first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.John Thorrington, a Chadwick School alumnus who calls the Palos Verdes Peninsula home and who once served as David Beckham’s backup when he played for Manchester United in England, was the star of Sunday’s show. After a remarkable day for Galaxy goalkeeper Joe Cannon that saw him save nine laser shots on goal, it was a simple chip shot over his head by Thorrington in extra time that finally gave the Fire a 1-0 victory. The win left Chicago with the eighth and final MLS playoff spot and ended the Galaxy’s late-season playoff bid. The Galaxy had gone 5-0-2 in its previous seven games to set up this unforeseen showdown on the season’s final day, but were left battling unwanted emotions. “Anger, frustration, a combination of both in spite of the run at the end of the season,” veteran midfielder Peter Vagenas said. “We put ourselves in that position. That’s what we need to focus on. “I’m a firm believer – and I’ve said this when we won championships – that at the end of the year, you are where you should be. Maybe we are where we should be.” Certainly, the Fire deserved Sunday’s victory. They completely outplayed the Galaxy, outshooting them, 22-5. Having played Thursday at home and then flying to Chicago, the Galaxy looked leg heavy and uninspired. The Fire, which hadn’t played in a week, only needed to tie to advance. The Galaxy had to win, yet Chicago was continually the attacking team. “Tonight, I almost felt like we were a second-division club team and they were Chelsea,” Cannon said. The game featured the MLS’ two biggest, highest-paid starts, Cuauhtemoc Blanco of the Fire and Beckham of the Galaxy. That, too, proved little contest. Blanco started and proved a dynamic playmaker, taking five shots on goal and twice making nice crossing passes that ultimately were blocked by Cannon. Beckham returned for 22 minutes Thursday after missing 11 games with a knee injury, and played the final 32 minutes here. He gave the Galaxy brief life as they finally began to attack, but seemed to tire. “We’ve had a good run the last (seven) games, but I’m disappointed we couldn’t take it further,” Beckham said. “We need to step up in situations and today was tough.” Sunday also marked the final game for Jones, who has said he would retire at the end of the season. It proved an unremarkable final game, Jones not particularly sharp with his passing and not getting a shot off. Afterward, he would not speak to the media. “You can’t really explain what soccer meant to Cobi,” Galaxy coach Frank Yallop said. “He was devastated in the locker room. Really upset. That shows his character. He wants to do well, he wants to win. He’s been a legend for the Galaxy and U.S. Soccer.” steph[email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SOCCER: L.A. edged out of the postseason and retiring veteran is “devastated.” By Steve Dilbeck STAFF WRITER BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – In the end, it wasn’t dueling superstars or the last sighting of Cobi Jones or which team was hottest that determined the MLS’ final playoff team, but rather a late substitution. last_img