Monday, November 14, 2005

MLS Cup 2005 review

Let it be known far and wide that the LA Galaxy is a far better team then just about any soccer commentator knew. The bulk of us thought LA was done against San Jose, but they proved us wrong. We then, for the most part, figured that New England was going to snap the things back into alignment and again, we were wrong. If it wasn't for the fact that most of us undervalued Colorado more then LA, we would be looking down right foolish about now. Anyway, great show by LA and congratulations to all the Galaxy fans.

With that stated, I feel that I must point out that LA did not win the game as much as New England lost it. That was the worst match I've seen the Revolution play since they lost to Chivas back in July (oddly enough also 1-0). What was up with their plan of attack? Let's try to drive it down the middle of the field and see what happens? Does that ever work? Did they forget that they had Taylor Twellman on the team? They only got 11 shots off and only 2 of those were on goal. The strangest thing of all for me was the way the Revs played during most of the second overtime session. They didn't seem to be going for the win. They were not getting their guys up and that let LA stop any and all forward momentum they had. A very bad day for the Revolution and still, they only lost by 1.

For LA, their plan seemed to revolve around frustrating their opponents and then catch them sleeping on counter attacks. A bit risky with the Galaxy's backline problems, but it worked out for them. They were able to stop New England from stringing passes together and kept their backline solid enough to catch the Revs offside seven times. And let's hear it for Guillermo "Pando" Ramirez! He came out of nowhere to get only his second goal of the season.

As far as the game in general, I'm sure this is not what MLS was hoping for. Yes, everyone loves a high-scoring game, but people are also fine with few goals provided there is a lot of action around the nets. Too bad that yesterday's match was a midfield affair with a lot of weak ball control. At least there were lots of fouls allowing for endless replays of people slamming into each other resulting in one or both of them falling down. There was some great excitement during the overtime periods, so hopefully that will be what people remember. One last thing, who thought that band was a good idea for half time? Could they be any less excited about being there? At least the band for the All-Star Game got into the whole soccer mood.

So to sum up, New England played remarkably bad while LA had moments of joy. The game was not really that interesting to watch and the half-time show will hopefully soon be a distant memory in my mind. You know, I'm starting to wonder if Pizza Hut Park might be cursed. Of all the games played there, none of them have been that interesting. The best I can remember is the FCD vs. DC United US Open Cup game. Maybe it is the name; it just sounds "blah."

But enough of my ranting, LA Galaxy are the best in the US and deserve their moment in the sun. Few of us thought they had it in them, yet they made it happen, proving once again that great teams answer critics on the field.


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