Recap of David Beckham and L.A. Galaxy – D.C. United Game from August

Tonight David Beckham, Landon Donovan and the L.A. Galaxy take on Real Salt Lake for the Major League Soccer championship in Seattle.

I saw Beckham play against D.C. United in August.  The game ended in a scoreless tie.  It was raining steadily most of the game and it had rained heavily beforehand.  So here are a few notes — three months late.

United’s Ben Olsen did a good job keeping Beckham in check.  I got the feeling that Beckham wasn’t going all out because of the conditions, but I’m not sure if you can blame him because he’s had some ankle injuries, and at 34 he has to pace himself because of the occasional call-up to England’s national team as well as playing in Europe the rest of the year.

What at first seemed like nonchalance, though, actually was the result of good positioning and little wasted motion, as Beckham knew where to go  – he never got too far forward or too far back.  He did have some of his patented free kicks but nothing too spectacular.  He seemed relaxed and confident.

The RFK Stadium crowed booed Beckham which I thought was good because it showed that they were true soccer fans rooting for the home team rather than just going to see Beckham.  The atmosphere at RFK is great and fan club Barra Brava was in full force. The local media did not do a good job of publicizing the game, so that combined with the weather and there being a Redskins preseason game and a Nationals game resulted in a crowd of about 22,000, only slightly more than usual.

Other notes from the game:

  • Beckham seemed content to hang back and set up others instead of charging to the goal when it seemed like he had a few opportunities to dribble up and take a shot.
  • I didn’t see a lot of verbal communication between Beckham and Donovan.
  • There were a couple of times Donovan could have kicked it back to Beckham but chose to keep it or pass to someone else.
  • Beckham didn’t use his left foot much.

All in all, it was a pretty even game without a lot of great scoring chances.  Donovan showed some of his straight ahead speed during several charges to the goal.

It sounds like Seattle is a great soccer town, averaging 30,000 fans per game, with a sold out crowd of about 45,000 expected for tonight’s match.  If sports media outlets such as ESPN would give soccer more airtime, I’m sure it would do better among fans.

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