Superliga Night Three
The inaugural Superliga Tournament once again gave us some great action Saturday Night as FC Dallas was unfortunate to draw with Pachuca. Clarence Goodson appeared to give the Hoops a one to nill lead right before halftime but the goal was incorrectly judged offsides by the official. After Carlos Ruiz did score a goal to put FCD ahead 1-0, the Hoops conceded a penalty which Pachuca converted to draw level. Dallas had several chances down the stretch to win the match but failed to convert. Now sitting on two points, third in the group, Dallas needs to defeat Los Angeles in its final group game to advance. Dallas should feel hard done once again: They should have beat Chivas if not for a missed hand ball call on the Guadalajara goal, and now another controversial draw. Nonetheless, I believe Dallas has shown themselves already to be the class of Group A, even if they are currently in serious jeopardy of not advancing.
In the second match a disappointing crowd of just over 37,000 (some reports had claimed as many as 70,000 would show) saw Chivas of Guadalajara dominate the outclassed David Beckham less Galaxy. Joe Cannon had another solid game between the posts for the Galaxy single handidly keeping LA even at halftime. In the second half, Francisco Rodriguez put Chivas ahead, and sensing a tired and outclassed LA squad, Jose Manual De La Torre saw an opportunity to bring Omar Bravo off the bench and get him some playing time. Bravo, who played in both the Gold Cup and Copa America for Mexico was held out of the first Superliga match in order to give him some break time. Bravo scored a wonderful counter-attacking goal in the 82nd minute, after Carlos Pavon of LA had mishit two headers that could have equalised the match. Landon Donovan scored a spectacular goal late but it wasn’t enough. David Beckham was in the match squad and available but was never called upon. Even more curious was that Cobi Jones who singley changed LA’s stalemate with Pachuca in the first group match was left on the bench while Frank Yallop opted to bring on Edson Buddle and Gavin Glinton late. For my money, Cobi Jones even at 37 is five times the player either of those two subs that were used will ever be, and Yallop’s decision making has to be questioned. In addition, after announcing David Beckham would be held out of the match due to his injury, why was he dressed and availible? Was Yallop anticipating a late free kick to win or equalize the match and just wanted him availible for such an occasion?