Welcome to the World of Beckham blog, we aim to keep you up to date with developments in the career of David Beckham a footballer from the UK who has played for some of the top teams in the world.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

End of the year

I wanted to leave an end of year post to thank all those who read this blog and the visitors who pass this way. I am looking forward to reporting on how David Beckham gets on at AC Milan in the next few weeks, and hopefully about the progress of LA Galaxy next season. Added to this is the possibility of Beckham playing some of the remaining World Cup qualifying games. All-in-all, I expect great things from 2009, I hope you do too.
Best wishes for the New Year

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Beckham and Pepsi part company

After 10 years, Pepsi have not renewed David Beckham's contract to promote their fizzy drink. The deal was reported to be worth £UK2m a year. Over the years Beckham has been associated with a range of brands, including Gillette, Adidas, Vodafone, Armani and Police along with many others. Beckham has led the way in brand and image promotion for sporting stars and has shown how much image can be as important as talent when it comes to pay-day.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Capello takes no nonsense

English Football Association chairman Lord Triesman has spoken out on the new-look England and the way it has made the squad into a team of winners. Under Eriksson and McClaren, a travelling circus of WAGs and agents had begun to become the norm for the England team on the road. Under Capello, this has been brought to an abrupt end.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say, and the results justify the measures that Capello has taken to turn these players into serious atheletes rather than celebrity sports personalities. The players must take on board their managers' philosophy if this team wants to first of all reach the World Cup, let alone to progress to the latter stages. We have messed up on the European Championships, and whilst the players' attitude may not be the ONLY reason, the question remains: How can such a collection of undisputably fine sportsmen perform so poorly as they have done under the previous manager on the world stage?

It would be nice to think that the previous attitudes have been blown away by the wind of change and professionalism with prevail for the future.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Beckham at home in Milan

Beckham has been officially welcomed to AC Milan and watched the 5-1 win over Udinese on Sunday. Beckham will now be in contention to make his debut against Roma on 11th January.

Milan are also considering Beckham's inclusion in their UEFA squad, although he will only be available for a limited number of matches. He is expected to take part in a friendly for Milan against Rangers on February 4th.

Beckham joins the Milan training camp in Dubai before returning ready for action in January. Milan players and management are up-beat about the arrival of their new superstar on loan and I am sure the fans will give him a warm welcome too. The danger being that a highly successful few months will make the return to Galaxy a less attractive prospect in March.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Capello on Beckham

England manager Capello has stated that Beckham will not earn a record-equaling England cap if he does not see him playing for Milan. Beckham is on the verge of equaling Bobby Moore's 108 caps in an England shirt, but the record is by no means a certainty.
England are set to play Ukraine at Wembley on April 1st, and David is hoping that his stint at Milan will secure him a place in the squad up to the 2010 World Cup. He starts at Milan after Christmas and will be working hard to get into the first team.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Oceania All Stars 0 Galaxy 3

Jovan Kirovski, Alan Gordon and Brandon McDonald took a goal each in the first half to seal a win in new Zealand on December 6th before Beckham heads off to Milan.
As the scoreline implies, The Galaxy were dominant in the first half hardly allowing the All-stars a chance, and spurning a few chances of their own. Beckham was a real influence from set plays sending in free kicks and corners to good effect.
In the second half, both teams became victims of' tinkering' as substitute after substitute took to the field, the game slowed down and stagnated towards the end with neither team showing enough imagination to alter the score in any way even when Galaxy went down to ten men after Josh Tudela was sent off for his second yellow card.
Galaxy should be pleased to finish off their year with a positive result, something that has been difficult to secure in the MLS in 2008.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Getting ready for the Oceania All-Stars

18 Galaxy players (and 1 'guest') will be traveling to Mt. Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand for the game against the Oceania All-Stars on December 6. Unsurprisingly Beckham is included in the squad (realistically this is who the New Zealand crowd will be coming to see), but the forward line misses both Buddle and Donovan who are being rested. Cronin is out having work done to his hand which received a metal plate during the season just gone.
This will be Beckhams last commitment before joining AC Milan on loan until March 2009. Galaxy's first game of the new season will be against DC united on March 22nd

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Beckham news...

Things go quiet for most people in the off-season, but there's always something going on in the World of Beckham.
This week Galaxy announce their list of eleven 'protected' players that will not be available for new MLS team Seattle Sounders. To be frank I have no idea how this draft system works, but safe to say Beckham heads the list of players not available - no surprise there really!
In the same week, top-class player Kaka says, when Beckham comes to Milan, there is no way he will want to go back to Galaxy... Kaka was generous in his praise of Beckham and his skills and dedication to the game. He is looking forward to playing alongside him and hopes that he will stay after next March.
I am sure the Galaxy management have a very different view of the situation hence their opposition to him going in the first place. I think it would be best for all sides if he were to return to LA and have a great season - but whilst there is a clash of expectations between club and player, you can't be sure that Beckham won't take things into his own hands and allow himself to be courted by Milan...

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Germany 1 England 2

This game was always going to show a different side of England with all the absentees through injury. No Rooney, Lampard, Cole (either Joe or Ashley), Ferdinand, Brown, Owen or Gerard, and no Beckham because he is not playing regular first team football. Often these injury-strewn teams allow some new talent to show and the front pairing of Agbonlahor and Defoe promised to be interesting. To be fair Germany also had their fair share of walking wounded.
It was a night for newcomers to make their mark and it was Matthew Upson that scored the first goal after 23 minutes from Downing's corner. Downing himself almost added another right at the end of the first half with a rasping left foot shot which Adler, the German keeper threw himself at, Wright-Phillips missed the rebound.
The first half was reasonably even-handed with England displaying some of the dominance in possession that they displayed in some of the qualifying games, but not to a very great extent. Germany had their moments and looked dangerous from set-pieces missing a couple of headers which could easily have evened up the score.

Both teams changed 'keepers for the second half, David James giving way to West Brom's Scott Carson, who will be keen to forget his part in the England team's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.
Darren Bent replaces Defoe up front and Germany change three of their outfield players. Germany came out strong for the second half and it wasn't until about 15 minutes into the half that England got a golden chance as Bent took the ball around the keeper, but lost his footing and didn't connect with the shot properly. Germany immediately punished England when a mix-up between Terry and Carson saw the ball trickle through Carson's legs and a German striker had the ball goal side of keeper and defender and only had to slide it into an open net. This sparked some fire back into the game with was otherwise becoming fairly dull. Marin had a good effort parried away by Carson on the 75th minute amending a little for the earlier error, which to be fair was as much Terry's error unless Carson called for the ball. Shortly after that Ashley Young came on for Agbonlahor who, like the England team as a whole, had not been as busy in the second half. A nice move through the middle on 78 minutes saw Wright-Phillips stinging the post as the German keeper got finger-tips to his shot.
It was John Terry who rescued England on 85 mins, making up for his part in the earlier defensive error. He was fed from a Downing free kick, rising above a close-marking defender to head across goal, the ball nestling in the far corner whilst the keeper helplessly gesticulated his complaints..
On 90 minutes Peter Crouch replaced Shaun Wright-Phillips as the game fizzled out without Crouch touching the ball - five wins on the trot for Capello's England.
Overall it was not the sublimely dominant performance we have almost come to expect recently, but then it never was going to be against Germany with so many key players missing. It is always pleasing to beat Germany and to grind out a result anywhere shows great character. Ground out and laboured it was though, not a pretty game - not one to watch again...

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Beckham not in England squad

England are due to meet Germany in a friendly international in Berlin on Wednesday, and Beckham has not made the squad. Capello made it clear that no players could be picked if they weren't playing regular first team football, and Beckham has not played since the last Galaxy game on 26th October.
Capello insists that this game will be played as a friendly and he will take the opportunity to experiment with some new faces, resisting the call to recall Michael Owen despite injuries to the forward line.
Beckham misses out on a chance to equal Bobby Moore's tally of 108 England appearences. The next England friendly is in March 2009 against Slovalia, this will be quickly followed by a World Cup qualifier against Ukraine - Beckham will be hoping that his stint at Milan will put him in the frame for this match, although he should be back in pre-season for Galaxy at this time.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Galaxy Update

After declaring that he could see no benefit in Beckham going to Milan on loan, Landon Donovan is spending 10 days training with Bayern Munich. This news is officially announced on the Galaxy website, but as yet there is still no acknowledgment of Beckham's deal with Milan on the same site. To the outside observer it seems that relations between Donovan, Beckham and The Galaxy are not as they should be. Speculation is abound that Donovan may sign a deal (even a short-term one like Beckham) with Munich although his quoted value is around a mere £1.7m... Nobody is suggesting sour grapes, but he has not resisted the opportunity to take the odd verbal dig at Beckham (OK - maybe I am suggesting sour grapes...). One thing at least is certain, and that is that at The Galaxy Beckham and Donovan need each other.

On Beckhams official blog he says he would like to have gone to the proposed December game in Australia, but for the fact that the game was scheduled to happen in the players agreed 'family time'. The articles I read suggested that plans for the game were scrapped after the loan deal with Milan was worked out implying that either Milan or Beckham had the final say - It's fairly clear that without Beckham, there would be no reason to drag LA Galaxy over to Australia....

The game in New Zealand is still set to go ahead in about three weeks, presumably Arena, Beckham and Donovan will have a chance to work out their differences - but I think it's fair to say the honeymoon is over and the lack of silverware at The Galaxy has not helped.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Beckham nominated for goal of the year

Beckham's 70 yard goal in Galaxy's May win over Kansas City this year was nominated for MLS goal of the year. It has made it to the short-list of ten from the original 35 selected.
It didn't even make goal of the week at the time, so it is odd to find it in the top 10 now - you can't get away from the fact that although there was no keeper to beat, it's the sort of goal people will want to watch over and over again.

The candidates remaining are:
Gallardo
W. Johnson
Rogers
Angel
Beckham
McManus
Cepero
Arnaud
Blanco
Cameron
Although Donovan and McDonald made it into the 35, they didn't make the cut to the final 10. The next cut takes it down to the final five, but it would be strange for Beckham to go any further with a goal that didn't make goal of the week...

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Beckham in training for The Galaxy

Beckham returns to training this week with The Galaxy in preparation for the game against the Oceania All-Star Team in Auckland at the Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday 6th December. This will be the last game before Beckham goes to Milan on loan.

The Galaxy have kept quiet about the Milan deal and the feeling one gets is that they are fairly tight-lipped and uncomfortable about it. Beckham however, has been keen to stress that his loan spell will keep him fit and be a benefit to The Galaxy next season. David is even talking about trophies for LA in the coming season even though this season has to go down as a big disappointment.

Looking at the facts, we know that Milan were interested in signing Beckham before he went to LA, and The Galaxy have to be concerned that if he gets an offer as a result of this loan period he may well consider it seriously. On the other hand, he is making all the right noises about returning to the MLS next year. He is contractually obliged to LA, but that has never stopped a footballer in the past - if someone can come up with the cash to release him from his contract, then you have to say that it is still a possibility. I am not yet convinced that he has given up on the American Dream, but to go against the wishes of The Galaxy in this way leaves you wondering what has changed in the last 18 months.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Milan contract signed

The deal for Beckham to join Milan on loan has been signed. David officially joins Milan on January 7th 2009 until an unspecified date. The over-riding feeling is that he has a commitment to rejoin the MLS and will return in due course. The new MLS season starts in March. Cappello has been vocal in supporting Beckhams loan move, suggesting that this could be a good thing for both Milan and for Beckham. He also took the chance to praise Beckhams' professionalism and commitment to football.

In light of the deal, The Galaxy have postponed the off-season game against Queensland Roar in Brisbane on December 11th as they cannot guarantee Beckham's availability. However, the fixture against an 'Oceania All-Star' team in New Zealand on 6th December will still go ahead.

Apparently intense negotiations have been taking place over the most valuable asset that Beckham brings to a new club: his image rights....
This in a week when he has publicly told off clubs for paying youngsters too much and snuffing their ambition early. To be fair, he has a point, young players can be very well off indeed without even getting to be part of the first team, but for a man who is supposed to be worth £125m. he had to choose his words carefully.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Dallas 2 LA 2

Buddle opened the scoring on 21 minutes from a Beckham assist, but only about ten minutes later and in the space of five minutes, FC Dallas drew level and then pulled ahead at 2-1. Beckham played despite picking up an injury in training, and having missed a couple of days training before the match. Galaxy player Pires received a straight red for studs showing in the tackle just before half-time, and Beckham got a yellow for dissent.

Second half and the ref evens up the teams by sending off a Dallas player for a second yellow. Galaxy take advantage and press the Dallas goal with little traffic coming the other way. there are plenty of set-plays for Beckham to have a go at, but for half-an-hour there was no positive result. Jordan came on half-way through the half to add some 'bite' up front and Beckham moved to a more central position.
In the 78th minute, The Galaxy won a penalty as reward for their constant pressure, Donovan made no mistake from the spot at evened up the scores at 2-2.
the Galaxy continued to press for the winner and were certainly the better team with a higher attacking work-rate in the second half. In a nice gesture, Beckham hands Vanney the captains armband for the last minute of stoppage time.
LA take nothing from the season other than some hard lessons, Donovan takes a well-deserved Golden Boot trophy for his impressive goal tally.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Beckham confirmed loan to Milan

Capello has said that no player who is not in regular first team football can be considered for the England squad and Beckham has responded by lining up a loan spell at AC Milan foir the MLS off-season. Unlike the training stint at Arsenal last season, this time Beckham will be available to play both in the domestic league and in European competitions.
This is an exciting development for Beckham followers and a real chance for Beckham to show that he has something to offer even though he has not been able to drag The Galaxy into the play-offs this year.
Obviously Milan believe that Beckham has something to offer, and hopefully we will be able to see this demonstrated on the pitch at a very high-level very soon. Beckham will be expected to leave for Milan after this weekend with the last game of the season yet to be played for The Galaxy. There are some off-season Galaxy exhibition matches to be played just like there were last year and Beckham is bound to be part of those plans.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Beckham Rumours

Beckham spent time at Arsenal at the end of last season, this time it looks like the Beckhams will be packing their suitcases for Milan.
There are rumours that he will stay in Europe after the break, but then there were rumours last time that he would join a premiership team.
I think that we must assume that Beckham will be at the Galaxy next year, but there are some factors to consider:
Has the Beckham 'experiment' worked for the Galaxy? - has he made a significant enough impact at the Galaxy and on the MLS?
In reply you have to say he has not been able to deliver results though he has remained in place even while Ruud Gullit has come and gone...
Has the MLS experience worked for Beckham?
I believe that there are positives and negatives here, certainly he has had an impact on the MLS and quite possibly opened the door for some quality players to follow his lead. Whether it has really helped his game is questionable. It must be frustrating to not be able to deliver on expectation and that has to affect his state of mind. He has managed to keep his place (actually regain it) in the England squad despite strong feelings that this would not be possible - so there are some positives to come out of it.
The question remains then, does Beckham see himself as a real contender in European football, or will he settle down to see out his career in the MLS. Surely a major aim now would be to play as much part in the World Cup as he possibly can, and he has shown that he can do that whilst playing for The Galaxy and I'm not sure he's ready to give up the MLS just yet at least while he cannot say it has been a success.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Houston 3 Los Angeles 0

In a game lacking David Beckham, LA were unlucky, but nevertheless crumbled within twenty minutes proving woefully inadequate once again in defence. After just 13 minutes a low ball into the box was back-heeled into the Galaxy net by a Galaxy player under pressure. Time and time again, the Houston attack swept through the Galaxy defence leaving them wide open at the back.
Houston added to their lead in the 20th and 23rd minute leaving Galaxy little chance of getting back into the game.
If the defence were poor, the attack were unlucky not to get the ball in the net at the other end, hitting post and bar and deserving maybe a couple of goals out of the tie. One is left assuming that the Galaxy philosophy is that they will score more goals so they don't need a tight defence - todays lesson is that when you are not getting the luck of the bounce in attack, you need a defence that is not going to leach goals at the other end. You can't guarantee that even the best attacking line up is going to net you three goals every time, however as it stands right now you wouldn't get good odds if you tried to lay a bet on the Galaxy conceding at least two goals in every match.
Disappointing is the word that sums this performance up, Galaxy miss the Play-offs again, and the investment in David Beckham has not produced the results the fans were hoping for.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Belarus 1 England 3

In the final game in the run of four World Cup qualifiers to be played this year, England added to their impressive tally of goals. This result means that England have scored 14 goals in the four games, 12 of them in the second half...
Rooney's personal tally is four goals in the last two games, but it was Gerard that set the game alight after just 11 minutes. Taking the ball from Rooney's feet, he placed it expertly past the 'keeper for England's opener, but Belarus were not going to be easily beaten and turned to attack. Just 17 minutes later, Belarus strung together 23 passes bamboozling the England defence and drew level with a great headed goal.

