Los Angeles Galaxy Awakens in Second Half, Defeats A.C. St. Louis 2-0

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IJune 30, 2010

It took them nearly 70 minutes, but Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy got it done in the third round of the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Goals by Chris Klein—donning the captain's armband for the first time this season—in the 69th minute and Juninho in the 80th gave the Galaxy a 2-0 victory over A.C. St. Louis.

You have to give ACSTL their dues this match. For the lion's share of the contest, LA were disconnected. The finishing was terrible at the front, and the likes of Gauchinho and Mike Ambersley nearly gave St. Louis a shock lead early. As expected from the Show Me State, St. Louis showed the LA Galaxy that they can hang around for a half and change.

However, Klein—who gets my Man of the Match—did well in donning the captain's armband to rally the troops, pressing forward to earn his first goal of the tournament. His 69th-minute strike looped past A.C. St. Louis keeper Alec Dufty, and the match broke wide open.

And what about Juninho? He is starting to pay his dues with his first of the year. Alex Cazumba showed that he can score in MLS, and now Juninho brings in a new dimension of danger to Open Cup opposition.

Speaking of opposition, the possibility of a Northwest Conquest is in the cards if the Portland Timbers defeat the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday. However—and I sigh when I say this—a Seattle Sweep is fine too. But first, they have to take care of the league match on Independence Day, which will see Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle return to the fold.


Arrivederci Milan, Hola Madrid

Well this is a surprise. We're not taking on the UEFA Champions League winners after all. It's bloody Real Madrid at the Rose Bowl.

Rafa Benitez, you coward! Just my humble opinion.

“While we were looking forward to playing Inter Milan, we are very pleased to be able to bring our fans a game against one of the world’s biggest clubs, one that features a host of the world’s top players in Real Madrid,” said Tom Payne, LA Galaxy President of Business Operations. “Many fans will remember Madrid’s last visit to Los Angeles when the teams played in front of a capacity crowd at The Home Depot Center in 2005, and now we will be hosting them at the historic Rose Bowl in what will prove to be another memorable game for soccer fans throughout Southern California.”

The match, once again, will take place on August 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Pasadena.

Well, at least we get to see Jose Mourinho, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gozalo Higuain, Rafael van de Vaart, Iker Casillas and the gang. From the websiite:

A nine-time European champion, and 31-time champion of Spain’s La Liga, Real Madrid finished second in Spain’s La Liga this season just three points behind league champion, Barcelona, despite losing just four times all season long. In late May, the club named two-time Champions League winner Jose Mourinho as the club’s new head coach.

Mourinho is expected to lead his full roster of international stars, including 2007 FIFA Player of the Year Kaka, 2008 FIFA Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo, Dutch midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart, Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain, Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas and many others to Southern California. Ten of Real’s current squad are currently playing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, while another three have played in a previous World Cup.

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Youth Academy Update

The LA Galaxy Youth Academy U-18 side's campaign ended with a whimper, not with a bang, losing 3-2 to FC Dallas.

The Galaxy U-20s march on with their season with a July 3 contest against the Lancaster Rattlers on Saturday, July 3. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT.

The U-20s will then get one final crack against USL Super-20 League Pacific Southern California conference leaders Chivas USA on Monday, July 5. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT.

Landon does the business...once again

After a Round of 16 exit, it was time for the true captain of the Galaxy, Landon Donovan, to face the media scrutiny.

On Tuesday, Donovan was a guest on a guest on the “Late Show with David Letterman.”

On Wedneday, he will go through a longer media gauntlet. Donovan will make an appearance on three morning shows, appearing as a guest on “Good Morning America” on ABC, “The Early Show” on CBS, and “Live with Regis and Kelly” on ABC. Donovan’s segment on “GMA” will air at approximately 7:30 a.m. (PT) while his appearance on “The Early Show” will come during the show’s 8 a.m. hour.

Donovan will complete his morning of interviews as a guest of “Live with Regis and Kelly”, which begins at 9 a.m. on ABC 7 in the Los Angeles area. He wraps up his Wednesday escapades as a guest on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, which will air at 11 p.m. (PT).

This shouldn't be difficult: Fire Bradley, Hire Klinsmann!

Here is a great chance for Sunil Gulati to save his skins. According to Fanhouse :

If the decision is made not to renew Bradley's contract at the end of the year and follow the route of an increasing number of countries by appointing a foreign coach, Klinsmann, a World Cup winner who earned more than 100 caps, scoring 47 times in an 11-year international career, would be among the favourites to lead the US into a new era.

The 45-year-old, who lives in California, ultimately turned the US job down due to an inability to gain guarantees over the release of players for certain tournaments. Having stuck largely to media work since his departure from Bayern Munich 14 months ago, if those differences can be ironed out it could be a case of second time lucky for both parties.

Sunil, America is hoping you don't drop the ball like you did last time. Screw this up, and you also should send yourself packing. Do the two-step right, and the States earns its biggest victory of the post-2010 FIFA World Cup campaign.

We're watching you, Mr. Gulati. Don't screw this up.

More U.S. Open Cup action

Domonic Oppong's goal in the 117th minute gave the Harrisburg City Islanders a 1-0 upset win over the New York Red Bulls...A late 93rd minute goal by Steven Lenhart gave the Columbus Crew a 2-1 victory over a 10-man Rochester Rhinos side...Lovel Palmer's 80th minute strike gave the Houston Dynamo a 1-0 victory over 10-man Miami FC...the Charleston Battery shut out the Chicago fire in a penalty shootout, 3-0, after a scoreless 120 minutes...Jesus Padilla, in the 15th minute, gave Chivas USA a 1-0 victory over the Austin Aztex at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, California.