LA Galaxy 0 – 1 New York Red Bulls (Boredom, 11)
Play the most unentertaining, uninteresting, style-less soccer of the season.
And they succeeded. A nice unexpected bonus? New York somehow managed to walk away with the victory.
Short a 19′ goal by Joel Lindpere, New York played the entire game behind the ball, bunkered in a 4-1-4-1 (arguable 4-5-1) formation, content on conceding large amounts of possession to Galaxy, whose star-studded but nonetheless impotent and frustrated attack harmlessly thrust at the opposing net throughout the evening. To illustrate the epicness of Galaxy’s toothless bite, as LAG Confidential’s Josie Becker noted in her summary, Los Angeles outpassed New York, 545 to 176.
Not without his fair share of credit, New York third-string goalkeeper Ryan Meara turned in a solid -if unspectacular- performance to help hand his team the win, forcing the handful of on-frame Galaxy shots away from danger with ease.
While Galaxy look to have suffered yet another blow to their reputation with the defeat, the real loser in this weekend’s marquee match is Major League Soccer, ESPN, and American professional soccer in general. The bulk of this blame lies with New York manager Hans Backe, who’s decision to demonstrate his best impression of 1980’s calcio-style of soccer did nothing to improve the stateside image of soccer as a boring, stultifying endeavor undertaken by crazy Europeans who simply haven’t been introduced to “real” sports yet.
While Backe and his squad should receive plaudits for flawlessly executing their unpretty-but-effective plan, even if Los Angeles had been able to load(/find) their big guns and meticulously pick apart the young New York backline and heap on the goals, it was evident from the beginning that Backe was playing for the tie. A back-and-forth game this was never meant to be – and never would have been, whether Galaxy had been in form or not.
And that’s the worst takeaway from the match. Regardless of who walked away with the points from the match, an even larger pile of points lay wasted on the field: all those points that could have been scored with the casual viewer had the game been interesting.