T-180 minutes to kickoff: After a scoreless draw several weeks ago at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy and Peter Vermes' Kansas City Wizards are ready to clash here at the Home Depot Center.
T-150: It was a miserable outing for Major League Soccer at the CONCACAF Champions League. Arabe Unido of Panama shut out Toronto FC 1-0, Santos Laguna defeated Columbus Crew 1-0, a goal festival forged by a boggy pitch and poor goalkeeping saw Cruz Azul top Real Salt Lake 5-4, and at Qwest Field, the Seattle Sounders were shooting blanks against Monterrey 2-0.
Is it just me, or are we really that bad? The Galaxy were the last team to have ever won the CONCACAF Champions League (back then it was called the CONCACAF Champions Cup) in 2000, and by the looks of things, it's set to stay that way, I'm afraid...
T-120: Time for the lineups.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Manager: Bruce Arena
Formation: 4-4-2 Diamond
Colors: White tops with blue and gold accents, white shorts, white socks
1 Donovan Ricketts
28 Sean Franklin ---- 4 Omar Gonzalez ---- 22 Leonardo ---- 2 Todd Dunivant
11 Chris Birchall
10 Landon Donovan (C) ---- 26 Michael Stephens
7 Chris Klein
14 Edson Buddle ---- 18 Mike Magee
12 Josh Saunders GK
20 A.J. DeLaGarza DEF
88 Alex Cazumba MID
21 Dema Kovalenko MID
6 Eddie Lewis MID
17 Tristan Bowen FWD
9 Jovan Kirovski FWD
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS
Manager: Peter Vermes
Colors: Light blue tops, light blue shorts, light blue socks
1 Jimmy Nielsen
2 Michael Harrington ---- 6 Shavar Thomas ---- 12 Jimmy Conrad---- 17 Roger Espinoza
23 Kei Kamara ---- 4 Craig Rocastle ---- 8 Stephane Auvray ---- 22 Davy Arnaud (C)
11 Ryan Smith ---- 27 Birahim Diop
18 Eric Kronberg GK
3 Korede Aiyegbusi DEF
25 Jonathan Leathers DEF
7 Chance Myers DEF
14 Jack Jewsbury MID
28 Graham Zusi MID
9 Teal Bunbury FWD
T-90: Los Angeles's next three games include a Sept. 4 road trip to Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., to face the Chicago Fire, a Sept. 11 home tie with the Columbus Crew, and a Sept. 18 home showdown with D.C. United at the Home Depot Center.
As for Kansas City, the Wizards' next three home games include a Sept. 4 road trip to PPL Park in Chester, Pa., to take on the Philadelphia Union, a Sept. 11 home tie at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan., to face the Houston Dynamo and a return trip to the Home Depot Center on Sept. 19 to take on Chivas USA.
T-60: An hour to go as the grounds crew lubricate the lawn. Other games going on today include Columbus vs. FC Dallas, Toronto vs. Real Salt Lake, New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes, Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo, and Seattle Sounders vs. Chicago Fire. Tomorrow at the HDC, Chivas USA vs. DC United will clash.
T-45: And both teams take the pitch for warm-ups.
Final scores: Columbus finished in a scoreless draw with FC Dallas, Toronto FC also held RSL to a scoreless draw, Philadelphia defeated New England late in stoppage time 2-1 and New York shut out San Jose 2-0.
T-30: Due to personal matters, Juninho will not be in the starting lineup today due to commitments in Sao Paulo.
T-15: Yader Reyes is our match official today. Linesmen are Fabio Tovar and Frank Anderson. Our fourth official today is Ricardo Salazar.
T-0: National anthem by California High School Marching Band of Whittier, Calif. All right, it looks like we're set to begin. Let's see if the Galaxy can get their late-season mojo going.
FIRST HALF START: 7:36 P.M. PT
1' - We are underway! Todd Dunivant with the throw-in. First foul to KC. Donovan Ricketts, the big cat from Montego Bay, starting the next sequence.
2' - Here comes KC. The Wizards will need to compact defensively and attack on the flanks. Sturdy defense and improved transition will help Los Angeles tonight. The backline has been very porous, and Kamara almost capitalized.
3' - This is excellent possession from the Wizards. Here is a free kick for Vermes's club.
4' - Talk about a scramble in the box. Well done from Chris Klein. On the transition go the G's. Pass for Birchall misses.
5' - Well marked. Back come the Wizards. Leonardo walks a fine line on the back line.
6' - Leonardo with another rash challenge. Free kick to the Wiz. The Wiz was the former name of the team before their current moniker. It remains one of the nicknames.
7' - Not sure where Chris Birchall was passing that one.
