This week, Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy continue their season with their inaugural meeting with the Montreal Impact at Stade Olympique. With a record of 3-5-1 (10 points), the Galaxy have one of the worst records in Major League Soccer and are in need of a wake-up call to remain in the postseason hunt.
Kickoff is scheduled for May 12 at 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET and will be televised locally by KDOC and KWHY. Here are 10 things to expect from this Saturday's contest between L.A. and Montreal.
The Los Angeles Galaxy have mastered the art of Gong Show football, as seen by their 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls last Saturday.
This week, Montreal fans can expect a more sane performance from L.A.
Defender A.J. DeLaGarza told LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan:
You can over-analyze things way too much when you’re losing. We know it’s a team game. We’re not pointing fingers at any one person. The goal the other day (in a 1-0 loss to New York), multiple people shut down on the play and it led to their goal.
We’re still pretty upbeat. It’s still early, but we’ve got to stop saying that. We have to get results, and that has to start this week.
The Impact are going to score first as a result of the momentum they got from upsetting Sporting Kansas City 2-0 last weekend.
Bernardo Corradi has been on a hot streak this season as the Impact's leading goal scorer, with three goals to his credit. Look for Corradi to strike within the first twenty minutes.
Now, Stade Olympique may be cavernous when it comes to providing an atmosphere Montreal football fans can be proud of. But it can host big matches, and with L.A.'s [hindered] star power coming to town, the turnout will be worthy of a sellout.
Landon Donovan has had a rough year leading the charge for the Los Angeles Galaxy, but he can still score goals when the game is on the line. Look for Donovan to equalize the match for the Galaxy in the first half.
A former Seattle Sounder, Lamar Neagle has found a home in Montreal and is the Impact's leading provider, with two assists to his credit. Neagle will get a brace in assists to pace the home side.
David Beckham had his worst game of the season against the New York Red Bulls, but with his Olympic dreams all but extinguished (barring an Act of Pearce), Beckham can focus on creating chances for his players. The road back to consistency begins with an assist against the Montreal Impact.
If you're Bruce Arena, you are trying anything to get the team to score goals in bunches. So what do you do against an expansion side like Montreal? Experiment. In this case, place Landon Donovan alongside Robbie Keane up top, and settle for a midfield of Mike Magee, Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho and Beckham.
As for the back line, a unit of Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant and Michael Stephens would be optimal.
Free flowing football leads to less fouls. There will just be under 25 fouls called for this match, but the play will be under scrutiny, as always. Also, expect under five yellow cards.
This is a bold prediction I have been riding on a lot this season, and I am doing it again. I like this match to go 1-1 at the break. But in the second half, the goals should be coming in bunches.
I am calling for the second-half goals of this match to take place within the last 20 minutes of regulation. It will be a frantic finish, with Montreal extending their win streak.
Montreal Impact 3, Los Angeles Galaxy 2