Starting XI for tonight’s 8:00pm match vs LA (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes): Brad Knighton; Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Jordan Harvey; Justin Mapp, Andrew Jacobson, Stefani Miglioranzi, Fred; Danny Mwanga, Sebastien Le Toux
Well, one of two things came up in the lineup, Mwanga is backing up (or the 2nd striker) Le Toux. The only thing is the Salinas isn’t in the starting line up, most likely he’ll be a 2nd half substitution.
A nice chill in the air tonight as we await kickoff. Hopefully the cold air will have an effect on the LA team… even though Beckham has dealt with worse (he’s from england you know). Note: I will probably be saying bloody a lot, and random other quips of British slang… speaking of which, i quit smoking fags… take that as you will.
The game is sold out, ESPN3 is on, and my 2nd bottle of Dos Equis is opened… Stay thirsty this Thursday, my friends.
-3? – They just had a shot of about 20 teenage girls in the front row eyeing beckham…that’s fairly disheartening. And when i say teenage, I mean like 13.
-3 – Stream keeps stalling… wtf did my girlfriend do to my internet.
-2 – Beckham went to the Phillies game last night, that was pretty cool and decent of him. I guess he’s a nice guy… But who knows, he did marry a Spice girl… guy got talent, but probably not taste.
0- and we’re off
1 – Come on the U! Naturally, ok, i’ll be unbiased from here forth (til goals).
1 – Mapp throw in to Mwanga, who loses it to a clear, another throw in.
2 – Donovan to Buddle, almost had a break but a battle ensues and the ball goes out. PU throw in.
2 – Clear to Le Toux, weak clear past Mwanga back straight to Fred, through balls it to Mwanga, but goes too far ahead of him, keeper cleared.
3 – Junhinho with a hand ball… sp? Le Toux set piece.
3 – Le Toux goes for goal! He bent it like Beckham and goalie makes a nice save to a corner.
4 – Mapp corners it right to Migs foot in the middle of the crowd, Mig wasn’t ready, gets cleared and position battle ensues.
4 – Buddle almost with a break, but is offside, along with a slight knock down foul.
4 – Note- beckham got booed… fame only goes so far in this town of ours.
5 – Damn, these defenders are clearing the ball INTO union players at point blank range… This is the LA Riot Squad… trying to snipe us out.
6 – Donovan is offsides… I would be upset, but this aint a US game… I love his breaks, but I’m afraid tonight.
7 – Rickets drop kicks it from box to box, Knighton picks it up and rolls it to a defender.
7 – Announcers are saying Gonzalez seems nervous… shrug
8 – LA has some brilliant foot play, but seem a little chaotic with passing.
9 – Jacobson with another throughball to mwanga that goes too far and Mwanga is beat by a defender… we almost have a pattern down. Throw in PU.
9 – Williams long throw, gets headed out poorly for a corner.
10 – Mapp corner gets weirdly hit into goal, out for a throw in PU.
10 – Long throw in but goes into keepers hands.
11 – An attack cross that gets deflected into Knighton’s hands.
12 – Ball goes too far for Le Toux, who contacts the goalies shins with a karate kick…. hurts Rickets.
12 – THERE WILL BE BLOOD! Fred has a gash… Need to wait for a replay, seems like head to head. Seems like Juninho is the culprit…
OUCH! Right elbow as Juninho won the head battle, because of that… Gash over Fred’s left eye… Off the field for now.
13 – Le Toux tries to play man of the match and loses the ball mid LA field.
14 – Fred’s moving to the lockerroom… seems like he’s done for the day…. And sounds like Nakazawa will be the sub.
14 – While writing all that, nothing has happened… except for Fred leaving. Now there’s a sub… Fred is not happy though.
15 – Nakazawi. We have 2 great set kickers now, and Le Toux (good at set piece, not at corners)
15 – Le Toux almost played his way through the defenders but again loses the build up of the play.
16 – Jacobson with some great footwork and draws a foul about 30 yards out. Nakazawa free kick.
16 – Low kick, gets cleared back to Union defenders, played back to Knighton.
17 – At this point I’m afraid LA is just trying to tire us out…
17 – Le Toux to Mwanga, who almost loses it, gets the ball back but then again, LA clears it against Mwanga and gets a throw in.
18 – Fiscal to Harvey, to Mig, to Mapp, to Califf, to Harvey….
18 – Jacobson to Le Toux, Le Toux to Mwanga in the BOX POINT BLANK!!!….high and wide? Deflected off LA. Throw in.
