FRISCO -- The LA Galaxy coming to town is the MLS equivalent of the Miami Heat playing in an NBA city: it means big stars and even bigger crowds. FC Dallas' three highest attendance numbers have come when they've played host to the Galaxy. And the record crowd of 22,565 that showed up at FC Dallas Stadium on Saturday was surely hoping to catch a glimpse of at least one of LA's superstars (David Beckham or Landon Donovan). Or at the very least, FC Dallas' star Brek Shea.
But imagine showing up to see the Heat play the Mavs with no LeBron James, no Dwyane Wade or no Dirk Nowitzki and you'll get a sense of how fringe fans felt when they arrived on Saturday night in Frisco.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena had played it coy leading up to the game, suggesting that Beckham might still be in the lineup in Frisco, despite the superstar being in London on Friday for the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.
“This is a modern era,” explained Arena, who was already without the services of Landon Donovan, who is serving a suspension for yellow-card accumulation. “It can be done real quick, with the technology and transportation options you have."
While it was known that Donovan was out and that it was unlikely Shea would play following his verbal altercation with FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman on July 18 against San Jose, the Galaxy made it official on their Twitter feed at 6:39 p.m. (roughly 20 minutes before the game): "midfielder David Beckham not available for the game as he did not make the trip to Dallas."
Even without Beckham on hand, the atmosphere was great. The standing-room-only crowd was treated to live music by the Cover Brothers on the plaza level of the stadium prior to the game. The FC Dallas Girls were also making the rounds and taking pictures with fans. The private 6,500-square-foot River Club (complete with air conditioning, plush leather seats with a view of the field and flat screens showing the game) was a popular spot before and during the game.
Speaking of the game, the LA Galaxy earned three points for its 1-0 victory over FC Dallas by virtue of Mike Magee's second-half goal in the 62nd minute. The win secured a playoff spot for LA, while the loss left FC Dallas on the outside looking in. They are 11 points out of the final playoff spot with 11 games remaining in the season.
For the Galaxy, who have sold out all 14 of their road games this season, it was truly a case of "No Beckham, no Donovan, no problem."
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