Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Vancouver Whitecaps - Los Angeles Galaxy live blog

I've been a bit distracted with some of the other sporting offerings this evening, but I'm ready to settle in and watch a North American soccer exhibition match in a Canadian Football League stadium.

Here are the details


Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta
7 pm local / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET

GolTV / Shaw / cbcsports.ca

I was half watching, and Vancouver nabbed a goal in the first 10 minutes, following what should likely have been a foul against the Whitecaps. But the last time these two played, there were no goals, so already an improvement.

13:00: It appears all the different outlets carrying this match are using the same feed. No surprise really, as having 2 or 3 camera crews for what really is a second rate matchup, his royal smugness notwithstanding, would be overkill.

14:00: Commentator Paul Dolan made some remarks about the surface not being to the Galaxy's liking, as if the Whitecaps don't also play on an excellent pitch. But he's right, Commonwealth has some large dead patches.

15:00: Former TFC keeper Srdjan Djekanovic is in net for Vancouver and just made an excellent save. The subsequent corner for Mr. Posh was headed and handled by Srdjan.

16:00: Another outstanding save by Djekanovic followed by cascading girlish screams for Becks as he delivers a corner. Ante Jazic had a chance after the scramble. It's good to see that Jazic, a sometime MNTer, is back in action after a long term injury. I'll try to get full lineups soon.

The Whitecaps goal earlier was scored by Nicholas Addlery, a DC United castoff from Jamaica. He just had another chance at 20 minutes, with a shot off the post.

22:00: Djekanovic makes a good punch off of a Beckham free kick. I should make not of the crowd which, while not much of a soccer crowd (the feminine shrieks every time Becks touches the ball are an indication of that), is a pretty decent size.

Also of note, Landycakes isn't on to start the match.

25:00: Everyone's got their boners in a knot (ouch!) because Beckham has a freekick in a dangerous area. It goes wide.

Earlier, Hirano for Vancouver had a good run and shot that went over the bar. Dolan mentioned his nickname, and I thought I heard the word "oyster" but didn't catch the rest. If anyone can fill me in, I'd be much obliged.

34:00: The game has settled in a fair bit, and the Whitecaps are the better team. You might say this is to be expected, with one side treating this as a training match and the other using the opportunity to prove a point. But for my money, Martin Nash has been a more useful player than Beckham in this match.

38:00: As far as white-haired guys are concerned, Abel Xavier seems about as useful as a jewish Santa Claus. Oy!

43:00: Some know named Gordon scores for the Galaxy, on a Beckham long ball. But don't give Beckham too much credit (the announcers are doing that for you) as Djekanovic completely misplayed the whole scenario.

HALF TIME: It's 1-1. It's a shame LA scored, because I was going to quote a certain philosopher and say that this team from Los Angeles "kinda fucking sucks". Jazic interviewed and moans about the pitch a bit, but I'm as pumped as he is that he's back from injury. As far as I'm concerned he's in the mix at left-back for WCQ.

I'll be slowing down the updates a bit in the second half as it appears nobody is reading this.

The guy interviewing Lenarduzzi notes that there are over 37,000 bums in the seats. I don't want to get too worked up over a meaningless match featuring an overhyped superstar, but I have to say I'm impressed.

With the second half about to get underway, the rain appears to be gathering strength. When Beckham gets subbed out, I'd bet on a mass exodus just like there was in the same situation last November at BC Place.

47:00: The Whitecaps made a handful of changes at half, including Jay Nolly in for Djekanovic. Not sure about the Galaxy. I just heard a good Dolan-ism: "Kindel is never afraid to back down". Good on him!

The one Whitecaps player I'm excited to see is Randy Edwini-Bonsu, who was been hot for the residential side that recently toured Germany.

54:00: Galaxy put one in, but it's offside. I'm not so sure actually, but not worth getting worked up in a game of so little importance, result-wise.

63:00: Ante Jazic is off, as Los Angeles likely don't want to push it with his recent injury. The game is looking a bit disjointed now, as you might expect. Don't be surprised if Becks leaves the pitch in the next few minutes.

The Whitecaps, much like the Phoenix Suns, look a little lost when Nash isn't running the show.

66:00: After the Galaxy give it away in the Vancouver half, substitute Nick Webb puts in a nice low cross that is clinically finished by Cuban-Canadian Eddy Sebrango. 2-1 Whitecaps.

67:00: Another Dolan-ism: "All the flashlights clicking..."

71:00: Some real sloppy play in the back, and a near goal for Vancouver.

I forgot to mention my drink of choice for the evening. It's Rickard's Red, and I'm going easy tonight.

It's all Vancouver right now, and Beckham looks like he just wants to go hit the showers. Godfrey and Dolan are speculating about Edmonton as a host of a potential World Cup qualifying match and though I was initially skeptical about that (I thought Edmonton's rep as a great pro-Canada host has been a bit exaggerated), I'm more enthusiastic about it now. All the Whitecaps starters have now been replaces except Cann and Jeroen (centre backs) and right back Lyle Martin.

81:00: The Galaxy look a lot more dangerous now. Is it the B lineup Vancouver has out there, or the fact that David Beckham isn't out there half-assing it?

75:00: Beckham is off. Watch the masses depart.

79:00: The Whitecaps have been subbing furiously over the last few minutes. I didn't catch all of them, but Diaz Kambere, who had an up and down tournament in the Olympic Qualifiers, is in for Takashi Hirano. Also, nice to hear a hometown cheer for Edwini-Bonsu who replaces Sebrango.

86:00: Some good action late. First, some emergency defending by the Whitecaps, then Edwini-Bonsu gets onto the end of a corner, and the ball bounces around before Webb (one of them, there are two, apparently) hammers a shot that was cleared off the line by a Galaxy defender.

90:00: A handball by Vancouver in the box is missed, and the fans are booing. I'm confused. Do they like Beckham, or the Galaxy as well? Are penalties really that exciting? (Answer: No.)

Extra time: Edwini-Bonsu made some nice moves and forced a save by Wicks for a corner. This kid looks like he has some talent.

After 4 minutes of extra time, it's over. Vancouver wins 2-1, and were fully deserving of the result. The announcers agree, and they piled on Abel Xavier's shitty display as well. I'm out for now, will post some links to match reports later.

A big shout-out to the readers who popped by for the second half. Stick around and check out
the other posts, if you're interested in soccer with a Canadian flavour.


David Beckham gets assist but LA Galaxy lose to Whitecaps 2-1 in Edmonton
- Canadian Press
Beckham's appearance has Edmonton soccer fans abuzz - Canwest News Service
Beckham's Galaxy edged by Whitecaps in Edmonton - CBC Sports
Whitecaps defeat Galaxy in Edmonton - WhitecapsFC.com

Some photos from the match . . .

This is how confused Abel Xavier appeared to be the entire evening.

Becks and my favourite Whitecap.

From what I heard every time Becks touched the ball, there were 20,000 fans just like this one.

After some initial discouragement, I was pretty pleased with how this liveblog went. I'm now looking forward to the Canada matches at the end of May and beginning of June (Brazil in Seattle on May 31, and Panama, now on June 4th in Miami). Even before that, though, I might spend an hour or two on Victoria Day watching French television and gushing about Stade Saputo as the Impact take on the Whitecaps.


Anonymous said...

I'm reading this

Anonymous said...

Becks is playing a decent game.

J said...

Yeah, I think I was a bit harsh on Becks. He hits a good long ball now and again, from set pieces or open play, but seems to disappear for so long, and gives so little effort defensively.

He was nowhere near the worst Galaxy player, to be sure.