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- By Whirly
The first initial reaction was this game was going to be a hard fought battle. It was an opportunity for New York show that they are ready to make a cup run. Oddly enough for this match up it took European players to bring life to awkward start. New York started off some other Galaxy(heh) and came out sooo flat. It took them about 18 minutes to figure out that they were playing in rival type setting.
New York started to create more possessions. Ex European players Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry started to win battles that brought a sense of urgency to the end of the first half. The second half there was plenty of intensity but to many touches on the ball and not whole lot of chances since (to much long ball). New York found the back of the net at the end of the game and reminding the soccer world, “you play to the final whistle.”
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On the other side of the ball LA played at best okay overall. When they did play with possession, the players didn’t have an end in mind. There were to many what should I do now moments. Despite all that there was life late in the second half when Gyasi Zardes came onto the pitch. Zardes along with Robbie Keane started to show that good thing happen when you’re on the same page. Zardes had a breakaway that was stopped. Like New York, the Galaxy got frustrated when things didn’t come to them and it created 25-minute lull of hope ball. Let me just kick it a direction and something will happen. LA showed that they missed Beckham and need to find a style that fits there new personal.
In every rivalry game there are factors that just help create a nervous atmosphere and strange stories. In this game it was in the rain, which led to more tackles. Landon Donovan not being invited to the US team created a personal distraction as well led the New York fans calling him “US reject.” Last factor was strange officiating. There were times that guys would go shoulder to shoulder for 15 seconds but then a little hip bump would result in a foul being called. On top of that, the “icing on the cake” that didn’t help the official was that he didn’t allow LA to use the advantage rule after a foul was called that led Landon on breakaway that should been aloud.
Last Thoughts: Player of the game goes to Robbie Keane. He played the entire game at full speed and didn’t back down to anyone. All in all not bad of a game but it was teaching point for both clubs that you need to take advantage of momentum shifts and use quality possessions (don’t play keep away just cause, have a purpose!!).
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