- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 16, 2009
- 2 Comments
- David Beckham, Edson Buddle, Juan Carlos Osorio, Juan Pablo Angel, Landon Donovan
Let’s just say tonight’s clash in Giant’s Stadium will be an interesting one to tune into if you can. While the Red Bulls are embarking on one of the worst seasons in league history, the LA Galaxy are hoping their chances of reaching the playoffs for the first time in a couple years continue to grow as they get the return of David Beckham.
A lot of hype is going into this game due to the new book out by Grant Wahl (great read if you haven’t picked it up already). Thing is it probably won’t nearly be enough hype to get this game to the level it was two years ago at Giant’s Stadium when 66,000+ were on hand to witness an epic 5-4 clash between the Red Bulls and Galaxy. The Red Bulls won that first Beckham meeting.
This isn’t your 2007 Galaxy, nor is it your 2008 Galaxy. While Beckham has been off in Europe these last couple months the mix of young and old has served Bruce Arena pretty well. Even with only 24 points in the standings, the Galaxy are in playoff contention. That’s something the previous two Galaxy clubs couldn’t say at this point in the season.
I think we can expect a physical game tonight between these two sides. The biggest question will be how Beckham is used on the field for Arena. Currently the Galaxy do well by holding enough possession early to grab a goal and then allow their defense to sit back to get points.
The Red Bulls are faced with their 20th match of the season tonight. They are still a bit banged up with injuries here though several players are slowly starting to get healthy. Which may be good for their CONCACAF Champions League games but it may not mean they will be back for tonight’s game. Defensively the Red Bulls still have too many questions and that may be enough for Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle to do their work in front of the net.
I do see this game being closer than some would imagine with the way the Galaxy have played in recent weeks. The addition of Beckham makes it tougher for Arena I believe. The balance is there for him to step in and just play his game. But the bigger question will be how his teammates respond. I have no doubt the Galaxy will come through with points in this one but the points will most likely be a result of Donovan than Beckham.
New York will make it interesting as long as Juan Pablo Angel is finding space around the penalty box. If he can get just a little bit open I think he could be real dangerous against a fairly young Galaxy defense. In the end though I think LA returns home with a rare three points on an east coast road trip.
WVH Prediction: LA 2, New York 1