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Game 27: Galaxy 0 – Crew 1

October 5, 2008
Iro Stops Another Attack

Iro stops another attack (Photo courtesy of Sam Fahmi at Studio 79)

Crew Stadium was the center of Beckhamania last night. The stands were full and the crowd was excited, but the game was not about the California stars, the potent Crew offense, or even an MVP matchup. The game turned out to be a gritty defensive affair. The Crew offense came out tight and lacking that edge they had all year, but the defense stepped up and proceeded to shut down the highest scoring offense in the league and made it look easy.

The Galaxy pressed from the opening whistle as they tried to get a quick goal. The Galaxy offensive did put the Crew on the back foot. Beckham and Donovan featured early, but L.A. was not able to capitalize on the early pressure. The momentum would turn on a couple of early yellow cards to Beckham and Klein for very poor challenges on Robbie Rogers. L.A. could not resort to hacking down the Crew’s speed players, allowing Columbus a chance to break out.

With Rogers able to break open the game, Padula neutralizing Beckham, and the Marshall-Iro combination shutting down Donovan, the Crew held more possession and created a few offensive chances. Columbus may not have deserved a lead, but a great cross from Danny O’Rourke found Moreno’s head to put the Crew up one right before the end of the first half.

The second half was a defensive clinic. The Galaxy came out in the second half to try to tie up the game, but the Crew defense soon cut off any real chance for L.A. to score. Carroll and Evans stuffed the midfield and Iro and Marshall cleaned up any balls that got through. The team stayed compact even as the Galaxy worked the ball around the perimeter to try to break the Crew down. I was very impressive team defense I had seen (since last week’s work in New England). The Crew defense is really coming together at the right time.

L.A. coach Bruce Arena said that this was the best performance by the Galaxy since he has joined the team 7 games ago. The Crew took the Galaxy’s best shot while not playing their best soccer. They were able to win home field advantage in the playoffs and get one step closer the Supporters Shield. I am having a hard time coming up with different ways to say how special this team is. The team is the best in the league, the stands are filling up, and there is a buzz around town about this team for the first time in a while. I am having so much fun being a fan of this team.

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