Three Points: LA Galaxy hope to snap two game slide vs. Philadelphia Union
CHESTER, Pa. —LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano gives his Three Points to the LA Galaxy’s match against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park where LA will look to snap their two-game losing streak.
ROBBIE KEANE RETURNS TO KICK START THE GALAXY ATTACK
Robbie Keane is in Philadelphia and poised to take the field for the first time in three games, but will it be enough to boost the LA Galaxy offense?
Keane told reporters last week that he was targeting a return to the field against the Union and after training with the team during their two sessions in Philadelphia; he seems poised to start on Wednesday. With Bruce Arena urging his team to be more aggressive in the final third—and in their own penalty area— after two straight defeats, the Irishman’s deft touch maybe the answer to LA’s scoring woes as of late. Not only will the Galaxy be pleased to have Keane return, but expect the Irish forward to be antsy to contribute in his first game back.
The potential inclusion of Keane could be a major boost for LA against a Philadelphia side that has shuffled their centerbacks as of late. Veteran Jeff Parke missed out on their 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire last weekend, forcing head coach John Hackworth to opt for Bakary Soumaré alongside Amobi Okugo.
AGGRESSION NEEDED TO LIFT THE GALAXY
During LA’s recent two-game skid, they have dominated possession, but to finally get back into the win column against the Union, a more physical approach may be adopted.
Arena’s call to arms on both sides of the ball comes as the Galaxy currently sit last in MLS with just 99 fouls committed and just eight fouls committed during the current losing streak. Although this statistic may peg the Galaxy as a team that shies from contact, the truth is that with LA controlling possession for wide stretches in matches, they’ll have fewer opportunities to be aggressive.
If the Galaxy were to adopt a more physical style of play, it must start in the center of the park as Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas will be expected to press the Union midfielders and force them off the ball if they lose possession.
CAN THE GALAXY DEFENSE COOL JACK MCINERNEY, THE HOTTEST STRIKER IN MLS?
The LA Galaxy defense will have their hands full as they look to deal with current MLS goal scoring leader Jack McInerney.
The 20-year-old forward has taken the league by storm in just his fourth season with the Union, scoring a league-leading seven goals in 10 games to date, four of which were game-winners. Praised for his ability to get behind opposing defenses and his poise in front of goal—his goal in the team’s lone meeting of 2012 is evidence of that— McInerney has blossomed into one of MLS’ finest young strikers. Expect LA’s central defensive pairing to pay close attention to the former U.S. U-17 National Team star at all times.
McInerney isn’t the only weapon in the Union’s arsenal as his pairing with burly striker Conor Casey will cause issues for the Galaxy defense. A physical complement to McInerney’s speed and industry, Casey, who scored six times in 10 games against the Galaxy as a member of the Colorado Rapids, will be expected to open up holes for his young strike partner to exploit.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com.