Pan Pacific Championship (Your running commentary)

Pan_pacific_championship_ap

Good evening folks. The Opening match of the Pan Pacific Championship, between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Gamba Osaka, is fast approaching, and for those of you who plan on watching, it will be the first chance to watch an MLS team play in 2008.

The Houston Dynamo-Sydney FC match that follows the LA-Osaka match should be the better match from a soccer standpoint, but both games will offer very enticing match-ups as we get a glimpse of how MLS teams stack up against clubs from Australia and Japan.

For a preview of the matches, check out Jeff Carlisle’s preview on ESPN.com.

I plan on watching tonight’s matches and will look to do a light running commentary on both games (at least that’s the plan, I have a feeling those plans will chance). At the very least, I will offer you night owls and West Coast SBI members a place to discuss the matches as they happen (and also offer up your own play by play on the matches for those unfortunate souls who don’t have ESPN Classic.)

Check back here throughout the night as we try to keep you updated on the Pan Pacific Championship. Enjoy the action.

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10th minute- Okay folks, I’m done for the night. I’ll watch this in the morning. Thanks for following along tonight.

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6th minute- Is anyone still watching (or reading here)? If so, let me know in the comments section.

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3rd minute- Yes, I’m up and watching this match. I can’t promise that I’ll make the full 90 minutes.

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HOUSTON DYNAMO vs. SYDNEY FC

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FINAL- Gamba Osaka 1, LA Galaxy 0. The second half from LA was better than the first half, but that wasn’t really saying much. Having Landon Donovan and Carlos Ruiz would certainly help, but I still wonder about that defense.

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91st minute- Good second half from Beckham, who has to be dead tired.

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90th minute- If there is any stoppage time in this game somebody should slap the referee.

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85th minute- I’ve made fun of the Galaxy tonight but I do actually think they will be a good team this year. Assuming the defense can be pieced together and there are no serious injuries.

And Beckham tackles Lucas cleanly, nice bit of revenge there. He’s a tough cookie.

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83rd minute- I’m going out on a limb and saying Beckham won’t play in the third-place game.

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81st minute- Wow, nice sequence for LA, a long wicks through to Beckham, who delivers a laser to Ely Allen in the area. The rookie doesn’t do a thing with it. LA keeps the ball and had some looks but the Galaxy’s forwards are horrendous.

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79th minute- Somebody wake me up when Josh Tudela wins a tackle.

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78th minute- Why in the world is Beckham in this match? Did Frank Yallop show up to guest-coach the second half?

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76th minute- McDonald completely ruins a wide-open look by blasting a short-range shot into the stands. That was the Galaxy’s best chance to equalize.

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71st minute- Is anybody still following along on the commentary? If so, please let me know in the comments section.

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66th minute- Nice camera shot of Beckham going at it with Gamba Osaka’s Lucas. He must have said something about Beckham’s tattoo of Posh.

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64th minute- Beckham is still in the game for some reason. Apparently he lost a bet with Ruud Gullit.

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62nd minute- Wicks does well to come off his line and thwart a dangerous Osaka sequence.

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61st minute- Two-thirds into this match and I’m convinced that somebody needs to start airing J-League games. Osaka is playing some nice soccer.

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56th minute- Here’s hoping the Houston-Sydney game is a bit more competitive than this one.

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54th minute- Bare with a good shot that Wicks saves with ease.

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51st minute- Josh Wicks races out of the area to head the ball clear. What’s with the LA goalkeepers rushing off their lines?

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49th minute- We’re under way in the second half and the poor soccer has picked right up.

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HALFTIME- The Galaxy is making some subs at halftime. We will get to see Sean Franklin and Julian Valentin, a pair of rookie defenders who have impressed in preseason. I’m actually interested to watch now.

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HALFTIME- So for those of you who noticed, this is my second running commentary of the day. After watching Milan-Arsenal and Barcelona-Celtic, and now watching this, I’m at a loss for an analogy to describe the disparity between the two.

