CARSON, CA - JULY 09: Members of the Los Angeles Galaxy salute the fans after defeating the Chicago Fire in the MLS match at The Home Depot Center on July 9, 2011 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated the Fire 2-1. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
The LA Galaxy defeated Isidro Metapan 5-2 in a match where they dominated every facet of the proceedings; both in goals scored and discipline violations. Things went into halftime fairly calm if sloppy, with the Galaxy up 3-1; three of the four first half goals had a defender touch the ball last. What happened after halftime came wild and fast, and will have repercussions for Tuesday's match since Robbie Keane was shown a red card.
The match winner ended up being the Galaxy's third goal, which came during first half stoppage time on a corner kick. Beckham lined up to take it, and the ball was curling into the near post to be knocked into the net by Fidel Mondragon, goalkeeper for Metapan. No additional stoppage time was given after Beckham's Olimpico, not even a kickoff. The teams just walked into the locker rooms.
The insurance goals were secured by a Juninho brace, both Juninho goals coming after Robbie Keane was tossed from the match. Keane was taken down just outside the penalty area by a group of three defenders, but referee Alfredo Penaloza of Mexico considered it a dive and gave Keane a yellow card. Walking away from the incident, Keane made a crossing motion with his hands which Penaloza took as dissent and gave Keane a second yellow resulting in a red.
So with ten men, it was Juninho who answered back as he and Mike Stephens dispossessed and went on a two on keeper break. Stephens laid it off for Juninho who tapped it in. Juninho did a backflip to celebrate.
Michael Stephens had his own bit of controversy, as he was given a yellow card before stepping foot onto the pitch. David Beckham had taken the captain's armband after Robbie Keane was tossed from the match. As Stephens came in for Beckham, Beckham had to hand over the armband but the referee felt they were purposefully time wasting.
Brian Gaul then came on in the 85' and immediately pulled down a player in the box resulting in a Metapan penalty. Nicolas Munuz converted to give him a brace on the evening and pulling Metapan within two (4-2). Juninho then calmed any doubt in stoppage time with a nice strike from inside the penalty area.
In a match like this it's hard to come up with a cohesive storyline. The Galaxy were the better club, and ultimately their goal total shows that. The refereeing saw a head ref trying to stay on top of a team when it wasn't warranted, and making his presence felt way too much. That's how CONCACAF play goes, the biases are blatant. Bruce Arena called it a circus after the match. He's not wrong, and anyone who's watched World Cup Qualifying knows, it doesn't ever really get any better in this region.