Well, TSG got it’s predictions off to a booming start last night, huh?
Chicago v. Houston Review:
You can’t put this entire game on Sean Johnson, can you? Well, not really. However, this one was really over in the first thirteen minutes.
Sean Johnson was skittish. Jalil Anibaba lost his man–only this time it wasn’t out on the wing where less damage can be done it was on a Brad Davis corner. That’s a big no-no.
One goal down, a few scary glove attempts of Sean Johnson against a seasoned Houston Dynamo team and manager was all this match needed. The Fire got bashful and regressed. No one took charge in the middle of the field and this was basically the Dynamo seeing out the remaining 77-some-odd minutes as the Fire looked tentative and listless going forward and were consumed with what Houston might do offensively. That’s not the way to think at home in a one-game.
Lesson learned hopefully for Chicago as Houston marches on and again faces of against Sporting KC in a rematch of last year’s most entertaining series.
(Mea culpa Will Bruin. You finished your chances last night)
LA Galaxy v. Vancouver Whitecaps
No matter how terrible Vancouver has been–and they’ve been just about the penultimate worst team for the past few months–there is still some speed on the team and a relatively stout and devout Jay DeMerit.
Yesterday we used a basketball analogy with the Bulls and the Fire. Today, we got American football. The Whitecaps are the Carolina Panthers circa 2004 or 2005 or so.
They’ve got Darren Mattocks up top–the equivalent of a speedy Steve Smith as the deep threat.
They’ve got a terrible quarterback pitching to him. The Panthers had Jake Delhomme who had flashes. Vancouver’s whole midfield–including Barry Robson–has flashes.
And they had a relatively in stout defense as do Vancouver.
So if everything goes right, and they hit Smith (Mattocks) on a few plays, the game may swing. The ‘Caps are like when you play someone inferior in Madden 2002 or something and they chuck it up the field every play to some wideout on the right side so makes three miracles grabs a game. Every 20th time you play the guy, he beats you because those plays are just enough and he’s put a safety and linebacker and managed to contain your running game.
Ok, sorry for the digression.
That’s the Whitecaps though. They’ve got enough parts to put together a game that may go their way, but in all likelihood …. not going to happen.
If the Caps get in an up-and-down track meet with the Galaxy, the triumvirate of Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Edson Buddle will take all the wind out of their sails.
If they hunker down and play flawless defense, distribution the ball through Y.P. Lee (i.e. outside as much as possible) and hit Mattocks over the top or Dane Richards down the flank on those one or two vital plays when everything lines-up, they’ll have a chance to eek out a 1-0, 2-1 win.
I think this is a closer game than people expect, but the Galaxy are just too mature. Arena’s team is the pick.