It’s like going from being at the Playboy Mansion to being on The View.

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HALFTIME- I must confess, I have switched the game to ESPN360.com and am watching on the laptop as I catch up on my Rob & Big.

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HALFTIME- Gamba Osaka 1, Galaxy 0. You’re not missing much if you haven’t been able to see this match. Osaka has been sharper and passing better while the Galaxy has looked extremely rusty.

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45th minute- If you’re wondering about actual action, there hasn’t been much, not from the Galaxy anyway.

SAVE CRONIN. Bare with another shot on goal and Cronin does well to stop it.

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41st minute- Anybody else think Josh Tudela wears a beard so he doesn’t look 12 on the field?

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35th minute- Hey, it’s David Becham. I didn’t know he was going to be here.

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33rd minute- It’s official, Alvaro is a diving machine.

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32nd minute- I would hate to have paid for a ticket to this match. Then again, if I was at this game it would mean I was in Hawaii. I could put up with this mess if I were in Hawaii.

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27th minute- Osaka is knocking the ball around pretty well. Not bad for a team missing more than half of its starters.

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25th minute- I know it’s just the pre-season, and LA is missing some key players, but if this is "Sexy Football" I think the Galaxy should try abstinence.

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23rd minute- I wonder how much it would cost an MLS team to pry Bare away from Gamba Osaka. I’m sure some MLS teams are wondering that same thing right now.

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22nd minute- This game is awful. Osaka looks sharp and the Galaxy looks a mess. Shouldn’t be a surprise really.

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15th minute- The Galaxy dodge a bullet as Bare breaks in on an empty net but can’t catch up to the ball after beating Cronin to the ball.

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12th minute- Wow, Gavin with a great pass to the opposition, which nearly leads to a goal.

And there’s Edson Buddle, with a chance in the box only to lose it on his own.

SAVE STEVE CRONIN. Nice shot on goal and Cronin pushes it wide.

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11th minute- It’s easy to forget that this is an early pre-season game for the Galaxy….until you look at some of the names in the LA lineup.

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8th minute- I must say the crowd is pretty disappointing. I don’t think we’ll have to worry about a Hawaii expansion franchise any time soon (Damn).

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6th minute- WOW, What an acting job by LA’s Pires. He gets kicked and goes down like someone sprayed him with an Uzi.

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4th minute- GOAL GAMBA Osaka. And just like that, the Galaxy’s 2008 is off to a flying start.

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3rd minute- Don’t you love it. It’s the Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii and an MLS team still has to play on football lines. Funny.

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1st minute- We’re under way.

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PRE-GAME- If you know who all eleven Galaxy players are you deserve a prize.

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PRE-GAME- A pretty sparse crowd at the match. Figures the one MLS team not used to that is playing.

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PRE-GAME- And Greg Vanney, the newest Galaxy player, is in the lineup. And was that Jay-Z’s older brother in the Barcelona jersey?

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PRE-GAME- We’re almost under way and the anthems are being played.

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10:30pm- Okay, I’ll admit it, I thought the game started at 10pm. With an 11pm start I’m curious how many of you will be staying up to watch.

This entry was posted in International Soccer, Major League Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy. Bookmark the permalink.

133 Responses to Pan Pacific Championship (Your running commentary)

  1. patrick says:

    does anyone know the rankings of these leagues?

  2. MemRook says:

    aw man, i posted this in the previous thread before this thread was up. My predictions:

    Alright anyone who cares: Time to start gearing up for the PPC on ESPN classic tonight. I am rooting for both MLS teams, because well, no duh.

    LA 2-1 with a Beckham free kick.

    Houston 1-0.

  3. iki says:

    that iffs ranking stuff is iffy when looking at leagues outside of europe.

  4. luis says:

    ANY KNOW THE LINE UP FOR THE GALAXY?

