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Member Since 07 Jul 2004
Offline Last Active Jan 18 2014 11:03 AM

Topics I've Started

G's v. Toronno (R) - Let's Hope They Know Beckham's Not on the Team

28 March 2013 - 03:24 PM

This week's preview from the LARS website, comes from El Lobo



After a busy week that saw the team hanging with President Barack Obama at the White House and the re-emergence of Landon Donovan, the Los Angeles Galaxy head north to Toronto, Canada to face a retooled Toronto FC team coached by former MLS player Ryan Nielsen.


Hail, hail the gangs all here


Two key starters in Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez are expected to rejoin the team from International Duty for Saturday’s match against Toronto, albeit with one of the two carrying an injury.  Keane will likely not see playing time as he suffered a calf strain during Ireland’s World Cup qualifying game against Sweden last Friday.  Gonzalez, coming off a stellar performance in the USMNT’s hexagonal match against Mexico at Azteca Stadium on Wednesday, should be back in his familiar role anchoring the Los Angeles Galaxy backline.


Perhaps one of the more notable returning faces is none other than Landon Donovan.  After meeting up with the team prior to meeting with the President, Donovan returns from his much publicized leave of absence from soccer.  It is highly unlikely that Donovan will see playing time this Saturday against Toronto, but his return to the team is a huge plus in that the former team captain, and key player from the last two season’s championship core, is back in training alongside his teammates where he rightfully belongs.


Read the whole thing here


G's v. Colorado (R) - No DP's, No Problem

22 March 2013 - 03:25 PM

Here's the preview from the website....


The Los Angeles Galaxy come into Saturday’s contest with the Colorado Rapids smarting from a late equalizer against Chivas USA, while it was revealed yesterday that the club’s April 6 game against the Montreal Impact will be moved to later in the season to accommodate for the upcoming home-and-away semifinal showdown with 2-time defending CCL champion Monterrey. The team is currently without star forward Robbie Keane and 2011 MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez to international duty, as the US and Ireland prepare to resume their quests to the World Cup.

Did I mention Saturday’s contest with the injury-plagued Colorado Rapids?


Two people who are not overlooking this Saturday’s match are Galaxy up-and-comers Jack McBean, who put the Galaxy ahead against CUSA, and Jose Villarreal, who scored earlier in the season against Herediano in a CCL matchup, both of whom could start up top together for the first since their Galaxy academy days, in Keane’s absence.


Two others who have not overlooked this Saturday’s match are Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni and former Galaxy star, 2010 Riot Squad Player of the Year, and new Rapid Edson Buddle, both looking to a return to the lineup.


Mastroeni is recovering from a pulled hamstring and is likely to see  action on Saturday, while Buddle, who played most of a reserve game last Saturday, is farther away from a full return and is less likely to see the pitch in his return to Carson. Rapids keeper Matt Pickens is out with a broken forearm, midfielder Martin Rivero is still a few weeks away from returning, and Pickens’ likely replacement, Clint Irwin, would only be playing the second MLS game of his career after debuting in relief last weekend.


The return of Mastroeni and Buddle would be a boon for the winless Rapids, also coming off of a late tie in the Rocky Mountain Cup against Real Salt Lake, who had them dominated for much of the match and should have taken all three points.


While the gaps in Colorado’s roster might make the day easier for McBean, Villarreal or potential starter up top Mike Magee, the Galaxy will also be addressing an absence in their backline as Gonzalez looks to start for the US tonight against Costa Rica in Colorado.


Head Coach Bruce Arena has been sure to include Leonardo and Tommy Meyer, both back from injuries, into the mix at central defense in preparation for Gonzalez’s absence.


Read the whole thing at the LARS Website

G's v. Chivas (R) - It's Derby Week

15 March 2013 - 10:07 PM

...and not a Classico, and we're not a barra.


Here's an uncredited preview from the website, but I think Fredo wrote it...



The first “Super Clasico” of 2013 kicks off Sunday, and any semblance of a “heated rivalry” is perennially compromised by the lackluster and unremarkable quality of Chivas USA. Gone are Guzan, Klejstan, Bornstein, Mendoza, Razov, Bradley, and any dream of the Goats being capable of putting up a fair fight. This “rivalry” isn’t about a Battle for Los Angeles, or a Battle for the Home Depot Center. It’s about the haves and the have-nots. This “rivalry” is about reminding people what MLS can be if you don’t do it right. What MLS is if you think you know a market better than us. What a total, unadulterated failure of a franchise can be.

Coming off the their 4-1 win against Herediano in the quarterfinals of the CCL, the stakes for the Galaxy are big only in that a loss is unacceptable.


Who they are
The biggest amongst the many changes to Chivas as an organization since last year is new head coach José Luis Sánchez Solá, or “El Chelis.” El Chelis has been extremely outspoken in the off-season and went as far as to declare his number two draft pick (Carlos Alvarez) days before the Superdraft. Despite saying he wants Chivas to play a new style of soccer, it’s been much of the same old story from the Goats so far this season.

Chivas are a new look side with many of the same problems from last season. Chivas shipped seven players from their 2012 roster to various clubs in MLS and one to Greece. The most notable departure was Shalrie Joseph, who had only recently joined them as the team’s 2nd ever Designated player.

To replace those lost players Chivas have loaned four players from parent club Chivas Guadalajara: Giovani Casillas, Edgar Mejia, Mario de Luna and Julio Morales.


