Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Welling United 2-1 Lincoln City

Welling United 2-1 Lincoln City  

This was the first time the four of us had got together for an away game this season and although Baz and myself had been to Welling United last season (A crappy 2-0 defeat), this was Felice and Lee’s first trip to the stadium. This was because they took a trip to Italy together to watch Felice’s beloved Inter last year and although they got back into London on the day of the game at Welling, they were too tired to make the game and headed home early. Quite what they were tired from hasn’t been established.  They also missed last season’s home win over Grimsby for the same trip. A shocking state of affairs I am sure everybody reading this will agree with.

But no cock and bull excuses for missing this season’s trip though and at just gone 2.45pm the car was full and we were on our merry way to Welling. The journey was spent impressing my fellow passengers with my recently obtained knowledge of all things German. We are planning a jolly boy’s trip to Berlin next year and I have a sneaky feeling I will be saving Felice’s bacon like I have done on so many occasions in the past; Barnet, the Women’s Champions league final, and Crystal palace to name but three.
We arrived about 6.00pm then headed off to find a kebab shop. We found a pretty good one last year and decided to revisit it. It was standard fare with a large donner coming in at £6. It did the job although it wasn’t quite as nice as I remember from last year. After a quick scoff it was off to the ground.

Welling United’s Park View Road stadium is what I would call a traditional non league top flight ground.  And I say that in a good way. It’s a proper ground in the heart of the town and has a real football feel to it. Yes it may be a little run down here and there and in need of a little TLC but it really does feel like a real football ground and not a plastic out of town stadium with no soul like somewhere like Telford for example.  Sadly as the seasons go by these stadiums will become rarer so make the most of them while you still can.
Actually the stadium is shared by two teams; Welling United and Erith and Belvedere. Now it’s not uncommon in non league football for sides to share stadiums, but what is rare is for different areas of the stadium to be decorated in the colours of the respective teams that play there. This is because normally one side owns the ground and the other rents. This isn’t the case here though as the local council owns the stadium with both clubs paying rent to them (According to the steward outside the ground), He also added that Welling do pay the lions share towards the costs for the ground and this is backed up by the fact that 3 of the 4 sides and a section of terrace on the 4th are painted red.

Erith and Belvedere have recently been relegated to step 5 (The same as Retford United) and normally attract around a 100 or so fans. They play in blue and white and so the remaining side is decked out in blue and white with blue seats in the seated area with blue splashed around the stand for good measure.  I am not sure how much of the stadium is open for Erith and Belvedere games but It wouldn’t surprise me if they only opened the one side of the ground. I highly doubt that I will ever go to an Erith home game as I make it my aim to visit different stadiums and not clubs so I may well never find out. And I can live with that. 

Welling united have a smashing little supporter’s club shop inside the ground as well as the official club shop that is located outside the stadium next to the turnstiles. There is also a very good bar inside the turnstiles that we were going to visit pre game. However we were told that segregation was to be in force for tonight’s game which was a change in policy from last season.  This wasn’t a huge problems as we were told that we could use the bar on the Erith side of the ground. However Lee was disappointed with this news as he had set his heart on visiting the supporters shop to pick up some more programmes (Or junk depending on your point of view). The stewards were thoroughly good eggs though and let him and Del go through and visit the shop to buy as much crap as he could carry. In the end he ended up with a bag full of Portsmouth programmes. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure as they say. 

After Lee had got his random crap highly valuable football memorabilia, we took a gentle stroll over to the blue painted turnstiles and parted with the entrance fee of £15, which is quite reasonable for  this league. Once inside the ground to your right is the Erith and Belvedere club shop which had a selection of programmes, old shirts, and a nice collection of different mugs.  This area of London isn’t really an Arsenal hotbed of support but Felice was happy to see a few Arsenal mugs for sale. However, as he is a long time member of the Gunners (Along with Fulham, West Ham, Manchester City, Juventus amongst many others) He likes to buy his merchandise directly from the club; his (snug) Arsenal jacket being a case in point.  I was quite pleased to pick up a club badge and also tonight’s matchday programme that came in at £3 and was a steady enough issue. Nothing special but I am pretty sure I will read much worse this season. 

