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ICC – LA Galaxy vs. AC Milan Preview: She Wants Revenge


I must confess that I have never liked Major League Soccer (MLS). As much as I was excited to have football start up again in America, as a relatively new football fan when the league started, even I noticed the oceans of difference in the level of play between Serie A and the MLS. It’s no wonder that players from Europe and elsewhere look at it as a retirement league. Add to that the Americanization of the league with the draft and salary cap, etc., and the ridiculous fans, most of which could not even figure out the difference between a corner kick and a goal kick, let alone explain the offside rule, and I became even more jaded. So when the LA Galaxy took advantage of a lackadaisical Juventus side in the semifinal match of the ICC tournament, a game that was my son’s first professional football match, the only thing I wanted was vengeance.

The scoreline may have shown otherwise, but Giovinco still got the best of Donovan

The LA Galaxy, named in part for the very Hollywood stars that it courts, and AC Milan have some interesting connections. The most well known would be their loan to AC Milan of David Beckham, the second loan spell of which actually ended quite badly for him, with a ruptured achilles tendon. Another connection would be that Ruud Gullit, former AC Milan star, coached the Galaxy for nearly a year in 2007. And a lesser known connection is that the Galaxy’s goalkeeper, Italian Carlo Cudicini, actually played for Milan at the beginning of his career, and is the son of Fabio Cudicini, a famed Milan goalkeeper for five years from 1967-1972. So they are like the family I hate.

Two of the reasons I also wish misfortune upon the LA Galaxy are considered icons: Bruce Arena, the coach, and Landon Donovan, “the star.” Bruce Arena is an average coach at best, and his press conferences make Allegri’s look charming and action-packed. He represents to me everything that is wrong with US Soccer and its coaches. But it is Landon Donovan, America’s “soccer” superhero that I really have a beef with. His talent is formidable, but his ego is so big it has caused his hairline to recede. When offered chances of a lifetime to play with Bayer Leverkusen and challenge himself and improve his skills, he whined and cried and came back home to his In 'n' Out burgers, his friends, and his mommy. So he chose to be a big fish in a little pond instead of becoming the talent he could have been and personally raising the bar for US Soccer. By the time he had the chance for more European play with loan spells to Bayern Munich and Everton, he was older and less “teachable,” and the most notable thing he’s done during that time was impregnate some poor girl and then come back home. So just in case you are wondering where I stand, I hate the LA Galaxy. And Bruce Arena. And Landon “Landycakes” Donovan.

They may have been at the Galaxy, but their stars shone brightest at Milan

But their biggest crime was ruining my son’s first professional match by taking advantage of two defensive lapses and an assist from Pirlo in Juve’s typically strong backline. It was the ref that chose not to call the penalty against them, so I can’t blame them for that. But I had to laugh when at one point Donovan was trying to outmuscle wee little Giovinco and shove him out of bounds, and he couldn’t even do that. So nothing would make me happier than to avenge this grievous crime against my son to take them down and take third place from them tomorrow. Sure, they have the advantage of playing midseason, while we are struggling for match fitness. And their injuries are nothing compared to the hospital wing we seem to be renting right now for our injured players. But when it comes to rooting for my hometown team vs. AC Milan, there is no question whatsoever in my mind that I will be rooting for AC Milan. It’s the only decent thing to do.

I have no doubt that Bruce Arena will want to try to make it 2 for 2 with the Italian clubs. And being midseason, that may be a serious advantage. But considering that we are AC Milan, I don’t expect Allegri to take this too lightly, although I expect him to try to prevent more injuries ahead of our Champions League qualification matches. With no players apparently receiving any injuries in the Chelsea match, he should still have plenty of players available to choose from. And if he does as well as he did Sunday against Chelsea, I expect us to definitely win, and look for some more playing time for our younger players, too.

The Galaxy is somewhere these actual stars may go when their careers are over

So this is my grudge match. The hometown team that I can’t even begin to like, vs. the club of my heart, the colors that are in my blood. I want my son to know that there is one Italian club who can stand up to this glorified retirement team, even if it’s just a preseason friendly. For once, Allegri will not be the worst coach on the pitch, and Milan will field players almost young enough for Landon Donovan to have possibly fathered one of them during his short-term loan spells in Europe. I want my son to be able to wear his new Balotelli jersey with pride around all of his peers who think that “Landycakes” is the best player in the world. Please. We have players on our bench who will be better than him, and I hope they get a chance to show that to him firsthand. Please, Milan, give us the dignity that Juventus has cost Italian football. And above all else, let’s show the world some world class football with our Budget Milan™ team.


This post inspired by the music of “She Wants Revenge”




Our next match is
Guinness International Champions Cup Third Place match
LA Galaxy vs. AC Milan
Wednesday, August 7 • 6:30pm EDT
This match is being shown on Fox Soccer Channel in the U.S.
Check here for stream links before the match