By Jo-Ryan Salazar | Bleacher Report
on August 4, 2010

HOUSTON - JULY 28:  Head coach Bruce Arena of the MLS All-Stars looks on during the MLS All Star Game against Manchester United at Reliant Stadium on July 28, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Webster’s dictionary defines a Pyrrhic victory as «A very costly victory, wherein the considerable losses outweigh the gain, so as to render the struggle not worth the cost.»

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In a sense, Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy ended their CONCACAF Champions League run with a 2-1 victory over the Puerto Rico Islanders at Bayamon’s Juan Roman Loubriel Stadium that can be seen as such. It can also be seen as a meaningless victory because the Colin Clarke’s Islanders advance 5-3 on aggregate.

This is the price Arena must pay for not fielding his entire starting eleven. Then again, after the starting eleven’s backline collapsed against the Chicago Fire on Sunday, it may not have made much difference in the long run.

This is a Galaxy team that needs to get its priorities set, and set straight. Los Angeles clearly took this tournament lightly after their patchwork lineup became an over-the-hill babyshambles last Wednesday at the Home Depot Center.

Are they that obsessed with the «dream match» (which probably looks to be nothing more than a Pasadena massacre) against Real Madrid? To play against Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Gonzalo Higuain and his ilk? I’m starting to doubt if they will hoist the Supporters’ Shield, let alone the Anschutz Trophy by season’s end.

Los Angeles let their frustrations get the better of them, although in all honesty Trevor Taylor looked to be biased towards to home side. And I can’t blame him.

I mean, if I was in his shoes, I would do the same thing and make this a mere formality from the first whistle. This was not a Champions League run the Galaxy will want to remember.

A lottery approach when finding the net.

The lack of intestinal fortitude to outmuscle eight or nine defenders in the box.

Atrocious passing and and shot selection.

A back line that would be a mere afterthought to any shrewd fantasy football manager at the maximum.

And a regrettable decision to sit Donovan Ricketts and Omar Gonzalez in the first leg.

When you combine all of these elements together, what do you get? A first round exit at the hands of La Tropa Naranja, who should have a newly anointed nickname: Los Asesinos De Los Gigantes. The Giant Killers.

If Bruce Arena’s seat isn’t getting hot at the point, sweet mercy, someone please light a match.


Clint Mathis… we hardly knew ye.

To add insult to injury, Clint Mathis will retire from soccer after the Real Madrid exhibition on Saturday.

Mathis, a 33-year-old midfielder, played 11 years in Major League Soccer and had stints in Germany and Greece. He also made 46 appearances for the United States national team.

«In his prime he was as good a goal scorer as our country has ever produced,» Arena said on Mathis’s retirement. «We will miss Clint and are indebted to his contributions to MLS and the U.S. soccer.»

«It has been an amazing and exciting ride, full of moments and people that will stay with me forever,» Mathis said during a press conference earlier this week. «I cannot thank everyone who has been a part of this journey with me enough for all that you have done to help me enjoy such a fulfilling life in the sport of soccer.»

Well, there’s always coaching, Clint. There’s always coaching.