Desert Diamond Cup
Galaxy tops short-handed Salt Lake
RSL's early posession and chances came to nothing after red cards
Real Salt Lake had the majority of possession and shots in the first half in their Desert Diamond Cup match against the LA Galaxy on Saturday night, but couldn't find the back of the net before two of their players were ejected. In the end, the Cobalt and Claret fell to the Galaxy 2-0.
Salt Lake had the most chances but many, including a spectacular but fruitless bicycle kick by Fabian Espindola, were off frame. Their failure to capitalize, as it turned out, was not nearly as damaging as a yellow card issued to Yordany Alvarez.
A second half substitution brought on David Beckham much to the cheers of the more than 8,000 fans that made it out to the game. If this wasn't bad enough news for RSL, midfielder Ned Grabavoy was ejected for a violent tackle against the Galaxy's Marcelo Sarvas.
And it got worse. Yordany Alvarez earned his second yellow card minutes later and left the match. Los Angeles, unsurprisingly, took full advantage.
It didn't take long for the Galaxy's Paolo Cardozo to see his chance. A ball got loose in front of the box and Nick Rimando bobbled what would usually be an easy save for him. Los Angeles took the lead.
Near the end of time, David Beckham sent a perfect cross to Mike Magee, who sent it home to give Los Angeles the lead.
Both teams are now 1-1 in the tournament.
'A chippy game'
The Galaxy and Salt Lake have both been at the top of the table in recent seasons, and the rivalry can be heated. Their last regular season match up on Oct. 1 featured six yellow cards between the two teams.
"It was a chippy game, like all our games with Salt Lake," said Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee after the game. "It always turns into a bit of a battle."
Magee also described his goal.
"All I remember is David getting the ball," said Magee, crediting Beckham. "Whenever David gets the ball you just gotta run toward the goal."
Magee is not totally unfamiliar with getting goals: he scored five last season, plus one in each of their playoff games on their way to MLS cup.
And, oddly enough, he's been on the other side as well. When starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was injured in a game last June 25, and Josh Saunders received a red card, the team was forced to put Magee in goal. It was his first outing as a goalkeeper, and he led the team to a shutout after making four saves.
Because of the potential for Becks induced mayhem, access to David Beckham has been limited, but there is one group that has not had trouble receiving a small piece of his star power: the legions of young fans who he signs autographs for after the Galaxy's games.
One Phoenix girl, Maggie Cagle, got a bit more than a signature.
"Beckham touched me on the head, and he said 'stay there and I'll bring you my shirt'," the 7-year-old said after the game.
Maggie didn't ask for the jersey, it was offered.
Her sister Nancy didn't get away empty-handed either: Beckham signed her warm-up shirt.
The aftermath was a bit of a whirlwind for Maggie. She and her family were brought into an office in the stadium where she met with FC Tucson General Manager John Pearlman and got her picture taken by a team staff member.
Maggie, who plays as a defender, had a message for Beckham that was recorded by team staff.
"Thank you David, I appreciate it."