With two weeks since the Conference Finals and the MLS Cup, you have probably been reading a lot about the rematch between Houston and Los Angeles. Everyone knows that David Beckham is leaving and perhaps heading to France. Landon Donovan seems to be exiting the MLS and going exploring. Depending on how you were getting your coverage, the Galaxy may have dominated the information. The coaches, Dominic Kinnear and Bruce Arena, have 10 trips to the MLS Cup between them. Regardless, these two lower seeds find each other playing great football with the star players contributing leading to a rematch of last year’s final.
For the Galaxy they have Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan on the same page which goes a long way for the entire
team chemistry. Donovan was given the second leg of the Conference Final off so he has even more time to rehab lingering injuries. Mike Magee and Christian Wilhelmsson have been great compliments to the pair as well. Josh Saunders has a 0.73 goals against average over 864 playoff minutes. The Galaxy should have at least eight players in the same position as last year. Sean Franklin knows where to focus his attention as a full back.
At times they got midfielders that play pinched in and at times they got guys out wide. It’s all about adjusting to their formation and us being sharp in our shape. I think if we do that, it gives ourselves a chance to make them turn over the ball in bad spots and eventually hopefully counterattack to a goal.
Everyone knows that Houston is dangerous on set pieces with Brad Davis. They may only have three players at the same position as last year and one of those changes, Boniek Garcia, has been spurring on the offense along with Davis. Adam Moffat’s deep strike ability adds another degree of intricacy to the Dynamo attack. Then Ricardo Clark brings versatility to the pitch. Meanwhile in net, Tally Hall has a 0.67 goals against average in 810 playoff minutes.
The Dynamo arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday, which may have helped them avoid the media circus surrounding Beckham and the Galaxy. This limited distractions and allowed the players to have input on their schedule.
I don’t expect a physical game although there could be some clashes in the midfield early. I do expect some good chances on both sides. In the end I trust Hall more than Saunders. It is a great coaching match up and there is nothing that can be taken away from Arena, perhaps the best coach in MLS history. However, this postseason I cannot bet against Kinnear.