The Three Second Summary:
(1) Donovan to Beckham; (2) Beckham to Donovan; (3) Hey, there’s Kobe Bryant!
Put it on the board. Yes!
The Galaxy are .500 my friends, which is a good thing for Alexi Lalas, David Beckham and pretty much all of the MLS. Well, other than the Quakes. The Gals reached 1-1 on the season Thursday night by beating the newest addition to MLS 2-0 in front of a sold out crowd at the HDC.
I am rooting for the Galaxy. I don’t really like them, but I want them to play well and I want them to win. Why? I want them to create more fans for the league. I don’t care if they only start to watch at first to see Beckham. I am not picky about how the league attracts new fans. I just want to see the league succeed, if for no other reason than because I selfishly like to watch it. Beckham can get more people in the stands and in front of their sets and strengthen the league’s fan base and therefore he is good for the league.
He’s good for the quality of the league’s product too.
He is a damn good soccer player. On Thursday, he let a few crosses get away from him, and he made a few mental errors, but generally he was on target. Together with Donovan, Beckham controlled the Galaxy’s offensive fortunes.
When he slotted it past Cannon early in the first half, the highlight looked as if it had been orchestrated by a master filmmaker. Well, maybe not a master filmmaker, maybe just by Sylvester Stallone. It was perfect for a montage now that I think about it.
Donovan played a perfect pass into the top of the box, Cannon came out quick to cut down the angle, but Beckham just easily slid the ball inside Cannon and bunny hopped over him for style points. He washed it all down by doing the “slide-on-the-knees & pump fists” (see photo of Ronaldo for proper form) that somehow has become the Icky Shuffle of goal scoring dances in MLS.
Beckham’s assist to Donovan was far less impressive than Donovan’s but equally effective. Throughout the game, Donovan again confirmed that he is the strongest American player on the dribble. He looks like those guys who shred us in the World Cup.
Donovan and Beckham better play like this every week though, because the Gals didn’t have much else going on.
Alan Gordon is like the MLS version of Peter Crouch. He looks like he should be just the perfect target for Beckham’s trademark crosses, but those are only really effective if they have someone on the other end to finish them. Peter Crouch can do it occasionally, Gordon has yet to do it, despite some quality chances. When he slammed Donovan’s perfect pass straight into Cannon about 2/3rds of the way through, I almost felt sorry for Donovan. There’s no statistic for assists-your-teammate-just-blew.
As for the Quakes, what could we have really expected? I, for one, expected them to play a little better, but they looked like a team with no chemistry. Yes, that is the most obvious statement ever. It’s going to take time. Learning how to communicate with new teammates on the field always does.
In their defense, San Jose scored in the second minute. I have DVR, so don’t try and tell me Cochrane was offsides. I literally can stop time like I’m Merlin or Zach Morris in the original Saved By The Bell. It was a bad call. I am not so cynical as to suggest the line judge intentionally was trying to help the Galaxy. But I am skeptical enough to have considered it.
In the end though, the Quakes may have still fallen 2-1. Beckham and Donovan were communicating, which is good for the Galaxy and good for MLS.