8' - Leave it to Ricketts to set up the next sequence. Ugh, and the passing inside the box leaves much to be desired.
9' - Corner for the Galaxy. Here's Landon Donovan with the set piece. Too short. Here is Dunivant with another throw. The percussion of Cal High on display.
10' - Too long a pass for Sean Franklin.
11' - Stephane Auvray starts the next sequence for the Wiz, and there goes the next sequence for the Wiz. Long ball forward, and that was another breakdown in the back line that leaves much to be desired.
Goal kick, Ricketts. They're just asking to be exposed, the G's are.
12' - Dunivant should have done better...here comes KC.
GOAL! Kansas City Wizards 22 Davy Arnaud Assist 23 Kei Kamara
Hah! I told you they were asking to be exposed. No excuse for Dunivant to miss his marker. Arnaud is the Chicken Thief tonight. Kamara is the Thief's accomplice. Very well played.
15' - Corner for the Galaxy. Birahim Diop clears. Take two. And again, they are shooting themselves in the foot with the lack in form.
16' - Seriously, am I seeing a broken record here with the poor form by this Galaxy back line?
17' - Here's Kei Kamara, the Sierra Leone international.
18' - Not a fan of the passing by this Galaxy side. Here's a throw-in for Dunivant.
19' - More shoddy passing. Communicate, Michael Stephens!
20' - Diop is shaken up on the challenge from Leonardo. He is up, though. Not sure what Jimmy Nielsen was doing. It's going to be a corner.
21' - Terrible corner. The horror stretch of this Galaxy side continues.
22' - Here is Leonardo. Good challenge, but the ball will go to the Wiz on the throw.
24' - The G's are letting KC hold on to the ball too long. Good mark by Michael Harrington on Michael Stephens. A battle of the Michaels.
25' - Bloody oath, this passing is lousy as you loathe. Here's Kamara, and that shot will roll out for a goal kick.
26' - Edson Buddle is jammed, and it will be a free kick to the G's just outside the box.
27' - I just don't get Landon's loss of mojo tonight. That is easily cleared.
28' - Offsides, Los Angeles. 28 minutes into the match, and the Galaxy are still searching for their wheels, trailing the Wizards 1-0.
29' - Goal kick to Jimmy Nielsen, and the Angel City Brigade expresses its disgust. Another one from the Danish international.
31' - Landon Donovan tries to do something here. KC hasn't won here since 2004. Give them another hour and that streak will be gone.
33' - LA is still looking for someone in the front to pass the ball to. Well-organized defending from the Wizards. Here's a corner.
34' - Too low a corner. You can't explain this ineptitude with set pieces, you just can't.
35' - Good marking from the KC defense.
36' - Sliding clearance from Ricketts.
37' - I have nothing but rave reviews on the pace of this Wizards side. Goal kick, Big Cat from Montego Bay, on the Kamara handball.
38' - ACB sways from to side as the Wizards give different looks.
39' - Ryan Smith with some pace. Here's a goal kick for Donovan Ricketts. Speculative shot from Birchall. As expected for a midfielder playing on rusted wheels.
40' - We are now 40 minutes in, and it is 1-0 KC. A familiar scenario.
41' - Free kick for Kansas City.
42' - Back come the Galaxy. Arnaud with the mark on Stephens.
43' - Cannot believe the lack of communication from this club. Magee's finishing again showing its lack of form.
44' - Some chippiness as we approach halftime. Unoriginal look on the transition from LA.
45' - This is Birahim Diop with the next sequence of passing. Couldn't connect with Kamara.
Let's see how many minutes of stoppage time. None. The first half ends. And the adage, "Here we go again..." comes into play here.
Los Angeles Galaxy 0
Kansas City Wizards 1
Davy Arnaud 12'
Kansas City Wizards 3
Los Angeles Galaxy 4
Shots on Goal
Kansas City Wizards 1
Los Angeles Galaxy 0
Kansas City Wizards 0
Los Angeles Galaxy 0
Kansas City Wizards 9
Los Angeles Galaxy 5
Kansas City Wizards 0
Los Angeles Galaxy 6
Kansas City Wizards 2
Los Angeles Galaxy 1
SECOND HALF START: 8:36 P.M. PT
46' - The second half begins. Let's see if any adjustments are made for Los Angeles. The LA Galaxy Academy's Under-20's were honored at halftime. Perhaps Arena could use some of these people right about now...
47' - There's a foul on Roger Espinoza. Too short a free kick from Donovan. Ambitious volley from Edson Buddle. Goal kick, Nielsen.
48' - Too strong for Ryan Smith.
49' - Not sure where Omar Gonzalez was throwing that one to.