  5. MemRook says:

    Here are some lineups; no rosters yet though:

    link to ppchampionship.net

  6. Sean H. says:

    I wonder who’s announcing… maybe a preview of the Primetime Thursday games.

  7. MemRook says:

    i meant here are rosters, no lineups though

  8. RK says:

    I can’t believe pre-season MLS is on TV…

  9. ben says:

    Quick predictions:
    Gamba Osaka 3 – LA 1
    Houston 3 – Sydney FC 2

  10. AlexS says:

    Hmmm….

    Gamba Osaka 3-1 LA
    Houston 2-0 Sydney FC

  11. jamesclark says:

    Ives, how (and why) are the Earthquakes in the Copa Libertadores?

  12. Avina says:

    Are both games on live? Here in Colorado start time is 9pm for the first game, not bad. I’m rooting for MLS but curious to see the quality of Gamba Osaka and Sydney FC.

  13. AlexS says:

    Oh, and

    link to myp2p.eu

    for all your not-having-ESPN-classic needs

  14. Andrew says:

    the earthquakes are in copa libertadores? wtf?! lmao how did that happen, why didnt they send a good proven team like DC, Houston or New England? RBNY? wtf im still in awe lol

  15. jake says:

    quakes are not in Copa Libertadores…

  16. eric says:

    The atmosphere is a leeeeetle different than the last 2 days of CL! No way this survives if there aren’t more fans over weekend…

    Oh no! Ty Harden, where are you?!?

  17. froboy says:

    there are no US teams in the copa libertadores, not yet at least

  18. Joe B says:

    Is it just me, or does Steve Cronin’s face scream lack of confidence?

  19. emanon says:

    that was quick . . .

  20. ManicMessiah says:

    Well, that was sure an inspiring start for the galaxy…

  21. Gene says:

    So far, Galaxy looks atrocious in all aspects of the game, particularly in the back. The goalkeeper will probably want to forget about that goal, too.

  22. Andrew says:

    lol yeah I just noticed that. it was san jose of like venezuela or something. Knew it was too good to be true.

  23. ManicMessiah says:

    After watching Arsenal’s display earlier on today, I don’t know why I’m staying up to put myself through this match.

  24. LA is looking horrible so far.

  25. Alexis says:

    why is beckham playing on the outside instead of the middle?

  26. ManicMessiah says:

    I didn’t even notice the football lines until you mentioned them. Now, they’re oddly distracting.

  27. Gene says:

    Cronin really looks shaky.

  28. RS says:

    Ives, Do you think it may fill in more as the first game goes on since it is a doubleheader?? Maybe Brian Ching will get an extra 15 or 20 people to come out??

  29. Danny says:

    Boy, LA is picking up where they left off last season. Giving up goals and playing like crap on offense. What a joke. David Beckham, you’re better than this. Man, I love the MLS and want it to succeed, but this is REALLY bad.

  30. Sandro says:

    Wow crowd is definetly dissapointing. Beckham is very popular in Asia, but I guess they needed a bigger draw.

  31. awiebe says:

    my guess is there will be no PPC 2009, just a thought…how long before beckham starts thinking about what he could be doing back on the continent?

  32. eric says:

    Come on Buddle! Gotta do better than that!

  33. Andrew says:

    Looks like our field! (Real Salt Lake)

  34. ManicMessiah says:

    Beckham put the ball on Buddle’s head, and he couldn’t even put it on net…

  35. awiebe, I give it until the season starts. Once that picks up and he’s playing in front of at least 27k every night I don’t think he’ll miss it too much… Or maybe he’ll miss it until he cashes his next check.

  36. Steve T. says:

    Gannon out Cronin in…ouchy

  37. Sandro says:

    Wow Galaxy looks out of synch big time. Bad passing and bad ball handling. Definetly not sexy soccer!!

