Los Angeles Galaxy vs. FC Dallas: 10 Bold Predictions
Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy return home to close out the month of April with a match against Schellas Hyndman's FC Dallas at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The Galaxy have a 3-3 record (nine points) and sit in the middle of the Western Conference standings, as do Dallas, who are 3-3-1 (10 points).
Kickoff at Victoria Street is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by KDOC and KWHY.
Here are 10 bold predictions for Saturday's important MLS Western Conference encounter between the G's and the Hoops.
1. And the Ball-Possession Award Goes To...Dallas
In spite of having defeated the Colorado Rapids, the Los Angeles Galaxy lost the ball possession battle to Colorado, 62.4 percent to 37.6 percent. Meanwhile, even though they lost to the Vancouver Whitecaps, FC Dallas won the ball possession battle, 57.1 percent to 42.9 percent.
Dallas should win the ball-possession and passing-accuracy battles against LA. However, it's the scoreline that wins the night for either team, and these will be consolation prizes for the Hoops.
2. An Inspired Game from David Beckham
One of the main factors in the LA Galaxy's resurgence is the play of David Beckham, and his ability to create opportunities for the Galaxy attack.
With Team GB manager Stuart Pearce checking in this week, look for Becks to impress Pearce with the type of play and leadership worthy of a spot on the Olympic team. Two assists, minimum.
3. Magee Is on Fire
Mike Magee is due to break out of his slump this season with a goal. He came close last week against the Rapids, but I expect him to finish his chances to head at least one of Beckham's long balls.
If Becks is going to leave an impression on Pearce, Magee needs to play his part.
4. Landon Donovan's Hot Streak Continues
As for Galaxy team captain Landon Donovan, he just can't miss when it comes to scoring. As long as he has space to work, Donovan needs a few seconds and he delivers.
With Beckham playing a key role this week, I like LD's chances to bag at least one on the night.
5. Juninho with Another One
Now as much as I wanted to see Robbie Keane add to his team-leading three goals, I think the Brazilian from Sao Paulo has something going for him.
While his main role is to disrupt the opposing midfield, Juninho can score when he has the opportunity. So I like Juninho's chances to bag his second goal of the season.
6. It's Blas Perez Time!
Blas Perez, the Panamanian sensation, has been a sort of scoring godsend for FC Dallas. Ever since he jumped ship to MLS, the man has given Dallas fans a reason to smile, leading the team in goals with three.
Expect Perez to get on the score sheet and in effect become the next Chicken Thief at the Home Depot center.
Oh yes, and he will also record an assist, too. Perez also leads the team in assists with three.
7. Both Goalkeepers Face the Firing Squads
Who would want to be a goalkeeper? Nobody on a night like this. At least, that's from my perspective.
It's going to be a wild evening of football, with both keepers having to make at least 10 saves combined, five on both end minimum.
Good luck trying to secure a shutout, Chris Seitz and Josh Saunders!
8. Fewer Than 25 Fouls This Match
The match is going to be free-flowing, and the whistles won't be coming as much between two clubs that know each other very well.
There should be fewer than 25 fouls committed between both teams on Saturday night.
9. FC Dallas Lead at the Break, 2-1
FC Dallas will go off to a strong start, with goals by Perez and Ricardo Villar to establish the tempo that Los Angeles are forced to play up to.
But a late first-half goal by Landon Donovan should start a resurgence...
10. Los Angeles Leaves It Late in the Second Half
...and when the Galaxy go on the rebound, they tend to do it with authority. Goals from Magee, Juninho, and an insurance goal from Keane will ice the deal for Los Angeles, who set themselves up quite nicely for the next match, a road test against the Seattle Sounders. Fasten your seat belts.
Los Angeles Galaxy 4, FC Dallas 2