As we still had time to kill we headed into the club bar and I must say it was the total opposite to the bar on the Welling United side of the ground. The walls were all decked out with scarves from a wide range of teams and also many half and half matchday scarves, with the standout one for me being one from the Women’s Olympic final at the London Olympics between Japan and the United States, Or the USWNT as they like to be known as.  It was a shame they didn’t have a 1993 FA Cup final half and half between Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal so Lee and Felice could make them an offer to buy it, as the rumour is they intend to go to the league cup tie between the Oinkers and the Gunners in the next couple of weeks.  The entertainment however left a lot to be desired with the Wales v Andorra game on the radio and Eastenders on the television.
At the start of the game the Imps fans were all segregated on one side of the ground. But after about 10 minutes of the game the segregation was lifted allowing all supporters access to all areas of the stadium. Quite why we had to go through the pointless exercise of segregating for 10 minutes was a bit of a mystery.  The only reason I can think of is so that Erith and Belvedere got the bar and food takings from the Imps fans pre game because had we all gone in through the Welling turnstiles then everybody would have headed to the Welling United bar. If that was the reason then I can’t say I had a problem with it. On balance the Erith bar had a better football feel to it. 

Lincoln City are currently enjoying their best season since being relegated to the conference (Yes I know that’s not really saying much but still...), and are on the outskirts of the playoffs.  It’s far too early to say whether this form will be maintained but for now I am enjoying it while it lasts. Lincoln went into this game having won their past 3 away games and from the way they started this one it looked like they could be on for a 4th on the trot.  Lincoln knocked the ball around quickly and it looked like it was only a matter of time before the scored.  Welling to their credit got better as the game went on but were still second best to the Imps for the entire first half.

However after having so much of the ball for the first half The Imps got hit with a sucker punch just before halftime when yet again this season they failed to deal with a ball in the air allowing Welling to score from close range.  At HT we ambled around to the end of the ground that Lincoln were to attack second half.  We were in a prime position to see Liam Hearn draw City level when he turned in a close range effort and from then on City took the game to their hosts. However in typical Lincoln style they shot themselves in the foot. Bradley Wood has been one of Lincoln’s most consistent players this season but tonight wasn’t his night as he received his marching orders for two yellow cards. Fair enough these things happen in football and this was the Imps first red card of the season.  However seeing as there was about 7 minutes left to play the sensible thing to do would have been to employ an effective game managing strategy and settle for a well earned point.

Alas Alan Power had other ideas and attempted to launch a cross field pass and launch a City counter attack after Welling had lost the ball. The pass however failed to reach its intended target as it went straight to a Welling player which was a gift as the hosts had plenty of players up the field from the original attack and a few seconds later the hosts went 2-1 up and there was no way back for the Imps.  It was very harsh on City but this is what happens if you dominate a match but fail to capitalise on your dominance. 
Sometimes in sport you get patterns of results between teams that just cannot be explained. Over the years I have known Lincoln go through phases when they just couldn’t get results against certain sides. For example between 1999 and about 2009 the Imps just couldn’t beat Darlington for love nor money. In the 90’s Chester always seemed to be the side that held a jinx over City. It does of course work the other way too. Under the late, great Keith Alexander the Imps always did well against Shrewsbury, especially away from home.  In more recent times Braintree Town seem to be the side that no matter what the league positions of the two sides always seemed nice enough to lose to the Imps. However to counter that Welling seem to be the team that always have the upper edge on Lincoln as this was their 5th win on the spin.

Last season the Imps were dreadful in both games v the Wings but that most certainly wasn’t the case this time around. For most of the game City took the game to the hosts who very rarely looked like causing them any real problems at the other end.  It does have to be said though that although the Imps had plenty of the ball, they didn’t really make the Welling keeper work too hard. In fact he only really had a couple of saves to make.  
The journey back home was pretty uneventful with the highlight being a debate on which flavour McDonalds milkshake is the best. At the time I was far too tired to offer an educated opinion but on reflection I would have to say I am firmly in the strawberry camp.