20 – Lot of possession play going on, some build ups resorting to nothing much.
20 – Ball finally gets into the Union box as a threat and settles in the middle but is quickly cleared before Beckham or Donovan or Buddle can get near the ball.
21 – I do believe i heard clear as day an F bomb from a player.
21 – Williams down the sideline and plays a low cross that gets stopped dead. Seriously, what is with our team and low crosses…use your heads!
22 – Jacobson sends it into threat area again, too far and too soon as is the norm and Rickets clears the ball easy.
23 – Rickets came out FAR outside the box to clear the ball out of the sideline.. We can’t capitalize on the time for him to get back to goal, we play possession set up.
23 – Nakazawa plays the ball to Migs, but goes out too far ahead. Nice break down the sideline too, but LA throw in.
24 – I’m gonna call nakazawa “Nukes” from now on for a short name… quicker to type.
24 – Nukes to mapp, to nukes, to williams, who draws the foul…barely? Set piece!
25 – Mapp mapp mapp mapp mapp… free kick. Lines up with Nukes… who takes it but gets cleared by LA. Goes straight back to williams who crosses it too far ahead… Ends up PU throw in.
26 – Nothing…
26 – Some more throw ins for LA in our half of the pitch.
27 – Birchell gets a break down the line and low crosses it in front of goal, but gets cleared out for a corner..Beckham to take.
27 – Buddle…off Beckham… goal… naturally… His 16th… congrats (unenthusiastic “yaaaaaay”) Happened so fast and unenthusiastic from the crowd it’s like it didn’t happen… And Knighton didn’t move… really like it didn’t happen. Did anyone move? At all? On either side?
28 – Offsides called on Union break..on mwanga. Damn.
28 – That unbiasedness i talked about…
29 – Califf is making friends with Buddle apparently… not in the nice way.
30 – Birchell crosses wildly to noone and crosses the field out of bounds.
31 – Another bloody LA throw in.
31 – Now Williams is making friends with Buddle. The ref mediates. Makes them share toys.
31 – cross deflected out for an LA corner… Beckham, again, to take. And the boos rain down.
32 – Cleared out not far enough, tapped back in but cleared to midfield… and now it’s keep the ball in the air time. Beckham settles it near the corner and weirdly crosses it into the box, gets cleared out (thank god).
33 – Union play out from the momentum, and LA is playing rough with us…2 blatant fouls, 1 off the ball, and the other a possible challenge… neither are called?
33 – Buddle is offsides, which gives a nice stop to the momentum and anxiety that built up in the past 2 minutes.
34 – Rickets is Jamaican… Eh Mon!
35 – Really, the most exciting thing about this game is that you can hear the SOB’s clear as day on ESPN broadcast.
36 – Union ball played in behind the LA D… to noone.. as the announcers are commenting on how either Mwanga or Le Toux need to stay up top and be patient. Don’t be the playmakers… be the day makers.
36 – Break that Mwanga FINALLY gets to, but is still neck and neck with an LA defender in the box.. Gonzalez clears out for a corner.
37 – 3rd corner… mapp..mapp.. Cleared out.
37 – From playing Fifa games, i can see about 10 different breaks during this play that the Union could utilize and break through the LA defense while passing.. that’s sad.
38 – Nukes called for a foul (? ) LA ball.
38 – I dont know what just happened……. but LA should have had a goal, and there was an argue for hand ball. Nice save by Knighton, and nice clear too (about 3 rebounds)…. Birchell is dangerous with low crosses… I will say it now, scary-good.
40 – Unioin should only give and go pass, when someone is actually “going”.
40 – Everyone gets a touch on the Philadelphia Union… now enough of that..goal time…
43 – I’ve seen Donovan twice in close up, and only heard his name twice… not much of an impact player this game…
44 – Migs breaks away and gets the ball out for Le Toux to chase…. but there’s an offsides flag. time to regroup.
44 – Stevens gets the ball into the box, but LA mishandles and Knightong scoops it up.
45 – Third time hearing Donovan, knocks down Fiscal and gets a foul and verbal warning.
45 – 1 minute added… i hate MLS…
45 + – and nothing happens… whistle is blown.
Buddle, Birchell, and Beckham…. alliteration is key. Their the players for the first half of the game. Mwanga, Le Toux, Mapp, and Migs (close…) for our side, but really not as effective. I’m impressed at our ball control and attempts against the Galaxy, but as is the norm from earlier in the season saddened at the lack of effeciency we have. Let’s see how the 2nd half comes, especially since we wasted an early sub.