  38. Sandro says:

    Wow…good job espn360. I am loving ESPN360.com

  39. tis says:

    Quakes in Copa Libertadores was a mistake by FSC…They were refering to Chivas Mexico and San Jose from Urugay ( i think), but they showed Preki and the new San Jose, CA coach. Funny.

  40. eric says:

    Good God, who was that fool at forward?!? I’ve seen more dangerous finishers at the local rec league.

  41. Nic says:

    Tech conundrum here… any ideas about where I can watch soccer (including the matches tonight of course) for free on the internet, and here’s the caveat, on a Mac? Most p2p programs won’t work with Leopard.

    I need help!!!

  42. Stephen says:

    this one is hard to watch after watching some of the most advanced midfield play in the Champions League all day..

  43. doug says:

    If Ruud is looking to play “sexy football” in LA, this is the type that will make you go celibate.

  44. Sandro says:

    Ives, is Gamba Osaka in season right now in Japan?

  45. doug says:

    J-League starts March 3. Hopkins said so like 5 minutes ago

  46. Alexis says:

    Who the hell are these announcers? The game may not be that god but I don’t need them telling me about Becks tattoos and the Spice Girls on tour. Assholes.

  47. Haig says:

    That was woeful from Kelly Gray. Beckham should strangle him.

  48. ManicMessiah says:

    Great job by whoever cleared that ball off the line.

  49. Alexis says:

    Put Cobi Jones in, hell put Gulitt in, can’t do any worse than Gray.

  50. Sandro says:

    Hahaha…Beckham does seem to have pub players playing with him tonight ;)

  51. Matt says:

    Hey, does anyone have an idea of what kind of payroll the typical J-League team has? Are they twice as high? Five times? Ten?

    Thanks.

    That Bare guy looks like he’d fit in MLS but I’m guessing a little too expensive.

  52. Alexis says:

    Cronin’s getting better, maybe…

  53. Don says:

    horrible first half for the galaxy

  54. Danny says:

    No fans in the seats coupled with the fact that the games aren’t even good enough to make anything more than ESPN Classic and ESPN360 means no PPC 2009. Yuck!

    I’m anything but a soccer snob. I love me some MLS. Even if they’re losers, they’re OUR losers. That being said, this looks very bad.

  55. Danny says:

    I suppose the “real” reason for this tourney is to cash in on the Beckham-mania with another market, specifically Asia and the South Pacific. Make some money. No complaint here. You have to get yours when you can.

  56. WonsanUnited says:

    J.League is probably the most competitive league out of all of the one in the PPC. They have the attendance (close to 20K per match), the money (A lot of the Brazillians make 7-figure salaries), and the quality. Most Japanese players don’t go to Europe (Shunsuke Nakamura may be one of the only exceptions), and again, the money attracts some good players from Brazil.

  57. Michael says:

    Where’s Donovan and Ruiz? Xavier? Babayaro? Something is missing here for the Gals… and its players who are gonna stretch the field a little.

  58. Bob says:

    Painful to watch, especially after Champions League. I need to keep reminding myself that this is pre-season . . .

  59. PJHardy says:

    Rob & Big, hahaha.
    They are the s**t, Ives.

  60. Sean H. says:

    HAHA nice Rob & Big plug Ives! This game sucks. I’m glad I didn’t waste any space on my TIVO for it.

  61. DWR says:

    Rob and Big = kickass
    Gamba vs LA = opposite of kickass

  62. Spencer says:

    Wow, maybe the Galaxy will give me a tryout at defense. They have the worst defense I’ve seen. I understand their lack of offense, but their defense is just awful. Cronin isn’t great either. He needs to learn to use his feet and he could have saved the first one.

  63. MK says:

    After Arsenal-Milan and Barcelona-Celtic, what better way to cap the night than to watch half of Gamba’s starters scrimmage 10 random guys and Beckham for a chance to crown the champions of the Pacific!

  64. Gene says:

    I think I just figured out the Galaxy’s weakest aspect…soccer.

