Well as I start my pre-season training for match reports in the upcoming season, I figured I would start with something I could do live. Reason being was so I could experiment with an idea or two, and since these games were very hard to get a hold of (unless you love little screens on the internet or can understand the Spanish language), it made for a good opportunity. Please note that these won't be as indepth as my delayed match reports generally are, but I'm pretty sure you'll get the gist of what happened.
Match One: FC Dallas v Chivas Guadalajara 1. Quick story: Game of good tempo that will be marred by controversy. An apparent hand ball led to Chivas canceling out Dallas's opener and then in retaliation to an elbow, Drew Moor gets himself sent off. In the end it was a hard earned point by Dallas, but in reality it should have been all three.Lineups (from Soccernet.com) FC Dallas: 30 Ray Burse, 4 Chris Gbandi, 11 Clarence Goodson, 14 Drew Moor, 15 Adrian Serioux,12 Arturo Alvarez, 6 Pablo Ricchetti, 5 Marcelo Saragosa, 8 Juan Carlos Toja, 34 Ricardinoh R. 20 Carlos Ruiz. Bench: 1 Shaka Hislop, 17 Aaron Pitchkolan, 19 Bobby Rhine, 16 David Wagefuhr, 13 Dan McCarthy, 25 Domenic Oduro, 7 Abe Thompson.Guadalajara: 1 Luis Ernesto Michel, 29 Mario de Luna, 20 Edgar Mejia, 26 Antonio Ocampo, 4 Hector Reyonso, 27 Omar Arellano, 13 Sergio Avila, 18 Javiee Baez, 28 Juilio Cesar Naba, 23 Antonio Salazar, 21 Sergio Alejandro Piedra Santana. Bench: 17 Alfredo Talavera, 38 Jorge Candenas, 8 Jose Antonio Olvera, 14 Jose Antonio Patlan, 50 Pablo Cesar Chavez, 70 Edgar Solis, 42 Jesus Padilla.First Half: Note: Due to issues from MLS/Superliga's websites, unable to pick up any of the action from the first half in real time. The MLS Website promised the game and well they got us the game...just it only took them half an hour to do so. I wonder what would have happened had the first game been the Galaxy game? From the little bit of action I could make out from not so legal means (sorry MLS had you got everything up in time I wouldn't have had to do so) Chivas could live to regret the three clear cut chances they had. Dallas really looked out of sync and took a while to get into the flow of play. Their passes were bad, without any proper weight; and that took them away from building any attack. Goodson played out of his shoes for Dallas at the back in the first half, and it will take a more concerted effort by the entire back four if they are to keep a goal out of the net.Second Half: Ricchetti needs to be careful with his choice of challenges already on a yellow card. Dallas doing a much better job to start the second half building up their play, but Chivas is holding firm at the back. Ricardinoh with a good run, however his cross fails him...then again, there was only one man back for service. So close from Chivas. Santana's cross in just missed Salazar with Moor clearing for a corner. On the corner, Burse does well to get a hand to the ball. Gbandi with not one but two bad crosses towards the box in succession. Baez left out to dray with a cross in the fifty-sixth with no one at the near post and a man trailing at the back. AND WHAT A GOAL BY ARTURO ALVAREZ. THE PASS FROM RUIZ TO TOJA WAS SIMPLY DEVINE AND WITH TWO MEN RUNNING FORWARD, THE CENTRAL DEFENSE FAILED TO PICK UP EITHER MAN. THE PASS TO ALVAREZ WAS SIMPLY PERFECT AND MICHEL GOT CAUGHT TRYING TO COME FORWARD AS THE CHIP GOES RIGHT OVER HIS HEAD. DALLAS 1 CHIVAS 0.Immediately Chivas with pressure. Burse went out to collect and Naba's chip nearly goes in save Goodson's head. Off the corner, Burse again with a good reflex save. At the other end, Ricardinoh earns the free kick which Michel easily clears. Great challenge by Toja deep in the corner and works well to earn the free kick. Serioux does well to clear from Arellano. AND CHIVAS COMES RIGHT BACK WITH A GOAL AND BOY WILL THIS CAUSE CONTROVERSEY. THE BALL WAS PLAYED DOWN BY OLVERA WHO THEN SLOTS IT HOME NEAR POST. THE REPLAYS CLEARLY SHOW THE BALL BEING PLAYED BY THE HAND FOR AN ADVANTAGE. BURSE HAD NO CHANCE AS THAT SHOT WAS WITH PACE. DALLAS 1 CHIVAS 1.OH DEAR NOT WHAT WE NEEDED TO SEE. DREW MOOR TOOK WHAT LOOKED TO BE AN ELBOW TO THE FACE AND UPON GETTING UP, THE FISTS MADE AN ATTEMPT TO FLY. ONCE THE MELEE SUBSIDED, DREW MOOR WAS SENT OFF. QUITE FRANKLY BOTH MOOR AND SALAZAR SHOULD HAVE SEEN RED CARDS. Great run by Naba to stay onside and good run by Burse to collect. Alvarez does well to earn corner kick, and off the corner kick, Ruiz does well to stay onside, but he must have been the only one in the park who thought he was off. The challenge by Michel was a bit rash, but he barely got ball first. Toja does well to earn a corner that Alvarez does well to recollect and Rhine doing better to earn a second corner in succession. However the attacking spell ends quickly as the Rhine couldn't find Alvarez from Michel's parry out. Great chance for Chivas late into stoppage time, but Olvera's free kick was weakly sent out of play.Final Thoughts: Dallas even a man down, had a few good chances to outright win the game, but they will feel robbed as Chivas's goal looked to be as blatant a handball you will see. The red card to Moor was correct, but when he was elbowed inside the penalty area and no card or penalty given, it's a severe miscarriage of justice. If Dallas wants to make a serious run at winning this competition, their defensive unit will have to quit all the scrambling play and make a more concerted effort to stay as a unit. All things considered for Dallas, a well earned point.
Match Two: LA Galaxy v Pachuca. Quick story: Los Angeles stuns Pachuca in what one would call an upset. Despite long spells of possession by Pachuca, LA was able to put up 2 goals worthy of winning any competition and once again Cobi Jones comes back to haunt a Mexican opposition. Los Angeles deserved the win and rightfully got it. Pachuca will regret going after Xavier during the match as while they got one past him, his presence on the pitch all night long gave them problems. LA Galaxy. 1 Joe Cannon, 3 Ty Harden, 4 Ante Jazic, 12 Troy Roberts, 17 Abel Xavier, 10 Landon Donovan 22 Kelly Gray, 7 Chris Klein, 18 Kyle Martino, 21 Alan Gordon, 20 Carlos Pavon Bench: Steve Cronin, 14 Edson Buddle, 9 Gavin Glinton, 13 Cobi Jones, 2 Mike Randolph, 8 Peter Vagenas, 15 Kirk Quavas.Pachuca. 1 Miguel Calero, 14 Marvin Cabrera, 2 Leobardo Lopez, 3 Aquivaldo Mosquera, 16 Carlos Rodriguez, 13 Fernando Salazar, 8 Gabriel Eseban Schiker Caballero, 10 Andres Chivita, 19 Christian Gimenez, 18 Luis Gabriel-Ray, 25, R. Marquez, Lugo. Bench: 13 Edgar Hernandez, 22 Paul Aguilar, 7 Damian Ariel Alvarez, 11 U. Manon, 4 Luiz Montes, 5 Francisco Torres, 33 Braulio Godinez.First Half: Great start by the Galaxy, Gordon with a good flash effort going high. Cabreas's effort not bad either, but not able to find the near post. Good effort by Ray, but Xavier quickly back to make sure it wasn't as clear cut as it looked. Bad dispossession by Pavon and again Xavier back to quickly clear the danger. Not a minute later, Martino has to kick out for a corner as the pressure builds...however off the corner Cannon with a good save. Pachuca just peppering the net early. Donovan with a good run forward, but Gordon just offside...the replay looked otherwise. Pavon unable to get to one, the pass a little heavy. GREAT SAVE BY CANNON FROM THE SHOT BYGIMENEZ FROM THE THROUGH BALL BY CHIVITA. Oh my from Pavon. The ball in from Klein was just too tall for Pavon, however the goal may have been disallowed due to a forearm to Calero by Gordon. Great