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
U.S. under-17 men's national team roster    
U.S. head coach under-17 men's national team Richie Williams has named a 20-player roster for the ...
Business Reporter: Union teams up with Dogfish Head    
The Philadelphia Union will open a new destination beer garden with Dogfish Head Brewery at PPL ...
Columbus switches USL PRO affiliations    
The Columbus Crew will team up with the Austin Aztex to send players from its first ...
Lee Nguyen: Sitting back is not in Revs' DNA    
The New England Revolution tied an MLS record when it scored nine goals in its first ...
What They're Saying: Jerome Valcke    
"It is easy to destroy a reputation, it takes one second, it takes years to build ...
Champions League scenarios: 11 teams for five spots    
Eleven teams have qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League, and 11 more teams, ...
Video Pick: Bend it like Uesato    
Our favorite free kick goal of the week comes from J-League 2, where Consadole Sapporo's Kazumasa ...
Breaking down the NCAA Division I women's quarterfinals    
The NCAA Division I Women's Tournament moves into the quarterfinals with three games on Friday and ...
A back-heel sombrero from Greek boy     
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] Greek youth soccer, in a game between AO Ioannina and Agia Eleousa, delivers ...
What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho    
"Obviously they must be very sad with the result but when we lose against a team ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives