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.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

San Jose Earthquakes 0 LA Galaxy 0

Beckham is left at home still nursing a bad back as The Galaxy head to San Jose.
Tremendous early pressure from San Jose sees at least four good scoring chances in the first five minutes of the game. A double-save from Ricketts, and the left-hand goal-post hit within the first few minutes, and LA are lucky to survive the opening onslaught.
The game settles down but after 20 minutes, Ricketts gets injured in a clash of players and Josh Saunders comes on to replace him.
After half an hour, tempers are getting frayed and the ref is handing out final warnings, the next foul is almost bound to get a yellow... meanwhile news is trickling through that suggests that Ricketts may have a serious injury to his left arm - possibly a break. Sure enough the very next foul draws a booking for Todd Dunivant - not a bad challenge, but the ref had a point to make. It takes The Galaxy 40 minutes to draw a decent save from the San Jose keeper, they really have to lift their game for the second half.
Drama in the last minute of the first half as San Jose's Lenhart illegally 'heads' the ball out of Josh Saunders grasp - Saunders goes to pick up the ball whilst fending off Lenhart with his hand - Lenhart acts like he's been punched with a knock-out punch and gets Saunders red-carded. No keepers left, so Mike Magee walks up to take the jersey and spend the rest of the game between the posts for the Galaxy. Lehnart also gets a booking for his initial illegal actions. Bruce Arena does not look at all happy and makes straight for the officials to voice his displeasure.

Magee makes an early save in the opening minutes of the second half, and looks comfortable in his new position. The bookings start early in the second half another yellow handed to an Earthquakes player in the first five minutes.
Magee stands up well to the pressure of the goalkeeping role and keeps a clean sheet in his first ever goal-keeping duty in his MLS career. A game of questionable decisions, but The Galaxy come out with a draw, which under the circumstances is probably more than they could expect.

The question remains whether the ref could have booked Saunders rather than dismissed him - my reading is that if the ball is in play, he has to be red-carded for 'violent conduct'. However in a dead-ball situation (a was foul called for Lenharts foolish action), the ref could have acted a bit more leniently and given a booking (bearing in mind that this was already the reserve 'keeper). If the ball was actually in play of course it would have been a penalty - no penalty, but the player still sent off... Sometimes sticking to the letter of the law can create undesirable situations - this one one of those... Possibly, the error was in not calling a foul quickly enough - Saunders action was petulant rather than aggressive, Lenharts reaction was laughable and in reality he could have been yellow-carded twice on the spot, once for illegally dispossessing the 'keeper, and again for 'simulation' in an effort to draw a penalty.
However, these things can go either way and it's not worth losing sleep over, at the end of the day, The Galaxy will feel they have a 'victorious' draw, The Earthquakes failed to take advantage of a game where success should have been a certainty...

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