  65. Gene says:

    Galaxy looked better in the last 2 minutes. Still, once they cross the middle of the field, they just look confused.

    Plus, the concept of playing Beckham as a winger chasing inaccurate long balls needs to be scrapped ASAP.

  66. Sandro says:

    GOod night Ives….this game is too awful to stay awake late.

  67. Alexis says:

    is beckham playing center back now? poor guy, he deserves a better team

  68. PJHardy says:

    I am, but you can quit if you want. There’s just not that much to say I know.
    Thanks for asking though.

  69. Andrew says:

    I’m still following, though not for long. What’s a good time in Hawaii is awfully late over here in Ohio, especially with work tomorrow.

  70. Original Aaron says:

    still following. for the chuckles

  71. Andrew says:

    Yeah, let me echo PJHardy. You’ve done yeoman’s work today. I don’t think anyone will be too outraged if you give yourself a break.

  72. JJ says:

    Ah yup yup

  73. Gene says:

    I just saw Buddle actually give a decent pass – you see something new every day, I guess:)

  74. Tom says:

    I commend you for staying around this long…

  75. Ryan says:

    Go to bed Ives, you work too hard.

  76. AlexS says:

    @ Matt

    The salaries from the J-League are not capped. The minimum salary for a non-developmental player is around $45,000 (though Japan has a higher cost of living), and there is no cap to max salary. Bare is probably pulling in DP money, so getting him to the US is unlikely.

  77. Alexis says:

    like the announcer said, that would have been ruiz in the middle, and landon instead of gray. something to look forward to

  78. Brendan says:

    “It’s like going from being at the Playboy Mansion to being on The View.” – Great line!

  79. Brice says:

    Wow if you are a Galaxy fan be very afraid if any of your starters are injured. I would hate to see many of these players forced into a start.

  80. Nico7 says:

    Allen should pull a Harden and retire right now…that was awful.

  81. Haig says:

    It’s hard to believe these guys are pursuing a career in professional soccer. Jordan, for instance, seems barely aware of the basic rules of the sport.

    Poor Beckham.

  82. Gene says:

    Becks played much better in the latter part of the match and is certainly working as hard as anyone else on that team. But, my God, none of these guys can hold on to the ball even when Beckham is giving them great passes. It seems like some of these guys need to play at a park on the weekend, not on a professional team.

  83. Joamiq says:

    Good on the Galaxy for at least getting some attacks and possession in the second half. Some of these scrubs are embarrassingly bad, but that’s to be expected. Beckham’s passing vision and technique are still superb.

  84. Mitch says:

    This game was such garbage. Poor Beckham, he looks like he’s playing with AYSO kids against Osaka. Pathetic.

  85. Joe says:

    How about that Alan Hopkins? Kudos to ESPN for putting him in the booth. A VERY welcome change from Waldo the buffoon. Hopefully Hopkins stays in the booth for MLS and they get rid of the sideline reporter gimmick…

  86. Steve T. says:

    Thanks Ives…I’m not hanging around for the second…I’m sure you’re not either! I love MLS too, but that was 1 world class player with 10 dudes from my sunday rec league, I’m sure of it.

  87. luis says:

    TERRIBLE..WHERE IS THE REAL GALAXY?

  88. Sean H. says:

    Really? I thought it was like Hopkins giving a sidelines report the entire game. I mean he was talking more than the play-by-play guy.

  89. sublicon says:

    woo, that was ugly.

  90. elfurdeball says:

    Pretty sad for the Galaxy when the two best players outside of Beckham were Portland Timbers Bryan Jordan and Goalie Josh Wicks. Wicks looked much better than Cronin.

  91. David3 says:

    I dont even know how to start.
    I feel bad for beckham.too bad ruiz and Donovan werent there.they would of put those goals away.

    too bad babayaro and xavier werent there either.that defense just might be the worst in the league this year again.they have no speed whatsoever.

    pathetic.

