Top 5 Things I Learned From LA Galaxy 0-3 FC Dallas

CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 24: Atiba Harris  of FC Dallas paces the ball between Landon Donovan  and Edson Buddle  of the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first half during the MLS match on October 24, 2010 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated FC Dallas 2-1. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Here are my observations about the Western Conference Final Sunday night between LA Galaxy and FC Dallas:

  1. LA Galaxy were awful when it came to passing, particularly in the second half. As a result, Bruce Arena’s side committed too many mistakes, lost the ball too many times and made it an uphill battle for themselves to mount serious attacks when moving the ball across the pitch.
  2. FC Dallas played a very organized style of play, defended superbly, kept their shape well and attacked with speed. All of these attributes combined was the difference why Dallas won and LA lost.
  3. LA Galaxy’s defending and marking was woeful. For Dallas’s first goal, the defenders gave him too much time and space. For the second goal, there was literally no marking near the back post. And for the third goal, LA was left flat-footed as Dallas remained onside and ran on to the ball to score.
  4. FC Dallas defended in numbers, getting 9 players behind the ball. Not only did Dallas defend well, but they also cut off many Galaxy attack by blocking shots and passes played near or in front of the penalty box. Galaxy instead tried to cross the ball into the box but Dallas had a comfortable time defending those balls all night.
  5. LA Galaxy ran out of ideas. In the first half, the team was far more creative. In the second half, they were unable to open apart the Dallas team. And after the third goal went in for Dallas, LA lost its killer instinct.

FC Dallas thoroughly deserved to win the match and become Western Conference champions. Congratulations to FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman and his team of hard working players.

16 thoughts on “Top 5 Things I Learned From LA Galaxy 0-3 FC Dallas”

  1. You forgot to mention the bad linesman call – or lack of – in the 2nd half which led to a Dallas goal. Plain bad luck.

    This is the first time I’ve seen football live in the US and I disagree with some of your comments. It’s clear to me that Buddle #14 is pretty useless – skills and imagination were sadly lacking. From the 1st half Dallas were dominating. I thought that the 2nd half came to life when #88 was brought on. He had pace and energy. He helped elevate the game for Galaxy.

    One thing that was interesting – Galaxy doesn’t have anyone brave or strong enough to shoot at goal from outside the 18 yard/penalty box. You need that in your box of tricks.

    1. Which bad linesman call? If you’re talking about Chavez’s goal – he was onside by at least a yard at the time of the pass. The same linesman messed up on a pass to Donovan (or Magee?) in the first half but this one he got right.

  2. LA Galaxy looked heartless last night. The players did not look motivated. It looked like thery were playing the Porto Rico Islanders again. That was embarrasing. The girls that played at halftime showed more in their 10 minutes than the whole Galaxy team in 90. I hope the players that are expected to retire, retire indeed. Go LA Galaxy, Go ahead and start over.

  3. Simply put, the star or designated players as they’re called have shown again they’re overrated when it comes to their influence on the pitch in the big matches. Most of these players come to the US towards the end of the career so this is expected and not shocking (consider exits of Henry & Beckham)…

      1. that is pretty funny LI Matt.

        Ram S., I tend to agree with you after watching Ljungberg for the last two years, he has no chance of competing with the young up-and-comers but…

        Donovan is a DP too, and played very well.
        Bechham was taken to task in the first Seattle game, but his passing is so good, he almost single handedly won the second, so it is hard to call him overrated.

  4. I felt that the biggest problem for LA was the lack of creativity. Every time the Galaxy got the ball into Dallas’ half, they would try a ridiculous long ball into the box from 30 yards out. And every time Hartman caught it and sent it back the other way.

    A lot of this can be blamed on Beckham. His “greatness” really rests on his ability to find incredible angles on set pieces, but when that ability doesn’t work, it just ruins possession and any chance to set up a proper attack when you do it over and over again in the run of play. And the fact that Buddle and Magee are trying to kick those types of approaches too? Completely inexcusable. Arenas should’ve threatened to bench anyone blowing an attacking half possession by kicking a long ball to no one in particular. Instead he’ll be watching the MLS final from home.

  5. Man Dallas is fun to watch.
    I don’t like ties ( at all ! ), but I think that Dallas only lost 2 games with Hartmann in goal.

    They just don’t lose, and I like I said before hard to imagine them losing the MLS CUP….when they don’t lose.

    ps. I had them at 4th or 5th most likely to win it all just like everyone else.


  6. Man, this is going to be the lamest MLS Cup. Two teams who had no chance of making teh final and two teams who have the worst attendance in the league,.

    1. If they had no chance of making it why did they make it.
      Im not sure about Colorado but the only reason Dallas has trouble drawing is because the Dallas Sports Media sucks at supporting American Soccer. I dare you to go to the Dallas Morning News Website and tell me what you think of the FC DALLAS tab.

    2. There is a shocker….Robert ripping on MLS after two incredible games.
      Just to recap, you have yet to answer the following in your rants:

      Dan asks if they have no chance of making it why did they make it ?

      I asked for you to state that Seattle will never open up more of QWest, which you inferred to back up your post/rant.
      I asked you to tell my why ALeague/USL/NASL isn’t succeeding even though you said that was the best system for this country.

      Please reply to just Dan’s post, we have wasted waaaaay too much bandwidth/time with the other ones.

      Dan, I looked at the major newspapers in the areas throughout the league over the last couple of years….it is pathetic. LA was in the Finals last year and there was no story in the LA Times the whole week before the game.

  7. Fc Dallas’s style of play is what Galaxy couldn’t handle. Everyone did their job to the fullest.
    FCD sufficated any build up play by the Galaxy. Kinda reminded me of the Liverpool vs real madrid uefa CL matchup where Liverpool beat madrid in both legs by apllying the same tactic.
    Galaxy were frustrated and already beaten by the time the 2nd goal came. Congrats to FCD and can’t wait for THE MLS CUP!!!

  8. I don’t know guys; complaining about the lack of newspaper coverage for MLS teams implies that anyone still reads newspapers.

    The New York Times actually does a pretty good job of covering soccer on their website. There are new articles every day, often concerning MLS but sometimes about La Liga or EPL, and I even saw an article late last week about Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. They could improve by writing more match summaries (currently they only write up EPL and MLS games), but overall it’s nice to have some info that I wouldn’t normally expect to find in an American newspaper.

  9. LA’s strategy in both games against Seattle was to get an early goal via set piece and then remain well-organized in the back while defending and countering. There wasn’t a lot of skillful build up play. I’m sure they would’ve done the same had Hartman not stood on his head. But Dallas scoring first completely changed the dynamic and forced LA to take the initiative, at which they failed miserably. There can be little question that the better TEAM won.

    And Stevio, Dallas’ 2nd goal was legit. There was a player in an offside position when the ball was played but since he didn’t play the ball and wasn’t involved, the linesman rightly judged him passive and allowed the goal.

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