Posts Tagged ‘brian ching’

By Evan Ream

I’m genuinely excited for this game, as I am for all MLS Cups, even if something predictable happens. I started watching MLS Cup in 2004 and have never been treated to a bad game. Even the worse games of the seven I have watched live went to overtime. I don’t think this game will be bad, I think it will actually pretty much mirror the best one I have seen: MLS Cup 2008.

The Galaxy will start off strong and get a goal in the first half – Robbie Keane is my pick to get it – and cruise to halftime leading 1-0. After the half, one of the Dynamo’s 394702347230 six footers will equalize setting up a dramatic finish in which Keane will score twice after the 85th minute. Yes, I’m predicting the first hat-trick in MLS Cup history. I think Keane is on really good form and will exploit the Houston backline with smart runs.

Houston still has a chance in this game, but I think that they just don’t have enough quality. They will probably have to score two or three goals on set pieces to win this game, and with Brad Davis out, I just don’t see that happening.

Prediction: L.A. Galaxy 3 Houston Dynamo 1

MVP: Robbie Keane

By Evan Ream

This Sunday, the L.A. Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. to decide who will win the 16th MLS Cup. This is the second of two team previews. You can find the L.A. Galaxy preview here.

Overview

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>By Evan Ream, with help from the Intern



Last Year: 9-15-6 33 points, 7th in West, 12th overall
 
Key Losses: Pat Onstad, Joseph Ngwenya, Richard Mulrooney
 
Key Additions: Hunter Freeman, Kofi Sarkodie, Will Bruin, Jermaine Taylor
 
Projected Starting XI: Though the core of this team remains intact from last year, there are a lot of new additions that could figure to get playing time this year. Up top, the rookie Will Bruin has been reportedly impressive in preseason and looks to start over Cam Weaver and Jason Garey next to brianchingbrBrian Ching. The return to health of Lovel Palmer and Geoff Cameron, who were both injured for much of last year, should let Brad Davis return to his natural and much more effective left midfield position, though Colin Clark figures to get playing time there when he returns from injury. Danny Cruz, a role player for the last few years, looks to have a bigger impact this year and should start over Corey Ashe. Defensively, Mike Chabala and Bobby Boswell should return to their new starting spots, but look for newcomers Jermaine Taylor and Hunter Freeman to complete the roster. Eddie Robinson is getting up there in terms of age, but he should be able to challenge for a starting spot and contribute solid minutes, while Dominic Kinnear will definitely look for Kofi Sarkodie to get minutes at right back and possibly right midfield. The Dynamo have one of the most interesting keeper situations in the league. With Tally Hall and Tyler Deric as the only keepers with MLS experience on the roster (a combined seven games played), Houston looks unsure in goal, but if Kinnear is happy with what he has than they will probably be fine; he is usually right. The Dynamo will look to supplant their veteran’s minutes this year with all their young players, leading to a bunch of different possible lineups. I expect Kinnear to get the full use of his players this year.
 

Brian Ching         Will Bruin
 
Brad Davis         Geoff Cameron         Lovel Palmer          Danny Cruz
 
Mike Chabala          Bobby Boswell          Jermaine Taylor          Hunter Freeman
 
Tally Hall

 
Prognosis: Mixing veteran leadership and youthful talent is always a good formula for success, but for Houston, they might still be one year away from making the playoffs again. Though they have Brad Davis, Brian Ching, Geoff Cameron, and Bobby Boswell, there aren’t a lot of proven players on the roster after those four. I see Houston challenging for a playoff spot but ultimately falling just a bit short. However, if Hunter Freeman plays like he did at the start of the 2007 season, Jermaine Taylor becomes the next Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Will Bruin scores five to seven goals, Lovel Palmer avoids his usual dumb tackles, Brian Ching actually stays on the field, and Dominic Kinnear actually gets some production out of Colin Clark, than the Dynamo can be a contending force. It is very unlikely that all those things will happen, but in a perfect world, the Houston has the chance to be a great team. Unfortunately, for Dynamo fans though, this world is far from perfect.
 
The Intern’s Take: This is a hard team for me to figure out based off last year. There seems to be a decent amount of quality on the roster but it remains to be seen if that will translate into results on the field. With a healthy team, something Houston did not have for all of last year, I fully expect them to improve upon last year’s record, which included a midseason run between May 29 and October 10 in which the Dynamo only won two games. I think that the players Houston picked up for this coming year will be very beneficial to them in the long run, especially if Kofi Sarkodie and Will Bruin can play at the level most be people are hoping for out of them, but for this season I do not think that the new acquisitions make up for the loss of talent. The spot where this will be most noticeable will be in goal. The experience that Pat Onstad brought to the position last year will be sorely missed this season. The loss of Brian Mullan also hurts Houston because he basically guarantees that whichever team he is a part of has at least a 50% chance of winning the MLS Cup (Mullan has won the MLS Cup five times since 2001). I think that Houston still have a very solid team however and that they will compete for a spot in the playoffs but ultimately fall short of the postseason.