Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Sporting Kansas City: 10 Bold Predictions
What is going on with the Los Angeles Galaxy? These are difficult times for Bruce Arena's men, and it will not get any easier as they hit the road for the first time in league play.
On Saturday, the Galaxy take on the beasts from the East, Sporting Kansas City. Kickoff at Livestrong Sporting Park is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
Here are 10 bold predictions heading into Saturday's east-versus-west matchup.
1. Sporting Opens Scoring Within First 10 Minutes
Sporting Kansas City are the Beasts of the East for a reason.
They know how to finish, how to dispossess, how to distribute and establish the tempo, and their wingers are among the finest in MLS.
They are a well-rounded ball club. So, I am going to go ahead and call for an early goal from a certain fan favorite in the 10th minute.
His name is...
2. C.J. Sapong, with a Brace
Why, it's none other than the great C.J. Sapong, who has been on the tear this season.
The scoring revelation has been leading Sporting Kansas City with three goals in 2012. A first-half brace from Sapong will put SKC in command.
That leads us to...the provider.
3. A Hat Trick (of Assists) from Graham Zusi
Say hello to Graham Zusi, the David Beckham of Sporting Kansas City.
The mastermind behind a number of wonderful strikes from Sapong and Kei Kamara, Zusi's magic touch will result in a hat-trick of assists.
Again, all in the first half.
4. Galaxy on the Comeback Trail in the Second Half
Down 3-0 in the first half, the Los Angeles Galaxy will engage in a resolute comeback of champion-worthy proportions.
There is a possibility that the margin might be more manageable than 3-0, but regardless of the halftime scoreline, LA will mount a comeback.
Goals will come from Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and one other person, who will be mentioned later.
5. No Halftime Substitution of David Beckham
Ugh, what was that? A substitution by Bruce Arena of David Beckham at halftime? Really?
All right, step aside from the money wheel and crap-shooting apparati and admit it, Bruce: you have a gambling problem.
It's not too late, good sir. Kick the habit early and keep Becks in for the full 90.
No halftime substitution this time. In fact, don't expect this useless bag of tricks for the rest of the year.
There. I said it.
6. 5-3-2 for LA
To reduce the onslaught of goals that can come from Kamara, Sapong, Zusi and Sporting Kansas City, look for the Galaxy to go on the defensive with five at the back, three in the middle and two up top.
Hey, it is the "Cauldron" after all—why not try to come out of there alive for a change?
7. Twin Towers in the Back: Boyens and Meyer
If you're going to have growing pains in the back, you better have it with your twin towers in Andrew Boyens and Tommy Meyer.
Let's face it: A.J. DeLaGarza should be at right-back, not in the center.
Have Boyens and Meyer in the middle and let them use their presence to build some chemistry while the season is still young.
8. Chad Barrett Starts, Edson Buddle Comes off the Bench
Edson Buddle coming off the bench as a super sub worked against D.C. United, so if Bruce Arena is smart, he will start Chad Barrett alongside Robbie Keane, then bring in Buddle off the bench when the tension runs high late.
9. At Least 25 Fouls and Three Yellows from Both Teams
We will see a very physical encounter between two proud ball clubs.
One is flying high and wants to do some more home cooking; the other is searching for its identity like a voice crying out in the desert.
I am calling for at least 25 fouls and three yellow cards issued between both teams. Physical, tough, chippy football.
Only thing missing: Michael Buffer.
10. The Game Ends...in a Draw
You folks thought I was going to call for a Sporting Kansas City victory, huh? Not so fast, my friend.
I think it will be a high-scoring draw. The winning streak ends for Sporting, the unbeaten run continues, LA get a hard-earned point, and so on and so forth.
Los Angeles Galaxy 3, Sporting Kansas City 3.