Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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



[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.

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



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Watching the MLS playoffs has been tremendously exciting. The games in the first round with the ...
Klinsmann: Nagbe is a 'great fit' for national team    
One of the standouts in the MLS playoffs has been Darlington Nagbe, who has helped the ...
What They're Saying: Didier Drogba    
"It's a different challenge [in MLS]. People think it's easy to play there. Believe me, it's ...
What They're Saying: Stocksbridge Park Steels chairman Allen Bethel    
"I can't believe what I've been seeing on Saturday nights. He's always on his own. Why ...
MLS: Sporting KC continues talks with five free agents    
Sporting Kansas City re-signed 12 of the 13 players it had options on -- all but ...
MLS: Orlando City declines option on Hall    
Stemming from the roster moves announced Wednesday, Orlando City SC may not look radically different in ...
MLS: Revs re-sign Kobayashi, send three to Portugal    
New England announced Wednesday it has renewed the options on 14 players, signed midfielder Daigo Kobayashi ...
Sacramento wants to show it's ready to roll    
While efforts by David Beckham's group to find land for a soccer stadium in Miami appear ...
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
USA names 20 for U-20 Women's World Cup qualifying    
Eight collegians and 12 youth club players comprise Coach Michelle French's roster for the U-20 Women's ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives