Match Preview: Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy

Dynamo seek revenge after 2009 playoffs defeat

HOU_GalaxyGamePreview

Photo Credit: 
Juan Miranda / Getty Images

The basics
Los Angeles Galaxy (2-0-0) at Houston
Dynamo (1-0-1)

Saturday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.

Robertson Stadium

All-Time
Record: Houston
leads regular-season series 4-3-4.  LA Galaxy leads overall series 5-4-4. Houston is 2-2-2 against LA Galaxy at
Robertson Stadium.

Special Ticket Offers

Television
KHOU 11.2,
TV Informa

Houston-area radio
SportsTalk
790, La Ranchera 850

Last meeting:
November 13, 2009 – The 2009 Western Conference final fittingly came
down to the two teams tied atop the conference in points over the
course of the season, LA and Houston. A goal by Andrew Hainault, which
could have proven the game-winner, was controversially called off by
referee Terry Vaughn in the 80th minute. In extra time, the Galaxy
converted through Greg Berhalter (103rd minute) and a Landon Donovan PK
(109th minute) to win 2-0. Multiple light outages plagued the game
throughout the night, causing significant stoppages to the game.

What's at stake?
Top spot in the Western Conference, for starters. Last year, both teams
were tied atop the conference on points but the Galaxy had home-field
advantage due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. With such a small margin
separating the teams last year, the importance of a head-to-head
matchup cannot be
underestimated. After its defeat of Salt Lake, if Houston wins, it will
send a definitive message to the rest of the league that the Dynamo
will be in contention throughout the year despite the offseason player
departures.

Heroes & Villains:
Luis Landín and Dominic Oduro against Omar Gonzalez and Donovan
Ricketts – With Cam Weaver suffering a setback in training this week
and Brian Ching out for at least the next month, the Houston Dynamo
forward production will have to come from the two remaining forwards on
the roster, Landín and Oduro. Both have already contributed in 2010,
with Landín drawing the second penalty against Real Salt Lake and Oduro
registering a nice assist on the lone Dynamo goal against Dallas.
However, forwards get paid to score goals. Gonzalez and Ricketts helped
turn the league’s most vulnerable defenses in 2008 into one of the
stingiest in 2009. In the team’s first two games, the Galaxy have given
up zero goals, and Ricketts has not had much to do.

Sean Franklin against Brad Davis – The Dynamo offense seems to be at
its most lethal down the left side through Davis and defender Mike
Chabala. With his two penalty kick conversions, Davis has an
impressive seven goals and thirteen assists in his last 28 regular
season games. Franklin came back from injury last season and was one of
the few Galaxy players to play every minute of the postseason, helping
the Galaxy to the championship game.

Stat that makes you go "Hmm ..."
The Dynamo failed to score a single goal against the Galaxy last
year in three games: a 1-0 regular season road
loss, a 0-0 tie at Robertson, and a 2-0 loss in the Western Conference finals.

He said it:
Pat Onstad: “We’re excited to go out against a fellow undefeated and
for us it’s a good test early in the year. We have a pretty good
rivalry with them dating back to the San Jose days. There are a few
teams in the league we try to measure ourselves up to and LA is one of
them, especially right now.”