Oh, heartbreaking. Just heartbreaking. After the Gals knocked DC out in the semis I wished them a lot of ill luck, but I wouldn't have wished them that. It must feel awful. See for yourself.
After some powerful threats in the first half, Galaxy concedes an own goal. At the tail end of an unproductive season suffered at breakneck pace, the weary Gals are demoralized. At one point Beckham heedlessly charges for a 50-50 ball only to crack his knee by the force of his momentum. He's assisted off the pitch and by the look on his face, you could tell he realized that he would be off for a very long time. (Six weeks, to be exact.) By the end of the match, he's again wearing a suit and tie.
The game progresses like so towards the dying minutes when suddenly Buddle's header is off the crossbar, thena failed defensive clearance-- and then Chris Klein is skyward for the bike to equalize. It was magical football, an audacious display from a team at the rock bottom of their league, tying a championship final with a team at the top. It meant the world to the Galaxy. The fans loved it. The audience loved it. Who doesn't enjoy a 90-minute Cinderella story?
Penalties. Vagenas saved, Pachuca scores. 0-1. Cobi scores, Pachuca scores, 1-2. Cannon saves, 2-2. Then 3-3. Marvin Cabrera steps up for Pachuca-- and eats crossbar. Donovan steps up to seal the win with a trademark penalty-- and fails. 3-3. Pachuca scores and it's 4-3. Finally: Xavier, in his attempt to keep the Gals alive, misses horribly. Game over, trophy's gone. Heartbreaking.
In its inaugural season the Superliga has produced some of the most exciting matches I have ever seen, undoubtedly. It has all of the drama, pace, and action you want to see when you pay $25, $35, $50 for tickets to see a game. It will keep people coming back, I'm sure.
The league's next developments will be expansion and English-language broadcasting rights, and if these two initiatives succeed the prize money will increase and the tournament will be all the more alluring. Great stuff. I'll look forward to it next year.