Los Angeles Galaxy Fall to FC Dallas, 3-0

November 15, 2010

Carson, CA -- Another year, another crushing playoff loss for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

One season after suffering a heartbreaking defeat on penalty kicks in the 2009 MLS Cup, the Galaxy's title dreams were dashed again Sunday night, as they fell to FC Dallas in the conference championship game 3-0, in front of a sold out Home Depot Center.

For LA, the blowout loss was not only devastating, but incomprehensible as well.

After all, this was supposed to be the Galaxy's year. Donovan Ricketts entered the game in peak form and recently was named Goalkeeper of the Year. Edson Buddle had scored goals at a prolific pace all season, and had emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate. Landon Donovan had continued his stellar play from the World Cup, and David Beckham had successfully rehabilitated his body from an Achilles' tendon injury.

Throw in the fact that LA had secured home field advantage, and a return trip to the championship game seemed inevitable.

Apparently, FC Dallas did not get the memo.

In the 26th minute, David Ferreira -- the best player on the field Sunday -- received a pass, cleverly turned away from Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez, and then blasted the ball from 25 yards out past Ricketts for an early 1-0 lead.

The Galaxy attempted to rally five minutes later, but Donovan's shot to the far post was deflected away by FC Dallas' diving keeper, Kevin Hartman.

The brilliant save would be one of many on the night for Hartman, who maintained a clean sheet against LA's high-powered trio of Beckham, Donovan, and Buddle. The play also exemplified much of the first half for a Galaxy squad that had dominated the early possession and scoring opportunities, but had little to show for it.

In the second half, FC Dallas would add an insurance goal in the 54th minute, when Brek Shea crossed the ball through a crowd to the far post and directly to a waiting George John for an easy first-touch finish.

Ferreira would then put the nail in the coffin in the 73rd minute, setting up Marvin Chavez with a nice pass through the Galaxy defense for an uncontested goal and a 3-0 lead.

The large deficit and outstanding play of Hartman clearly began to frustrate the Galaxy as the game progressed, as Beckham, Chris Birchall, and Alex Cazumba drew yellow cards in the second half.

The Galaxy had one final scoring opportunity in stoppage time, but Beckham's on-target free kick again was knocked away by a leaping Hartman.

For Beckham, Sunday's defeat was particularly tough.

When the game concluded, Beckham silently stood on the pitch, coolly watching his opponents celebrate their victory.

Questioned by many last season for his apparent lack of commitment, Beckham went through an exhaustive rehabilitation regimen to get back on the field this season. Beckham has accomplished many feats during his career and indeed has raised the profile of soccer in the U.S., but the one element still missing from his trophy case is an MLS title.

With another year left on his contract and still no MLS championship on his resume, Beckham's final actions and body language spoke volumes: he still has unfinished business in Los Angeles.


By Tri Le
Contributing Writer for TheDailySportsHerald.com

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