Tuesday, November 9, 2010

LA 2 - 1 Seattle: Where Did This Galaxy Team Go?

After the first game of this series I gave the credit to Bruce Arena for his great coaching. That may have been selling the players short, because the whole Galaxy team has played beautiful soccer these past two games.

I wondered if Sigi Schmid would be able to draw up a new plan for his Sounders team to give them a chance at this series, but it just wasn't meant to be. The Galaxy dominated the run of play again, stifling Seattle's attack and scoring two goals off of great set piece deliveries by David Beckham (who seems to be happier than he has been at any other time in his MLS career).

Dare I say that this team looks very similar to the one that began the 2010 MLS season. In the beginning of the year, LA Galaxy appeared to be positioning themselves as a Real Madrid/ManU style team that clearly outclassed their league competition. They put up 32 points in the first 12 games with 22 goals for and 3 goals against.

That run slowed though. In their next 11 games LA only managed 12 points (11 GF, 14 GA) and you could see problems in their play. Landon Donovan was being moved all over the pitch, injuries were hurting them, and Buddle and Donovan each missed games with the USMNT at the World Cup.

Things did appear to turn around at the end of the season, with Galaxy earning 15 points in 7 games (11 GF, 9 GA), but it was still not what we saw from them to start the year. The team was struggling with how to integrate David Beckham to the team and figuring out exactly who to play in the midfield and where.

Like I said last week, Arena figured it out. This team is playing out of their minds right now and looks poised to make a deep run towards their third MLS Cup.

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