Keep An Eye On: LA vs. Dallas

In Giovani Dos Santos’ first start in Major League Soccer, he capped off a great performance with a goal four minutes after the hour mark before being substituted five minutes later. This was the second time in which Dos Santos has scored in a Galaxy shirt. The first: in the G’s 5-1 thrashing of Central FC in the CONCACAF Champions League a few days before.

All attention will now turn to tomorrow’s match against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium, a place where they have not won since Mike Magee scored the only goal all the way back on July 28th, 2012, for a 0-1 victory.

Dallas Looking To Bounce Back

Before being completely dominated by — to the tune of two goals to nil — Chicago, Dallas had won their previous four league matches; and six of their last eight before the loss. They will want to get back on track against a team that is known to not do very well in hostile environments.

Blas Perez will be the center of attention for Dallas on Saturday night, and rightly so. However, he’s had a bit of an off season to this point, scoring only five times in 14 appearances. Right now the man to watch out for is 23-year-old Colombian Fabian Castillo who leads the team in goals with eight. Needless to say, Dallas has more than one capable goal scorer and it will be up to the Galaxy defense to stop them all.

Which Galaxy Side Will Show Up

Momentum will certainly be on the Galaxy’s side going into Saturday’s match after scoring eight times in two matches and conceding just twice. Who is going to show up though? Will it be the Los Angeles side that we have seen in recent weeks, or is it going to be the shaky defensive side of old that shows up on road matches? Yes, they won on the road against the Colorado Rapids, but they are the Colorado Rapids, one of the worst teams in the league this season.

There will have been another week of practice under the squad’s belt which means that Giovani Dos Santos will have had more time to gel with his teammates. This is a very scary thought. Against Seattle, LA moved the ball from side to side very effectively and constantly probed for openings in the Sounder’s leaky defense. The understanding of where each other is going to be on the pitch and the chemistry in the squad will only get better.

Moving AJ DeLaGarza to right back, in Dan Gargan’s absence, has done amazing things for this defense. Sure, they have let the odd goal in here and there but for the most part, the defense has looked solid. One of the reasons the transition of DLG back to right back has worked so smoothly? Leonardo has been good the last few matches. Let us say that again – Leonardo, yes that one, has played well in recent weeks.

Stats to Look Out For

In the overall realm of the meetings of these two clubs, Los Angeles certainly has the upper hand winning 31 times compared to Dallas’ 22 victories, while drawing on eleven occasions. The goal scoring is in favor of the defending MLS champion as well, 113 goals, 27 more than the opposition.

But Dallas has certainly had the advantage in front of their own fans. They have won 17 of 32 matches in their history while leading the goal scoring race as well. There has also been 102 goals scored at the Toyota Stadium with 55 going the home side’s way.

Expect a frantic, high-scoring affair, especially in the warm Texas air. This match will be won by the side best able to remain composed and focused throughout the entire ninety minutes.