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No playoffs for Beckham, Donovan and Galaxy

October 18, 2008 |  9:30 pm


For the third year in a row, Tim Leiweke's Galaxy is not going to the Major League Soccer playoffs.

The team that the AEG head man has tinkered with -- to the point where it now bears not the slightest resemblance to the once-proud and successful Galaxy of pre-AEG days a decade ago -- was knocked out of postseason contention on Saturday.

Once again, there will be no playoffs for David Beckham, the league's highest-paid player.

Once again, there will be no playoffs for Landon Donovan, arguably the league's most accomplished American player.

Once again, the Galaxy will be on the outside looking in.

Three goals in a nine-minute span in the first half gave the two-time defending MLS champion Houston Dynamo a convincing 3-0 victory over visiting Los Angeles on Saturday and the Western Conference regular-season title.

The Galaxy has one game remaining, a now-meaningless match in Carson next weekend against an FC Dallas team that also was knocked out of the playoff race Saturday.

It is supposed to be fan appreciation night, but the only thing Galaxy fans have to appreciate in 2008 is the fact that this most disastrous of seasons is blessedly over with and done.

Even if the Galaxy wins its final game, its record would be 9-13-8, barely one point better than 2007's abysmal 9-14-7 and the team's third consecutive losing season.

Don't put all the blame on the succession of mediocre players and the revolving door of coaches.

It's time the blame went where it belonged -- straight to AEG and Leiweke, for taking something that wasn't broken and trying to fix it. For trying to build a brand instead of a soccer team. For undermining a club that once had everything going for it.

There will be major changes between now and the time the 2009 season begins, but the change that would benefit everyone the most will not come about.

But, honestly, isn't it time the Galaxy had a new owner?

-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: Tim Leiweke, right, and David Beckham during the Galaxy's welcoming ceremony for the England star in June of 2007. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times