Rooney was magnificent once again, as was Heskey up front. For England's second goal, Heskey had taken up a left-sided role and easily beat his defender passing the ball dangerously across the box. Rooney had been weaving in and out of an off-side position and expertly guided the ball past the keeper from close range after just 5 minutes of the second half.
Rooney scored again on 75 minutes this time Gerard threaded the ball through the defence to Rooney's feet, Rooney danced past a defender and finished with the coolest chip you will ever see in front of goal.
Beckham put in a cameo appearance replacing Rooney for the last few minutes shortly after Gerard missed a golden chance to add to England's tally. He expertly rounded the keeper but used the outside of his right boot instead of his left and hit the post instead of the back of the open net.
Encourgingly this was just one of many chances that England had, demonstrating that they are now a creative team. Defensive errors are letting us down a little and the return of John Terry to the back four cannot happen too soon.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Beckham boots on eBay

Reports are emerging that items from the Beckham's home in Hertfordshire have appeared on global auction site eBay. Two house-keepers have been questioned by police about the alleged theft, items were brought to the attention of Victoria Beckhams' parents. It then transpired that matching items were missing from Rowneybury House. Items include some of Victoria's clothes and a pair of David's boots. Three people have been arrested in relation to this matter, the third being the son of the two house-keepers.
The Beckham's reside in Beverley Hills but have maintained the mansion in Sawbridgeworth, Herts as a base. Hopefully this upset won't affect Beckham's mindset for the upcoming England game.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Rapids 2 Galaxy 3

An open game from which Beckham was missing through international duty, but Donovan was on the bench after having played for the USA the night before...
Rapids started well, pressuring the Galaxy goal, but it was Galaxy who went ahead through Buddle, with a great reply from the Rapids' Gibbs who beat the 'keeper with a fine glancing header from a corner kick.
The first half ended honours-even and one-all, but with the promise of more goals to come. In the second half, a second goal for Galaxy came from a free kick far out on the right hand side of the box, the ball found the back of the net from a defender trying to shepherd the ball away but ending up chesting it into his own goal.
Rookie Brandon McDonald chalked up his first goal in the MLS taking The Galaxy into a three-one lead with a scorching shot from fully thirty yards which tucked into the corner - a night for him to remember.
The Galaxy gave away a penalty with three minutes to go and the Rapids took the opportunity to cut back the lead to 3-2, but there were no more goals to come and the Galaxy ran out victors in the end. The Galaxy will need to put together an unbeaten run now if they want to get to the playoffs - next game on Saturday against Houston, Beckham may be available...

Saturday, 11 October 2008

England 5 Kazakhstan 1

In a first half in which the Gerrard/Lampard combination was tried again... no goals were forthcoming. England very comfortable on the ball, in control once more, but just not creating enough clear chances in front of goal. The first half demonstrated the speed of Walcott and work-rate of Rooney who played on the left and fairly deep much of the time.
For the second-half, Wright-Phillips was brought on for Barry demonstrating more of an attacking intent. The second half did not start particularly well with the England defensive door being fully opened to allow Kazakhstan to attack down the left and miss a chance in the goal-mouth. Shortly after that a corner for England was met by Ferdinand's head for a simple set-piece goal. Kazakhstan continued to push, but an England free-kick brought a second goal, an own-goal from Lampards free-kick.
A horrendous error on 68 mins by Ashley Cole provided Kazakhstan with a golden oppotunity to shoot from within the penalty area, the resulting goal shocked the crowd so much so that some began to ridicule Cole.
Late on, Rooney gave England a third on 77 mins as he headed a Walcott cross past the keeper before Beckham took the field. Another set piece saw a Beckham free-kick providing another chance for Rooney and another goal for England just 9 minutes later. On 90 mins, Defoe was put through by Heskey for him to slot the ball past the keeper for England's fifth

Monday, 6 October 2008

Beckham in England squad

Michael Owen didn't make the cut - these are the chosen ones for the games against Kazakhstan and Belarus:

England squad: James (Portsmouth), Green (West Ham), Carson (West Brom); Brown (Manchester United), Johnson (Portsmouth), Terry (Chelsea), Ferdinand (Manchester United), Lescott (Everton), Upson (West Ham), A Cole (Chelsea), Bridge (Chelsea); Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Walcott (Arsenal), Barry (Aston Villa), Jenas (Tottenham), Lampard (Chelsea), Gerrard (Liverpool), Downing (Middlesbrough), Wright-Phillips (Manchester City); Heskey (Wigan), Crouch (Portsmouth), Rooney (Manchester United), Defoe (Portsmouth).

more here...

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Columbus Crew 1 LA Galaxy 0

In a game with chances at either end, it was a defensive error close to the end of the first half that gave Columbus the only goal of the match. The statistics sheet only recorded 3 shots on target for each team, and you would really expect more than that from the combined force of Buddle and Donovan alone.
This match was between the team at the top of the Eastern Conference against the galaxy who now sit at the bottom of the Western Conference with an ever-fading hope of reaching the play-offs.
The Galaxy defence showed improvement in this game managing to shutout most of the Crew's efforts, as unusually for the Galaxy, it was the front men that didn't come up with the goods in this game. Getting the balance right is proving to be a headache for Bruce Arena, and you have to wonder if he will be managing the team next season if the team fails to reach the play-offs.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Galaxy play the Columbus crew on Saturday

The Galaxy remain tied for sixth place in the Western Conference, and are due to play overall league leaders Columbus crew this coming Saturday. Unable to repeat their win over DC united, The Galaxy defence collapsed under the slightest pressure from Chicago last week, even with the same line up taking the field.
Galaxy have some serious issues in defence and that is not going to bode well when playing the MLS overall league leaders. Arena has had enough time to stage a turn-around, but it seems that there are some unresolvable problems right now which can only be resolved by drafting in some solid players at the back.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

England World Cup qualifiers

England are off to a good start in their World Cup campaign with two straight wins against Andorra and Croatia. These are the details of the remainder of the games that England will play this year:
  • Saturday October 11th - England v Kazakhstan (2010 World Cup Qualifier)
  • Wednesday October 15th - Belarus v England (2010 World Cup Qualifier)
  • Wednesday November 19th - Germany v England (Friendly International)
The next round of qualifiers starts in April 2009, and at that stage England will be hoping to be boasting a 100% record with hopefully a decent game against Germany under their belt...
It remains to be seen whether Beckham remains part of Capello's plans for England.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Chicago Fire 3 LA Galaxy 1

The crisis (as this must be now seen) at The Galaxy deepens as Chicago come away with a 3-1 win taking away the confidence that was built up after the Galaxy's last victorious outing last Saturday.
From the start the Galaxy defence looked fragile, the shot for the first goal against actually went right through four players before beating the keeper low to his right.
Galaxy managed to reply with a cross from Klein finding Eddie Lewis on the goal line, the game levelled on 33 minutes at 1-1.
On 40 minutes Beckham was able to surge forwards slipping the ball into Buddle, only for Buddle to send a stinging shot just wide of the far post. Galaxy denied a lead before the half-time whilstle.
The second from Chicago was an absolute mess in defence with a mix-up between defender and keeper leaving Chicago to have a free shot on an empty net on 56 minutes. The final nail in the Galaxy coffin came only two mintes later when Chicago had men left over running at the Galaxy defence and Chicago slotted a third into the Galaxy net. On 70 minutes Donovan missed a good opportunity to volley into the Chicago net.
A significant loss in that it shows once again the defensive frailty of LA, and highlights the need for some real quality in front of the keeper. At the start of the season, Cronin came in for some criticism, now that he is injured it is more obvious that the fault was not with the keeper but with the defence. The Galaxy are acknowledged as having a potent strike force, now they need some stability at the back if they are going to get back into winning ways

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Galaxy 5 DC United 2

Conceding after only two minutes, Galaxy finally record their first win in thirteen games in an exciting game that saw chance after chance mostly aimed at the DC goal.
Things were looking comfortable at the half-way point when a goal from Gordon and two from Donovan in a first half that got the Home Depot crowd to fever pitch.
DC struck the same blow in the second half by pulling one back after just two minutes, but Galaxy had their measure and a goal from Pete Vagenas followed by a goal for Donovans' hat-trick buried a team that never seemed to really get into a stride.
A foul on Beckham saw a red card shown to DC's Marc Burch in the 63rd minute whilst the game was still at 4-2.
Man of the match was Donovan by a mile not only for his goals, but the assist to Vagenas and his general skill at unlocking the DC defence was unmatched by any player on the pitch. Beckham offered his usual contribution of getting the ball into the box and particularly adept long balls from deep defence to the front men. I would prefer the see him operating further up the field, hugging the right side and taking the game to the opposition a bit more, but let's see how the team perform now they have a significant win under their belts...

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Kansas City Wizards 2 LA Galaxy 0

Whether it was due to travel-weariness, or being asked to play out of position, Beckham looked a shadow of his normal self and The Galaxy looked very ordinary against unremarkable opposition.
Confined to a midfield role which he has played in the past, Beckham lacked energy and vitality in a team that did not seem to click at all. Sure enough Bruce Arena has a great record and is beloved of many an American soccer fan, but his tactics were suspect for this match.
Rookie Bryan Jordan was put on the right, and whilst he showed energy and determination (which were the reasons Arena cited for placing him there) his end product was missing despite his battling, he was outplayed and Galaxy missed the service normally provided from Beckham. It took seventy minutes for this truth to dawn on Arena eventually taking Jordan off and replacing him with Alan Gordon.
The first half was a non event hardly even worth a mention, neither team showed an enormous desire or ability to stamp their authority on the game. 10 minutes into the second there was a rare moment of excitement as Beckham whipped in a shot fom distance which travelled right to left across the goal, but shot past the left hand post. It was another ten minutes in when a cross came low across the Galaxy goal and got squeezed into the net for the opener. Just two minutes later a Kansas player was allowed (as Beckham backed off) to send a shot in from thirty-five yards which slammed into the right hand corner leaving the keeper standing.
This was the point that Alan Gordon came on and Beckham assumed a roving role, popping up on his favoured right-hand side slinging passes in, popping up on the left and in defence too. Galaxy piled the pressure on, but the game was lost and the legs were tired.
A thoroughly disappointing game from a Galaxy point of view extending their win-less streak to twelve games, and lessening the chance of getting to the play offs.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Will Beckham play in Kansas City

Only three days after the Croatia match and a week after the Andorra match, Beckham will be ready to play for LA Galaxy this coming weekend along with the other players who have been on international duty.
Donovan and Beckham are a vital part of The Galaxy's plan to record their first win in twelve games on Saturday, and after all Beckham has only played about twenty minutes of gentle football on a competitive pitch in the last seven days. The Galaxy herald the return of four players from international duty this weekend, and you can be sure that Beckham will be ready to play.

