Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Divine Duo gives Galaxy the edge
by Ridge Mahoney, November 6th, 2009 6:45AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS PREDICTION] The Los Angeles Galaxy can clinch a third straight home playoff match by beating rival Chivas USA, which has yet to advance in three previous postseason appearances. The Galaxy missed the playoffs the last three seasons.

SUNDAY
LOS ANGELES vs. CHIVAS USA (aggregate: 2-2), 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes

After managing just two goals in their three regular-season meetings, the Home Depot Center neighbors each rattled in a pair amid rampant defensive errors as they tied, 2-2, in the first leg. If the Galaxy wins, it hosts Seattle or Houston in the conference final; a victory for Chivas USA would sent it on the road.

Which team can break down the other, if both buckle down tightly to avoid a recurrence of abysmal defending in the first leg?

Los Angeles fields the divine duo of Landon Donovan and David Beckham, of course, yet Edson Buddle has looked livelier and sharper the past few games. The dangerously bending balls swung in by left mid Eddie Lewis are bound to produce something, especially with Chivas USA keeper Zach Thornton - perhaps befuddled by afternoon shadows at HDC - not like his usually secure self, and prone in recent weeks to challenging anything in the air, be it a cross, corner, or wayward carrier pigeon.

Maykel Galindo's pace burned Los Angeles for a goal in the first leg and is a concern for Galaxy centerbacks Omar Gonzalez and Gregg Berhalter.  Right back Sean Franklin also struggled in the first leg as missed tackles and blown assignments provided Chivas USA with plenty of time and space.

The leadership and bite of Chivas USA's Jesse Marsch (concussion) will be missed, and central defender Yamith Cuesta is yet another player whose boneheadedness belied his solid play during the regular season. Sacha Kljestan can cut open the Galaxy defense, but he'll need space that the mobility of Galindo and Michael Lahoud and Jesus Padilla must provide. Coach Preki also has alternatives up top in Eduardo Lillingston (eight goals in the regular season) and the rugged, honest, and aptly named Justin Braun.

A groin strain kept Galaxy midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi out of game one, and the Galaxy left huge gaps in the middle that Dema Kovalenko couldn't always cover. If that dynamic recurs the Gonzalez-Berhalter central pairing will have to endure severe pressure, and keeper Donovan Ricketts will be just as busy - and just as aghast at his defense - as in the first leg.
Prediction: Galaxy 2, Chivas USA 1. (Galaxy advances.)

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
San Antonio and Minnesota aim to pull away from pack    
[NASL: Fall Week 7] The San Antonio Scorpions and Minnesota United FC, the NASL fall leaders, ...
Gaspar returns home as CJSA technical director    
[YOUTH SOCCER] Dan Gaspar, who served as an assistant coach on Iran's 2014 World Cup team, ...
Red Star defender named NWSL Rookie of the Year    
[NWSL] Chicago Red Stars defender Julie Johnston was voted the 2014 Rookie of the Year ahead ...
FS1 sets viewing record for UCL playoff    
[SOCCER ON THE AIR] Tuesday's Besiktas-Arsenal match in the UEFA Champions League playoffs averaged 212,000 viewers, ...
Funniest Coach Clip of the Year     
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Far too often we see grown men wearing fancy suits throwing ...
Top two in East square off    
[MLS Week 24: Three Games to Watch] A week after Real Salt Lake beat Seattle, 2-1, ...
Tim Leiweke's five biggest MLS moves    
[MAKING A LIST] Tim Leiweke will go down as the man who made MLS think big. ...
Chivas USA sends Rosales to 'Caps for Reo-Coker    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] Mauro Rosales is on the move again. After only nine months with Chivas USA, ...
Where to Watch European Soccer    
The new European club season has started up, so it's time to make plans for your ...
Johnson assists on Europa League winner    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Fabian Johnson made his competitive debut with Borussia Moenchengladbach, serving up the winning goal ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives