-Ricketts———————–

Comments

  1. No, it doesn’t however as a professional he should act like one, wait it’s Dema Kovalenko we are talking about, he doesn’t know how to behave. He should learn how to win gracefully. It’s disgusting! You didn’t see Jeeter or A-Rod behaving like that, you just won, be with your team celebrate, don’t heckle!

    Reply
  2. I was at the game…this is the story I heard…

    I heard Dema Kovalenko made a “hip thrust” at Preki after the game, as to say “We just (insert bad word here) you”,thats why Preki was trying his best to run over and start the fist fight,a couple people tried to start fights after.Preki,Kljestan with the Galaxy bench,and Cuesta and Beckham were getting into it

    Reply
  3. So what exactly did Dema Kovalenko do to make Preki go after him?

    Decent match. Beckham played two balls that really illustrated his world class abilities (including the one that led to the goal). It’s fun to watch someone capable of doing that.

    David Beckham off for Alan Gordon has to be one of the biggest drop-offs in talent on a substitution that you can have.

    (SBI-Apparently Kovalenko turned toward the Chivas USA bench at the final whistle and directed a body pump at them. Not really sure what would possess Kovalenko to do that, but that might explain why Preki went nuts.)

    What was the deal with Chris Birchall? Injury?

    Reply
  4. Yeah, I’m not sure what really happened, but Preki and his assistant both reacted at the same instant, which leads me to believe Dema did something uncool.

    Reply
  5. As a Houston fan I wished that Chivas would win and I prayed that the Dynamo would win as well. 1 out of 2 ain’t bad. I actually wagered at the beginning of the play-offs that LA & Houston would meet for the Western Conference so I won there as well.

    Los Angeles has the best player in the MLS (Donavan), a huge super-star (Beckham) and good goalie but even with that experience I believe Houston will win. The Dynamo have to many core players who have tasted victory and know how to reach down into the fire to reach that extra level. Donavan, Beckham, and their coach Bruce Arena have it but the rest of their team doesn’t. Ching, Holden, Clark, Onstad, Ashe, Davis, Mullen, Robinson, Mulrooney, Waibel, Barrett, Cochrane, and Houston’s coach Dominic Kinnear have it and have more than one MLS Championship Trophy to prove it (this includes Houston’s Championships and Championships the same team won as San Jose).

    The game at Qwest stadium’s gonna suck ’cause of the fake playing surface. Why can’t games be played on real grass??? There’s gonna be a lot of incomplete passing going on.

    Reply
  6. I’m crazy disappointed the Sounders couldn’t pull out a win, and even more cemented in my dislike of Brian Ching, but after seeing this match and RSL’s in the East I would love to see an LA Galaxy – RSL final at Qwest.

    Reply
  7. Well… if you’re from LA, you love it. And let’s face it, there are a lot of fans there.

    To be honest, I welcome the passion. Sure Preki was out of line, but I wish we’d see more of that fire in MLS.

    Reply

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