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
Donovan, Beckham & Co., have Depot edge
by Ridge Mahoney, November 13th, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS PLAYOFF PREDICTION] In two regular-season meetings, the Galaxy and Dynamo produced just one goal, and that was scored by a left back. Another close encounter of the same kind is expected when they square off Friday night at Home Depot Center.

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
Friday
LOS ANGELES vs. HOUSTON (11 p.m. ET, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)

Each team features strong points that match up an opponent's flaw. Speedy Dynamo forward Dominic Oduro tormented Seattle's back line not only with his pace but some clever linkups with Brian Ching, and neither of the Galaxy central defenders, Gregg Berhalter and Omar Gonzalez, is really fast. For corner kicks and free kicks near the Houston penalty area, even if only one of the Galaxy big men go up, Sean Franklin may be assigned to guard against an Oduro breakaway. Ching is very sharp and hungry right now, as shown by his superb overtime finish against Seattle last weekend.

With Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Chris Klein, Todd Dunivant (the lone goalscorer in the regular season meetings), and Eddie Lewis, the Galaxy has an incredible array of players who can whip, curl, swerve, drive, and yes, bend, balls from the flank into the goalmouth. But forwards Edson Buddle and Alan Gordon haven't been very dangerous lately and somebody must work the penalty area effectively to get onto balls and create space.

Both Dynamo outside backs, Mike Chabala and Adrian Hainault, have replaced injured starters this season. Mike Chabala is suspended, yet Kinnear can recall veteran and captain Wade Barrett at left back. If outside midfielders Brad Davis and Brian Mullan are forced back to cover, that will deprive them of opportunities to support playmaker Stuart Holden and central partner Ricardo Clark. Houston can dictate the game if Davis gets free up the flank or can veer inside, and Mullan powers forward to attack the goalmouth.

Arena's choice for a holding midfield role will also shape the outcome. Dema Kovalenko played an excellent game in the second leg against Chivas USA , but his range is limited, especially compared to that of Clark, and if he tires T&T international Chris Birchall might get a shot. An illness scratched Birchall from the second-leg lineup the day of the game, so Arena must slot that variable into his equation. Stefani Miglioranzi has been bothered by a groin strain and is questionable.

Dynamo Pat Onstad has been one of the top goalies in MLS since he joined the old Quakes in 2003, and Arena credits Jamaican keeper Donovan Ricketts for stabilizing what had been a very shaky position for the Galaxy. Onstad saved a PK during regulation play in MLS Cup 2003 for San Jose and his stop of Jay Heaps in a tiebreaker clinched the 2006 title.
Prediction: Galaxy 3, Dynamo 1.

Ridge Mahoney's playoff prediction record:
4-4.

 



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] No. 6 Washington rebounded from allowing an early goal to beat USF, 2-1, in ...
Howard gaffes cost Everton dearly at home    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Everton's defensive troubles in the English Premier League continued as it dropped a 3-2 ...
Toronto FC ends misery, extends Chivas USA's drought    
[MLS: Sunday] Chivas USA was just what Toronto FC needed to snap a six-game winless streak. ...
Banner year for MLS scoring    
[BY THE NUMBERS] MLS is enjoying its highest-scoring season since it began its expansion push a ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] Senior Sarah Killion tied a UCLA record with three assists in the game to ...
FC Edmonton puts itself in playoff mix    
[NASL: Fall Week 11] FC Edmonton jumped four teams in the fall standings, moving into third ...
What They're Saying: Alessandro Florenzi    
"It's not every day that an 82-year-old gets to the stadium. ... This goal is for ...
Wright-Phillips closes in on scoring record    
[MLS: Saturday] New York's Bradley Wright-Phillips is within three goals of the MLS record for goals ...
Lopez hat trick completes story-book ending    
[USL PRO: Semifinals] Sacramento Republic FC's magical season continued as Rodrigo Lopez scored a hat trick ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] No. 10 North Carolina came back from two goals down to stun No. 12 ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives