Representing the nation's two biggest markets, the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls always draw some eyeballs to the TV screen whenever they meet and on Saturday night those who tuned in were the lucky ones. The two star-studded teams put on a show at the sold out Home Depot Center as goals by Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan highlighted the match and led to a 1-1 draw between the league's marquee teams.
It took all of four minutes for the Red Bulls to score first. Henry was played in by Dane Richards and the Frenchman dribbled around Donovan Ricketts before slotting the ball home for the match's first goal. It continued a strong run of form for Henry as he netted for the fourth time in the last four matches.
For the Galaxy, it brought back some bad memories of New York's visit to Los Angeles last year when LA was overrun by the visitors. Unlike last season though, LA responded well and were able to hang with New York. They pressed on and almost scored not long after on a corner kick. The ball was knocked down and played to Chad Barrett , who had himself a shot from 15 yards, but Bouna Coundoul did well to get down for the save.
The rest of the half continued in thrilling fashion. Both teams opened up and looked to get forward whenever possible, which resulted in plenty of chances. Richards took a shot from distance and forced RIcketts into a strong save and Donovan twice had chances to score only to put the shot wide. It was one of the poorer starts for Donovan in some time as he missed chances and took several bad touches, but he made his mark in the 41st minute.
Once again, the Galaxy got an opportunity off a corner kick and this time it led to a goal. David Beckham put the ball right on Donovan's head, whose job was made easier by Roy Miller's strange decision to not jump. That left Donovan free in the center to head the ball past Coundoul for the equalizer.
Donovan almost added to his total a few minutes later when Beckham slid a ball through to him and he was all alone on goal. He made it around Coundoul and had the goal to himself. Donovan kicked the ball slowly towards the goal, but TIm Ream was hustling back and in a full sprint slid and kicked the ball away with it on the goal line to save a goal.
The second half slowed down and while it was still quality soccer, it was nowhere near as entertaining as the first half. Both teams had chances and once again, both keeper came up with good saves. The Red Bulls beat Ricketts once and looked to have a goal, but Richards' shot hit the post and bounced away to keep the match level.
In the end, Los Angeles and New York played the best match Major League Soccer has seen in some time, something that will undoubtedly thrill the league considering it came on national TV between the league's two marquee teams.