Los Angeles Galaxy vs. FC Dallas: 6 Things We Learned
In the middle of the London 2012 Olympics extravaganza...there is football. Major League Soccer action took place in the unbearably warm confines of FC Dallas Stadium and Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy struggled in the heat and pulled away with a 1-0 win over Schellas Hyndman's FC Dallas.
With the win, Los Angeles pull even with a record of 10-10-3 (33 points) and continue their chase of the Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS Western Conference standings. As for FC Dallas, they drop to 5-11-7 and are in danger of not making the postseason.
Here are six things we learned from Saturday night's match in Frisco, Tex.
1. A Poor National Anthem Singer Selection from FC Dallas
One lesson to be learned, at least from FC Dallas's standpoint: Never let young 11-year-olds who are trying to be the next Adele, like Harper Gruzins, sing "The Star-Spangled Banner." It puts them in the same league with Carl Lewis and Roseanne Barr.
From this columnist's standpoint, a much better decision for the management of the Hoops is to bring in the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders to do the honors...for the rest of the season.
Don't believe me? Watch this clip.
2. L.A. Piles on the Pressure in the East Texas Heat
In spite of triple-degree weather, and no Landon Donovan or David Beckham, the Galaxy were able to frustrate FC Dallas through a high-pressure defense, although a good deal of the home team's frustrations was of their own undoing (read: Scott Sealy and Jackson).
FC Dallas could be playing the Galaxy reserves and the outcome would still be the same. This was not the Hoops' night.
3. Magee Magic Returns to the Galaxy
That isn't to say that the Los Angeles Galaxy were angels themselves when it came to finishing and getting that first touch. L.A. were just as guilty in not putting away their chances. All in all, this was not a good night for the usual goal scorers on both teams.
One player who was able to find the open net was midfielder Mike Magee, who returned from injury to start against FC Dallas. In the 62nd minute, Robbie Keane delivered a pass to Magee, who slotted it home past Kevin Hartman. Magee has had a habit of scoring on FC Dallas, and he broke the home fans' hearts yet again. The goal was Magee's fourth of the season.
4. Robbie Keane Fills in for Landon and David Admirably
With Landon Donovan out due to suspension and David Beckham recovering from driving a speedboat in the Olympics down the River Thames in the manner of James Bond, it was up to Robbie Keane to direct L.A.'s attack.
Keane was unable to sway the partisan opinion of Hilario Grajeda, but he was able to orchestrate some dangerous sequences. His effectiveness was held back by his inability to finish, but as a provider he was clutch in the second half as the Galaxy's captain.
5. Hernan Pertuz: The Best FC Dallas Player out There
If there is one player who needs to be singled out for his contributions to FC Dallas's losing effort, it's defender Hernan Pertuz. He did a remarkable job in limiting Robbie Keane's effectiveness for a majority of the contest.
Sure, there's Zach Loyd and George John among the stalwarts in the back line for the Hoops, but you have to give Pertuz all the credit on Saturday for making enough stops to prevent the scoreline from being worse than it could have been.
6. Once Again, the Stats Don't Matter
The Los Angeles Galaxy have had a habit of conceding to their opponents' superior ball possession (60 percent to 40 percent), the passing accuracy (75 percent to 71 percent), more open play crosses (16 to 12), corners (five to three) and attempts on goal (12 to 11).
But the stat domination FC Dallas exhibited on Saturday was more than offset by poor finishing and the Galaxy's ability to apply pressure despite being understrength in the heat. It's a testament to L.A.'s depth and heart, and that is why they remain in the hunt for the 2012 MLS Cup playoffs.