The Houston Dynamo thought they would have an easier go-around with Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan doing national team work. After all, it was only a 2-0 defeat at Robertson Stadium.
Guess they didn't take into account that there were other players not named Edson or Landon that were just as dangerous. Case in point: Jovan Kirovski. How do you do?!
The No. 9 was doing just fine as the Los Angeles Galaxy kept their Supporters' Shield chances on line and the Dynamo's chances to chase the MLS's best team off line in a 4-1 rout before 20,826 at the Home Depot Center in prime time.
Kirovski's first goal of the season against the Seattle Sounders earlier this year was a sign of things to come after all. Just 46 seconds into the match, the Galaxy forward finished off a crisp set of touches from Michael Stephens and Sean Franklin. His second goal of the campaign set the tone for the rest of the match.
Kirovski, Franklin and Stephens connected twenty minutes later to make the score 2-1. By that point, even casual armchair fans knew that this Houston Dynamo team were a spent bunch.
Having to eat humble pie at the hands of the Philadelphia Union to go with a road defeat to the New York Red Bulls must have done quite a job on the ability of Dominic Kinnear's players to stay focused.
As for Bruce Arena's Galaxy (10-0-2, 32 points), their superior fitness and speed were apparent yet again. Tristan Bowen—who had an opportunity to capitalize on a number of chances in the open space of Houston's half—scored his second of the season in the 49th minute.
The Brazilian from Sao Paulo, "Ay Ziggy Zoomba" Alex Cazumba (that's my nickname for him, for more information on the words, contact your local Bowling Green State University representative) opened his own scoring account in the 56th minute of play. By the way, Tristan is Alex's official interpreter, as seen in this vid.
The match was nothing short of total domination. Brian Ching proved to the congregation why he was undeserving of a shot to represent his country at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He only had one shot that threatened Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, and that was in the 30th minute.
Otherwise, Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad was put on the spot without notice. He didn't fail to show his frustrations when LA went ahead 3-1.
It was clean, technical football that won this match. Take advantage of the discrepancies in match fitness, use short and intermediate passes to open the lanes, make use of the first touch, and accelerate through the gaps opened by the Dynamo defense inside their own third to finish the play. Clean, technical football.
Thus, the Los Angeles Galaxy bounced the Dynamo to further their hold on the MLS Western Conference and overall standings. And speaking of bounces...
INS & OUTS
On The Continuing Adventures of Edson and Landon
Who ever thought that Edson Buddle would have his best game donning the USA national team's strip? It's only his fourth cap, and Buddle has already made quite a bouncing splash with a brace in the Yanks' 3-1 rout of Australia.
This is payback for the USA's 1-0 defeat to Australia in a 1992 friendly, as well as the scoreless draw in 1998.
Two explanations behind the 20,000 plus
1. It was fan appreciation day at the Home Depot Center. Tickets were as low as $10, similar to that of a non-league match. Talk about value!
2. Mario was in town. That's right everyone, Mario was in town. (Along with voice actor Charles Martinet) Everyone got to see the plumber take a break from setting things straight via the Starship Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom and stop by the Starship Galaxy (a.k.a. Home Depot Center).
At least we all know who Mario's favorite team is...and it ain't the New York Red Bulls. (The Red Bulls aren't even based out of Brooklyn to begin with)
Chicken Theif Number Three: Cam Weaver
In one of the most unusual goals the G's have given up, Cam Weaver's seventh minute slider off a collision makes him Chicken Theif Number Three this season. Congratulations.
It wasn't as much a green way robbery as it was a gift by Ricketts for coming off his line and gambling on a charging save opportunity. Instead, he crashed into Weaver, and the ball slid into the goal for Houston's only score of the game.
It's a wager that the Big Cat from Montego Bay would be wise to not try again.
Youth Academy Update
It was a hit-and-miss outing for the LA Galaxy Youth Academy against Arsenal FC at the John Blanche Memorial Soccer Complex. The U-16's fell to Arsenal 1-0, but the U-18's fared much better with a 3-1 victory.
The Youth Academy will wrap up their 2009-2010 regular season campaign with a Sunday match with the Irvine Strikers at Field 7 of the Home Depot Center. The U-16's face Irvine at 1:00 p.m. while the U-18's clash with Irvine at 3:15 p.m. Bring your friends, the neighbors, yourself, or anyone with a penchant for the young stars of the LA Galaxy Youth Academy. It will be a twofer worth taking.