The Galaxy, returning home from a devastating San Jose loss that saw the team give up 2 extra time goals, hope to recover against a Crew side that has won only one game in the past 5. Both MF Eddie Gaven and defender Glauber torn their ACL’s in the Crew’s last two US Open cup games and their absence has coincided with their current form. Even without the two, the Crew still have plenty of bite up front with their forward tandem of Federico Higuain (brother of newly signed Arsenal striker Gonzalo Higuain) and Dominic Oduro. Oduro’s speed and the quality of service from Higuain has netted him 8 goals this year while Higuain’s 5 goals and 4 assists are second for goals and tied for first in assists respectively.
On the other side of the field, the Galaxy will be without MF Landon Donovan as he has been called up for duty with the USMNT ahead of the Gold Cup starting with a game on Friday against Guatemala in San Diego. I would expect Hector Jimenez, who has done well in spots this year, to take his place in the right midfield come game time. The Galaxy backline will hopefully erase the last 10 minutes of the San Jose game, which saw them give up goals that probably gave Bruce Arena indigestion for days. LA as a whole will need to play in the on position for 90 minutes and not allow lapses in defensive attention, which has plagued the team all season. Gyasi Zardes should be expected to partner again with Robbie Keane and while the tandem has netted some decent results. However, the Galaxy once again have to finish the chances that are given them. The San Jose game showed what happens when you can’t put the ball in the back of net consistently when the game needs to be killed off.
A mostly A list XI should have no problem against a Crew defense that given up 2 goals or more 4 out of the last 5 games. If the Galaxy do lose, it will more than likely the Galaxy shooting themselves in the foot with defensive gaffes and wasted chances. LA have Dallas and Portland, both teams that are in front of them in the Western Conference standings, to look forward to within the next week so a win at home can do wonders for a team that has been on somewhat of a down trajectory over the last month.
(image courtesy of USA Today Sports)