Historically consistent teams, when they have their backs against the wall, will kick back at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. Such is the case with Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy who know that a draw won’t do, a 1-0 lead in regulation isn’t enough, and another defeat to Frank Yallop’s San Jose Earthquakes is lights out and a massive roster overhaul in the offseason.
Kickoff in the second leg of the 2012 MLS Western Conference Finals at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 at 8 p.m. PT/11 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
These may be the last 10 Bold Predictions of the season…or maybe not. But here they are.
1. No goals in the first half
There will be zero goals in the first half between the Los Angeles Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes. You know, the luxury of San Jose having an aggregate lead is that Yallop’s boys don’t even need to score. They just need to hold the Galaxy to another shutout and they move on against the Seattle Sounders or Real Salt Lake. But it will only last for 45 minutes. Then…this happens.
2. At least four goals in the second half
This is where the paychecks are paid and the season is defined. It’s going to be an electric second half to wrap up a tense, if one-sided, 2012 California Clasico. At least four goal will be scored in the second half.
3. No goals or assists for Steven Lenhart
The polarizing Steven Lenhart is going to have it tough to make chances happen against the Los Angeles Galaxy backline, who were solid in the first leg. There will be no goals or assists for Lenhart on Wednesday.
4. Alan Gordon scores late for San Jose
Alan Gordon was only able to earn time as a sub late in the second half against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday at the Home Depot Center and never got going. For once, the Galaxy figured him out. On Wednesday, it’s back to the usuals for Gordon, with a second-half goal to lead the Earthquakes.
5. Robbie Keane with a brace
LA’s Robbie Keane was very unfortunate to not score on Sunday but to be fair, he was his own worst enemy with his inaccuracy in the Galaxy’s attacking third. Keane will need to fix that on Wednesday or his season ends in Santa Clara. Keano with a brace.
6. No goals or assists for Wondolowski
Perhaps the biggest moral victory of all for the Los Angeles Galaxy was that Chris Wondowlowski was held at bay by the Galaxy’s back line, Tommy Meyer’s lack of speed and all. In the final meeting between these two hated rivals, Wondo will be held at bay yet again. There will be no goals and no assists for Chris Wondowlowski on Wednesday night at Buck Shaw.
7. Under five saves for both keepers
It’s going to be a night in which the defense, midfield and forwards for both teams get their mojo working, but the goalkeepers are going to be quiet on Wednesday. San Jose’s Jon Busch and Los Angeles’s Josh Saunders will not be making a lot of saves and will make under five stops each.
8. David Beckham finally gets right with at least an assist
David Beckham of the Los Angeles Galaxy knows that the clock is ticking and these unsuccessful crosses need to stop sooner than later. He won’t stop the bad crosses but he will get on the score sheet with at least an assist against San Jose to once again prove to every pundit in America, Britain and elsewhere that he is still relevant in terms of playing ability.
9. Over 25 fouls, under four yellows
with all hands on deck and all in reraised one more time, both the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy know that a big one-sided result can send one rival team to the next round against one of two more conference rivals, while the other will have to obliterate its roster to to rebuild and reload. High stakes call for over 25 fouls called and under four yellows issued. It’s gonna get ugly and fun, especially on the day following a world-changing election.
10. Los Angeles with a statement win
This prediction is one of those “prove-me-wrong, presumptive favorites” predictions. On one hand, you’ve got the Los Angeles Galaxy, who want to show to the world that they can struggle with their backs against the wall after being their own worst enemy and finish their chances. On the other side, you’ve got the San Jose Earthquakes, who want to prove that they are worthy of the torch being handed down to them after what they have accomplished this regular season.
As this is a Galaxy-oriented blog, I will lay down this gauntlet here, and it’s up to the vaunted Earthquakes to pick it up and do something about it. The Los Angeles Galaxy are boldly predicted by the View from Avalon to move on, but if the G’s season ends on Wednesday, they passed the torch to a deserving opponent after a valiant fight.
Los Angeles Galaxy 3, San Jose Earthquakes 1
Los Angeles Galaxy win on aggregate 3-2.