GAME ONE: LOS ANGELES GALAXY v. NEW YORK RED BULLS
43′: Relatively quiet first half is coming to a close when suddenly the game breaks open. LA gets the ball in to Buddle in the penalty box, but his shot is blocked. 90 seconds later Landon Donovan has the ball in the penalty area when Tim Ream steals it away and New York gets a breakaway chance. Juan Pablo Angel is unable to convert as time expires, and the half ends scoreless.
57′: Clint Mathis challenges Joel Lindpere in the penalty area and Lindpere draws the foul. Juan Pablo Angel goes to the spot to take the 1st penalty kick of the 2010 MLS season. IT CLANKS OFF THE WOODWORK! The LA defense is able to clear the ball, but it goes over the line for a corner. Thierry Henry draws the task and sends a perfect pass to Angel, who takes a one-timer and scores! NYRB 1-0 LA.
90’+: Desperately trying to procure the ball to score in extra time, Juninho commits a foul. Juan Pablo Angel’s Direct Free Kick finds an open Joel Lindpere who passes to Dane Richards. Richards’ 92nd minute goal seals the away victory for NYRB in the season opener.
Man of the Match: JUAN PABLO ANGEL
In this first game, and, indeed in the first few games I played this season, I was still trying to get a handle on what rules I wanted to use, how I was going to handle timing, what stats to keep and how, what charts and all that stuff. In this game, you can see there were only 13 total shots, which isn’t unreasonable, but is far below the actual MLS average of 22 per game. There was also only 1 corner kick in this game. The one biggest rule change that I’ve instituted since I started the season (besides now using a homebrew Defense chart) is that ALL rebounds on missed shots are automatically picked up by the offensive team. This had led to more shots and more shots on goal. How many, exactly, I can’t say, because if I were to play the game as it is out of the box, rebounds go to the loose ball chart so either side could end up with a rebound. I prefer my way.
Notice, if you will, my scorecard. This was the earliest version of a scorecard that I created. I’m using a newer version based on this same design now. You’ll see it soon. I custom-make one for each game with the team logos. It adds just a nice touch of professionalism that helps me get into the game a little more.