Result aside though it was a decent night out with great company.  Long distance night matches are always special regardless of the result. And the good news? We get to do it all again in a full weeks time at Aldershot!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Pinxton 3-0 Blidworth

 A few weeks ago I made a trip I should have done a long time ago. I finally made it to Pinxton to watch Pinxton FC play and had a chance to catch up with Mr Lee Cook, one of the finest footballing minds in the whole of the East Midlands region.  As I said I should have made this journey a while back and now that I have finally made it I can say I will definitely be back.
Pinxton are currently plying their trade in the Central Midlands league southern division, (Step 7 of the pyramid) and in truth you will struggle to find a better run club. The club has narrowly been pipped at the post for promotion in recent years by sides that shall we say, aren’t run the correct way. To be blunt Pinxton seem to have been shafted but with the set up they have both on and off the field it can only be a matter of time before they gain their rightful place higher up the league structure. 

The journey to Pinxton on the Nottighamshire/Derbyshire border is an interesting one from Retford. It involves two trains (Retford to Worksop then Worksop to Mansfield) and a bus from Mansfield to Pinxton.  I always thought that Pinxton was in Derbyshire given that the club are affiliated to the Derbyshire FA and play in the Derbyshire cup etc but all the adverts for local business in the programme give their address as Nottinghamshire so who knows.
After a short walk from the bus stop and walking past a couple of decent looking chip shops I arrived at the welfare club house.  I always like these sorts of clubhouses; they are from another era but a good one, and tend to be only found at clubs that had connections to the local mining community. True they may not be as modern as bars at newer stadiums like Retford and Arnold but what they lose out on it terms of decor they more than make up for in character.
Shortly after I sat down in walked the assistant gaffer Mr Lee Cook, who was kind enough to offer me a guided tour of the stadium once he had set up his tactic board and given his troops their instructions for today’s encounter.  As we toured the facilities the two things that struck me were firstly the passion and enthusiasm that the various staff members have for the club, and secondly the ground itself which is certainly one of the better grounds you will find in the CML. It’s safe to say that this set up is a lot better than many other clubs in the EMCL or NECL.  In an era of clubs springing up built on foundations of quick sand and false promises, it’s refreshing to find one that has built off the pitch as well as on it.
The ground has a small seated area to the left of the changing room end with the turnstiles on the entrance side.  The food bar can be found at the far end of the ground on top of the banking. This area offers a bird’s eye view of the game and is one of the best views I have found in non league football. 

Up until this game it had been a tough season for Pinxton.  Whenever a side finishes high in the table they are always there to be shot at to a degree which can be hard to deal with.  Pinxton were yet to win a game but as a wise man once said due to players being unavailable for holidays etc the CML really starts after the first of 4 or 5 games of the season.
That day however Pinxton were not to be denied their win and pretty much dominated the game from beginning to end. The players carried out Lee’s perfectly constructed plan to a T with the only real criticism being that they could have won by more than the 3 goals that they did.  As ever with non league football there is always a character to be found who is often either the hero or villain of the piece and today it was none other than the Blidworth goalkeeper who bore an uncanny resemblance to former Turkish international goalkeeper Rustu Recber, although the appearance was where the comparison ended.   

Pinxton had already had a number of chances before they took the lead when the keeper failed to hold a low shot which was slammed home by an on rushing striker.  One nil soon become two nill when a slick passing move gave the home side some breathing space.  After a bright start Blidworth had seemed to be more occupied with taking out their frustrations on the officials instead of trying to unpick the Pinxton master plan. The home side made the points safe on the 30 minute mark when a cross from deep on the left flew over the hapless keeper’s head into the net. 
HT 3-0
Quite often when a team has the points wrapped up so early in the game it can be hard to keep up the energy levels and high tempo play. Pinxton did play well within themselves in the second half but they were still far too good for their opponents.  The main talking points of the second half were a couple of incidents that should have lead to a red card or two as the visitor’s tempers started to flare. However, I never like to criticise referees at this level as its truly a thankless task with little reward and a shitload of abuse.  In the end though the respective sides both got what they deserved, 3 points for the hosts and none for the visitors.  

