Friday, August 25, 2006

DC United Preview - 8/25/2006

DC United vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Saturday, August 26th 2006

This must be old home week. Wednesday we had the old folks from the United Alumni Group return and take a 3-1 beating (Bruce, Richie, Harkes) and Saturday we have Tino returning to RFK with the Galaxy. Feels like a family reunion.

Ok, so we return to league play after a midweek USOC match that saw United actually find the back of the net more than once, exploding, if you will, for 3 goals. United have moved onto a September 6th date with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in the USOC Semi-Finals. Enough Cup talk, back to the league.

United are still leading both the Eastern Conference and the Supporters Shield race. LA is currently last in the Western Conference and have gone 5-1-2 since July 1st. United have gone 4-1-3 since July. So the clubs have had pretty much equal results since July 1st. The Galaxy are not as bad now as their record shows. When you go an entire month without scoring a goal, that digs one helluva deep hole to try and claw your way out.

LA won their way into the USOC Semi-Finals with a 120 minute 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids, running most of their first team starters for most of the match. They have scored 15 goals in their last 10 matches, so they are able to put points on the scoreboard, something they certainly could not do in May. Their defense has greatly improved, only allowing 3 goals in that same time frame.

United are rolling in off of the 3-1 USOC match, a 1-1 draw against the Rapids, a 0-0 draw at RBNY, a 2-1 120 minute victory over the Crew in the USOC and a 2-1 loss to RSL. In the last ten matches, United have scored 14 goals and have allowed 10 goals. Not so stellar a comparison of the stats, huh?

So what does this all mean?

The Galaxy are coming into RFK with pretty good form in recent matches. They have been playing good defense and they are finding the back of the net. That said, they just ran most of their starters Wednesday night for almost 90 minutes in a match that went 120 minutes. That and the travel involved with flying to DC from LA might be a problem for the Aliens.

United are undefeated at RFK this season and are coming off of 3 quarters of really impressive soccer. We rolled into the second half of the Rapids match with a different mind set and too it to them and were very unlucky not to get a second goal against Colorado. Wednesday night, we sent out a side made up of of 5 reserves, facing a RBNY side that was just at full strength. Our reserve side went into the dressing room at the half tied at 1-1. We gave Benny and Jaime 30 minutes of play and won 3-1. We carry this form over to the match Saturday and we should have a good showing.

Biggest difference will be our defense. As long as Bos, Erpen, Namoff, Carroll and Olsen do their jobs and shut down Landy, Gomez and Tino, we should be fine. If our Gomez can play, which according to, he is not listed on the injury list, our offense should be able to break their defense.

I will be there to give Donovan as much crap as possible, even though he hopes we all move on. Yeah right, we will all move on when he plays the way we expect him to, wearing a USA jersey. That, Mr. Donovan, is when we move on.

Prediction: DC United 2 - 0 LA Galaxy


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