Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy are going to miss Landon Donovan, period. He was responsible for helping the Galaxy build an early 2-0 advantage against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at Stanford Stadium. Unfortunately, the Galaxy played liked the Galaxy that they have always been this season in their 3-2 defeat.
Aug 15, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane (7) attempts to catch Columbus Crew midfielder Cole Grossman (22) as he attacks with the ball during the match at Crew Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports
“Poor play, a lack of intelligence by our team,” Arena told MLSSoccer.com’s Scott French. “To have a team of players and coaches that are that poor and stupid in the last five minutes of a game, that’s my responsibility. It can’t be on anybody else but me.
“I’m absolutely embarrassed at that performance. Give our opponent credit, you can’t take that away, but our performance is embarrassing. It’s disgraceful.”
This coming week, the Galaxy celebrate the Fourth of July with a match against Robert Warzycha’s Columbus Crew, and Donovan’s playmaking ability will, as I said before, be missed. So the onus is on Robbie Keane to make the most of his opportunities and carry the team on his shoulders this month. He doesn’t do that, you can write this Galaxy team off from lifting the cup, end of story.
The kickoff for this match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsNet. 10 Bold Predictions…let’s do it.
1. More than three goals in the second half
The goals will be flying in the second half because both teams will be pressing offensively. That has been the tendency of a lot of matches in this league: big second halves and slow, cumbersome first halves. Speaking of which…
2. Only one goal in the first half
There will only be one goal in the entire first half. You’ll see this with matches involving the Galaxy: slow first halves with neither team gaining the upper hand. Expect to be bored in the opening stanza.
3. Los Angeles will score first
One thing about Los Angeles is that they are aces at scoring first. And they will score first thanks to Robbie Keane. The captain will be on point to lay one home, and believe it or not, despite the 4/10 rating I gave him which was nothng of his fault…he had a par-for-the-course effort against San Jose and it will be more of the same.
4. Marcelo Time!
Aug 15, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Crew midfielder Cole Grossman (22) attempts to catch up with Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas (8) during the match at Crew Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports
Marcelo Sarvas only has two goals this season, but he can make it two goals in as many games by scoring on Thursday against the Crew. And he will score on Thursday against the Crew.
5. Federico Higuain on goal
He is not the flash and dash and cash that his brother Gonzalo is, but Federico Higuain is a player that can drop the hammer down on opponents. Higuain will score in the second half.
6. Dominic Oduro with a brace
One of the top scorers for the Crew is Dominic Oduro. With eight goals to his credit, Oduro will make it 10 for the season with a brace in the second half against Los Angeles.
7. Andy Gruenebaum with at least six saves
The Galaxy will be playing some desperate football and may be pressing for goals. LA are a goalkeeper’s paradise because it’s easy for the best goalkeepers in Major League Soccer to cheese up the saves. Andy Gruenebaum of the Crew is an example of a goalkeeper that will come up big for Columbus. He will make at least six saves on Jul. 4.
8. Under four saves for Carlo Cudicini
The days of Carlo Cudicini being on this Los Angeles Galaxy team have to be numbered. But, he will still be on these Bold Predictions nonetheless. Cudi will make under four saves. Better to have a quiet night than a horrid night. Lesser of the two evils and all that.
9. At least 30 fouls and three yellows
Los Angeles are going to come into this contest with the intention to snap. At least 30 fouls will be whistled and at least three yellows will be issued.
10. Columbus wins. Enough said.
The Columbus Crew will take a page out of the playbooks out of teams that have left it late against the Galaxy and leave it late against the Galaxy. The trog cycle, as coined by a user at Utopia College Sports, is the same repetitive series of routines that you can’t snap out of without some miraculous, God-given fortitude. Well, that’s my definition. But, the Los Angeles Galaxy going to be stuck in the trog cycle this coming month.
Columbus Crew 3, Los Angeles Galaxy 2