The last word however has to go to the Blidworth goalkeeper who, as the players walked off, wanted to try to take on the entire Pinxton coaching staff even “Dropping his gloves” ice hockey style trying to get it on. Naturally the coaching staff were to sensible enough not to rise to the bait. Football is obviously a passionate game but there is a fine line between being passionate and looking a fool. 
After the game I had a chance to chat about all things local football and pick the brains of Lee and Ben (first team manager) about the local footie scene and it was great to hear about the plans for Pinxton going forward. You can tell that the guys have a genuine passion for the club and this is evident from everybody connected with the club from the chairman to everybody who helps the club tick over on a matchday. I must say a huge thanks to everybody at the club for making me feel so welcome and a special shout-out to Lee for going out of his way and giving me a lift home.
Since this game Pinxton seem to have hit a bit of form; 3 league wins on the spin were obtained along with a very good 4-1 away win at Lincoln Moorlands in the FA Vase (who play at a higher level in the footballing pyramid) in the second qualifying round. The club’s reward for this is a home tie against Cradley Town which is to be played on October the 31st. If you are looking for a game to attend on that date I strongly suggest you make it this one.  You won’t be disappointed.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

LA Galaxy 5-2 San Jose Earthquakes.

I have been looking forward to this game every since MLS fixtures came out. Not only to watch the game itself, but to get a view of the wider picture of MLS and the state of the game in America. Plenty of folk on Twitter, fans, and media folk alike have been telling me that both MLS and the men’s game in general is growing in terms of quality and popularity so it was only right I experience it in person to see what all the fuss is about.  For a while now it has been my view that some MLS fans and more worryingly (and in greater numbers) media members have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to how MLS is perceived both in the US and abroad. Note its is always MLS and never “The MLS”, This is because if you gave its full name and used the word “The” before it you would be saying THE Major League Soccer and not just Major League Soccer. This may sound like a small thing to most people (and to be fair it is) but MLS people do get rather touchy about it and it will cause an American MLS writer to meltdown if you get it wrong. 

It may still be very early in the 2015/16 season, but I think it is far to say that I don’t think I will visit another city quite as glamorous as Los Angles this season; the palm trees, the heat, the beaches, Southern California really is quite the place. Given all this it’s not surprising that plenty of players looking for one last pay day in football have chosen to play for the LA Galaxy over the years. The LA Galaxy have always been one of the leading powerhouses in MLS winning the MLS Cup (the league championship) a record 5 times, the supporters shield (awarded to the side with the best regular season record) 4 times, the US Open cup (The American FA Cup) twice and the CONCACAF Champions Cup (their version of the champions league) once.  In short their CV is second to none in MLS. 

Anyway to the fun stuff, there is a very different culture to watching sport in America than there is here in the UK. The main difference being that quite a lot of stadiums are based away from the city centre (Downtown if you will) so drinking in pubs and such before the game is pretty much a non starter. This is where the great American past time of tailgating comes into its own. This basically involves fans turning up with a variety of beers, sodas, food etc, and having a bit of a party in the car park. Some even organize BBQs and stuff.  As this was a WWF Show day out we thought that we would do our own mini tailgate. So instead of heading for a game with a laptop, recorder, notepad and other journalistic tools we grabbed our beers and crisps and deckchairs and headed out to the game.  

We didn’t really go for the huge tailgate set up deciding just to go with a few beers, pretzels and some really hot and spicy cheetos.  It seems that the official LA Galaxy supporters groups the LA Riot and the LA City Angels Brigade organize big pre game parties so we set ours up as far away from the official ones as possible, we wouldn’t want to cramp their style now would we.  We may not have had the best range of snacks in the lot, but if you wanted great company and crappy unsalted pretzels (bought by mistake) then our tailgate was the one to be at. 

The LA Galaxy has long been a favoured destination for overseas players looking for a last big pay deal. This season the buzz has all been about one player; former Liverpool player Steven Gerrard, who was set to make his home debut tonight. It’s fair to say this signing is a pretty big deal to soccer fans in LA and the club are really going the distance to get every last dollar out of his marketing value.  As you drive through LA there are plenty of advertising signs with Gerrard’s mug on them with the word “Greatness” above it in an attempt to get the general LA sports fans interested. At the stadium I was surprised at the number of both Gerrard jerseys and Gerrard T-shirts that fans were wearing.  Football shirts are very expensive in the States so clubs get around it by releasing player T-shirts like clubs in the NHL do. Even if good old Stevie G only plays a handful of games for the club the Galaxy bank balance will have been swelled considerably due to fans buying this crap by the bucket load. I was planning on getting a home shirt but the main store and smaller stores inside the stadium were only selling Gerrard ones. Overall though the merchandise range was pretty good with much of it being focused on celebrating last year’s MLS cup win, however it was disappointing to find that they didn’t sell badges of the club crest. 

