CARSON, Calif. – The Los Angeles Galaxy are convinced that Sunday’s Western Conference Championship against FC Dallas has all the ingredients to be a wide-open, spectacular affair.
“[FC Dallas] play fast, they play hard, they’re athletic and they have good, talented players all over the field,” said Galaxy captain Landon Donovan about his opponents. “I just think it’s going to be a fast, really good game.”
For those expecting this high-stakes, single elimination match to take become a tight, defensive struggle, the Galaxy players say that scenario is highly unlikely.
Los Angeles, for their part, vow to play a high-pressure match from the very start, similar to the first half in their match against the Seattle Sounders last weekend.
“I think at this stage of the season you have to come out like that,” LA’s David Beckham said. “You have to be ready and be ready to fight. If we’re not ready, we have a good team [FC Dallas] that will capitalize on that.”
“We’re going to be pressing all game,” Galaxy forward Edson Buddle said. “Only if we’re ahead by a couple of goals with five minutes left, we’ll probably take the gas off.”
If the Galaxy decide to play at a frenetic pace, FC Dallas will also be a team looking to burst forward quickly in transition.
“Dallas is a good counterattacking team,” Buddle said. “They win the ball and push it forward. They don’t play around with it.”
As evidence of the pace he expects in this Western Conference title match, Donovan pointed to the last match of the season on Oct. 24, a 2-1 LA victory at The Home Depot Center. It proved to be a well-played, back-and-forth affair with the Galaxy fighting for and clinching their Supporters’ Shield trophy on the final day.
“They’re a well-rounded team – they can attack and they can defend,” said Galaxy manager Bruce Arena about FC Dallas. “They’re going to be a hard team to break down and a hard team to stop.
“I think the lead-up to this [match] is fantastic. There’s a potential to have a great and exciting game on Sunday.”
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