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Gonzalez is the standout in Galaxy win
by Paul Kennedy, December 1st, 2012 9:50PM

TAGS:  houston dynamo, los angeles galaxy, mls


[MLS CUP 2012 REPORT CARD] For all the Galaxy's firepower up front, the difference in MLS Cup 2012 was defender Omar Gonzalez, who scored the tying goal on a header and had a dangerous header that Houston goalie Tally Hall could only parry on the play that led to Landon Donovan's penalty kick that proved to be the winner in the Galaxy's 3-1 win. Soccer America's Paul Kennedy grades the performances of the two teams ...

LOS ANGELES. Goalie Josh Saunders should have done better on Calen Carr's goal that put Houston ahead shortly before halftime, but he came up with several excellent saves, notably on a Carr header early in the second half. In his Galaxy farewell, David Beckham had a solid game, creating the early chance that Donovan should have put away with a long ball to Robbie Keane. The Irishman showed why he is the most dangerous forward in the open field, winning the penalty he took himself in stoppage time to clinch the win.

Los Angeles Galaxy
6 Josh Saunders (USA) 31
6 Sean Franklin (USA) 27
4 Tommy Meyer (USA) 22
8 Omar Gonzalez (USA) 24
6 Todd Dunivant (USA) 31
5 Christian Wilhelmsson (Sweden) 32
6 Juninho (Brazil) 23
6 David Beckham (England) 37
6 Mike Magee (USA) 28
6 Landon Donovan (USA) 30
7 Robbie Keane (Ireland) 32
sub for Wilhelmsson (74th minute):
5 Edson Buddle
(USA) 31
sub for Juninho (76th minute):
5 Michael Stephens
(USA) 23
sub for Beckham (95th minute):
NR Marcelo Sarvas
(Brazil) 31

HOUSTON DYNAMO. The Dynamo looked to be in control when it took the lead shortly before halftime and controlled play for the first 10 minutes of the second half. It finished with a 15-11 edge in shots and 59-41 percent edge in possession, but it paid a steep price for a five-minute period after Carr was injured and it conceded two goals. On the first, Bobby Boswell lost Gonzalez, who rose to score on Juninho's ball back into the area. And Boswell fouled Robbie Keane for a free kick that led to the play that resulted in Ricardo Clark's foul in the area and Donovan's winning penalty kick. Honduran Oscar Boniek Garcia, Kofi Sarkodie and Clark were excellent in the first 55 minutes as their quickness was too much for the Galaxy too handle, but they weren't factors after the Dynamo fell behind.

Houston Dynamo
4 Tally Hall
(USA) 27
5 Kofi Sarkodie (USA) 21
5 Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica) 27
4 Bobby Boswell (USA) 29
5 Corey Ashe (USA) 26
5 Ricardo Clark (USA) 29
5 Adam Moffat (Scotland) 26
5 Oscar Boniek Garcia (Honduras) 28
5 Brad Davis (USA) 31
6 Calen Carr (USA) 30
4 Will Bruin (USA) 23
sub for Carr (59th minute):
4 Macoumda Kandji
(Senegal) 27
sub for Moffat (71st minute):
4 Giles Barnes
(England) 24
sub for Sarkodie (77th minute):
4 Brian Ching
(USA) 34

  1. Michael Lurey
    commented on: December 2, 2012 at 12:47 p.m.
    I love your columns, always check them after Galaxy and US Men's team matches to get your take on the games. But I have to disagree with at least three of your grades. Omar Gonzalez almost walked on water yesterday. An 8? Not even a 9? Your grading system is tough. And I wouldn't grade Ricardo Clark or Edso Buddle better than 4. They were not average. Forget Clark's miscue at the World Cup Ghana match. Blocking Magee's side volley with his arm in a 1-1 match is an inexcusable mistake. And Buddle could not keep possession of the ball while we were trying to preserve our one goal lead. Both teams could have done better with someone else on the pitch

  1. Jim Williams
    commented on: December 2, 2012 at 2:14 p.m.
    I'm not a fan of, nor do I dislike either of these teams, but that was one of the most disappointing MLS Cups I've ever watched. Bring on a new season.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: December 2, 2012 at 2:33 p.m.
    Mediocre game...two weeks delay is too much time to sit around and it week is enough for the home team to promote a sell out ...Dynamo did not do their homework on ref Petrescu...they should have been more physical since Petrescu has the rugby mentality.

  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: December 2, 2012 at 6:01 p.m.
    Am I the only one to notice that Gonzalez came in late and hard on Carr -- Carr was first to the ball and avoided Gonzalez, Gonzalez came in on a collision course and hit him high and hard with his knee. I assume from look of it that he blew his knee ligaments. And no foul was called. Yet the ref did call a PK when the ball hit Clark's arm from about two feet away, when he was sliding on the ground. No possibility it could have been intentional as hard as it was hit from that distance, and precisely what is a "natural position" for the arms when you are sliding. So the $12M team beat the $3M team with the ref's help. Having a "designated player" rule that allows rich team's to buy championships makes a joke of the "single ownership" concept, and the supposed balance it brings. You could at least charge the rich guys a large penalty (like 100%) for their spending in excess of the league average, and then distribute the money to the teams that spend the least. Reality is that two of the best teams, with two of the best coaches, are Houston and SJ. With anything like a level playing field they would clean up.

  1. Alex G. Sicre
    commented on: December 3, 2012 at 3:45 a.m.
    Sour grapes Allan, you wanted Houston to win.

  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: December 3, 2012 at 11:31 a.m.
    Allan, I'm playing the violin for you. And by the way, Bruce Arena is probably the best coach the USA has ever produced. Check his record. You don't have a record like his by luck. He's won several MLS Cups with two different teams, took the USMNT further then they have ever been, and won many championships with Virginia on the college level.

  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: December 3, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.
    The main reason why the Galaxy are better than everybody else is we have Robbie Keane. Keane is unstoppable! He gets good scoring chances it seems like every game. It's really that simple.

  1. Barry Thomas
    commented on: December 4, 2012 at 2 p.m.
    Allan- Check the video: Omar won the ball before Carr collided with him, not vice versa. "Redcardo's" handball was played into him from almost 10 yards away, not two feet. Yours is the first question I've heard asked about it. And the DP rules are what they are; LA played within those rules. As for Houston and SJ being two of the best teams, I won't argue. You might want to console yourself with that 'truth.' But the FACT is that the Galaxy beat them both during the playoffs.

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