Kick Off: Galaxy reportedly offer Beckham new 1-year deal
There is no shortage of suitors for LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham when his contract with the MLS league leaders expires. And the Galaxy are seemingly one of them.
Reports have surfaced this morning that Bruce Arena’s side has offered David Beckham a one-year deal to remain in LA in 2012.
It was a great weekend to be a Galaxy fan. Not only did the league leaders officially clinch a postseason berth following their 1-0 win over Colorado on Friday night, but they also saw second-place Seattle Sounders and third-place FC Dallas suffer league losses. Those results will help in the next target for Arena & Co.: “Protect ourselves in terms of home field in the playoffs.”
While they’re all smiles in LA, the New York Red Bulls are currently outside the playoff picture after their 1-1 home draw against bottom club Vancouver Whitecaps. “We’re hanging on by the thinnest thread you can find,” says NY midfielder Dax McCarty.
Even RBNY manager Hans Backe is somewhat shocked his team is still in with a chance at the postseason: “I was a little bit surprised when someone told me we are the 10th or 11th team to reach the playoffs, so that’s quite unbelievable after all the tied games.”
New York lament the fact that they’ve been chasing matches lately and they claim the secret to a turnaround is scoring first. But there was little anyone can do against the masterpiece goal by Vancouver’s Davide Chiumiento that opened the scoring (watch it here). Chiumiento is a player who is “a real genius when he has a smile,” according to teammate Eric Hassli. (VIDEO)
The Whitecaps were hoping that playing up a man and up a goal would have resulted in their first-ever road victory in MLS: "If we were going to win one on the road, that was probably our best opportunity,” says Vancouver's Joe Cannon. But teammate Peter Vagenas takes hope: “I can sense things turning around. ... We're becoming bastards to play against first and foremost.”
The other Canadian team in MLS, Toronto FC, registered another stunner this weekend by thrashing the East-leading Columbus Crew 4-2 for their first road win of the season. TFC midfielder Julian de Guzman takes it a step further, calling it “one of the best performances since TFC’s been around.”
The loss didn’t change the mind of Crew defender Chad Marshall, who still called TFC “the worst team in the league” in his postgame comments, ones that won’t be forgotten when the Trillium rivalry resumes next year.
The Crew’s setback allowed Sporting Kansas City to catch them in the standings on 40 points at the top of the East. Teal Bunbury’s two goals paced KC to a 3-0 blanking of the Houston Dynamo during which Sporting’s star forward was extra motivated to face defender Andre Hainault, whose challenge led to a serious injury during preseason: “Maybe I remembered before the game that he threw me on the ground.”
Despite fielding an attack featuring Freddy Adu, Danny Mwanga, Sébastien Le Toux and Veljko Paunovic, Philadelphia manager Peter Nowak still claims the Union “lack this moving-forward mentality” after a 0-0 home draw against the Portland Timbers, who saw the tie as a “huge maturing process.”
D.C. United came away from the weekend feeling a lot different than Philly after exploding for a 3-0 road win over Chivas USA behind a Charlie Davies hat trick. DC manager Ben Olsen was not blinded by the goals, however: “A lot of his goals — let’s face it — people were putting it on his foot. ... But the way he played was more encouraging than the goals for me.”
United’s victory was tempered by the fact that Chris Pontius, who served up the goals to Davies, suffered a fractured right tibia in a clash with a Chivas USA defender. The timeline for recovery has not been revealed but he could miss the rest of the season.
The San Jose Earthquakes say they still believe they can make the playoffs after a 2-0 win against the visiting Chicago Fire snapped a 13-game winless streak. The three points had the Quakes celebrating like it was MLS Cup: “You would have thought we'd won everything in there [in the locker room afterward],” said SJ goalkeeper Jon Busch. "It's been a long haul."
New England would have as many points as the Red Bulls had they closed out their late leads in the three matches prior to Saturday’s 2-0 triumph over FC Dallas. Monsef Zerka and Milton Caraglio were two of the Revs’ stars in the match – two players who the club did not scout in person.
Could Real Salt Lake be the team to battle the LA Galaxy for the Supporters’ Shield? They made their case with a 2-1 win in Seattle that was marked by controversial officiating. “The referee made some bad decisions and was trying to work his way back into the game,” RSL manager Jason Kreis said. "Overall it just wasn't good enough."
Before Saturday’s match, three Sounders teammates had a chance to take to the waters for some salmon fishing and they did not come up empty-handed.
Across the pond, while both Manchester sides continue to romp in England – Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Manchester City’s Sergio “El Kun” Agüero both netting hat tricks – it was Juventus and Napoli with the most impressive wins in Italy’s opening weekend. Meanwhile, Internazionale lost in a back-and-forth affair against Palermo. (VIDEO)
Go ahead and guess the new FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup champion. You got it – it’s Russia, of course. They beat Brazil. (VIDEO)
Also making news in papers around the world is the fact that Channel 4 will unveil later today the name of an EPL star who has tested positive for cocaine use, while Diego Maradona admits he cannot bring himself to watch the Argentine national team after being unseated as coach.
The televised action today is highlighted by the Monday night EPL match between newly promoted Queen’s Park Rangers and Newcastle United (3 p.m. ET, ESPN Deportes).
We leave you with a hat trick of the most spectacular goals of the weekend. First there’s Heerenveen’s Oussama Assaidi scoring a goal you’ve probably never seen before (even though it was called back). Then Deportivo La Coruña’s Mexican midfielder Andrés Guardado scores from his own half in the Spanish second division. Lastly, there’s the backheel goal by Chelsea’s Dean Sturridge, which finally ended up in the back of the net. (VIDEO)
Up-to-the-minute postseason standings: NY sitting out of the playoff picture
Photo Gallery: How MLS honored the heroes and victims of 9/11
WATCH: The top highlights of the weekend MLS action
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