MLS Draws in Review Part 2-2: New York v LA Galaxy and FC Dallas v Colorado

22 July 2008

Since both reviews ended 2-2, I thought saving these for the second part of my review would fit the bill.

New York Red Bulls v Los Angeles Galaxy
In a game with more twists and turns than quality play on the plastic of Giants Stadium, LA went from 2-1 in injury time and thanks to Landon Donovan finished the game 2-2 and were unfortunate they didn’t win with Donovan’s last second volley that thundered off the cross bar.

This game was dire to watch, yet at times highly entertaining. The heat of New York plus the super fast conditions that the Giants Stadium field turf provided made this game at times look like you were watching a game of pinball or pong depending on your personal gaming preference. In fact you could really argue that the first twenty minutes of this game were completely unwatchable as the high temperatures plus constant long balls made play an afterthought.

Then LA started getting their feet and turning the screws. Carlos Ruiz has plenty to prove to Ruud Gullit if you are to believe the press and his goal in the twenty-ninth minute should silence some critics for the moment. Ruiz did a good job getting into the right spaces but besides that one goal, was really lacking up front. He had two other good opportunities to score and missed badly. His chance in the twenty-first I think if it was Buddle making that run, he finishes.

Dave Van den Burgh was his usual quality self, and I’m going to reserve judgment on Jorge Rojas until I have seen more of him. For all we know, this was a case of a team seeing a player for the first time and once the league adjusts to him we could see just another average player. However Rojas does deserve credit for setting up both goals with deft passing.

To me though when you boil this game down, it will come back to the five missed chances New York had to really put this game away. Rojas had two good chances to put the game away, and didn’t, and Cronin adapted to Van den Burgh’s angled shots. In fact you could even argue that Donovan’s chance to win on the last kick of the game was the best opportunity from either side to put this game away.

Oscar Echeverry was shocking in how far ahead of his team mates he was. It’s like a broken record with him.

Overall, it may not have been the greatest of quality there was still enough entertainment to make up for it. In the end, 2-2 was the fair result.

FC Dallas v Colorado Rapids
In a game that could be broken into three sections, FC Dallas came back to take the lead only to lose it three minutes later in a bit of a helter skelter final 25 minutes, neither side was able to find the back of the net as the game ended 2-2.

As I mentioned above, this game could be broken down into three sections. The first section is the first thirty five minutes where Colorado controlled most of the flow of play and could only manager the fifth minute effort. After that despite the number of forward attacks, were unable to manage any decent shots on goal while nearly being burned twice on the counter.

The second section of this game starts around the thirty-fifth minute and goes until the sixty-fifth when Dallas not only took control of the game, but were rightfully in the lead. How many times this season have we seen Bouna Coundoul make the mistake of severely coming off his line only to see the ball end up in the back of the net. Both Dallas goals could have been prevented had Coundoul not had a fascination with Kenny Cooper. What was he trying to ask him, not too make him look like a fool with the shots from distance he couldn’t handle first time?

The third section was the final twenty-nine (yes I’m including the stoppage time) where a slip up in Dallas’s shape gave Conor Casey the equalizer. From there, there weren’t many decent chances on goal and the game ended up fizzling out with only one moment where the referee’s had to get a big decision right, and that they did in the eighty-seventh when they correctly adjudged Dominic Oduro offside, the second time he was caught offside in pretty much the same position.

I thought both teams for the most part kept their shapes rather well, but wasted plenty of the possession they had. When you control large swaths of a game, you have to take advantage of the opportunities presented to you. If anyone should feel aggrieved about not winning, it’s Dallas. With as many times they peppered Coundoul with decent chances, only for the Colorado keeper to make mincemeat of them, their poor ability to follow up was almost borderline damning.

Both sides still have a long way to go before being able to be taken as serious contenders. That though, didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this match.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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