Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Carolina RailHawks: 10 Bold Predictions

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IMay 28, 2012

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Carolina RailHawks: 10 Bold Predictions

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    Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy have one last chance to salvage their season when they travel to Cary, N.C., to take on the Carolina RailHawks in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.

    Kickoff at WakeMed Soccer Park is scheduled for Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. ET.

    Here are 10 bold predictions for this week's matchup.

1. Home-Field Advantage for the RailHawks

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    With the RailHawks gaining home field advantage for the next two rounds, it's going to be difficult for the Galaxy to cope with the intense atmosphere.

    Carolina isn't the best team in the NASL (they have a 0-4-5 record) but they have a very tough atmosphere for the Galaxy to deal with.

2. Carolina Scores First

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    When you face the Galaxy, you can expect to score on them. If you don't get to them early, you should get to them late.

    Brian Shriver scored four goals in the second-round match against PSA Elite, and I am tapping him to score for the RailHawks in the first twenty minutes.

3. Possession Will Be Pretty Much Even

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    Because this is a battle between two teams that haven't had their way with ball possession, I expect the possession battle to be pretty much even all the way. Maybe the RailHawks will make it 51 percent to 49 percent or 52 percent to 48 percent, but otherwise no team will have a significant advantage over the other.

4. 10 Set Piece Chances for David Beckham

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    The people in North Carolina came to see David Beckham. Of course. He is the one of the faces of the team. You can expect about 10 set piece opportunities at the very least for Beckham.

5. Mike Magee Scores for Los Angeles

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    Mike Magee has been itching for a goal or two. He scored in the match against San Jose, and I expect that he will have a look on goal as well.

    When he has the ball at his feet, Magee is money, and I am looking for Magee to bring home the bacon once again for the Galaxy.

6. Edson Buddle on the Scoresheet for LA

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    Another player for Los Angeles that has found his scoring touch is Edson Buddle. He gave the Galaxy an early lead in their match with the Houston Dynamo and has a lot of power in his shot.

    Expect Beckham to find Buddle up top to deliver a second goal for LA.

7. Some Rookies Get a Chance to Shine for Los Angeles

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    There will be some young faces that will get an opportunity to deliver for the Galaxy: Hector Jimenez, Kenney Walker (pictured), Bryan Gaul, Tommy Meyer—just about all those who play on the Reserve League team will get a chance to take part in this match.

    And if the going gets tough, the experienced players should come off the bench to clean up the mess.

8. No More Than 20 Fouls This Match

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    This match shouldn't be that bad in terms of fouls, but it should be intense. So I am looking at 20 fouls and three yellow cards maximum for this match.

9. 1-1 Draw at the Half

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    Both teams will be feeling each other out, with Brian Shriver and Mike Magee trading goals to make it 1-1 at the break.

10. Shriver Hat Trick Leads to Victory for Carolina

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    This match will be all Brian Shriver, as a hat trick will pace Carolina to a monumental upset over the Los Angeles Galaxy.

    Carolina RailHawks 3, Los Angeles Galaxy 2.