There's something about combining the San Jose Earthquakes, the LA Galaxy, Stanford Stadium, 50,000 fans and a little Goonie Magic that tends to produce some almost unbelievable soccer. A year after the Earthquakes twice erased two-goal deficits to beat their intrastate rivals at their home away from home in front of a huge crowd, they pulled off something even more magical on Saturday.
Playing a man down for the final 13 minutes, the Earthquakes managed to score a pair of stoppage-time goals to come all the way back from a 2-0 deficit to hand the Galaxy what has to be one of the most embarrassing losses in their storied franchise history, 3-2.
This game really had a little bit of everything. There was blood (Steven Lenhart had to leave the game after a wound on his head couldn't be closed), controversy (Victor Bernardez got a possibly questionable second yellow card) and the kind of Goonie magic that has almost become standard operating procedure. It was a pretty crazy game from the beginning all the way to the end and really needs to be seen to be believed:
The only thing missing from this highlight package is what happened just moments before where they start the video on the game-winning goal. Marvin Chavez was dribbling at Galaxy center back AJ DeLaGarza, who was literally juked off his feet. Chavez then took a slight pause to give a little laugh, almost as if he knew what was about to happen.
As great as the comeback was, it really is not the kind of thing you expect from the defending MLS Cup champions. It wasn't just that they gave up a 2-0 lead or even that they gave up two stoppage-time goals. It was that the collapse came while they were up a man and the winner came on a counter-strike that really shouldn't be possible in that kind of situation.
Bruce Arena, as should be expected, was not pleased.
"Poor play [and] lack of intelligence by our team," he said. "To have a team of players and coaches that is that poor and stupid in the last five minutes of the game that's my responsibility. That can't be on anybody else but me. I'm absolutely embarrassed by that performance. Give our opponents credit, but our performance was embarrassing."
Goonies never die.