Sunday, July 20, 2008

New York Red Bulls vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

I went to my first MLS game live yesterday.  It was a bus trip from Nevada Smith's, a big soccer pub in the east village.  It was a fun trip, a lot of nice people, mostly English.  

The game was pretty good.  Los Angeles took the lead early on a nice header by Carlos Ruiz after Edson Buddle did some good work on the left flank.  La made some nice moves and threatened to add a second, but their back four always looked vulnerable.  Dave Van den Bergh equalized for New York with a nice shot from 25 or so yards out.  The defending was poor from Galaxy, no one closed him down in the center of the pitch, but it was still a nice finish.  

The second half was very different, as New York was in control, Juan Pablo Angel scored with a good header to give Red Bulls a deserved lead.  The crowd wasn't as large as the one for  Beckham's debut in New York last season, but it was still substantial, about 46,000 and the atmosphere was pretty good.  They lustily booed David Beckham every time he took a free kick or corner, but they cheered him quite enthusiastically when he applauded the fans after the match.  He might not have done so after a loss, but Landon Donovan, who I though was outstanding on the day, scored a 92nd minute equalizer on what may have been a cross but snuck in at the far post.  He also hit the post in extra time on another shot.

All in all, as I said, a good day out, and a good chance to meet some new people.

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