His future for England remains in some doubt after the Croatia game with Theo Walcott bagging a hat-trick against tough opposition. Walcott is bound to be preferred for future games though he is a completely different prospect to Beckham, and many believe that Beckham will still have something to offer should the occasssion arise. Not every game will be suited to Walcott's strengths, but at the moment you have to say he is the player to watch. It is also apparent that there was no-one in the England side on Wednesday who can take a free-kick like Beckham, Lampard took responsibility on the night and came close to troubling the keeper, Gerrard would probably prove a more convincing alternative when he is fit.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Croatia 1 England 4

First half:
In a period of football which must have disappointed the home fans, England showed determination to press forward from the start. Although they didn't enjoy the possession that they did in the Andorra game at the weekend, they certainly controlled much of the game. Beckham did not start the game, instead Walcott was favoured on the right hand side and Walcott did not disappoint. He showed speed and skill whilst retaining an air of calmness throughout. On 25 mins after a movement of rare England fluidity and getting an equally rare 'luck of the bounce' moment, Walcott was able to slot the ball past the keeper with terrific composure for the England goal that would see them reach the half-time whistle at 1-0. Just two minutes later a similar chance presented itself again, this time the keeper got fingertips to Walcotts unhurried shot.
On 39 minutes Walcott was dancing his way through the field and got the ball away to his right hand side only to be cynically body-checked badly enough to see him briefly stretchered off and the yellow card shown to the Croatia No.3. England withstood the Croatian pressure to go into the half-time break one up.
Second half:
The second half was a very different story with the Croatians losing their grip on the game completely and showing their frustrations. On 49 mins our friend wearing No 3 tried the same body check on Rooney and ended up on his backside, he was lucky not to give away a goal from the resulting free-kick which bounced off the keeper from Frank Lampard.
On 51 mins, the Croatia No.4 went up for a header and led with his elbow against Joe Cole to such an extent that Cole staggered covered in blood before collapsing in a heap and had to be stretchered from the pitch. the resulting red card was well-deserved. Jenas came on as Cole was strapped to a stretcher and headed for the treatment room or more probably the hospital.
On 58 minutes Walcott strikes again as England are firmly in control right outside the Croatian penalty area. Heskey gains control, back to goal, passes to Rooney who puts it straight into that same spot where Walcott knocks it home again - same strike, same spot, same result another England goal.
Just 4 minutes later Jenas rescues the loose ball from an Ashley Cole challenge, takes it to the by-line and cuts it back to the penalty spot where Rooney is lurking to place it in the back of the net again, England rampant - first to congratulate Rooney is Walcott... 25 minutes to go and England look as comfortable as they have ever looked against the 10 man Croatian team - home fans are leaving the stadium, away fans are starting a party. Croatia go looking for a consolation goal and make some rare forays into the England half.
On 75 minutes Lampard is denied after waltzing through the defence and beating the keeper as an inactive Heskey is adjudged offside. Two minutes later Terry is challenging for the ball on the halfway line and nearly has his head taken off by a Croation boot, the ref finds no fault and Croatia are able to catch a relaxed England on the break, slotting the ball home for 3-1.
Just four minutes later Rooney turns a lovely reverse ball into the path of a speeding Walcott who takes it across the box and puts it away for his hat-trick and Englands fourth goal of the night. Phew what a game...
Beckham comes on for the last 6 mins and gets to knock the ball around a bit, but the game is done and what a result for England emphatically beating Croatia in their home fortress. A hat-trick for the young hopeful Walcott and a much needed goal for the old(?) hand Rooney. A success for the new England and their manager if not much of a test for Beckham...

Sunday, 7 September 2008

LA Galaxy 2 Real Salt Lake 2

In a game that generated the same score as the meeting of these two teams in May this year, LA were missing the combined power of Beckham and Donovan once again. The Galaxy stretch their streak of games without a win to eleven, and Bruce Arena is still looking for his first win since taking over as manager.
Salt Lake took the game to Galaxy and had much of the play in the opening minutes, they had the ball in the net early on and Salt Lake's Espindola damaged his back whilst celebrating only to find that the goal had been disallowed for offside...
Galaxy took advantage of the injury and Bryan Jordan ran on to a Buddle shot to score his first ever MLS goal. More pressure followed from Salt lake and they managed to level the game at 1-1 in the 20th minute. The scores remained level at the break, but only 7 minutes into the second half, Salt Lake took the lead.
This seemed to wake up the Galaxy who seem set to accept draws instead of wins and they battled to draw level with a Buddle tap-in on 70 minutes. After that both teams disappointingly seemed to settle for the draw, and hardly another attack was seen as they played out the game to it's inevitable conclusion. I can't think that a team captained by Beckham would lay down quite as easily.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Andorra 0 England 2

Capello fielded an experimental type team with a lot of youngsters and those who might be regarded as second-string players. Beckham was on the bench, Theo Walcott wore the no. 7 shirt Defoe started up front, with Ferdinand declared unfit to start, Glen Johnson played right back, Lescott played left-back with Terry in the centre. Barry and Lampard bossed the midfield
England started brightly with plenty of chances, the first and best falling to Glen Johnson in the opening minutes. Youthful exuberance really led to too many long balls which were not accurate enough and led to nothing, certainly there was a lack of delivery from both the left and right sides. There was no doubt that England were fully in control of the game from the start but half-time brought no goals, and Capello made some changes after the break. Heskey came on for Defoe, Joe Cole for Downing
The switch immediately paid off when Cole got on the end of a volleyed pass from Barry to volley into the net from a few yards out in the first minute or so after half-time. Just ten minutes later, Rooney threaded the ball through the defence for Cole to slip it under the keeper for his and Englands' second. England continued to control the game to the degree that you hardly even caught a sight of David James in his goal. For the last ten minutes or so Beckham came on for Lampard indicating that Capello is using the run-out to warm him up for the Croatia game. Walcott remained on the right wing, so Beckham remained in Lampards slot. He had a chance to show his free kick skills on 85 mins, but it was a cross rather than a shot, and didn't get a good connection.
A competent performance where England could have run rampant if they had exercised some of that killer instinct that they seem to lack when faced with lower-ranked opposition. England controlled completely and played well within themselves, so much so that throughout the game I honestly only caught three glimpses of David James in the England goal - I feel he might be a bit busier next week...

Thursday, 4 September 2008

England's World Cup trail

The World Cup starts this weekend for England as they take on Andorra at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona Saturday 6th September. Beckham is in the 23-strong squad along with Jimmy Bullard for the first time, Joleon Lescott makes a return to the squad.
Rooney makes the squad, but Owen, Gerrard and Carrick are ruled out through injury.
The Andorra match will be followed by a match against Croatia in Zagreb on the 10th, where England will be looking for revenge for getting beaten at Wembley and thus failing to qualify for Euro 2008.
If David James can perform anything like he did for Portsmouth last week, we could be on target for a clean sheet at least...
Bad News for Galaxy, as they could do with David Beckham to help them break their excessively long spell without a win.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

New England Revolution 2 LA Galaxy 2

After just 7 mins Buddle received a wonderful cross from Beckham which covered nearly 75% of the length of the pitch. Buddles' attempt to chip the keeper was smothered.

After 21 mins Revolution take the lead when Cronin was beaten by Taylor Twellman to the ball in the air, Twellman paid the price when Cronin caught him in the face.

At 33 minutes Donovan takes a long pass and hits it first time smashing the ball into the net with his trusty left foot , twenty minutes later he added another slotting the ball past the keeper with his right.

On 70 minutes The Revolution stroll through The Galaxy defence to score again making the scores level at 2-2, missing the final chance 5 minutes later to take the lead again.

The Galaxy team looked more positive than it has of late and there is still a chance of making the play-offs if this run of 10 games without a win can be broken.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Beckham v Bentley debate continues

Fabio Capello seems to wants to perpetuate the myth that David Bentley is a complete like-for-like replacement for David Beckham - my contention is that he a somewhat paler imitation.
The two David's certainly have similarities, but they have their own strengths and weaknesses and seemingly Bentley's premiership manager disagrees with Capello on where to play him. Before the start of the new season Bentley moved from Blackburn to Tottenham, and on Saturday Ramos played Bentley centrally and had Aaron Lennon playing on the right.
Capello has Beckham, Bentley and Lennon available to him, but seems stuck with the tag-team of Beckham-Bentley. I can imagine that most opposition teams would probably breathe a sigh of relief to have Beckham replaced by the weaker (IMHO) Bentley. I would rather scare the pants off them by replacing Bechkam with Lennon's swift movement and close ball skill to ring the changes half-way through a match where the tactics weren't producing the desired result. Otherwise why replace Beckham who has shown regularly that he can still play ninety minutes?
I am sure Capello thinks he effectively has a fitter Beckham on the bench in Bentley to bring on for the second half - this does neither Beckham or Bentley justice in my opninion.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Beckham goes Olympic

David Beckham missed The Galaxy's game against Chicago Fire to carry out two international duties this week. On Wednesday he played a part in England's friendly against the Czech Republic, whilst today he took part in the Olympic closing ceremony in Beijing representing the UK as London prepares to take over the Olympic mantle for 2012.

