Carson, CA (Sports Network) - In a rematch of the past two MLS Cup finals,
the Los Angeles Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo on Sunday at the Home Depot
The last time the clubs met in last season's MLS Cup final, Los Angeles
rallied from a goal down to claim a 3-1 victory and its second consecutive
Following the season, Landon Donovan left the club in favor of an extended
break away from the game, while David Beckham also left the club and signed a
five-month contract with French side Paris Saint-Germain in January of 2013.
But the loss of two of the league's most prominent names gave other players
the chance to excel early in the season.
Donovan has since returned from his sabbatical, but it has been forward Mike
Magee that is the driving force behind the Galaxy's offensive output thus far
Last time out, Donovan as well as fellow Designated Player Robbie Keane missed
the match against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium, but it didn't matter
much as Magee scored his sixth goal of the season just six minutes into the
match and Charlie Rugg found the net seven minutes later as Los Angeles
secured a 2-0 win over their Western Conference rivals.
"I don't think we dominated, but we played well enough to win," Galaxy head
coach Bruce Arena said of knocking off RSL on the road. "We won the last time
we were here last year. We really came in today prepared to win the game -- no
question about that. Our guys held together for 90 minutes."
Houston, meanwhile, is coming off a 1-1 draw at home with Colorado which
extended its impressive home unbeaten streak to 36 consecutive matches.
But when the Dynamo are on the road, it's a completely different story as they
have only claimed one point from their first four road contests this season.
Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall and his defenders will have to be on their toes
for 90 minutes to defend LA's vaunted counter-attack.
"They break out with an organized fury of movement," Hall said. "The
combination play is something to admire. How they attack. It's not just that
they combine well, it's the effectiveness that when they combine they put
themselves in such great spots.
"You would never call them solely a counter-attacking team, they have too many
good players just to be labeled as such, but when they counter-attack their
runs are deadly," Hall continued.
The Sports Network