  92. Eric says:

    I thought that Valentin and Franklin did well in defense for LA. The team played way better than when they were on the bench in the first half. Becks showed he’s still got it. It’s a shame the Galaxy couldn’t even earn a decent set piece opportunity. I think they’ll have a solid offense once Donovan and Ruiz get on the field.

  93. RedLine55 says:

    That was seriously difficult to watch. especially after the champions league these past couple days…. ugh.

  94. PJHardy says:

    Every GK should be required to wear windpants stuck into their socks like Houston’s…haha…I’m headed to bed

  95. Phillip says:

    Houston’s gonna win this thing.

  96. Jon says:

    Just checking in to make sure you’re still paying attention, Ives. Only 12:45 in Houston.

  97. Ives says:

    Okay, folks, I’m done. Thanks to those of you followed along here.

  98. Steve says:

    Yeah still following on and off for the Houston game, but I will not be lasting the full 90 so as far as I am concerned, certainly don’t feel bad if you don’t feel like doing a running commentary

  99. El Hombre del Pan de Jengibre says:

    ¬°Estoy aqui Ives!

  100. Joe says:

    LA were, for the most part, dreadful.

    LA need Donovan and Ruiz. They will score goals with Beckham delivering those amazing crosses to someone other than Allen.

    The central midfield wasn’t there. That Brazilian “Buffalo” is a disgrace. The first 2 signs from him were pretending to be hurt and then demanding a yellow card from the referee.

    Klein & Buddle are too slow: waste of (cap) space.

    Impressed with Franklin at RB.

    You have to feel for Beckham b/c he is so clearly a class above these college graduates.

    Thanks Ives for the running commentary.

    The first 15 minutes of the Houston game is a stark contrast b/w Houston and LA. I really like Ashe’s attacking mentality down the left flank.

  101. eric says:

    Ah, Stuart Holden. Hopefully he’ll make a run up the USMNT LW depth chart, at least past Eddie Lewis.

  102. Mike Caramba says:

    I’m watching. thanks for the commentary

  103. Rob says:

    19th minute – Still here for you, Ives. DeRo crushes one off the cross bar from deep. Not sure what I think of these Sydney jerseys. Close to being cheesy, but still kind of cool.

  104. eric says:

    Some near soccer, just at the point where i was about to turn in. Sydney look pretty disinterested.

    I kinda like the whole idea, some idea to measure up the new leagues against each other… but Super Liga it ain’t.

  105. El Hombre del Pan de Jengibre says:

    This game isn’t too bad for being a post season/pre season friendly

  106. zilla says:

    Damn, Houston looks like they are in championship form, and Sydney is the squad in the middle of their season. DeRo almost had an Extraneous-Tournament-Semi-Related-To-MLS Goal of the Year.

  107. eric says:

    I’m not really into the Sydney jerseys, I don’t like the superfluous stripes of color on the shoulders for no particularly good reason.

    Oh! There we go!

  108. El Hombre del Pan de Jengibre says:

    Wow, what a goal by DeRo

  109. Rob says:

    27th minute – GOAL! DeRo absolutely cracks one. Houston looks good. Enough said.

  110. El Hombre del Pan de Jengibre says:

    Another, by Holden. I didn’t really think that Dynamo would be this sharp.

  111. Rob says:

    29th minute – Another goal. Stuart Holden. Cheesy hula celebration to top it off.

  112. eric says:

    Wow, does this set the tone for Houston all year – all business, where ever they are playing? And DeRo doesn’t look as amused as Chingy after that scuff. These guys could definitely use at least one replacement for Jaqua/Ngwenya if they’re going all out for all these tournies…

  113. Rob says:

    Yeah, I have to agree. Houston looks great tonight, but with such a full schedule, they are gonna need some depth at forward. They seem to have it in all other areas but not offense. Of course, this time last year Jaqua and Ngwenya were no where to be found. So lets see what Kinnear can find this year…

  114. eric says:

    More fun from Holden! I hope he has a great year, plays so much like Convey pre-injury

  115. Rob says:

    well, there ya go. apparently wondolowski wants to be the man to step up. houston just shredding sydney

  116. eric says:

    That play makes me curious to see what Ching – Altidore can do together for the Nats. Ching is has really matured into a great passing forward, great guy to play off of

  117. DWR says:

    Wow much better of a game 3-0 Houston so far at half, very good goals.

