Galaxy Fall Into CCL Black Hole

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | View Comments
CARSON, CA - JULY 22: Head coach Bruce Arena of the Los Angeles Galaxy voices his opinion toward the line judge during is team's MLS match against the San Jose Earthquakes at The Home Depot Center on July 22, 2010 in Carson, California. Donovan scored on the rebound to tie the game 2-2. The Earthquakes and the Galaxy played to a 2-2 draw. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Galaxy 1, Islanders 4. And if it weren't for a lucky bounce, LA wouldn't have scored.

What can you say? The best team in MLS, a side that with just two losses this season, a team that built its first half success on defensive strength, gives up four at home to a second division side in a competition they claimed they were taking seriously. Another MLS team, this one imbued with big hopes in an international competition the fans desperately hope to see an American (or Canadian) side win, fails miserably.

Every. Single. Year.

Foolishly, we bought into the Galaxy's chances in the CONCACAF Champions League. They've been so good in MLS, good enough that it wasn't entirely unreasonable to think they could get to the finals next year. The casual fan may not have an appreciation of the Champions League or the good it would do for the league's reputation to have an MLS club win it, but the rest of us know. MLS knows. The teams involved know.

So why the massive egg laid by LA? The lineup they put out was almost full-strength (no Omar Gonzalez did hurt them) and Landon Donovan claimed the team was taking the competition seriously. There are no excuses for giving up four goals at home, especially to a lower division opponent. Losing by on a lucky break for Puerto Rico would almost be excusable, if still disappointing. Rolling over to the tune of a three goal beat down is a joke.

Give the Islanders credit. They seem to play their best in this competition, and took the chances the were given. They weren't afraid of the Galaxy (and why should they be?) and gave a full effort. The moment they stepped on the field they seemed fired out of a cannon. The Galaxy, on the other hand hand, had all the momentum of a glacier.

Donovan and Buddle will be in Houston for the All Star Game tonight. I would imagine the first thing their All Star teammates will say to them is "What happened?" If there's an answer to that question, I'd love to hear it.

Time to move on MLS fans. Barring a miracle in Bayamón, league hopes in the Champions League will need to be transferred elsewhere. Maybe the Crew were always most likely to get it done anyway.

In that vein a quick question for the comments: In your opinion, which MLS team has the best shot of going deep into the CCL?

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