Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Impact players come through for Galaxy
by Ridge Mahoney, November 21st, 2011 4:16AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  houston dynamo, los angeles galaxy, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS CUP ANALYSIS]A substitution and tactical shift garnered much of the credit for the breakthrough goal scored by Landon Donovan in the 72nd minute by which Los Angeles downed Houston, 1-0, Sunday night in the MLS championship game.

Midfielder Chris Birchallreplaced forward Adam Cristman in the 57th minute, with Birchall taking over at right mid for Landon Donovan, who moved up top alongside Robbie Keane. Los Angeles broke open the goalless game when Keane collected a ball from David Beckham and evaded a tackle to slip through a pass Donovan knocked home for his league record 20th playoff goal and fourth in an MLS Cup final.

Yet the vital difference on that play, and for much of the game, stemmed from the simple fact the Galaxy impact players did their job, and seldom did their counterparts on the Dynamo match their performance.

GALAXY OVERCOMES MISSES.Cristman, paired up top with Keane, failed to convert three good chances; he drove two headers wide and wasted another opportunity when he tried to trap an inviting cross instead of hitting it first-time, and slipped trying to shoot. But despite his misses and those of others, the Galaxy dominated play for most of the 90 minutes through the interplay of Keane, Beckham and Donovan, supplemented by heady midfield play from Juninho and very solid defending.

The Dynamo fended off numerous attacks and stayed in the game by some dogged tackling and the Galaxy’s poor finishing. Houston’s attack, missing playmaker Brad Davis, worked the flanks to good effect at times yet seldom set up a clear opportunity that forwards Brian Ching and Calen Carr could direct on goal.

Corey Ashe ranged up the left side from his midfield position and right mid Danny Cruz did the same; Ashe’s crosses were expertly handled by right back Sean Franklin or centerback Omar Gonzalez, and aside from one slashing dribble and shot late in the first half, Cruz wasn’t much of a factor.

DYNAMO NEVER THREATENS.In the postgame comments, Galaxy players credited coach Bruce Arena’s move as the deciding factor. A few minutes before Donovan scored, a very close offside decision nullified a goal by Keane, who had early in the second half fired a shot narrowly wide.

Before and after the switch, the Galaxy controlled most of the play, and though a team as dangerous on set plays as Houston can’t be counted out if the score is close, only one team looked likely to score. Eventually, thanks to its major players, it did.

Nov. 20 in Carson, Calif.
Los Angeles 1 Houston 0. Goal: Donovan (Keane, Beckham) 72.
Los Angeles --Saunders, Franklin, DelaGarza, Gonzalez, Dunivant, Juninho, Beckham, Donovan, Magee, Keane, Cristman (Birchall, 57).
Houston --Hall, Hainault, Boswell, Cameron, Taylor, Cruz (Clark, 78), Camargo, Moffat, Ashe (Watson, 84), Ching, Carr (Costly, 65).
Referee: Ricardo Salazar.
Att.:30,281.



