The LA Galaxy face the New York Red Bulls tomorrow evening at The Home Depot Center, in a match broadcast on ESPN and ESPN Deportes nation wide. Ideally, it's not the sort of match the club wants to get embarrassed in. That's been the team's calling card in the early part of the year, either embarrassing or embarrassing the other team. Which is odd, since it's the Galaxy with the veteran experience, and the Red Bulls with a group of young upstarts. In truth, both New York and LA have been as manic as Loki, despite the wide gap in experience.
In his fifth year with the club, Sean Franklin has been the Galaxy's Iron Man thus fair playing every minute of every match. Still, his role on the club seems ill defined. Is he a winger that should be involved on developing offensive plays, or should he be anchoring the back line. The Galaxy have a back line with hundreds of matches in combined MLS experience. Things have looked better since the sluggish start, and hopeful LA can find form again now that the back line will be at full strength.
Certainly, one would hope they show more composure than the New York Red Bulls young back line. They've allowed 14 goals this year, third most in MLS. The Red Bulls are leading MLS in scoring, but like the Galaxy the back line has caused some problems. Their current back line of Brandon Barklage, Markus Holgersson, Tyler Ruthven, and Connor Lade have a combined 23 games of MLS experience between them. The Red Bulls are starting a rookie goalkeeper in Ryan Meara, but he has started every match for the Red Bulls this season and managed a clean sheet in his last appearance.
Still, the Galaxy are hypothetically the most potent attack that back line will see all year, even if thus far the team hasn't really shown it. With Captain America, Landon Donovan, the Galaxy have the all time goal scoring leader of the US Men's National team. Thor would be jealous of Robbie Keane's thunderous strikes, and although they haven't been on target lately Keane is Ireland's all time leading goalscorer.
Pair up those two with the Hawkeye'd assassin Edson Buddle, who can score at any time, and the Hulk-ing presence of David Beckham; the lack of production just becomes baffling. Buddle was MLS Golden Boot runner up in his previous full season with the Galaxy, and Beckham has 12 goals and 33 assists in his 80 MLS matches.
Maybe after winning the Cup last year, they just think they're Earth's Mightest Heroes. After a midweek defeat to Seattle on the road, the Galaxy can't afford to let New York steal one and get a taste of revenge on the club that ended their 2011 season. It's time for this club to come together.
It's time for this team to ASSEMBLE!