CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points to the club’s match against FC Dallas on Sunday. Playing their third game in nine days, the Galaxy are looking to win consecutive games in the league for the first time since late April and move within one point of second place Dallas.
LA GALAXY LOOK TO BUILD WINNING STREAK AGAINST SLUMPING FC DALLAS
Last season, the LA Galaxy began their push to a championship with a torrid July run that saw the team go 4-1-1, and as they look to repeat their past success—only a similar type of streak will do.
LA started the month off right as they came from behind to defeat the Columbus Crew 2-1 on the Fourth of July, but they’ll look to build a winning streak against an FC Dallas side on Sunday that has hit the skids in recent weeks. Dallas arrives at StubHub Center winless in their last five league games with a 0-1-4 record and failing to hold a lead in any of those contests.
FCD’s last win came way back on May 25, but their last—and only—win on the road came on March 30 against the New England Revolution. Despite just one victory away from FC Dallas Stadium this year, they have picked up points with a compact defense that has helped the team go 1-3-4 on the road. With Dallas sitting just four points ahead of the Galaxy in the Western Conference standings, they represent the type of team that LA must overcome in order to ascend up the table.
SPEED AND SIZE MAKE FC DALLAS DANGEROUS
FC Dallas boast an extensive arsenal of weapons, but what makes them dangerous is their combination of speed and size.
Pacey wide players Jackson and Fabian Castillo as well as playmaker David Ferreira supply the service to make the Dallas attack go, but Schellas Hyndman’s side enjoys success when using their size up front to cause havoc for opposing defenses. Leading the charge up front is 6-foot-1 Panamanian forward Blas Perez, who provides a physical presence in the box. He could be aided in a pinch by 6-foot-3 Kenny Cooper, who has been playing out wide left for Dallas, but likes to tuck in, in order to make himself a target in the penalty area. The Galaxy must also be mindful of FCD’s size on set pieces as Cooper, Perez and 6-foot-4 center back Matt Hedges are all targets during dead ball opportunities.
Stopping Dallas will depend on a two-prong defense by the Galaxy. First, LA must cut down on the opportunity for the likes of Jackson and Castillo to whip balls into the box by pressuring the wide players. However, if and when FCD do send in crosses, physicality in the box will be crucial as they’ll need to mix it up with Perez and Cooper to prevent them from using their size to win aerial battles and get shots on the Galaxy goal.
GALAXY MUST TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FC DALLAS DEFENSIVE CHANGES
The LA Galaxy will host an FC Dallas side that will be without two key starters on defense as center backs George John and Walker Zimmerman did not make the trip to Southern California due to hamstring injuries. This represents a major opportunity for LA’s struggling offense to finally get in gear.
Dallas boss Schellas Hyndman is expected to trot out the tandem of Stephen Keel and Matt Hedges in central defense, both of whom started their scoreless draw with Chivas USA on Thursday. The pair conceded 18 attempts on goal against the Rojiblancos, but were bailed out by seven saves from FCD ‘keeper Raul Fernandez, who is tied for the MLS-lead with 65 saves on the season, as well as Chivas’ own inability to finish. If LA’s forwards can capitalize on the chances presented to them by the Dallas defense, then Bruce Arena’s men may be able to end a poor offensive run that has seen the Galaxy score just four times from the run of play in their last seven matches.
The home side has a question mark of their own in the attack as forward Robbie Keane was not present during the final 15 minutes of training on Saturday. If the Galaxy's leading scorer is unable to go, the onus will be on one of LA’s young trio of forwards –Gyasi Zardes, Jose Villarreal or Jack McBean— to carry the load. The youngsters’ inclusion typically results in an energetic attack that may help LA create and finish chances against second place FC Dallas.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com
The Galaxy take on FC Dallas Sunday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. PT at StubHub Center. The first 10,000 fans in the gates will receive an Omar Gonzalez bobblehead! Tickets still available. BUY NOW