0 comments
  1. Amos Annan
    commented on: November 21, 2011 at 11:33 a.m.
    money was the difference
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: November 21, 2011 at 1:12 p.m.
    Eficacy was the difference and Christman is proof of total ineptness on the pitch.
  1. Brian Something
    commented on: November 21, 2011 at 4:39 p.m.
    Players? What are you talking about? Was there anyone on the pitch other than Becks? If so, someone should've mentioned this to the rest of the press.
  1. Carl Grover
    commented on: November 21, 2011 at 6:36 p.m.
    The Galaxy were the best team because that was planned by MLS(money). Keane who was picked up by the Galaxy in mid-summer was the deciding factor. If Beckham leaves the Galaxy probably will not repeat. Seattle and RSL will see to that.
  1. Carl Grover
    commented on: November 21, 2011 at 6:41 p.m.
    I did feel sorry for Christman replacing the starting forward in the championship game but he was the reason it was closer than it should have been.
  1. Karl Schreiber
    commented on: November 21, 2011 at 9:42 p.m.
    Some comments, not a comprehensive critique: It was a dull game reminiscent of high school soccer at times. ESPN turned it into a commercial for Beckham. Beckham for me performed like in his last season with Real Madrid, when his contract was not renewed. I didn't realize Donovan was playing until he suddenly got the pass from Keane and scored. After watching EPL, La Liga and Bundesliga games the same weekend, this MLS final was a letdown. The ultimate insult was the choice of the ball with a dark finish. What were they thinking?! -- Okay, Beckham’s underperforming was explained with a hamstring injury a couple days before and that he was playeing in pain; and he was still one of the better players. His passes are a joy to watch. And so he's another foreigner who earned the right to brag about “having developed soccer in the United States”. Sorry for Harkes that he got laid off as color commentator by ESPN. But I for one have hopes that the next person will NOT expose me to endless opinions on coaching and stuff that distracts me from watching a game. -- Now, without sarcasm: I have a lot of respect and gratitude for Anschuetz and other visionaries who believe in pro soccer and support its development! I sincerely hope that the women's game will get similar support; that is THE segment of the sport where we can still mix it up at the top international level, perhaps the only one for years to come.
  1. Dannie Whitehouse
    commented on: November 22, 2011 at 12:17 p.m.
    Well, I'd like to kick the Galaxy, but those guys have a pretty good front office and staff. everyone wants to over-simplify the program and the big three are the huge piece of the puzzle. But without the other pieces, L.A. is the Red Bulls. L. A. has picked up other players over the last few years, that actually contribute,Juninho is a great example. Also, developing young defensive players. The first year or two of the Beckham experiment was painful to watch he and Landon try to carry the load with a second tier cast around them. But Arenas got the most out of the guys they drafted or picked up (mcGee, Barrett, etc...) Hats off Galaxy you deserve it.
  1. Karl Ortmertl
    commented on: November 24, 2011 at 5:21 a.m.
    With Beckham, Keane and Donovan, the Galaxy are an interesting team to watch. I hope Beckham stays. There's obviously a drop off after those three, but most of the others hold their own well enough. After that, though, the lack of depth really shows. Christman seems like a nice guy, but his ineptitude was glaring. Unfortunately, except for watching the Galaxy with the Big 3 and maybe the Red Bull with Thierry Henry, you almost can't be an international soccer fan and then watch the MLS. Luckily for the MLS, I think there's a lot of fans out there who are MLS-only types.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Injury Report: Timbers' Borchers out for season    
Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers will miss the rest of the 2016 season with a ruptured ...
TV Report: MLS All-Star Game will air in Cuba    
The MLS All-Star Game will be broadcast for the first time in Cuba. MLS reached an ...
Crowd Count: MLS chases 2015 attendance record    
At the All-Star break, MLS clubs are averaging 21,429 fans a game, almost unchanged (down 0.6 ...
What They're Saying: Chinese soccer fan Netizen Liu Ningning    
"I don't mind spending money on the ticket, I don't have to watch the game, but ...
What They're Saying: Bill Edwards    
"As [head coach] Stuart [Campbell] said after the match, the officiating was disgusting. It was the ...
USL Rewind: Big crowd sees Cincy win River Cities Cup    
Drained by a busy schedule of league matches and a friendly against Crystal Palace, FC Cincinnati ...
NWSL Rewind: Goals rain down for Seattle    
The Seattle Reign, the two-time NWSL regular-season champion, scored a season-high five goals as it pounded ...
Video Pick: Giovinco aces two free kicks    
Sebastian Giovinco's hat trick in Toronto FC's 4-1 win over D.C United included two free-kick golazos, ...
NASL Rewind: Omar Bravo scores on debut    
Former Mexican World Cup striker Omar Bravo scored in his debut for the Carolina RailHawks in ...
MLS Talking Points: 'Hatred' seeps into New York derby    
The intensity of the Hudson River Derby took on a new level, rising with the midday ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives