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Football Americana Week 18: Beckhamania...ish

It seems like an age ago, but we can only begin this weekend's roundup at Giants Stadium last Thursday, where David Beckham made his second Major League Soccer bow for LA Galaxy. In a relatively uneventful game for Beckham (he saved that for the friendly against AC Milan, during which he became involved in an angry confrontation with LA's Riot Squad supporters), the Galaxy swept aside New York Red Bulls, piling the pressure on Juan Carlos Osorio with a 3-1 win.

Alecko Eskandarian netted his second Galaxy goal in only the third minute, turning a man on 30 yards before launching a left-footed rocket past Danny Cepero. Landon Donovan's goal for 2-0 was even better - I can't overstate the quality of these two goals, folks. World class. Eddie Lewis made it 3-0 just before half time, his clean and well-struck volley catching out the awful Cepero. The Red Bulls pulled one back late on through a Juan Pablo Angel spot kick. His second penalty, in stoppage time, was turned onto the post by Galaxy stopper Donovan Ricketts.

The weekend action got underway in Canada, where Dwayne DeRosario emerged from the confetti to put Toronto ahead against his old club, Houston Dynamo, with a typically cool finish past Pat Onstad in the 37th minute. But the Dynamo are nothing if not resilient, and they withstood Reds pressure before equalising through Bobby Boswell, who followed up his own header to level for Houston.

Having thrashed DC United just a couple of weeks previously, Colorado Rapids went 1-0 up at RFK on Saturday through a Bryan Namoff own goal. Within seconds of the start of the second half, Christian Gomez was tripped in the box and Jaime Moreno levelled for United with a criminally good penalty. Ten minutes later, Namoff made amends with a science-defying diving header. And on the hour it was 3-1, Gomez and Fred combining to provide a simple finish for Luciano Emilio.

At Crew Stadium, Real Salt Lake proved no opposition for their hosts. Columbus Crew were 3-0 up by the 52nd minute thanks to Steven Lenhart's poacher's finish and a brace from Jason Garey, the first created by comedy goalkeeping from Nick Rimando. Lenhart teed up Garey's second before RSL grabbed a consolation through Raphael Cox.

It was a late show at Toyota Park as Chicago Fire finally saw off Frank Yallop's San Jose Earthquakes. Cuauhtemoc Blanco brilliantly set up Patrick Nyarko in the 82nd minute and then added a second himself, sending a wonderful stoppage time chip past Joe Cannon, although the goalkeeper could arguably have done better. This was the Fire's first home victory since April.

It was the same outcome on Sunday night as New England Revolution picked up a much-needed win at home to Chivas USA. Kheli Dube scored the first after having one disallowed, rolling the Revs into the lead off a Shalrie Joseph assist. Steve Ralston pounced on a defensive error to add the second, securing the points for Steve Nicol's side.

A quick word of praise too for Seattle Sounders, who packed out Qwest Field for the visit of Chelsea and made one hell of a noise. On the pitch, goals from Daniel Sturridge and Frank Lampard proved just too much for the Sounders but they gave an excellent account of themselves.

Houston's point keeps them in the driving seat, topping the West on 32 points, with the Sounders in second on 28. Chicago lead the East on 28 points followed by DCU on 27, with the next four spots league-wide being held by Columbus, Los Angeles, Chivas and Toronto.

Full results and standings here.

For more great football writing by Chris Nee, visit TwoFootedTackle.com...

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