Galaxy postscript: David Beckham and Juninho suspended as discipline and goals disappear
The Galaxy can't seem to get many goals these days, but cards are a different matter.
For the third game in a row, in a 0-0 tie at Toronto on Wednesday night, Coach Bruce Arena's team had a player ejected. This time it was Brazilian midfielder Juninho who received the red, in injury time.
For the fifth time in six games this season, David Beckham got himself a yellow card. This time it was for a retaliatory foul.
The end result is that the Galaxy is 2-1-3 as it heads for Chicago to play the Fire on Sunday. Juninho and Beckham will be suspended for that game, and Landon Donovan remains questionable with an inflamed right knee.
Aside from the results and the lack of goals--only five in six games--the troubling aspect for Arena is his team's apparent lack of discipline. Chris Birchall got a red card against Philadelphia. Jovan Kirovski got a red card against D.C. United. Now Juninho has joined their ranks.
"To be honest, over the last few games, I've spoken too much about referees," he said. "They are becoming the stars of MLS and that's obviously not what teams want and clubs want. You want the players to be playing out there; you want to be fair. I just don't think the consistency is there.
"I think there are bad calls, and we've had the majority of bad calls over the last few games. It's ruining games; it's ruining our preparation for games. I'll probably get in trouble, but it's gone on too long now. We want the consistency to be there and we want to keep our players on the field."
Arena's take on it all?
"It is what it always is," he said. "It's not going to change."
--Grahame L. Jones
Photo: Los Angeles Galaxy's David Beckham reacts after teammate Juninho was sent off for a second bookable offense against Toronto FC, during the second half of an MLS soccer game April 13, 2011, in Toronto. Credit: Chris Young / AP