Pachuca is the little club that could. Late last night in front of a sellout crowd at the Home Dept Center they one their fourth trophy in nine months as they defeated a disgracefully outclassed LA Galaxy side in a penalty shootout. Landon Donovan missed an opportunity to win the match for the Galaxy when his pk in the 5th round was saved by Miguel Calero. But the game shouldn’t have been in doubt as Pachuca missed several chances to finish fairly easy opportunities in regulation. Joe Cannon again proved last night that the standard of MLS and American goalkeeping is far above that of let’s say English goalkeeping with a performance for the ages. He alone kept the Galaxy in the match so that Chris Klein whose bicycle kick goal was a thing of beauty could even the match in second half stoppage time.
The Galaxy’s loss further emphasized the point that the club has been gutted by inept player personnel decisions and that the circus surrounding David Beckham’s arrival with the Galaxy has killed club. Beckham for his part played 28 minutes and was injured again. Now Beckham may have been a world class player for Manchester United and a slightly above average player for Real Madrid but in those places he had an enforcer who gave him cover in the midfield. Paul Scholes and Roy Keane played that role with United and with Real he had any number of talented and tough ball winners around him. What we have learned is with Beckham playing with a poor group of surrounding players, against much more accomplished teams like Pachuca.
Pachuca is one of the best clubs in the world that nobody in the European media seems to be aware of. A small city team, they have built a super club through an extensive network of scouting in Latin America and even through MLS rejects like Damian Alvarez. In all deference to Boca Juniors, I’d love to see Pachuca take on the best from Latin America and Europe. They are simply that good, and that special for as a small club they have broken the big club monopoly in Mexico and dominated the league recently.