PALO ALTO, CA - JUNE 30: David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy battles for control of the ball with Justin Morrow #15 of the San Jose Earthquakes in the first half of their MLS soccer game at Stanford Stadium on June 30, 2012 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Well that was certainly a good popcorn eating match. The goals came fast, and they came a bit furious. Ultimately, the LA Galaxy lost to the San Jose Earthquakes 4-3, with Chris Wondolowski scoring the match winner. Colorado won earlier in the night to leapfrog the Galaxy in the standings, leaving LA 6th in the West at the MLS season midpoint.
San Jose scored three unanswered goals to come back and take the three points, just like at The Home Depot Center. The difference this time being all the action happened before the 70th minute. Sam Cronin scored the equalizer and Chris Wondolowski the goal ahead goal after halftime, while defender Vicotor Bernardez scored on a corner just before halftime to start San Jose's comeback.
The opening goal came in the 7' when Josh Saunders failed to control a Marvin Chavez shot from outside the penalty area. Rafael Baca started the play from the center of the offensive half, finding Chavez. Chavez's shot was right at Saunders and catchable, but the drop fell right into the path of Steven Lenhart inside the goal area for an easy tap in goal.
David Beckham was able to draw things level on a Galaxy free kick just outside the box. Chavez fouled Mike Magee just outside the penalty area. The ref drew the ten foot line giving David Beckham plenty of space to go for the near corner. The ball went over the wall and bent in with David Bingham unable to move.
Animated Gif courtesy Mocksession.com
The match took off from there. Some great dribbling from Hector Jimenez in the 36' forced a Jason Hernandez own goal. Jimenez dribbled to the side of the goal area, then sent in a cross from the touchline that Hernadez tried to control but ended up directing the ball directly into the back of the net.
Five minutes later, the Galaxy made it three - one when Hector Jimenez again on the touchline found Landon Donovan just outside the goal area dead center. Donovan one touched it home with his right foot, and for a moment the Galaxy looked fairly secure.
However, San Jose was able to score just before halftime. David Junior Lopes conceded a corner, which was taken by Chavez. Victor Bernardez was able to volley the corner past Josh Saunders to bring San Jose within one.
Cronin's goal after halftime came when Josh Saunders didn't fully commit to a ball rolling into the box allowing Cronin to smash it past him. Chris Wondolowski's strike from close distance put the Earthquakes ahead, a position they would not surrender.
While a loss like that is no fun for a Galaxy fan, it is only the first time in four matches the Galaxy failed to get a victory. An unthinkable position just two weeks ago. The Galaxy aren't in a playoff spot as of right now, but they're still right on the bubble. San Jose may have their number, but LA is competing on a high level.
Going forward, the immediate future is most affected by a stoppage time incident. San Jose, as they had been all match, were time wasting with a man down. David Beckham took some offense to this, and, well here you go:
One, Beckham's accuracy is a fantastic thing to watch. Should he have done it? Of course not, it was a deserved yellow and it means he missed the Galaxy's Fourth of July match. However, after getting hit by the ball, you bet your bottom dollar that "injured" man popped right up. The ref then, after over a minute of stoppage time was wasted, blew the whistle almost immediately after three minutes had passed. The whole ending was a bit farcical. So of course, it ended with a bit of sketch comedy.
Absurdist comedy at it's best.