    Maybe if i have time tomorrow i will put some highlights up on Youtube

    I normally wouldnt watch a match this late but I have school work to do.

  118. zilla says:

    Damn – Ching to Wondolowski was something. 3-0. Houston is kicking their asses.

    And now we learn, thanks to Wheelock’s commentary on 360, that Kinnear says that Wondolowski is the best finisher on the team. He’ll sure get his chance this season.

  119. zilla says:

    DWR, I hear ya. I’m procrastinating on my research project as we speak…

  120. AlexS says:

    FYI, there’s everything but an official confirmation that Houston are signing Franco Caraccio from Arsenal de Sarandi of Argentina.

    link to chron.com

  121. Gabe says:

    Ives,
    Thanks for the running commentary. I was watching the game, but its fun to read now after the fact.

  122. Matt says:

    Just got home from the games.

    It was awesome. LA looked sluggish and seemed clearly dominated nearly the whole game.

    Houston looked really good. I can’t wait to see them in the final. Not sure what to make of Sydney. They were never in that game.

  123. papa bear says:

    LA is HEINOUS. Are they capable of passing and trapping under control? Every ball was bouncing up head high and flopping around like a fish out of water. You can’t blame the surface either because Osaka (or HOuston or Sydney) didn’t have any of those problems.
    Houston…looks like they are the team to beat again. They smacked the s*** outta Sydney.

  124. smokeminside says:

    Was at the games, too, and still up for no good reason. most of the following comments are off topic, but my wife doesn’t really get all the fuss, so I was hoping my friends here might identify a bit.
    Highlights: 1)watching Beckham off the ball. He’s amazing: directing traffic, running to space, standing around waiting, waiting, waiting for someone else on Galaxy to see him WIDE OPEN time after time. Man, LA is weak.
    2)my 7 year old was chosen to escort a player on the field, and got to walk out with Cronin, whose best play of the night was standing next to Beckham during the national anthem. Son almost broke his neck looking up at Becks.
    3)after the game Becks gave his jersey to two of my son’s teammates who were holding the orange Beckham signs. Very cool gesture.
    4) Beckham going after a guy who stepped on his foot. The replay showed him jawing at the other player, one of the Brazilians. What it didn’t show well was what led to it: the guy really stomped on Beckham’s foot. About 10 minutes later, Beckham laid out one of foot stompers teammates: an NFL hit, trust me. Sweet.
    5)Houston’s overall play: very, very sharp.

    Lowlights: the crowd was small, and fewer were at the second game than the first. So there is Beckham fever here, but it’s lowgrade.Too bad LA isn’t in the final; no one’s going to hang around a Houston/JLeague final.

    LA’s dispirited play. Buddle was a mess. Can Beckham ask to be traded? I’m serious: what are the rules against him demanding a trade?

    Okay, I’m finally getting drowsy.
    See you tomorrow.

  125. eric-dynamo says:

    Galaxy should be relegated to USL-1. I was really dissapointed with LA, they played horrible. Field Turf sucks!!!!!!!!! Dynamo all the way. Pretty good for a preseason tourney.

  126. Mike O says:

    Wow, just over 15,000 with Beckham and the back-to-back MLS champs in the house. And this after the NFL Pro Bowl sells out the week before? It’s nice outreach but it goes to show how far soccer still has to go in the U.S. outside of its hotbeds. Unfortunately Fieldturf, in addition to not being a suitable surface for soccer, along with the football lines only adds to the amateurish feel of the tourney. Seattle’s planning on making that football stadium with its size and surface its permanent facility? Seems like a step backwards.