After watching the strictly regimented performance from China in their perfectly choreographed smooth as clockwork display, each person as a cog in a greater machine, it was somewhat gratifying to see a small portion of them breaking ranks to scrabble for the football kicked by Beckham. No doubt that football now has pride of place on the mantelpiece of a Chinese home...

Friday, 22 August 2008

Galaxy 0 Chigaco Fire 1

A hugely disappointing loss demonstrating how much The Galaxy rely on Beckham and Donovan (not they even they have been able to help the Galaxy record a win lately). Both teams were without significant players, so Galaxy can't really use this as an excuse. Particularly disappointing for Arena who will have really wanted to start his reign with a positive result.
The game started even-handed with both teams demonstrating the ability to get forward and get chances in front of goal. Gordon had the best chance for The Galaxy in the early stages heading wide with just the 'keeper to beat. Over all, they missed the fire power of Donovan up with many surges fizzling out or resulting in weak shots. Chicago punished them just after the hour with a fine effort from Thorrington slotted past Cronin from just outside the area.
Aside from that one effort, Cronin coped valiantly with the many other shots that The Galaxy defence allowed Chicago to take. My feeling is that Cronin's record in goal is severely blighted by the weak defence that The Galaxy employ, and behind a stronger back-line, he would be able to show what an excellent goal keeper he is. Nine winless games on the trot and the play-offs are slipping away...

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

England 2 v Czech Republic 2

As England wind up to World Cup qualification starting in earnest in three weeks time, they took on the Czech Republic at Wembley. The time for experimentation is over and this should have been the start of a new England era at a new England Stadium with their Italian manager.
Beckham starts the game and the mystery striker turns out to be Defoe as England take on a team ranked six places above them according to FIFA rankings.
Beckham has an early opportunity from a free kick on the left hand side of the penalty area but the shot was blocked. Shortly after the Czechs got into the England Box and Milan Baros had a shot deflected into the back of the net by Ashley Cole.
England continue to pressurise the Czechs peppering the goal with shots that Petr Chech was more than competent to deal with. The Czechs were happy to play a counter-attacking game. However as a result of England pressure, a Beckham corner brought an unstoppable headed goal from Wes Brown to even the score on 45 minutes.
Emile Heskey came on to replace Defoe for the second half, and Bentley replaced Beckham. England got off to a sluggish start allowing the Czechs to have possession around the box, the defence struggled to clear the danger and the Czechs ended up with a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area. The free-kick was dispatched with consummate skill into the top-left hand corner of the goal to take the score to 2-1. Ferdinand made way for Woodgate, but the defence continued to look less than tight. Late in the game, England were allowed to push forward and managed to somehow force the ball over the line in the total mess of a goal-mouth scramble in the 90th minute.
Over all the performance was less than convincing and the team do not yet look like a complete team. They fail to look like a team with a plan A much of the time, let alone a plan B. No-one can doubt that the Czech Republic are a decent team, and just holding them to a draw should be seen in a positive light, but one can't help wishing for a more convincing performance almost regardless of the resulting score-line.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Capello names permanent captain

Fabio Capello has appointed John Terry as England captain for the upcoming World Cup campaign. Terry took over the role when Beckham stepped down from the captaincy and has now been given the chance to establish himself in the role permanently.
Capello had tried various contenders including David Beckham in the role during the friendly matches played since the Euro qualifier disaster. Chelsea skipper Terry aged 27 has 44 caps under his belt, and will be a popular choice with bost fans and players. Terry routinely displays committment beyond the call of duty often putting his own physical safety on the line.
Capello admitted that the choice had been difficult with Rio Ferdinand being a strong contender, Ferdinand get the role of vice-captain. Capello pointed to John Terry's 'big personality' as being the deciding factor.

Galaxy name new coach

Los Angeles Galaxy have announced that Bruce Arena has been named General Manager and Head Coach.

Arena led the U.S. national team to the FIFA World Cup twice, taking over as head coach in November 1998 and was in charge for nearly eight years. He has also won the MLS cup twice with DC United.

"I am very excited to assume this position with the Los Angeles Galaxy," said Arena. "I realize we have a lot of work ahead of us and I am optimistic that with the support of management, our coaching staff and the players, we will move forward to positioning this team to qualify for this season's MLS playoffs. My ultimate goal is to win championships and build a club that all of our fans will be proud of," Arena added.

Following the 2006 World Cup, Arena returned to MLS in August 2006, when he was named the Sporting Director and Head Coach of the New York Red Bulls.

Click for Full Story here:

Monday, 18 August 2008

Winding up for Wednesday

As expected, Beckham joins the England squad in preparation for the friendly against the Czech Republic on Wednesday. He will then fly on to Beijing to take part in the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games as an ambassador for London 2012.
in England team news, Jenas is in for the injured Carrick, Rooney is in, Heskey makes the squad, but Dean Ashton picked up an injury on Saturday after 'skying' a free-kick. Woodgate misses training but is expected to be fit for the game. Theo Walcott makes the squad along with Defoe. Beckham's next game in the MLS should be against New England Revolution on saturday 30th August if he gets through wednesday unscathed.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Chivas 2 Galaxy 2

Still waiting for that elusive win, Galaxy under new management got off to a great start after just eight minutes when Donovan was put clear and slotted the ball in the net for the opening goal. Galaxy failed to capitalise on this advantage once again, missing chance after chance and allowing Chivas to keep their hopes alive. Chivas came back into the game before the close of the second half with chances of their own, but the half finished 1-0 to Galaxy.
Chivas began the second period with intent and five minutes in drew level with a clever dummy in the penalty area leading to a unchallenged strike on goal. Fifteen minutes later, the Galaxy defence was bamboozled once more and the score was 2-1 Chivas... There was a suspicion of offside, but the ref let it go. This led to more chances for The Galaxy as they sought the equaliser, and it came eventually from the head of Alan Gordon after a high hopeful ball into the box from Jazic.
Galaxy take the SuperClasico and establish building blocks for the new set-up after the departure of Gullit, but they really need a win soon. Galaxy face the Chicago fire next Thursday, but England play a friendly against the Czech Republic on 20 August, so presumably Beckham will be heading for Wembley....

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Gullit steps aside

LA Galaxy head coach Ruud Gullit will relinquish his post for 'personal and family reasons'. Saying that the move to LA has been more difficult than anticipated, he extended his thanks to the players and fans for their warm welcome. The club and Ruud have reportedly parted on mutually agreeable terms, but one is left wondering whether the recent bad spell of results has placed additional pressure on Ruud. In the UK, his position would have been questioned after four or five bad results on the trot such is the pressure of the Premiership.
Cobi Jones takes over in the short-term whilst the club look out for a suitable replacement - The new coach will need to turn the team back to winning ways. The first game without Ruud will be this Thursdays clash with Chivas USA.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Beckham wins award

I'm a bit late with this 'news' but thought I'd post it now as there is no game this week, next game will be on Thursday versus Chivas USA....
On July 17th, David Beckham was awarded the 'Best MLS Player' by ESPY (ESPN Network TV) after a fine start to the season. Things have slowed for The Galaxy since the award, but Beckham's contribution is still significant with his 5 goals and 8 assists recorded thus far. This award will sit alongside the many awards that Beckham has collected, along with his OBE and commemorative cap for 100 England appearances. This season will hopefully show that aside from the hype, Beckham has something to offer to the MLS, and this award is a significant step along the way.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Earthquakes 3 Galaxy 2

I was particularly interested to see how Earthquakes new boy Englishman Darren Huckerby would perform in the MLS, and he did not disappoint (unless you're a Galaxy fan!) by scoring a magnificent goal to put San Jose two -up against the Galaxy in the 40th minute. Before half-time though, a Beckham free kick came back to Beckham's feet giving him the chance to send another ball into the box and straight to Donovan's head to bring the score to 2-1.
Buddle evened the score on the 75th minute dancing through the defence and using his trusty left foot to beat the keeper, placing the ball in the left-hand corner. This could easily have been another unremarkable, undistinguished draw for The Galaxy, but the 90th minute saw a goal mouth scramble and The Earthquakes took the lead after peppering the goal with shots in quick succession. 3-2 the final score and The Galaxy are not showing the form that they did earlier in the season. There have been rumours of players coming in, and it's looking increasingly like Beckham, Buddle and Donovan are going to need some serious support if The Galaxy are to reach the play-offs this season.

Monday, 28 July 2008

FC Dallas 4 LA Galaxy 0

The last time LA came up against FC Dallas Adrian Serioux got red-carded for a foul on David Beckham and The Galaxy ran out 5-1 winners. FC Dallas took their revenge in style by thrashing The Galaxy 4-0 leaving Ruud Gullit with the huge headache of trying to recover title hopes. The Galaxy wasted the few opportunities that they had, but frankly these were few and far between anyway.

