The San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy didn't play anywhere near the highest quality game of the year on Saturday night, but they certainly managed to play the most fun game of the year. Both teams defended very poorly in the goal-fest, which ended with San Jose coming from two down to win 4-3. Unhappy with the result, the officiating and the conduct of San Jose's players, David Beckham attempted to fight everyone after the final whistle.
Things got off to an eventful start with a goal by Steven Lenhart just seven minutes into the game. Marvin Chavez, who had an excellent game, set up the chance with a swerving long shot that Josh Saunders couldn't handle. He made a save, but tipped the ball right to Lenhart, who poked home for the Quakes' opener.
Beckham equalized in the 31st minute with an absolutely brilliant free kick, scored in classic Beckham fashion. Mike Magee set up the opportunity by drawing a foul on the edge of the penalty area, and Beckham made the most of that chance with a perfectly curled free kick that got over the wall, then dipped down and beat Jon Busch at the near post.
This was the point at which things got completely out of hand. Over the next five minutes, Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez had possibly the worst five minute period that a central defender has ever had. He added to LA's lead in the 36th minute with a bad own goal, turning a Hector Jimenez cross into his own net. Five minutes later, he gave the ball away with a terrible pass in his own penalty area, which led to a goal by Landon Donovan to make it 3-1 in favor of the Galazy.
Just before first half stoppage time, Victor Bernardez got his team back into the game and completely altered the contest's momentum with a brilliant goal on a free kick, his first in MLS. Assisted by Marvin Chavez, he showed some surprising skill with his feet by placing a great half-volley shot into the back of the net at the far post to cut the Galaxy's lead to one.
At one point during the first have, Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch took a shot to the eye. As the half wore on, the area around his left eye began to look darker and darker, to go along with some swelling that looked like it caused his eye to shut completely. He was substituted at halftime and sat on the sidelines in street clothes with his eye covered in the second half.
Instantly, right out of the locker room, the Quakes found a shocking equalizer. The Galaxy defense completely fell apart on a long ball by Steven Beitashour, while Juninho failed to track Sam Cronin's run from midfield. Cronin was left with a surprisingly easy finish on the edge of the penalty area to tie the match up at 3-3.
Former MLS Golden Boot winner and current scoring leader Chris Wondolowski netted his 14th goal of the year in impressive fashion, turning a cross into the back of the net with a stellar backheel to restore his team's lead and complete a two-goal comeback. Despite the wide-open nature of the game and the terrible play of both defenses, this somehow ended up as the final goal of the game and the eventual match-winner.
The closing minutes were absolutely bonkers, with LA creating a number of chances but never finding an equalizer. They managed to hit the crossbar on one occasion, with Chad Barrett miraculously failing to turn in the rebound when he looked certain to score. Eventually, frustrations got the better of Beckham, who was booked for kicking a ball at the referee and Sam Cronin, who was down on the ground and, in the eyes of Beckham, time wasting.
After the final whistle blew, signalling San Jose's 4-3 victory, Beckham confronted various San Jose players and refused to be restrained by his teammates. He didn't throw any punches or kicks, but his actions were unprofessional enough that he could face a suspension from the league office. Additionally, the yellow card he was shown triggered an automatic selection, and he will be unavailable for next week's game against the Chicago Fire.