MLS CUP 2009
LOS ANGELES GALAXY vs REAL SALT LAKE
QWEST FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
November 22, 2009, 5:30 p.m PT/ 8:30 p.m EST (ESPN; Galavision) / KICKOFF 5:55 p.m.PT/8:55 p.m EST.
Can Real Salt Lake continue to lift above its weight against the likes of Landon Donovan, David Beckham and the LA Galaxy? They meet the Galaxy at Qwest Field, home to the Seattle Sounders and the most passionate fans in the MLS.
The Galaxy for all their firepower are 5-5-5 all-time against their Western Conference counterparts and were 0-1-1 against them in the regular season. So they know that RSL will not be an easy team to beat.
Their manager is Jason Kries who has an interesting factoid as a player. Kreis is the only player to bag the historic first goal for two clubs. He struck first for Dallas and for RSL. Sounds like a good omen for a manager taking a club to their first ever MLS final. For all his feats as a striker, Kries was never able to crack the US national team.
As this article points out, many in his team seeming to be heading the same way. Real's strength lies in the fact that their players live under the radar away from the national limelight. That suits them as it appears that they made it to the MLS finals through stealth. But they have beaten the Crew and Fire against conventional wisdom.
Only Robbie Findley seems to stand a realistic chance of replacing Charlie Davies on the MNT and his performance in the finals will be keenly followed by Bob Bradley. The rest of the RSL standouts, Kyle Beckerman, Nat Borchers, and Nick Rimando run up against a strong depth chart in their respective positions.
David Beckham will be playing with painkillers to combat a bone bruise. RSL will hope that Jamison Olave, easily their best defender against the Fire will be hundred percent fit. RSL has some very good speed up front with Yura Movsisyan and Robbie Findley which should keep the Galaxy's Omar Gonzalez and Gregg Berhalter on their toes. On the other hand, the Galaxy will offset that with their superiority in set pieces and fast counterattacks.
I am looking for an upset. It will be the best thing for the game.