The Galaxy once again demonstrate their frailties in defence, once again the Galaxy have proved that if you can prevent them going forward, you will beat them…. Recovering from this disappointing run of games will be down to the manager and the captain being able to inspire the team to get back into winning ways. Six games now without a win is starting to look like a hugely disappointing season for LA.

Friday, 25 July 2008

MLS All-Stars 3 West Ham 2

An expectant crowd came to see how the best of the MLS would fare against EPL team West ham United who were looking to build on their success against Columbus Crew earlier in the week.
The MLS players are half way through the season and at peak fitness, West Ham are well into their pre-season training and looked sharp for an ‘off-season’ side. The West Ham team has not changed much over the Summer since finishing in the middle of the Premiership table.
The scene was set for an interesting clash even though star forward Bellamy was missing after the Columbus game left him unfit.
Both teams looked impressive from the start, with the All-stars showing good control of the midfield. Beckham started in his usual role but was seen to take a bit of a free role and occasionally pop in a more central position. The All-stars took the direct route of threading the ball through the centre with decent levels of success. West Ham seemed to be using the left wing to stage most of their attacking moves, but it was a route-one ball to Dean Ashton that opened the scoring. Ashton brought down the pass and was left one-on-one with the keeper, at that point you just knew Ashton wasn’t going to miss. One-nil to the visitors, but not for long the All-stars responded with their very next attack less than a minute later and levelled to one-all. Before the end of the second half, Blanco had made it two-one to the All-stars with a fine individual effort.
Dean Ashton added a second in the second half, and on the 70th minute, local boy De Rosario converted a penalty to give the All Stars the victory. Once again Beckham remained on the field for the full ninety and gave another sterling performance which must continue to make an impression on England Manager Capello.

Monday, 21 July 2008

A Year of Beckham

It has been one year since David Beckham joined the Los Angeles Galaxy football team in the United States.

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber spoke to the BBC's Matthew Price about David Beckham's impact in the US.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7516010.stm

Sunday, 20 July 2008

New York Red Bulls 2 LA Galaxy2


Both these teams came from win-less streaks heading into this game - The Red Bulls had not won for three games, The Galaxy for four. In high temperatures and on synthetic turf, The Galaxy wore the darker blue strip for the first time this season.
The game started nervously with a lot of stray passes and scrappy play, not really helped by a referee who was not really in touch with the game at all, finding a yellow card for Klein after less than two minutes for an accidental trip. The ref continued to make bad decisions including NOT booking a Galaxy team mate for kicking a New York player in the mouth....
The game looked like it could start to turn Galaxy's way when Beckham finally started to receive some service, but neither team really established a foothold in the first fifteen minutes. On 18 mins Angel drew a fine save from Cronin, and you could be forgiven for thinking that The Red Bulls looked most likely to score. Donovan immediately responded with a great run and a pass to Ruiz who failed to win the one-on-one with the keeper. On 24 mins, Donovan broke loose again and was brought down outside the area. Beckham failed to convert and could not find a Galaxy player from the resulting corner.
Out of desperation, Beckham dropped deep to turn provider and distributor which he did very effectively finding Buddle on the left who lifted the ball into the danger area for an easy headed goal from Ruiz on 29 minutes. LA failed to take control and just five minutes later Vandenburg punished them with a long range effort taking the game to one-all.
Donovan deserves a mention for a left-foot volley that went astray, but half time saw the teams tied at one-all.
More bizarre decisions were made by the ref in the second half, I can honestly say that this ref probably made more decisions that I could not explain than ones that I could.
The second half was a series of missed chances mostly by Red Bulls as Galaxy looked like a tiring team. Ruiz missed a good chance on 50 mins as his shot was blocked. On 57, Rojas wasted a golden chance in front of goal. Beckham started popping up on the left hand side and was still appearing in defensive positions at times as he looked for the big pass.
Conway in the Red Bulls goal got himself a yellow for some unknown reason as Galaxy had a couple of corners. NY had another great chance on 68 mins which Cronin managed to get a hand to, and only 2 minutes later on the break, Angel drifted into the box, waltzed passed a defender and coolly lobbed Cronin to take the score to 2-1 to New York.
On 73 minutes Red Bulls squandered another chance in front of goal, and on 77 Ruiz was denied again by Conway. On 78 Gordon came on for Vanney, but The Galaxy struggled to have any impact on the game. In extra time however, Donovan lifted a cross into the box aimed at Buddle's head - Buddle missed it, but the ball nestled in the far corner of the net bringing a leap of joy from LA Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit and leveling the score at 2-2. All was not over though as there was one more throw of the dice in the closing seconds. Beckham lifted the ball over the box, and it fell at Donovans left foot. Donovan caught it beautifully and sent the ball screaming towards the goal only to see it hit the post, rebound and get hit over the bar more or less as the ref blew his whistle.
Frankly it would have been unfair for Galaxy to have won, it was not a pretty game, and the Red Bulls had the better of it. Thankfully the odd refereeing did not spoil the game in any significant way. Another win-less night for both teams, another captain's performance from David Beckham.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Galaxy play New York Red Bulls

Galaxy will travel to New York to play the Red Bulls on Saturday afternoon 19th July. They will be hoping to retain their position as leaders of the Western Conference with a much-needed win. It's time to dig deep and get back into a winning stride after a 4 game run without a win. Two draws and two losses have damaged their hold on the league and a fightback is overdue...

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Beckham to represent MLS

In his first full season in the MLS, David Beckham has been chosen to represent the MLS All Stars when they take on West Ham on July 14th in Toronto. Beckham came second in the voting to Landon Donovan his Galaxy teammate.
Beckham has contributed five goals in fourteen games, only missing one game through international duty. The full squad has not yet been picked, but it is probable that both Beckham and Donovan will figure in the starting line up.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Galaxy 1 Chivas 1

LA Galaxy fight back from 1-0 down to tie the game at one-all. Much more than a home derby, this was the game to find out who are top dogs in the Western Conference.
It only took Chivas 15 minutes to open the scoring Razov curling an exquisite shot into the top left corner of the goal after a strong start by Chivas against a shaky looking Galaxy. After the goal, Galaxy still under pressure managed to establish a purchase on the game and began to look like more of a threat

The match became like a typical derby with few chances and some crunching tackles flying in. On the 58th minute Ruud Gullit sent on Carlos Ruiz to try to get an edge in the attack, but it wasn't until twent minutes later that Buddle got on the end of a nicely-weighted ball slid into the box to score a real strikers goal - straight under the keeper from a difficult angle, at speed and at close quarters.

The forwards of Galaxy look like they would frighten any team, not sure that you can say the same for the rest of the team as yet, this is the task that Gullit has ahead of him. Beckham put in a typical honest performance and showed why he deserves the captains armband - he pushes and pushes under pressure to get a breakthrough and the whole team can feed off his determination. Another game in which Beckham plays a full 90 minutes without showing any signs of slowing down - England take note, Beckham is not down and out yet!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Los Angeles V Chivas

Thursday 8pm kick-off (local time)
The scene is set for the second SuperClasico of the season and this game has a number of points of interest. First off, both teams will actually be playing on their homeground as they share the Home Depot Centre though Thursdays game is technically a Galaxy home match.
Last time these two teams met, Donovan scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 Galaxy win, but THIS time both teams are tied at the top of the Western Conference. Much is at stake and with LA on a recent poor run, they will be anxious to prove a point.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

New England 2 Galaxy 1

A goal from David Beckham in the second half was not enough to cancel out the two goals scored by Adam Cristman of New England in the first half in a five minute spell. Both goals were from corners highlighting LA's defensive weaknesses from set-plays.
That said an evening of entertaining football was on show for all neutral spectators. New England had the better of the game in the first half putting pressure on the Galaxy goal from the onset and only Cronin's ability kept the score down to 2.... Few chances fell Galaxy's way.
The second half was a different story as Donovan took the field and allowed the Galaxy to press forward. Beckham wasted an early opportunity opting to volley a ball from too short a distance when a pass might have been more effective, naturally the captain was anxious to put things right. Beckham was to get his chance when more pressure resulted in a hastily headed clearance, Beckham raced up and tried another volley which was meant to break the net... I suspect that he didn't really catch the ball as intended, but there was enough momentum to drive the ball forward, hitting a defender and bouncing over a flailing keeper for the Galaxys opening goal.
Further pressure would not dring any more goals despite Buddle rocking the crossbar. All-in-all when you consider that this was east meeting west league leaders, the Galaxy did not disgrace themselves and may regret not starting Donovan. The score was a disppointment, defensively once again LA were suspect, but in attack they looked positive and still look like a team that will score even though they will also allow the opposition to get on the scoresheet too. Ruud Gullit will have to adopt the ' we will just have to score more goals than you' philosophy of Kevin Keegans first reign at Newcastle United if this team is to get anywhere, otherwise some investment in the back-line might be required.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