build by LA...until Jazic's cross goes wayward of the backpost. Good clearance by Xavier, Chivita unable to settle without using the hand. Donovan's free kick not great, however LA does well to get the ball back, however Pavon's centering pass fails him. Again Xavier back to clean up for the Galaxy defense after Ray couldn't control from 10 yards out. The resulting corner is cleared and then Pachuca is caught offside. Bad bad header by Gordon, out of position when Jazic's cross came in. Good flash effort by Gimenez that made Cannon look silly by not collecting on the first attempt. Good save by Cannon from Rodriguez, Jazic there to clear. Xavier and Cannon came through in a big way in the first half and will have to do so again in the second.Second Half: I like the sub of Jones for Martino. OH MY HOW DOES PAVON MISS THAT ONE. CHRIS KLEIN FINDS HIM PERFECTLY AND INSTEAD OF TRYING TO SLIP PAST HIS DEFENDER, PUTS ONE WAY HIGH AND WIDE OF THE NEAR POST. AND IT ISN'T MUCH LONGER AFTER THAT BEFORE LA SHOCK EVERYONE AND TAKE THE LEAD. THE PASS IN FROM LANDON DONOVAN TO GORDON WAS RIGHT ON THE MARK AND OFF THE CHEST BEATS THE KEEPER HEADING TOWARDS THE MIDDLE OF THE NET. THE MARKING WAS THERE, BUT THE SIZE PROVED TO BE THE DIFFERENCE. LA GALAXY 1 PACHUCA 0. Ray nearly responds back, but his shot doesn't start to dip until after it's over the crossbar. Not 90 seconds later, the cross in by Chivita's cross unable to find a diving Lugo. Donovan tries the breakaway, but the elbow by Rodriguez stopped that. Alan Gordon nearly puts Pavon's cross in. Rodriguez and Calero beaten on the effort but Gordon unable to slide it into an empty net. Bad foul to give up by Jazic giving up the free kick from about 24 yards out...however Gimenez goes wide of the far post. Pavon unable to find enough pace from Quevas cross to slip it past Calero. OH DEAR LUGO SHOULD HAVE DONE MUCH MUCH BETTER. HIS EFFORT GOES MISTIMED AND CANNON SENSING THE DANGER HAD ALREADY DIVED BEFORE THE SHOT COULD BE TAKEN, HIS LEGS MAKING THE SAVE. Again, Xavier back to earn the corner. ON THE COUNTER DONOVAN TO KLEIN AND NO CALL GIVEN...rightfully so. Back on the other end, Gimenez has an effort deflected out for a corner and without the deflection, it's level. Pachuca starting to up the ante, not before a little shoving match breaks out. Yet another Xavier clearance to give Pachuca a corner. Another dangerous free kick for Pachuca about 25 from goal, but the wall does it's job and it's out for a goal kick. HOWEVER AFTER ALL THE BUILD BY PACHUCA, THEY ARE REWARDED WITH THE GOAL THEY HAVE DESERVED. THE PASS IN FROM ALVAREZ TO LUGO GOES RIGHT PAST JOE CANNON. XAVIER WHO HAVE PLAYED SO WELL WAS THE MAN CAUGHT OUT ON THE PLAY. LA GALAXY 1 PACHUCA 1. It took a while, but LA finally gets a corner kick; and from the play...GUESS WHO CAUSES MEXICAN OPPOSITION TROUBLE? IF YOU GUESS COBI JONES, YOU ARE CORRECT SIR. THE SERVICE FROM DONOVAN TO JONES AGAIN GOLD, BUT AFTER HAVING TO BRING IT BACK TO THE CENTER PUTS A SHOT ON GOAL THAT APPEARED HEADING TO CALERO, BUT DONOVAN DOES JUST ENOUGH TO FLIP IT HOME NEAR POST. LA GALAXY 2 PACHUCA 1. Good save by Cannon, good clearance by Harden. Donovan on the breakaway nearly finds Glinton coming forward, but the ball just stopped from it's intended target.Final thoughts: Pachuca had all the chances in the world, but failed to convert for one of many reasons. The Galaxy did their best to soak up the pressure, and thanks to two wonderful goals, now lead this group. It goes to show you that if LA is clicking on all cylinders, they can be tough to beat. Galaxy fans just hope this isn't a one off game and their recent form comes back to haunt them on the weekend.
I'll be back tomorrow night for night two of the Superliga. Until all feedback is welcomed and appreciated.