Three Points: LA Galaxy transition back to league play against FC Dallas
FRISCO, Texas—LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano gives his Three Points to the LA Galaxy’s Western Conference showdown with FC Dallas on Saturday evening at FC Dallas Stadium…
TIME TO BOUNCE BACK MENTALLY AND ON THE FIELD
The LA Galaxy saw their CONCACAF Champions League dream end on Wednesday in Monterrey, Mexico, but now the club must bounce back ahead of this Saturday’s clash against FC Dallas.
Despite failing in their bid to qualify for the CCL Finals, the Galaxy did not appear discouraged and maintaining an upbeat team spirit will be important as they turn their sole focus to MLS play. LA will look to avoid the slide of a year ago when the Galaxy slumped to a 3-7-2 record immediately following their CCL Quarterfinal defeat to Toronto FC.
Against FC Dallas, an infusion of youth and experience on the field, including the likes of Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal, could help LA overcome any lingering disappointment, which leads us to our next point.
CHANGES LIKELY FOR THE GALAXY
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena promised at least a “couple” of changes to the starting XI from the side that fell 1-0 in Monterrey on Wednesday. Just where they’ll be remains up in the air, however.
Chances could take place a number of places across the field as eight players played at least 80 minutes midweek against the Mexican side. In particular, Landon Donovan—who is still looking to reach full fitness—and Omar Gonzalez, who has logged heavy minutes in league and international play over the last few weeks, appear to be candidates for a potential switch.
Two potential candidates to enter the lineup could be Jose Villarreal and Tommy Meyer, who have been pushing for first team minutes in recent weeks. Also, Mike Magee may return to the lineup—either at forward or in the midfield—after a right hip injury prevented him from starting against Monterrey.
SHUT DOWN FC DALLAS’ WEAPONS OUT WIDE
For all of the focus on the Galaxy rebounding and shuffling their squad, LA must still shut down an in-form FC Dallas side that is currently at the top of the Western Conference and all of MLS.
The Dallas midfield has been key to their fast start this season; in particular, their flank play from Fabian Castillo and Jackson has been vital to funnel dangerous crosses into strikers Kenny Cooper and Blas Perez. However, they aren’t simply weapons due to their distribution, but also their ability to use their speed to break opposition defenses and create chances for themselves.
Who will be tasked with shutting down Dallas’ wide weapons remains in question, however, as Todd Dunivant remains a question mark after exiting Wednesday’s game early in the second half. If Dunivant is unable to go, then it will likely be up to second-year left back Bryan Gaul and right back A.J. DeLaGarza to slow down the speedy Dallas attack.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com