New England on Friday

There is a chance that LA Galaxy may not be league leaders by the time they start their next match against the New England Revolution on Friday Real Salt Lake and the Houston Dynamo (tied in second place), play in Salt Lake City on Thursday night.
If they remain the league leaders after Thursday's game, it will be a clash of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference top teams. Salt lake and the Dynamo are two points behind, so only a draw will keep Galaxy on top.
Galaxy have made things hard for themselves in the last few games, a draw followed by a heavy defeat on Sunday and now to face the Eastern Conference league leaders may add to the pressure. Rest assured though, if there's one thing that David Beckham responds to - it's pressure.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

DC United 4 LA Galaxy 1

In a game that The Galaxy needed to win to stamp their authority on the MLS, their frailties were on show as they collapsed in a 4-1 defeat against DC United on a hot Sunday morning.
Despite the heat, the match was played at a great tempo with the score-line flattering the home side even though they certainly looked good going forward. The first goal came by way of a clumsy penalty given away by the Galaxy within the first few minutes. Galaxy replied by getting the ball in the net, only for Donovan to be ruled offside from Beckham's cross bent across the goalmouth. Buddle equalised for the Galaxy after a defensive mix up leaving defenders on the floor and Buddle swiping the ball over the approaching 'keeper. Both teams continued to press and DC came back to edge in front in the first half.
The second half was played at an equally impressive pace, but Galaxy's defence let them down and they ended up conceding two more goals and running out with a big loss.
Beckham played his part helping Galaxy to apply pressure from the long ball game, but at the end of the day, DC were the more convincing side in both attack and defence. Good entertainment, but not much help in the fight to win the league.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Galaxy v DC United

LA Galaxy travel to the East Coast to take on DC United on Sunday this week. LA Galaxy stalled the winning streak last time out and had to make do with a draw. A recovery is needed this weekend.....

Saturday, 21 June 2008

L A Galaxy 3 Columbus Crew 3

Galaxy have been flying high with four wins out of five, Columbus Crew have not been doing so well, ending a win-less streak on their last outing.
Both teams came out fighting in the sweltering heat, Galaxy taking the early advantage on 4mins when the keeper fumbled a Beckham cross and Donovan put it away. The Galaxy had a host of chances to increase their lead in the first half and looked to be in control, despite not increasing their lead.
Buddle then scored the best goal of the match early in the second half when he skipped past defenders and curled the ball around the keeper from close range. For me, Buddle is increasingly looking like a top quality player with the ability both to take defenders on and to finish effectively. In the 67th minute, Columbus managed to pounce on a ball bouncing off the back of a Galaxy defender in the area, this was the start of the comeback. Just four minutes later their second came from a penalty when Klein was adjudged to have fouled Rogers. Ten minutes on and Galaxy were given a penalty when Beckham was bought down (after more fine work from Buddle), Donovan squeezed the penalty past the keeper and The Galaxy were ahead, but only for a few minutes when another penalty-area scramble led to the second equaliser for Columbus. Beckham squandered another shot in the closing stages and overall The Galaxy will feel that they gave points away today.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

San Jose Earthquakes 0 LA Galaxy 3

Fantastic result for the Galaxy as their season really starts to take off. Beckham had a reasonably quiet game although having an early chance to score, sent the ball high over the bar.

Donovan and Ruiz missed this match due to international commitments and Gordon is suspended. The burden of responsibility fell to Buddle and he did not disappoint with his second hat-trick of the season.

Buddle opened the scoring on 6 minutes when Beckham casually lobbed the ball into the box for Tudela to nod down to Buddle’s feet. Buddle struck the ball sweetly on the volley to sneak it in the left-hand corner from the edge of the box.

It was nearly a hour later when Buddle got his second via a diving header in the 63rd minute. Five minutes later saw Randolph crossing from the left and Buddles header found the net once more for the hat-trick.

In the last five, Buddle missed a chance to score a fourth when Beckham put him behind the defence with only the keeper to beat.

The Galaxy are fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in the West…

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

What is Capello thinking?

The game in Trinidad was admittedly largely a PR exercise tightly related to England's bid to host the World Cup. The game was never seriously competitive and many were left wondering whether there was any value in the game at all.
Curious then, that Capello should choose that game to hand Beckham the captain's armband. Some have suggested that sentiment played a part, but Capello is not usually given to sentiment. Although John Terry was not present (many people's favourite for the captaincy), Rio Ferdinand was surely more likely to wear the armband than Beckham?
I hope this odd choice signifies that Capello has serious plans for Beckham in the run-up to the next World Cup and indeed sentiment had nothing to do with the choice. One more preparation game to come in August before World Cup qualification starts in earnest in September...

Sunday, 8 June 2008

LA Galaxy 3 Colorado Rapids 2

Having suffered a 2-0 loss to Toronto last weekend when missing both Beckham and Donovan from the squad due to international commitments, Galaxy got back into winning ways this Saturday against Colorado Rapids.
Beckham played his part in the win and stayed on the field for the full ninety even after playing in two successful internationals last week and flying half-way around the world.
Pires, Buddle and Allen all found the net for The Galaxy this week, they found themselves 2-0 up after the first half, going 3-0 up after 5 minutes of the second half. Colorado didn't give the game up and continued to battle pulling one back in the 73rd minute and another 10 minutes later. Galaxy managed to hold onto their lead to go top of the Western Conference.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Trinidad 0 England 3

England last met the 'Soca Warriors' in the 1996 World Cup and were relieved to squeeze two goals in during the last 10 minutes to win the game 2-0 on that occasion.
This time in the Trinidadian heat, England quickly asserted their superiority with two goals in the first fifteen minutes.
Capello rang the changes replacing six from the starting lineup from the last game. Two of those players combine for the first goal with Bridge setting up Barry to volley past a flailing keeper from short range on 12 minutes. Three minutes later, another replacement Stuart Downing put Defoe into space and Defoe slipped it past the keeper for England's second. A lot of the action was on England's left and Beckham was seen to wander over to the left on occasions to get a sniff of the ball.
Trinidad started to find their feet after 25 mins or so Carlos Edwards having the best chance, but David James was well-positioned to pluck the ball out of the air. A few minutes later, Dean Ashton had an excellent chance to capitalise on a glorious cross from Beckham, but he failed to control the volley.
The second half saw substitutes-a-plenty with Beckham giving way to Bentley again. After 5 minutes of the second half, Bentley provided a cross which found the head of a defender, the ball dropped at Defoe's feet who put the ball away for his second goal of the night and England's third. More substitutions saw Walcott come on for England and Dwight Yorke for Trinidad.
England remained firmly in control to record another victory where any other result would have been disastrous.
Beckham's views were that he was surprised but honoured to be picked as captain, and was looking forward to starting the World Cup qualifiers.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Beckham to captain England

In a shock move, Capello picks David Beckham as the England captain for the friendly against Trinidad and Tobago.
Why is this so surprising?
Beckham voluntarily stepped away from the captain's armband when England exited the last World Cup. Speculation then was whether Beckham would play for England, there was no question of him captaining the side again.
So why has this happened now?
Capello is no sentimentalist, so that's not the story - remember that he did not recall Beckham for his 100th cap at the earliest opportunity... However Capello does have an insight into the Beckham mentality, he dropped Beckham at Real Madrid, was big enough to recall him to the squad and then benefitted from Beckham at his best enabling Madrid to win their domestic league.
The speculation now is whether this means that Beckham is considered as part of the plans for the next World Cup - if so, does Capello see Beckham as the natural captain of England for the foreseeable future?

Beckham or Bentley?

No, nothing to do with cars....despite Beckham's extensive collection...
This is about whether David Bentley is ready to step up and replace David Beckham in the England squad. Or probably more accurately, whether David Beckham is ready to be replaced.
A lot of interest has surrounded the progression of David Bentley through the ranks of the England under 21 side and into the senior squad, as to all intents and purposes, Bentley appears to be a natural replacement for Beckham. He plays on the right, he uses the same peculiar foot-shape that Beckham uses to such deadly effect, and he can hit a free-kick. In many ways, he looks very much as though he will be a perfect like-for-like replacement.
Is this the sum of Beckham's contribution to the England squad?
In my opinion, no - David Beckham has vast experience of football at the very highest level and (when fit and fired-up) can offer a form of leadership even without the captains armband. Fellow players are encouraged to see Beckham charge around the field, and want to emulate his determination and belief.
David Bentley IS a superb talent and has many of the tricks that would make you mistake him for Beckham on many occasions. He is extremely effective for Blackburn, but so far this has not translated into an eye-catching performance in an England shirt. When Bentley has played for England he has looked ordinary, something that Beckham rarely does.
Bentley for the future certainly when he has developed his own game a little more, but ready to replace Beckham - not yet...

