MLS Cup 2012: LA Galaxy face Dynamo at full strength for first time since last MLS Cup

Toby Canham

It's been almost a year since the Galaxy and Dynamo faced off with most of the principles available. The Galaxy were missing several key players in their 2012 regular season meeting.

In previewing MLS Cup 2012, the first step would be looking at the last time the Galaxy met the Houston Dynamo this year. Problem with that is, Eastern Conference and Western Conference teams only met once this season, and the Galaxy met the Dynamo back in May.

In that match with the Dynamo, the Galaxy used the following players who are no longer a major part of the player rotation: Brian Perk, Bryan Jordan, David Junior Lopes, Bryan Gaul, Kenny Walker, Chad Barrett, and Pat Noonan. Half the players used against the matchup against Houston are no longer involved in the everyday lineup.

There was a goal scored, Edson Buddle from Chad Barrett from David Beckham through the middle. Houston got a goal off a Brad Davis corner kick, and an own goal off Mike Magee.

Back then the storyline was the LA Galaxy's terrible start. The 2-1 loss to Houston was the Galaxy's third straight loss and eighth of the season. It was LA's seventh straight winless match, and they sat in last place in the Western Conference. It took the best record in the second half of the MLS season to get back into the running and on through the playoffs to MLS Cup.

With Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane on international duty, David Beckham had to step up as the lone creative presence. That Brad David and David Beckham will be key to their team's performances goes without saying, but Canadian Andre Hainault also showed he could have an offensive impact; something Omar Gonzalez hasn't been able to do for the Galaxy since coming back.

It's difficult to learn anything from a Galaxy match where they had neither of their MLS Best XI selections (more on that in a moment), but that might be the ultimate lesson from this match. The last time these two clubs really met was last year in MLS Cup.

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