Los Angeles Soccer: Abiodun Okulaja

GALAXY: Jovan Kirovski suspended an extra game

April, 15, 2011

Galaxy midfielder Jovan Kirovski's suspension grew longer and fine a little deeper after Major League Soccer's disciplinary committee decided his red-card sanction following last weekend's draw at D.C. United wasn't sufficient.

Kirovski's punishment was doubled Friday to two games -- he served the first in Wednesday's draw at Toronto FC and also will miss Sunday's game at Chicago -- and his fine increased from $250 to $1,000.

The veteran was red-carded for verbal abuse after confronting referee Abiodun Okulaja after last Saturday's 1-1 tie in Washington. Okulaja gifted D.C. the tying goal in the 90th minute, awarding a Charlie Davies dive with a penalty kick.

Central-midfield tandem David Beckham and Juninho also are suspended for Sunday's game. Beckham received his fifth yellow card of the season in the 0-0 draw at Toronto, picking up a one-game ban, and Juninho was sent off with a second yellow card in stoppage.

Landon Donovan is doubtful with a knee injury. He didn't travel to Washington and Toronto, and the Galaxy hadn't decided as of Friday morning whether to bring him to Chicago.

GALAXY: 'Robbery' is fair complaint

April, 9, 2011

GalaxyRob Carr/Getty ImagesGalaxy players argue what they thought was a poor decision to call a late penalty kick by referee Abiodun Okulaja.

The Galaxy was done quite the injustice Saturday night in Washington, a slender victory in a tense, testy contest with D.C. United wrested away on a 90th-minute penalty kick that never should have been awarded.

Referee Abiodun Okulaja was fooled when Charlie Davies sprawled under the least contact from Omar Gonzalez -- a hand to the hip, nothing more -- and Davis forged a 1-1 draw, netting his Major League Soccer-best fourth goal with a little chip down the middle as L.A. goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts dived to his right.

“Even my 6-year would know not to call that a penalty,” David Beckham said afterward.

It serves as something of consolation to D.C. (1-2-1), which lost two weeks ago in New England after two poor calls went the other way.

Jovan Kirovski, a late substitute for L.A., was red-carded after approaching Okulaja after the final whistle to give him an earful on, we're pretty certain, the game's defining play.

Mike Magee scored the goal for the Galaxy (2-1-2), heading home Beckham's 12th-minute penalty kick, after stepping in for Landon Donovan, who did not travel to Washington because of a bruised knee that the team kept hidden until the lineups were issued 90 minutes before game time.

A quick look at the Galaxy's draw:

BEST PLAYER: L.A. stood to win because of Ricketts, who made two big second-half saves to keep the Galaxy in command. He came off his line and out of his box to slide away the ball from D.C. forward Josh Wolff, bearing down 1-on-1. Even better was his reaction save seven minutes later on Yorba Linda's Chris Pontius from a Santino Quaranta corner kick.

Ricketts' second successive shutout ended with Davies' penalty kick, and he certainly deserved more.

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