2007 Club by Club
For the second consecutive season, the Galaxy failed to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs, finishing fifth in the Western Conference with a record of 9-14-7.
The year began with a bang for LA as the club announced the signing of David Beckham in early January, making him the club’s first-ever Designated Player. The England international agreed to join the club after the completion of his season with Real Madrid, meaning that he would miss the first half of his new club’s season.
The Galaxy’s schedule was weighed heavily toward the back end of the season, giving the club the opportunity to have Beckham in the lineup for more than half the season, but also creating a heavy schedule from mid-July on through the end of the campaign. The schedule had definite effects over the first three months of the season as LA, despite strong showings from Landon Donovan, who again led the team in scoring, Kyle Martino, Joe Cannon and rookie Ty Harden, stood at just 3-5-4 and had been knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup by the July All-Star break.
A July 21 friendly against Chelsea saw Beckham make his LA debut, but the team continued to struggle, despite drawing massive crowds in every market to which they traveled, and sat in last place in the Western Conference heading into mid-September when the tide began to turn.
Following a 2-2 draw at Real Salt Lake on Sept. 19, the Galaxy won five straight, with Gavin Glinton, Chris Klein, Edson Buddle, Carlos Pavon, Kyle Martino and Troy Roberts all scoring huge goals for the club to give the Galaxy a chance at postseason qualification. A draw with New York in the regular season home finale meant that Frank Yallop’s squad would need a win in Chicago on the season’s final day to reach the postseason. However, despite a spirited performance, the Fire grabbed a late goal to win 1-0 and end the Galaxy’s 2007 campaign.
The Galaxy also took fans on a wild and memorable ride in the inaugural SuperLiga tournament, which pitted four MLS teams against their Mexican counterparts. Wins over Pachuca and FC Dallas, in a thrilling 6-5 encounter, saw the Galaxy win their group and set up a semifinal matchup with D.C. United. David Beckham scored his first-ever goal for the Galaxy, beating Troy Perkins with a freekick from 25 yards out, and then set up Landon Donovan to seal the win and set up a SuperLiga Final meeting with Pachuca. A first half own goal and an injury to Beckham could have been enough to kill off LA, but the players kept fighting and grabbed an equalizer with the final kick of regulation, as Chris Klein scored with an acrobatic overhead kick, sending the match to extra time. The Galaxy had the better of the play in the extra session but could not conjure up a winner, sending the match to penalties where Pachuca eventually came out victorious, winning 4-3 to win SuperLiga.
The 2007 season will also be remembered as the final season in the long and illustrious playing career of Cobi Jones. A true Galaxy legend, Jones retired after the 2007 season as the club’s all-time leader in every statistical category for the club. The 37-year old reminded fans just how good he is with a series of sensational showings, perhaps none greater than his two-goal performance off the bench to earn LA a 2-2 draw with the Wizards after falling behind 2-0 early in the second half.