Los Angeles Soccer: David Bingham
More significant, perhaps, was Hector Jimenez's performance in a new position.
The second-year winger from Bell Gardens was terrific as right back, teaming with Michael Stephens on the flank as L.A. dictated terms nearly the entire match before settling for a 1-1 draw on the Galaxy's training field at Home Depot Center.
Jimenez, who would be playing decent first-team time with a lot of Major League Soccer clubs but is caught behind L.A.'s deep, veteran midfield core, said he'd played as an outside back “toward the end of last year in a reserve game for a few minutes” but that this was otherwise a debut.
“I felt good,” he said. “I thought offensively I got involved a lot, it's just the defensive part, where I need to get used to checking the [restraining] line and stuff like that, but I thought I played good for the 90 minutes.”
Galaxy assistant coach Curt Onalfo, who runs the reserve side, agreed.
“The interesting thing sometimes in sport is when through injury and that sort of stuff you end up shifting things around, and sometimes all of a sudden something pops up that maybe you haven't seen. And I think that's the case.
“If you look at his game and you compare it to when he plays in midfield, he had just as much an influence going forward -- or maybe even more. The combination of Mikey Stephens coming inside and [Jimenez] overlapping, I thought was good. Would have liked to see more goals from it. It was a game where we possessed and had really the majority of possession, the majority of play. It's a game where you think you're going to get three points from.”
Beckham netted the winning goal in the 66th minute, just four minutes after Cristian Nazarit scored an equalizer for the Fire. He spun a corner kick low and to the near post, and it crept through a opening in the goalmouth and skipped past Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson en route to the far-post netting.
Beckham's goal received 37 percent of the vote among five finalists, with Fredy Montero's free kick in Seattle's 3-2 win at Portland finishing second. The week's best goal -- San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham's 90-yard boot against England's West Bromwich Albion -- wasn't eligible.
Beckham also won in Week 9 with a very different set piece.
San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham struck from 90 yards in the third minute and Khari Stephenson added another before halftime in a 2-1 triumph over the English Premier League side in Santa Clara. Jerome Thomas tallied for the Baggies in the 53rd minute.
Bingham scored on a punt that sailed to West Brom's box and bounced high over goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, who lost the ball in the sun. It bounced again and into the net.
West Brom will face the Ventura County Fusion on Sunday afternoon at Oxnard College.
The San Jose Earthquakes arrived Sunday for a week of training at Oxnard College, and they've got scrimmages planned against Chivas USA, the Galaxy and the Ventura County Fusion.
The Quakes meet Chivas on Monday afternoon at Home Depot Center Field 4, west of the main stadium. They'll face the Galaxy on Thursday at the HDC track and field stadium and take on the Premier Development League's Fusion on Friday at Oxnard College.
Here's a quick look at the Earthquakes:
WHO ARE THEY?
The Galaxy's former No. 1 rival, before Chivas USA arrived and MLS's original Clash/Quakes hightailed it to Houston after the 2005 season. This model returned to MLS in 2008, with Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff (encouraged by super soccer fan/A's GM Billy Beane) putting up the money, former star center back John Doyle as GM and the return of coach Frank Yallop, who guided the previous Quakes to MLS titles in 2001 and 2003. They reached the playoffs last year, knocking off Eastern Conference champ New York to make it to the MLS Cup semifinals.
THE MAN IN CHARGE
Yallop is no stranger to these parts. The English-born Canadian former defender was the Galaxy's head coach the last part of 2006 and during that wasted 2007 campaign, unfairly jettisoned afterward with the Quakes asking for his hand.
Yallop, who's one of the really good guys in MLS, spent 13 seasons with Ipswich Town, played in Tampa Bay in the first three MLS seasons, then worked for the Mutiny and then at D.C. United before taking over in San Jose in 2001. After three seasons and two MLS Cup titles, he became Canada's national team coach, a post he left for the Galaxy job after failing to qualify for the 2006 World Cup.
THE STAR PLAYER
The closest thing San Jose has to a star is forward/midfielder Chris Wondolowski, who burst into everyone's consciousness last year (his sixth in MLS) with 18 goals, 10 of them in the final eight games, to swipe the Golden Boot from L.A.'s Edson Buddle on the final day of the season.
The club on Tuesday announced the sponsorship agreement with Mexican brewery Grupo Modelo, a multiyear contract that makes the Corona Extra brand the club's “presenting” sponsor.
The announcement makes no mention of the jersey sponsorship, but a Chivas USA official confirmed the new uniforms will be unveiled at a Feb. 16 event in Los Angeles. Details on the sponsorship will be announced then, too, the club says.
Extra, another Grupo Modelo brand, was Chivas' jersey sponsor last year. Mexican paint company Comex was on the Goats shirts from 2007 to 2009.
Other Chivas news:
- French midfielder Oliver Kapo, looking for a new club after he was released by Scotland's Celtic FC, told France Football magazine that he's received a contract offer from Chivas USA that is “attractive, it's true.”
- University of California goalkeeper David Bingham signed a Generation adidas contract with Major League Soccer and will be awarded to a club through lottery Wednesday.