So it comes down to this, with just five matches to go in the regular season (including tonight’s match) the Galaxy sit just three points back from the Seattle Sounders. On the other hand, the New York Red Bulls are fighting to just stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. The visitors are sat in fifth place in the eastern conference and could jump the Columbus Crew should they defeat Los Angeles in Carson tonight.
However, though they have now been eliminated, the added CONCACAF Champions League matches may have taken a toll on the Red Bulls as they drew 0-0 with El Salvadorian club FAS allowing Montreal to advance to the knockout rounds of the tournament.
But that does not mean they aren’t experienced, because New York are one of the most experienced sides in the league with the likes of Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and Bradley Wright-Phillips, who is also a threat to score form anywhere in and around the eighteen yard box. The vast experience among these three, along with the others in the squad, should see them through the rest of the season and into the playoffs.
Los Angeles have been nearly unstoppable at home this season with having lost just once at home to Real Salt Lake back on March 8th, in which they were defeated by a score of 0-1. Since then, however, the Galaxy have been undefeated at the StubHub Center dropping just three points along the way to Chivas, Portland and most recently, to the San Jose Earthquakes. Meanwhile, New York has been abysmal away from home during this campaign as the Red Bulls have only defeated FC Dallas and the New England Revolution, in which they earned shutouts in both.
The last five meetings between the Galaxy and the Red Bulls have produced four clean sheets with both sides earning victories in the opposition’s stadium. There have been no draws between the two with New York winning three and Los Angeles the other two.
Bruce Arena told Adrian Healy at training on Friday that, "These are two teams who try to get ball down & play. It should be one of best games of year." I would have to agree with Arena’s statement. These two clubs are two of the most skilled, experienced and defensively sound in all of Major League Soccer. Look for this match to be end to end right from the first whistle until the last with both sides creating quality chances early and often. I’m predicting a final score of 2-1 Los Angeles to push them into first place with goals from Landon Donovan, Gyasi Zardes and Thierry Henry.