What they did
Against FCD this past weekend Chivas lined up in formation rather rare for MLS; a 3-5-2 . Tough to predict that they walk out with this formation against the Galaxy who recently put up 4 goals on Chicago, a team many considered to be contenders for the MLS Cup this year.

Chivas are coming off of a 3 to 1 victory over a very boring and lackluster FC Dallas. The final score was very flattering to Chivas and it easily could’ve gone the other way. Dallas failed to take their chances and often shot balls directly into Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy. Kennedy was called on three times in the first 12 minutes to make saves to keep Chivas in the game, and the score could easily have been reversed.

What particularly stood out was poor defensive positioning. Kenny Cooper, known more for his strength than his speed, often found himself alone with the ball at his feet with either no one closing him down or defender attempting to close them down very late. Basic 1-2 passing combinations turned defenders like it was their first day on the job.

At times it would also appear that “less talented” FC Dallas players were left with acres of wide open space to run in without being closed down. Defenders and midfielders would lightly trot back to “help defend” but typically so late there wasn’t much they could do. If Dallas was not so wasteful with their chances the result could’ve easily gone the other way.


Points of note
The majority of Chivas scoring chances came from quick counterattacks. When the ball was moving slowly and the defense had to be broken down, Chivas typically shot from outside the penalty box with the ball going high or wide. For example the third Chivas goal came after a Dallas corner kick that appeared to strike the arm of a Chivas player, was contested, and Chivas broke on the counterattack. With FCD not playing until the whistle and getting back on, players stood around protesting the call; Chivas gathered the ball broke on a 3 on 1 and scored.

Kennedy was the only player playing any substantial defense; the average Chivas player either fouled or was turned on a play. Mario de Luna (later a goal scorer) was lucky to not be sent off for a reckless foul on Kenny Cooper.


With important games coming up and Landon Donovan’s return still on the horizon, the Galaxy should be happy to get out of this game with 3 points and no injuries. After having seen how the CUSA’s defenders attempted to defend against FCD, I’d look for Robbie to have a big St. Patty’s day.

LA 3 – Chivas 0

The rent is due.

G's v. CS Herediano (R) - CONCACAF CL Quarterfinals

06 March 2013 - 12:21 AM

Here's a preview from the LARS Website by Joaquin Gaitan...



After starting their season with four points in four games Club Sport Herediano has slowly climbed to fifth in the Primera Division of Costa Rica.  Having earned 11 points in their last six games, they’re getting in form just in time as the CONCACAF Champions League resumes.  Having won their last two games before the CCL, dispatching 11th place Belen 3-1 and winning 2-1 over ninth place AD San Carlos, Herediano will want to keep the momentum going.  Meanwhile, the season has just started in the United States, but already the Los Angeles Galaxy has jumped out in last year’s playoff form.  Playing as they did during their run to a second consecutive MLS Cup, the Galaxy thoroughly dominated the Chicago Fire 4-0, with Mike Magee adding to his legendary status with a natural hat trick.

Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

Herediano has proven to be a force in the dead ball situations. Scoring most of their goals in league play off of set plays. However, defending set plays is their greatest weakness.  This is something they will need to work on if they hope to stop a team led by Bruce Arena.  Most Central American teams lack size in the back, for Herediano their back line hovers around six feet; Derrick Johnson who is 6’ 2” is their big man in the middle.  Depending on the lineup that Arena puts on the field this could prove to be an advantage with Omar Gonzalez using his size to exploit Herediano’s weakness of set piece defending.

Herediano will try to get the ball to Yendrick Ruiz early and often, the 25 year old is their top scorer and is currently tied with Alajuelense’s Jerry Palacios atop the Costa Rican league in goals scored with six.  Ismael Gomez will threaten from the midfield hoping to draw defenders off of Ruiz or just blasting it from long range, the Argentine’s three goals makes him Herediano’s second leading scorer, with one of those coming from the spot.

First Priority?

That of course brings up a vital question for the Galaxy’s hopes of moving on in the CCL.  Is it a top priority?  The Galaxy is building a history of underestimating opponents since their first foray into the new CCL format.  A history that started with a humiliating loss to the Puerto Rico Islanders in the preliminary round in the 2010-2011 edition, and that hasn’t improved much after their elimination at the hands of a much weaker Toronto FC side last year.   The question being is will they underestimate their opponent once again?  If the team’s words are to be believed winning this years CONCACAF Champions League is the top priority of the season.

With the Galaxy having this week off from MLS play, expect Arena to put in the first team, or at least a team with more starters than reserves.  If the first team plays they should be able dominate Herediano who, on paper, are weaker than the Fire.

With that said no match has ever been won on paper.  Should Arena choose to put in the younger squad he picked for the second half against the Tijuana reserves the match up should be even and hard fought.

The Enemy Beneath

It’s a well-known fact that teams that play on a natural surface despise playing on plastic.  This is usually an advantage for the home team, as some teams rest their most experienced players that can’t handle 90 minutes on a plastic pitch.  Herediano like many Costa Rican teams has changed their pitch from a natural to synthetic surface, and this could prove to rule out some Galaxy players.

The result of this match will depend on the lineup that Arena puts on the field, but with a few players already gone from the team and his CCL roster his options are limited, and luckily it’s limited to his strongest squad.

G's v. Chicago (R) - Drive for Five

28 February 2013 - 08:43 AM

I'm really just holding this space for Fredo...


But until that point...


I hope we win.