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Kick Off: Galaxy admit they no longer strike fear in MLS

Kick Off - David Beckham

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

Have the defending MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy lost their swagger?

After another 3-1 loss at home last weekend, this one handed to them by the New England Revolution (watch highlights here), Galaxy right back Sean Franklin says that something important has changed: “We knew how good we were last year, and we knew that teams feared us last year. I don't think that no one fears us this year.”

The Galaxy’s first half against the Revs at The Home Depot Center was so bad, LA manager Bruce Arena wanted to do the unthinkable: “I couldn't change 11 players – that's what I told the team at halftime,” Arena said. “If I had 11 substitutions, I would have considered that.”

Star midfielder David Beckham was one of the halftime substitutes and in England they’ve already given their spin on the change and Beckham’s decision not to stick around to speak to media after the match, with the Daily Mail claiming he was “furious” and that he “stormed out” after the game. “I’m sure he’s not pleased about it,” Arena said.

Designated Player Robbie Keane, who wore the captain’s armband for LA on the day, was critical of the defending on the day: “It's stuff you deal with when you're a kid. Defending," he told the Los Angeles Times. "We didn't do it properly so we've only got ourselves to blame."

Tough time being an MLS team in LA. Chivas USA succumbed to their third home loss last night (watch highlights here), 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City. Center back Heath Pearce summed up the Goats' problems: “It's pretty simple. There's no magic sauce, no magic juice that you have to drink or eat to do it. It's an attitude.”

Meanwhile, Sporting KC have the best record in MLS at 4-0-0. It's also the best start in the franchise's history. Not that coach Peter Vermes cares.

Also yesterday, Omar Cummings and newcomer Kamani Hill scored as Colorado Rapids registered their third win under new coach Oscar Pareja with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire (watch highlights here).

But the news from this game is that captain Pablo Mastroeni watched from the press box and finally commented on his concern for his playing future after experiencing headaches and insomnia: "Absolutely there's worry. I have a wife and kids. ... Worry, definitely, it's there every day. It's there every morning."

Meanwhile, find out here why the name of the Chicago Fire’s owner is included in an article about a potential takeover of Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers.

The weekend’s most dramatic finish was provided at JELD-WEN Field, where Real Salt Lake scored two late goals to overturn two stunning Darlington Nagbe goals and win 3-2 (watch the highlights here). "We said that before the game – they're going to work you for 90 minutes and you have to be ready to match them. I felt we did for 84 minutes, dropped our guard and got punished,” Portland manager John Spencer said.

In Philadelphia, with the spotlight turned on Vancouver forward Sébastien Le Toux, the Frenchman missed out on two golden scoring opportunities in a 0-0 draw in his first game back since his controversial trade from the Union (watch the highlights here). "Two big chances and I should have scored. … I'm very disappointed in myself,” Le Toux said afterward.

Speaking of the Whitecaps, read about the reasons that Vancouver captain and former US international Jay DeMerit says that soccer is “bigger in Canada than in the US.”

Vancouver midfielder John Thorrington made his return in the match after recovering from a quad tear which had him thinking retirement just a few weeks ago: “I did think about that, because of the nature of the injury and my history. … Those were some really dark moments.”

It looked like another dark moment for the Red Bulls, who twice faced deficits on Saturday afternoon against the Montreal Impact in a match which was tied at 2-2 after 45 minutes. That’s when captain Thierry Henry gave a halftime speech and finished with a hat trick in a 5-2 win (watch the highlights here). “Hell, yeah, I had something to say. It was the same thing in Dallas and Salt Lake,” Henry said.

Seattle Sounders left back Marc Burch took the blame for causing the PK that decided Saturday night’s 1-0 home loss to the San Jose Earthquakes (watch the highlights here) – “It was my fault 100 percent,” Burch said – but he also accused Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart of embellishment on the play: “It’s just his mind games. That’s his thing, that’s what he does. I don’t think he got in my head, I just think I made a play and he dove.”

It’s the kind of loss that leads to a story like this appearing on ESPN.com: “Is it time for [Fredy] Montero to move?”

It was still a good weekend for Sounders fans after crowd favorite Steve Zakuani saw his first action nearly a year since his leg was broken in an MLS match in Colorado. “I’ve been waiting for this day a very long time and I’m happy,” says Zakuani, who was fitted with a GPS system vs. Gonzaga on Sunday to track his progress.

The Columbus Crew made some progress in a 1-0 win in Toronto on Saturday afternoon (watch the highlights here). Although Milovan Mirosevic failed to convert a PK, they still stuck to their game plan: “Our plan was to get one [goal] and hang on,” said Crew ‘keeper Andy Gruenebaum. Mission accomplished.

Toronto FC, who face a daunting CONCACAF Champions League second leg at Santos Laguna on Wednesday, are not putting much stock in the loss: “Everybody saw that we were the better team,” Designated Player Danny Koevermans said.

With news coming down yesterday of Giorgio Chinaglia’s passing, many may not realize that he’s a member of the US Soccer Hall of Fame. New York veteran soccer writer Michael Lewis provides the definitive remembrance piece, including his philosophical differences when it came to MLS.

In case you missed it, American Clint Dempsey notched another goal and assist as Fulham won again in the English Premier League. Watch the highlights here. (VIDEO)

The EPL title race takes center stage on the ESPN networks as Blackburn Rovers host leaders Manchester United, who look to move closer to another league crown (3 pm ET, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes).

Then, later tonight on Telemundo and live on CONCACAF.com, Mexico and Honduras will battle it out for the title of CONCACAF Olympic qualifying champion at Livestrong Sporting Park (8 pm ET). Both qualified to the London Olympics.

Speaking of LSP, we’re looking forward to Thursday, when a Lego-scale model of the stadium is unveiled that will be eight feet by seven feet by four feet in size. Keep an eye out for that.

How about former US women’s soccer star Brandi Chastain winning the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational golf tournament. She was teamed up with former MLB pitcher and PGA hopeful John Smoltz.

Lastly, a photo of the Galaxy’s Beckham caused a UK supermarket chain to issue an apology. Find out why in this article.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Weekend Rewind: Watch all the highlights from Matchday 4

Historic start doesn’t interest Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes

Timbers’ Darlington Nagbe struggles to celebrate brace after loss to RSL


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