 Getting into US sports stadiums is more in line with airport security than your average UK sports event in as much as you have to put all your belongings in a little plastic tray which gets screened as you go through a full body screen system, but thankfully is doesn’t  take too long to get through.  Upon entrance you get a free match day programme (always a plus) and on this occasion a free LA Galaxy Car flag and reversible sun hat.  Food in American stadiums is pretty impressive and you can pretty much get any kind of food you want in the stadium. 

Second only to food, American soccer fans’ passion is for scarves. They can’t get enough of them. This season the Galaxy are producing a different design of scarf for 20 of the club’s home games this season with each scarf design being based on one of the club’s jerseys from their 20 year history with only 500 of each design being produced, and given than each one will cost $29.99 (£20) It would be an expensive exercise collecting the whole set. There did appear to be a few left over from past games so I went for a late 90’s inspired one. 

Before the game came another reminder that football is very much the family sport still in the States. Before the game the San Jose supporters group (note in America a group of fans that start the chanting and make the banners etc are called a supporters group) were escorted through the concourse of the stadium where lots of home fans were gathered. There must have been around 50 or so and they were making plenty of racket and having a fun time, but it was all in good humour.  This would be unthinkable in England and I think we can all imagine the consequences of marching a group of Sheffield United fans for example through the home sections at say Barnsley, but here their appearance didn’t even raise an eyebrow as the ushers showed them to their section of the stadium. 

The stadium itself (The stub hub centre) is an impressive enough soccer purposed facility. Most of the stadium is uncovered but given the LA weather, this isn’t a huge problem. We had seats on the front row near the halfway line which gave us a great view of the action. The pitch is slightly sunk below the stadium so even though we were in the front row it felt like we were looking down on the action. 

I am not going to go into too much detail on the match itself, just head over to the Galaxy website for that. But I have to say it was a fantastic game. San Jose raced into an early two goal lead which seemed to wake the home side up. It was 2-2 at halftime though with the moment that everybody was waiting for happening in the 37th minute. With the Galaxy trailing 1-2 San Jose failed to clear the ball and it fell to Steven Gerrard on the left-hand side of the box who fired it home to send the fans and Galaxy merchandise manager into a frenzy.  In the second half the Galaxy’s class showed as they hit another 3 goals to win 5-2, although Gerrard grabbed all the headlines the real star of the night was Robbie Keane who hit a hattrick.  A huge hat tip to the two supporters groups who never stopped singing all night. The noise and banner displays from behind the goal were very impressive indeed and something lots of clubs can learn from. I can definitely say that I enjoyed my first taste of MLS action.  

So what of the growth of the game in the US and where does it sit now? For a few years now I have long taken the view that MLS is to US sport what the EIHL (The ice top ice hockey league in the UK) is to the UK sports market, and I would say that I am broadly correct.
Soccer is growing in America but it will never become as big as one of the big four North American sports.  That isn’t to say that it doesn’t have a place in American sport markets, it does, as it fits into the family market quite nicely in the same way as the EIHL does in the UK.  At EIHL games you will see fans wearing jerseys from a wide range of NHL teams and likewise I saw plenty of Premiership shirts (Or EPL as it is known as in America) on show at the Galaxy match. There also seemed to be more banter between fans of different English sides as there was between LA and San Jose fans. 

It’s easy for some fans of European football to look down their noses at MLS and American soccer but to view it in the same way as we view our own game is wrong, as they sit in different areas of our respective sporting spectrums. There are still things that I can’t stand about the men’s game stateside, mainly the commentators and some media folk. Perhaps if the aforementioned groups of people worked on promoting MLS better instead of trying to drag down other US sports and demanding people in the US watch it instead of European football, it may gain the recognition it deserves.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Retford United 2-2 Chris Waddle X1

After about 18 months away I have decided to get back on the blogging trail once again as I charter my trip throughout the 2015-16 season. Over the past season or two I have attended fewer games than I did when I was in my blogging heyday but I have enjoyed the games I have done far more.  Much of my time is still taken up by writing for Sports International magazine and presenting and planning the Women’s World Football show podcast. Both of which I am very happy to say are flourishing as is Women’s football in general. Although I have only been involved in covering the Women’s game since 2012 its grown substantially in that time thus taking up lots of my spare time and capital.
Due to all that I doubt this blog will be as busy as it once was back between 2009 and 2013, but I think that there is scope to get regular 4 or so posts a month on here, maybe more, maybe less. To use a footballing cliché let’s just take every game as it comes eh?  There will however be no women’s football reported on here for that is the domain of my other, far more professional outlets.  

