Pledging Allegiance 2: The Galaxy Strike Back

September 13, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

A couple weeks ago, I opined on the difficult task of trying to settle on an MLS team to root for. At that time I narrowed it down to the LA Galaxy and Colorado Rapids, vowing to attend the match between them on September 8th to see which one felt like my team.

Given the Galaxy's nosedive (they had lost 6 straight going into this one) and comments by TMS readers supportive of Colorado, I figured the Rapids would be a lock. Nothing compares to attending a game in person though and that definitely shaped my outlook. I am prepared to tell you now, in front of Jesus, Muhammed, Bhudda, and Zoroaster, that the LA Galaxy are my MLS team.

The Stadium

The Home Depot Center in ghetto-ass Carson, CA is a fantastic state of the art facility. I had good seats, $33 marked down to $12 (there was a fire-sale on tickets with no Beckham), but I walked around the place before the game and I can safely say there are no bad seats here.

The crowd was pretty big long before the game started, which I reluctantly must admit is a pleasant surprise for Los Angeles. The promotional booths had a decidedly international flavor which wasn't surprising considering the interest the average NASCAR watching American sports fan has in soccer (none). You could get pictures taken with some busty Spanish soap stars and then walk around the corner to pound a pint of Guinness with all the European exiles. I wore my England jersey, and I wasn't alone in doing so by a long shot. Lots of pasty redheaded people walking around here - I haven't felt this much at home since I was in London.

Beer & Nachos

Beer is pretty far down my list of things I care about at a sporting event, but when you have Tecate on tap I have to mention it. 16oz for $8, which is bad, but not that bad considering what I pay for Heineken at Dodgers Stadium.

If you want regular nachos, just pre-empt the girl at the counter and tell her you want regular nachos or "gavacho nachos" so they don't ask you whether you want steak or chicken. No, ma'am, just highly processed liquid cheese and month old jalapenos for me please.

The Game and the Fans

As I already mentioned, Beckham was out and Landon Donovan was nowhere to be seen either. I have since found out that he was playing in the friendly match versus Brazil, attended by The Hundley. LA still had Cobi Jones though, whom I'm happy to report is no more than 4 feet tall. The Galaxy also have Abel Xavier, the Portuguese defender who can give Beckham a run for his metrosexual money.

The fans are really rabid. I like it. Hearing 17,000 (I'm guessing, the place looked to be about 2/3rds full) scream for the ref's head makes me wonder what its like sitting in Old Trafford when the ref makes a bad call.

Everything I've mentioned thus far have been points in favor of the Galaxy. Colorado wasn't doing much to help or hurt their cause, but then it happened...flopping.

The only time I've ever enjoyed flopping is when Karl Malone did it. When anyone else does it, they can go to hell. Its annoying. No fewer than four times in this game was a Colorado player guilty of a flop. Totally unacceptable.

The night produced a 3-1 Galaxy victory, but that was almost an afterthought. I had bigger fish to fry: picking a team. The tipping point was just being in the home stadium with a raucous and engaged crowd around you. These are your guys on the field and your people around you in the crowd. Rooting for an out of town team will never give you that same feeling. They're bad now, but they'll get better and when they do it will make the games at the Home Depot Center all the more exciting.

Is Beckham injured or just out with the wife shopping for her next pair of ginormous sunglasses?