Friday, July 18, 2008

New Column and Preview Video

Here is the latest preview video looking ahead at today's game, as well as the latest edition of Rollin' with Rogo.

First the video...

Now the column...


Winless in their last four games, and with just one victory versus and Eastern Conference team in 2008, the Galaxy will have another tough match up this weekend when they face the New York Red Bulls. Yes, it is a rematch of the two teams that produced arguably the best MLS game ever eleven months earlier at Giants Stadium. It was New York that tallied the last of the nine goals between the teams to earn the win.

The Galaxy has had more than a week to work on getting this ship headed back in the right direction. Defensively the arrival of Argentine defender Eduardo Dominguez is expected to bring stability to the back four, specifically in the center back spot. Unfortunately, Sean Franklin will still be sidelined for a couple weeks with a knee injury, though it looks like Ante Jazic is going to be fine after an ugly looking injury last week. If you missed the tackle against Chivas USA that sent him to the locker room early, it looked like he was going to be missing some time the way Jazic went down.

For as critical as some of the media has been in the past, I think veteran midfielder, Pete Vagenas has played some of his best soccer in quite some time. There has never been any doubt he is one of the best “linking players” on the team, and that was on display with the perfectly weighted ball into the feet of Edson Buddle for the lone strike in the 1-1 draw with Chivas USA. In addition to “The Greek Hitman,” Alvaro Pires is becoming a great asset to this team. He brings strength in winning the ball (something you don’t always see from Brazilian players) and his ability to combine with other players is starting to shine. Tudo de bom! BTW… I think it is time for Beckham to add to his goal tally. I just have a funny feeling that we might see a very energized number 23. He has always played well in his career when the stage is BIG. Giants Stadium, 50,000-plus raging New York fans, national television, marquee game of the round in MLS – should I go on?

The Red Bulls have been struggling a bit of late, but they have played the Galaxy well over the last few years. Not only that, but the team is getting healthy now, specifically the straw that stirs the drink – Juan Pablo Angel. As most of you know, Angel’s partner up top, Jozy Altidore has moved onto playing in Spain, so your guess is as good as mine as who will be his partner in the attack. Looks like it will be Oscar Echeverry, who brings speed to the equation. Wide positions are an area of strength for New York. There is speed on one side with Dane Richards, skill and service on the other side in Dave Van den Bergh. Van den Bergh can line up at the left back or left midfield spot, giving coach Juan Carlos Osorio the freedom to put other players in the game, including the recently added Jorge Rojas and Juan Pietravallo, depending on the pace of the match.

For me, this is a game the Galaxy must have. They have struggled against the East, have had a bad run of results and have only two shutouts on the year (both vs. San Jose). A victory will put them right back at the top of the Western Conference table, but more importantly, a boost to the confidence. The key is going to be how well the defense can play collectively and if they can find a way to control Angel. If he is able to find space and time on the ball, that is only going to give the rest of the New York players’ confidence. LA seems to play their best when they get the fast start to the match, and with an energetic crowd at Giants’ Stadium this will be a tough task.

A lot of questions going into this one. Hope we have some answers, and three points at the end of 90 minutes. Enjoy the match, I know I will!!

1 comment:

charlesj27 said...

We shall see how the LA Galaxy will start and play BOTH halves (!st & 2nd) - instead of the usual showing fight & energy in one half and getting "schooled" in another. It would be very misgiving to UNDERESTIMATE Juan Carlos Osorio and his recent international talent. If the LA Galaxy team walks into this thinking they've can rely on just David and Landon - it will be disastrous for our LA Galaxy. Every player (all 11 players have to step up a full 90 minutes - with fight, with energy, with determination, and with absolutely pulverizing the opposition. If this is not the spirit and mentality of the players - they should NOT be on the pitch in this match. In NYRB preview of the coming match today - Juan Carlos Osorio said it very clearly and absolutely - there is high expectations on his team - either they will put all of the effort on the field and give us true battle - or, for sure there will be players who will be immediately thrown out of the organization. This is the way a professional, high-performance, high-calibre, international-thinking league should conduct itself. There are players that live off of and thrive under this spotlight and pressure... while others will not cut it no matter what. We have clear, evident decisions to make regarding some of our team players with respect to this!!! I just our LA Galaxy organization has the "stones" and the guts and the clarity to make it a reality going forward into 2009 and 2010.