A new season is upon us, readers on the View from Avalon, and with it are 10 Bold Predictions. This weekend, Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy open up their MLS Cup defense on Sunday afternoon against the Chicago Fire at the Home Depot Center. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for the first big match of they year.
1. No goals in the first half
This is going to be a match in which both teams are getting some minutes down. The chances will be there, but there will be no goals in the first half of play.
2. Robbie Keane on the score sheet
Once the second half begins, the goals will start coming in. Robbie Keane will open up the scoring and give the Galaxy their first goal of the season.
3. Jack McBean gets his motor running
Jack McBean’s game has been improving over the course of the preseason, and he will be scoring late in the contest against the Fire.
4. A.J. DeLaGarza dominates the defensive stats
Defender A.J. DeLaGarza is a true veteran of the league, and he will dominate the defensive stat categories on the Opta Chalkboard: from layoffs to recoveries.
5. At least four saves from Carlo Cuducini
Goalkeeping maestro Carlo Cuducini will get his first taste of league play this weekend, and he will make an impact immediately with at least four saves on the afternoon.
6. Juninho with at least an assist
Juninho will need to be at his game to fare well on set pieces. But he has the potential to position the ball where he wants and find someone in white to finish the set piece. The young Brazilian gets at least one assist on Sunday.
7. Chris Rolfe on the scoresheet
Late in the second half, Chris Rolfe will get on the scoresheet for the Chicago Fire. Rolfe led the team in goals with eight last season and should step it up for the Fire again this season as they begin their MLS Cup quest.
8. Magee Magic to slam the door shut
Mike Magee will make this a foregone conclusion. A midfielder with a knack for scoring clutch goals late, Magee will score in the last 10 minutes to secure all three points for LA.
9. At least 24 fouls and two cards
A fiercely competitive, physical contest will take place at Victoria Street to start off the season, and at least 24 fouls will be whistled and at least two cards will be issued.
10. Los Angeles opens up the season with a win
The Los Angeles Galaxy will open up the season with guns blazing and a victory over the Chicago Fire, picking up from where they left off.
Los Angeles Galaxy 3, Chicago Fire 1