For all we know, the seeds of a tough month of April for Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy have been sown after two straight defeats in all competitions on the trot, both to CF Monterrey. Compounding matters, the Galaxy have drawn two out of their last three matches in MLS play.
The string of poor results is sure to raise a large, massive red flag attached to a 10-foot pole few will dare to touch ahead of the Galaxy’s Saturday night affair with current MLS Western Conference flag-bearers FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Tex. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by NBC Sports Network. Thus, without further ado, here are 10 Bold Predictions for the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. FC Dallas.
1. Tense first 20 minutes: no goals
Good ball games start with chess matches in the midfield. FC Dallas is bouncing back from their 2-2 draw with Toronto FC, while LA is avoiding a second-straight CCL hangover. The key match to watch for the first 20 minutes is the duels in the midfield. The side that dominates the duels won in the first 20 minutes will have the best chance to take all three points. There will be no goals during this opening stretch.
2. Dallas to score first
Schellas Hyndman’s FC Dallas are revitalized, reenergized, reinvigorated, reworked, remodeled, rebuilt…reeverything. And it starts with players like Blas Perez, one of Panama’s top footballers. While Perez only has two goals to his credit, his clinical finishing will keep the Hoops in a lot of contests. Look for Perez to get the ball rolling midway through the first half.
3. It’s Jackson time!
Another scorer for FC Dallas that will have the assignment of locking down Omar Gonzalez is Jackson Goncalves. With just two goals so far this season, Jackson is ready to add another to his total, this time early in the second half.
4. Big day out for David Ferreira
One of the midfielders to watch out for is David Ferreira. He’s had his share of great assists in an FC Dallas uniform, and he will score at least two assists to help the home side on Saturday.
5. A collection clinic for Carlo Cudicini
Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was worked the last two weeks by Humberto Suazo and Aldo De Nigris, but this time, it should be—at least on paper—a step down with Jackson, Ferreira and Kenny Cooper leading the Dallas attack. The Galaxy netminder is going to make at least four saves to aid LA’s cause.
6. Landon Donovan…arrives
Landon Donovan got a full 90 in the second leg of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s CCL semi with Monterrey and should get another 90 against FC Dallas. Donovan will get a goal and an assist and continue the long road to a long-awaited national team call-up.
7. More football, less appeals from Robbie Keane
The lesson that Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane must learn when making the rounds in North America is to stop complaining and get on with playing the game. Assuming that this is indeed the case, Keane will get on the score sheet in the second half against FC Dallas.
8. Glorious Homecoming For Great Gonzo
Omar Gonzalez was the best player on the pitch for the Los Angeles Galaxy in their semifinal home-and-home with Monterrey, and he will pad the stat sheets on the Opta Chalkboard this Saturday. The View from Avalon is calling for at least 10 interceptions, clearances and recoveries each from a defender that could be the Galaxy’s third DP…if a certain Frank Lampard decides not to join the party.
9. Under 30 fouls and five cards
This will be a great match with plenty of pace and technical savvy, and the fouls will not be en masse. Under 30 fouls will be whistled and no more than four cards will be issued.
10. Another draw for Los Angeles and Dallas
This is a contest that will highlight the even keel that characterizes Major League Soccer. The match on Saturday will end in a draw.
FC Dallas 2, Los Angeles Galaxy 2