LA Galaxy Keep It in Cruise Control for Chivas USA Win, All Eyes Now on Motagua
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Another Game, another three points for MLS regular season champs LA Galaxy.
The Galaxy came into this game having already clinched the MLS Supporters’ Shield due to Seattle suffering a loss a few days earlier to FC Dallas.
The starting XI Bruce Arena chose reflected his desire to pursue the CONCACAF Champions League advancement, resting Landon Donovan, Donovan Ricketts, as well as the early second half substitution of Juninho, whom he told that he would be needed later that week when they travel to Honduras.
The Galaxy came out in the 4-4-2 formation with Josh Saunders starting in goal, AJ Delagarza playing Right Back, Omar Gonzalez teaming up in Central Defense with Gregg Berhalter who came back from injury to play his last career regular season game, Todd Dunivant started his normal Left Back spot, Juninho and David Beckham played Central Midfield, Paolo Cardozo and Mike Magee who is returning from injury switched Wing midfield positions throughout the game, and The two point men Arena selected were Chad Barrett and Adam Cristman; due to the injury of Robbie Keane and the continued absence of Donovan.
The Galaxy Offense came out the gates strong against cross locker room rivals Chivas USA, but the defense through the first 20 minutes of the match was especially shaky including Defender of the Year candidate Gonzalez. Within the first 60 seconds of the game Barrett forced Chivas Goalie Dan Kennedy into a desperation diving save. The Galaxy was able to dictate the game on Chivas, with the only real scoring chances coming from the Galaxy after the 15th minute mark. In the seventeenth minute Barrett again forced Kennedy into a diving save off of his beautifully executed bicycle kick which was headed near post. Following the theme of the game Barrett again in the 39th minute had a booming header which went off the cross bar. The end of the first half arrived and the score was tied 0-0, but clearly the Galaxy had dominated Chivas.
The Galaxy offense again came out of the break on fire whilst the defense again looked shay for the first 10 minutes of the half. However the game took a huge turn in favor of the Galaxy in the 53rd minute when Barrett and Cristman exchanged a flurry of passes which ended in a backdoor cross on to the streaking Barrett who powered it past the Chivas goalie. At that point the Galaxy buckled up and shut down the Chivas team, ending the match 1-0 victors.
The three top performers for the Galaxy today were Barrett with the offense resting almost solely on his shoulders he stepped up big time, David Beckham who seemingly every game makes better and better crosses, and Todd Dunivant who consistently shut down Juan Pablo Angel.
The Galaxy leave this game with Supporters Shield in hand a rested squad which heads to Honduras for CONCACAF Champions League action against CD Motagua. With home field advantage already locked up for the MLS playoffs, the Thursday night game against Motagua is the biggest one currently on the schedule for the Galaxy - they must win to ensure they go on to the Quarterfinal Round.
Look for Arena to reinsert Donovan into the starting lineup for that crucial match. Also look for Sean Franklin to possibly make his return after being sidelined for the past month with knee inflammation.
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