There used to be a time when there was a definite off season in relation to my footballing activity but with the women’s game running through the summer it really feels like the off season is no more. However this Saturday marked the start of my journey throughout the 15-16 season and it was a nice local one to kick off the party, Retford United v A Chris Waddle XI

It goes without saying that football and pubs are superb bed fellows and coupled with the fact that we have had (by UK standards anyway) a heat wave here in the UK this past week, it made sense to knock back a pint or two before the match then take a brisk walk up to Cannon Park for the match.

Today’s entry fee was the standard £5 with no programme produced. Over the past couple of seasons I have cut down on non Lincoln/Sheffield United programmes due to the fact that most with some notable exceptions, (Stavley for example) have gone down the pan quality wise yet up in price. For the record I have no problem when the price rises with quality of written content but when the price goes up and the quality (note quality not quantity) goes down then that’s taking the piss somewhat and while this is disappointing, sadly I can kind of understand it. Programme sales are in decline at almost all clubs so there is often little motivation for editors to put together detailed programmes when at some levels they will only be read by a handful of people.  I also know it’s not the easiest thing in the world to put a programme together. What I would advise editors is that a good programme doesn’t have to have 100 pages. The trick is to optimize the space you have. You can write an interesting article in about 400 words or so. A couple of those, league tables, stats, blurb from the manager/chairman and the jobs a good one as they say. That’s pretty much all folks want. A shiny cover and 10 pages of crap with out of date league tables and text written in size 36 characters won’t cut the mustard I am afraid.

It is always encouraging for a manager when he has a good turnout to the first training session of the season and likewise it was great to see we had a full complement of Retford Imps. Indeed Felice and Lee were already at Cannon Park when I arrived with the latter sporting a rather dodgy looking shirt. Looking around there were quite a few dodgy blue and white striped shirts. Chris Waddle was a legend for Sheffield Wednesday in the 90’s after scoring a spawny goal v the Blades at Wembley in an FA Cup semi final and he can still pull the fans in. It was great to see him more than happy to pose for pictures with the kids (and not so little kids eh Lee?)  Baz joined us shortly before kick-off and much hatching of plans for the season and piss taking ensued for the remainder of the afternoon. 

As with pre season games nobody seemed to know anything about any of the players on show for either side so it was a case of just enjoying the weather and the game. The first half finished 0-0 with both sides creating a few half chances but nothing more.
Retford United have had a pretty chaotic time of things as of late (well the past 7 years or so is more accurate) but it looks like things could be a little more stable than they have been over the past couple of seasons which is great for the town. Some fantastic news has been the addition of Mr Dave Whathall to the sports club committee. Truth of the matter is this should have happened a long time ago as Dave has a wealth of experience in the game stretching back to watching Spurs do the double in 61. He also has his pulse firmly on the groundhopping scene so it will be interesting to see him bring his knowledge and forward thinking vision to the club. He could well be the badger’s signing of the season.  I only caught a brief word with him at HT but he seemed on fine form. Keep up the great work old chap. 

The second half was much better that the first. Retford took the lead with a great first time shot that slipped under the advancing keeper. Retford had the chance to go 2 up but the chap in goal for the Waddle XI pulled off a fantastic save to his left. Moments later it was 2-0 when a long range shot was deflected past the keeper into the bottom right hand corner. The XI weren’t beaten though as they pulled one back through a penalty then drew level as I was having a piss. No idea what the goal was like but the fact that I have attended one game and missed one goal due to my bladder isn’t a great sign.
Over the years I have learnt its pretty pointless trying to learn anything from these kind of games and the earlier in pre season they come the less you can read from it. I am sure the Retford manager and players will have been grateful for the game and it was a decent enough work out for all involved. A bit like the blog post really. It’s good to be back and hopefully more will follow. It won’t be for a couple of weeks though as I fly to the USA Thursday morning so the next game on here will be the LA Galaxy v the San Jose Earthquakes.
Over and out.