50' - Nielsen with his best save of the game. Unimaginative look from Birchall.
51' - Arnaud is a bit shaken up. The home fans won't buy it, and the boo birds rain down on the Nielsen goal kick.
52' - Another great save from Nielsen. And Arnaud is feeling the pinch. His jaw took a shot.
53' - Oh, if only Juninho didn't have his issues this week...Goal kick Ricketts.
54' - Bad pass. Auvray taking advantage. This Wizards side has done a good job neutralizing Edson Buddle tonight. Kudos. Offsides, Kamara.
55' - Offsides, Landon Donovan. So far, Los Angeles is in a rut right now.
56' - Back come the G's.
57' - No foul on that Buddle tackle. Jimmy Conrad gets a reprieve. Mike Magee is a stooge right now for giving that ball up to KC.
58' - My inner football manager says, "Bring in Bowen."
59' - Another save for Nielsen. When will this team, specifically one Chris Birchall, learn to be more creative with their shot selection?
60' - Ambitious shot from Diop.
61' - Great attempt from Diop. And Ricketts with the save. Here is a corner for KC.
62' - Initial clearance. But I wonder if Omar Gonzalez is not pulling his weight?
Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 17 Tristan Bowen
OUT 7 Chris Klein
64' - Heads-up clearance from Jim Nielsen. Corner for the G's. Too long. I must be seeing a broken record with the poor finishing.
65' - This is predictable, direct football from Los Angeles. It's the reason, this team's wheels are off.
67' - Kansas City Wizards
IN 14 Jack Jewsbury
OUT 4 Craig Rocastle
We are now 67 minutes into the match, and it is still 1-0 Kansas City. Though to be honest, it should have been more.
68' - Tristan Bowen will need to do better with his marking.
69' - Chris Birchall shows his frustration...and there's the card.
Yellow card 11 Chris Birchall
Los Angeles Galaxy
70' - Ryan Smith is shaken up on the field. A sigh from yours truly is exhaled. Free kick, KC.
GOAL! Kansas City Wizards 12 Jimmy Conrad
I don't know about you, but this Galaxy side's season is continuing to go south. You can expect another rant later tonight. Ay, ay, ay.
71' - And why is Bruce Arena still running a 4-4-2? Can't this embattled manager run a 4-5-1, as the people on BigSoccer have suggested?
73' - 73 minutes in, and it's 2-0 KC. THis will be a corner to the Galaxy.
Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 88 Alex Cazumba
OUT 18 Mike Magee
74' - We have been inconsistent for two straight months now. Not good...
75' - The connection on the Donovan corner is not there.
76' - Here is another free kick. And a foul in the box. Leonardo with the challenge again. 20,112 in attendance tonight.
77' - Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 9 Jovan Kirovski
OUT 11 Chris Birchall
78' - Horrid pass to Bowen. He takes it all in stride and hands it to Roger Espinoza for a throw-in.
79' - Oh, Alex Cazumba, what happened to your cleats!
81' - Substitution Kansas City Wizards
IN 9 Teal Bunbury
OUT 20 Kei Kamara
Here comes Teal...
The fans have seen enough and head for the exits.
82' - Well, we're still at the top of the table...but only because Columbus and Real Salt Lake took one point on the weekend.
83' - That free kick from Davy Arnaud goes wide right for a Ricketts goal kick.
84' - The Wizards are still going to be on the outside looking in, but they will get motivations in whatever ways possible.
85' - Kansas City's defense holds once again, goal kick to Jim Nielsen.
86' - The road trip to Chicago will hold that much importance for Galaxy. They will need this more than ever now.
87' - Arnaud with the challenge on Buddle.
Substitution Kansas City Wizards
IN 28 Graham Zusi
OUT 11 Ryan Smith
88' - The touch from this side is atrocious.
89' - Let's see what Mr. Ricardo Salazar (who shares the same last name as me) does with the stoppage time.
90' - Set piece for Los Angeles is squandered.
Four minutes, says Mr. Salazar to Mr. Salazar and the others in the box. Got it, chief.
90' + 2' - Alex Cazumba couldn't hold on to that one.
90' + 3' - And that shot is just an example of the mess that is the past two months.
Yellow card 1 Jimmy Nielsen
Kansas City Wizards
Damn time waster. Consolation, that, in what has been another forgettable outing for the embattled Los Angeles Galaxy.
90' + 4' - That is a wrap.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY 0
KANSAS CITY WIZARDS 2
Davy Arnaud 12'
Jimmy Conrad 70'
It been a lousy past couple of months for this Galaxy side; will there be more on the way?
Stay tuned for my take on this match on the View from Victoria Street and on Bleacher Report.