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

England 2 USA 0

First half:
Defoe won the chance to play up front with Wayne Rooney in the first of three games for England before the World Cup qualifiers. The England team was strong, but showing some tiredness after the end of a long season. It was a cautious start with Beckham struggling to make a real impact and the team in general getting bogged down, with the USA team doing well to intercept forward balls intended to cut through the defence.
There were plenty of chances for Beckham to show his free-kick skills, combining with Gerard in the tenth minute to get the ball in the net, but some time after the ref had already blown for the kick to be retaken.
For large sections of the first half, the two teams canceled each other out in a packed but un-animated Wembley stadium. England started to show the upper hand as the half progressed with Beckham skying a snatched shot on 18 minutes. Rooney looked lively and beat his marker on 22 minutes but the ball into the box was behind the wave of attacking players.
It was the 25th minute before the USA showed any intent of assaulting the England goal, but the uppper hand firmly belonged to England. At 30 minutes the game looked becalmed at sea, but 7 minutes later, another free kick taken by Beckham on the right found the head of John Terry in the box, giving him the chance to exorcise the demons of the Champions League penalty shoot out by beating the Tim Howard in the US goal for the first goal of the match.
This goal livened up the game and more pressure followed, mostly from England, but with more visible effort from the US. Defoe showed too much speed for the US defence and was dragged down on more than one occasion providing more free-kick opportunities.
Second half:
On half-time, Beckham was replaced by Bentley, and with both teams now having something to fight for, the game started to be more entertaining. After ten minutes of the second half, Barry came on for Lampard and Glen Johnson for Wes Brown. Minutes later, Barry unlocked the defence with a through-ball to Gerard who calmly passed it into the net for England's second goal of the night.
The US looked unconvincing with shots from a long way out with not much hope of beating James in the England goal. More subs on 68 mins Defoe off and Crouch on with England increasing in confidence as the minutes tick by. England showed some nice touches as they progressed the passing game. Rooney picked up a yellow card on 75 minutes after a second rash sliding challenge, but the US wasted the resulting free kick.
On 77 minutes there were more subs with Joe Cole coming on for Wayne Rooney, and on 81 minutes, Ashley Cole was replaced by Wayne Bridge. England soaked up some US pressure and remained comfortable with their two-goal lead.

Conclusions: Beckham can still make a contribution, the partnership of Rooney and Defoe shows some promise. Gerard richly deserved his man of the match award despite being played out of his best position.

LA Galaxy 0 Colorado 1

The Galaxy fielded a weakened side in the opening U.S. Open Cup match, due to international obligations (Beckham and Donovan play each other tonight at Wembley) but not the 'reserve' side that many teams often out into these games. Colorado on the other hand fielded many players that are not regulars, and from the start were under pressure from the Galaxy.

The Galaxy looked the superior team for all but the last 10 minutes but didn't take their chances, and in the 82nd minute, Colorado headed the only goal of the match ending the Galaxy cup run at the first hurdle.

Beckham will be out of contention whilst on international duty and will also miss the next game against Toronto on Saturday.
Come back for more on the England v USA game....

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Los Angeles 3 Kansas City 1

In a truly thrilling game, Kansas opened the scoring late in the first half with a stunning left-foot strike from Claudio Lopez. The score at half-time was 1- 0 to Kansas, but this was a game that looked open enough to go either way. Early in the second half, Donovan took a tumble and was awarded a spot-kick, though for me, this was a soft penalty and Kansas could have a case to feel aggrieved at the decision.
Buddle built on this platform by adding another on 74 minutes. The game continued at pace, with Kansas going all out for the last set-piece of the match. The Kansas keeper came up to add extra pressure for a corner kick. This plan fell apart as the ball dropped out of the danger area at Beckhams feet, with the Kansas keeper still in the Galaxy penalty box. Beckham carried the ball for a few yards before he decided to have a crack at punishing the Kansas keeper. Still a good ten yards or more short of the half-way line, David Beckham fired the ball into the middle of the Kansas goal from an outrageous distance with not a Kansas player in sight. Providing the crowning glory to an impressive personal and team performance, Beckhams goal took the score to 3-1, with Beckham now on four for the season.

Friday, 23 May 2008

England v USA

Ahead of England's friendlies against USA and Trinidad and Tobago, the England squad has seen two changes.

Michael Owen and Jermaine Jenas reported sick, Owen is out for both games.

The nine players from Manchester United and Chelsea who were involved in the dramatic Champions League Final in Moscow on Wednesday evening, will report for England on Saturday.

David Beckham will report on Sunday, after LA Galaxy's game with Kansas City on Saturday.
United States coach Bob Bradley has named eight England-based players for the match against England next week:

Clint Dempsey
Carlos Bocanegra
Eddie Johnson
Benny Feilhaber
Eddie Lewis
Jonathan Spector
Tim Howard
Jay DeMerit
DaMarcus Beasley

Sources:
BBC
The FA

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Beckham could be fined for Serioux reaction

To misquote John McEnroe "You cannot be Seriuoux!"...
After the Dallas match Beckham was asked why he reacted so badly to the wild challenge from Serioux. Beckhams reply 'He tried to break my leg' seems perfectly justified in my opinion and anyone else who is not hopelessly biased who saw the challenge must be aware that this is exactly the sort of challenge from which many a footballer does not get up from in a hurry if they just happen to have their weight on the leg in question.
Serioux is reputed to have muttered (childishly) 'Welcome to the MLS..'. Well perhaps Mr Serioux did not realise that EVEN in the MLS, you will actually be sent off for a challenge like that, and if he did realise it - what was his point? Welcome to the league where if I am losing 4 - 1, I might just do something really stupid and get myself sent off...
Since he was red-carded himself in the World Cup against Argentina, Beckham knows how to ride a challenge, get a man booked and if needs be, get a man sent off. In the modern game, these are (sadly) essential tools for survival, especially where so much jealousy is on public display.
He is also used to the crowd getting on his back, and like with all pro sportsmen it rarely bothers him and often improves the resolve to perform at a higher level. In retrospect, considering the 'heat' of the moment, and the heat of the day David arguably deserved his caution as he did nothing to take the sting out of the situation (not that I would have behaved anything like as calmly...). I can understand the 'shhh' gesture at the Dallas crowd who had been booing him the entire match after he set up Buddle for his hat-trick and Galaxy's fifth goal, though it was little petty. I think it unlikely that the investigation now being conducted into his behaviour is going to come up with anything more than a apologetic wrist-slap... even the officials have to see a potentially leg-breaking challenge as just cause for some kind of outcry.
The moral of the story is that players should pay each other a little respect and play like professionals, 'cos they sure as hell earn enough for the privilege of being pro sportsmen - in this instance, it applies to both players - but one considerably more than the other...

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Galaxy 5 Dallas 1

What a contrast with the last game... Cronin back in goal, Donovan back up front and Beckham seemingly fresh and fit again.
Both sides began with intent, FC Dallas looking to expose Galaxy's weak defence with the long ball and doing just that. Galaxy playing a more European game with a patient build up with a lot of short passes, making them look the better team in the opening 20 minutes. On 24 minutes Chris Klein opens the scoring for Galaxy, coolly converting a chance to slot the ball past the keeper in open play. Just 6 minutes later Buddle takes on the defence bamboozling them with his close control before slamming a left-foot shot past the keeper for Galaxy's second. Just minutes later and Donovans chip-cross gets deflected past the keeper by a defender for 3 - 0, and with only 39 minutes on the clock Buddle gets a second scrambling the ball into the net from a corner taking galaxy into half-time with a seemingly unassailable lead and winning on merit.
Cronin had his fair share of work to do at times and proved himself equal to anything that Dallas could throw at him in the first half.
The second half started badly for LA with Dallas getting a vital goal back, but despite the increased pressure, Galaxy continued to play a patient game and both sides had chances to add goals to the scoresheet. The game showed some ill-will when a donkey disguised as a FC Dallas player called Serioux got onto the pitch and tried to kick Beckham clean out of the stadium. Serioux got a red card for his trouble and Beckham got a yellow for his reaction (not least of which was to blow a kiss and wave Serioux off the field). Both sides can be thankful that the officials got involved to keep the players apart...
Beckham let his feet do the talking by setting up Buddle for his hat-trick, Galaxy going 5-1 up in the game. Over-all you can't fault the performance or the result, Galaxy are looking very good today.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Whitecaps 2 Galaxy 1

From what I saw of the game, this was a woeful performance with little control being exhibited by either team. Galaxy lacked any real direction up front and seemed to miss Donovan who was out through injury.
Whitecaps quickly converted early pressure into a goal which was only equalled a minute short of the half-time whistle when a cross from Beckham found Gordon's head before the keeper could get to it. Gordon headed the ball into an open net giving the Galaxy some hope for the second half.
Galaxy failed to capitalise on this chance to get some purchase on the game, and hopefully we can blame a poor playing surface for the inaccurate passing and general low level of play from both sides. What should have been a clash of teams representing the MLS against the USL-1 took on the appearance of a game at a much lower level, with passes going astray and players seemingly not able to control the ball at their feet. Even Beckham was clearly struggling to place a pass or a cross and was substituted in the 75th minute having only got one decent ball into the box (including a disappointing free kick which failed even to rise above the wall) in the entire second half.
Significantly, ice was applied to Beckhams right foot which would explain why he was mis-firing with almost every touch of the ball. I winced when I saw the tackle last week in which his right foot was blocked sending him tumbling into the air. I would not be surprised to learn that there may be a significant injury here, with the England vs USA game just two weeks away....
Beckham must allow time for injuries to heal properly if he wants to be able to finish his career in style otherwise he could go out with a disappointing whimper rather than a bang.