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Game 13 – Crew 3 – Galaxy 3

June 22, 2008

Special things happen when the Crew play teams from California. The Crew had great comeback wins against Chivas USA and San Jose, and you can add this game to the list for the shear number of heartstopping moments. After playing flat for the first 60 minutes and sporting LA to a two goal lead, the Crew came alive to comeback, twice, to tie LA.

The Crew came out flat and the Galaxy capitalized. Beckham lofted a cross that Hesmer botched under pressure from Landon Donovan. Donovan then pounced on the loose ball to put the Galaxy up one. LA continued to pressure, Donovan and Buddle both having open opportunities to extend the lead. The Crew had a couple of good efforts on the offensive end, but the offense was more reminiscent of the Crew team that had just gone 370 minutes without scoring. Buddle would extend the lead to 2-0 just after halftime. It was enough to make some pessimists feel a little vindicated.

I certainly did not think the Crew were going to make a game of it. It also looked like LA shared my thoughts. LA looked to be on cruise control until Schelotto lofted a cross that rattled around the 6 yard box that Brad Evans jumped on to cut the lead in half in the 67th minute. A Crew team that had looked lost suddenly came to life. Robbie Rogers finally got a result out of his hard work as he drove at a tired Chris Klein and was hauled down in the penalty box to earn a penalty. Schelotto stepped up and coolly tied the game at two. In a space of 5 minutes the Crew had sprung into action and tied the game against a shocked Galaxy team.

After tying the game, the Crew continued to press into the attack. After pressing for the go ahead goal, it was unfortunate to see the Crew again go down a goal. David Beckham took a pass and then drove to the goal. Danny O’Rourke stepped up to meet him. Beckham went down easily (dove) and Donovan converted the penalty. It was a tough break, but the Crew would not be denied. Steven Lenhart scored his first MLS goal off of a rebound of a Hejduk shot just five minutes LA scored.

The Crew really never looked as bad last night as I thought at the time and they never gave up. Yes they looked listless for long stretches and had several defensive breakdowns, notably on the left side, but Beckham is a guy that is going to cause some problems. On the positive side Donovan was quiet last night, well as quiet as a guy scoring two goals can be and the offense again showed up even when the breaks were not going their way. With the parity in the league this year, there is every reason to think that a good team with a few weaknesses can go pretty far with some luck and a great attitude.

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