    The Galaxy looked beyond pathetic last night. It goes to show how thin the MLS still is talent-wise in spots. They’re going to really need to consider that as they expand. Soccer is about refined skill, knowledge, technique, and imagination not just raw athleticism. U.S. soccer still can be very crude.

    All and all, this was not a great success though it was good to see Houston take care of its business and pound an upper-echelon A-League team. If LA can acquit itself a little better against Sydney as well as not get Beckham hurt and Houston can beat Osaka then there might be something worth salvaging here.

    Oh, well. After the past couple of heady years the MLS probably needed a bit of a reality check.

  127. Original Aaron says:

    was able to stay awake throughout the horrid first game- was gamba pulling punches b/c they didn’t want to embarass LA in a game clearly designed to showcase Becks on Japanese television? B/c it sure looked like they were unlucky not to score 3-4 goals in the first half, and then they made a bunch of subs and appeared to basically abandon the attack in the second. Houston- alas i fell asleep before kickoff, but when i woke up after a half hour cat nap the dynamo were up 2 goals! i know they havw a reason to get in shape quicker (champions cup), but wow! 3-peat?

  128. Rob C says:

    I only watched the Galaxy/Gamba Osaka game. Jesus, was that awful. What a conundrum MLS has on its hands. They’re forced to use the Beckham circus to market the league, but the team is downright embarassing. The Galaxy were playing USL-1 or even USL-2 level soccer last night. I think all of us that read this blog would agree that the league holds itself to a higher standard than what LA showed last night. What an embarassment.

    Also, that “Field Turf” played more like Astro Turf. Even the Giants Stadium surface, clearly the worst of the 3 artificial surfaces in the league, doesn’t produce that much bounce and extra spin on the ball.

    I usually am a great optimist when it comes to MLS because I care deeply about the American game and want the league to succeed. The Galaxy were a flat-out disgrace last night. However, the Dynamo seemed to impress (I didn’t see the game), so that’s good. I truly believe that MLS is MILES ahead of what the Galaxy showed last night.

    Never thought I’d say this, but damn, I feel bad for Beckham.

  129. JSquaredNY says:

    LA looked like a Junior Varsity team out there. You’ve got to feel pretty bad for Beckham because everyone else from LA was a joke.

  130. Michael says:

    I actually stayed up and watched the first half of the Dynamo game and they look really good. DDR had a great goal and Stuart Holden looked dangerous. Overall they took apart FC Sydney and played on their side of the field almost the whole half. Good Stuff.

    Speaking of Holden, Bradley needs to cap tie this guy because he has a lot of potential. I was impressed with his runs and how he attacks the ball.

  131. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Thanks for the comments Mafia….I watched the first game, but was corraled by the missus for the 2nd. sorry I missed the game by Holden.
    Smokeminside….thanks for the sideline stories, made it real for me…
    Thought Valentin and Franklin looked good. Will put money down that a GK signing is in the works.

  132. Matt says:

    Meh.

    The games were on a wednesday night and started during rush hour. Which is always a mess by the stadium.

    I was actually impressed with the crowd in that respect.

    Maybe more will come on Sat. Less traffic and no school the next day.

    Perhaps more people would have stayed for the Dynamo if they weren’t absolutely blowing Sydney away at half time.

  133. mamajay says:

    I was at the game(s) on wed also- Beckham is gracious and knows what his role is. I was actually impressed with him (and I’m not a 12yr old girl). And although the team was ‘flat’, it was exciting for the locals to see Beckham- I saw him go over after the game & give his jersey to those boys- WOW! how amazing was that?! =D BEEG GRINS ALL OVER!
    In the second game, Chingy’s touches on the ball were so awesome- it was fun to watch. Sydney’s keeper was having an OFF day…
    Does anyone think Beckham will play tomorrow?