What happens when you link up the greatest American coach with the greatest American player in the greatest American matchup? A hat trick of course! The renewed partnership of Bruce Arena of Landon Donovan so successful for the US National Team until Germany 2006 paid dividends for the LA Galaxy last night in the biggest matchup Major League Soccer has. I’m sorry MLS snobs but I just cannot get excited about Kansas City playing Toronto or New England playing Colorado. MLS as we’ve discussed for some weeks on this site is for the most part at this stage of the season thoroughly unwatchable although I have often times forced myself to abject torture in order to report for this site and the show.
But something is always different about when DC United meets the Galaxy. It has a feeling a history which the manufactured atmospheres of other MLS games can never match. These are after all the two teams that have made this league and quite frankly in leaner times kept this league in business. It’s MLS’ version of the Celtics- Lakers and when 11 PM ET rolled around, channel surfing between College Football, other MLS games and the news stopped: it was time for Galaxy and United.
I’m constantly reminded what a nightmare MLS has been for one David Beckham when he shows off his legendary temper in front of officials. In addition, the red and black are so beat up now last night was hardly a contest: but the atmosphere was great and Landon Donovan whose confidence has been sapped by Bob Bradley’s negative tactics with the US National Team has been restored to rightful place with yesterday’s display. A nice performance for Alan Gordan as well and you have a playoff contendor from a team that did not win a game in three months. Only in America!
(Speaking of Playoffs check back tomorrow morning for a full wrap on the USL-1 regular season finale and an early playoff preview)