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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


TANGENTS

The 2011 MLS Cup Final Preview In Less Than 300 Words

Written by on November 19, 2011 | 14 Comments »
Posted in Houston Dynamo, Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS

MLS Cup Final  – LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup Final 6:00 PST/9:00 EST

The winner of Sunday’s final will become the second team in MLS history to win three MLS Cup titles and will be just behind D.C. United who have won the Cup four times.

Houston Dynamo are in their third MLS Cup final in the last six seasons

During this season’s regular season the Galaxy won 1-0 at home and the Dynamo won the return 3-1

Biggest difference between the sides in the regular season was goals against.

Galaxy only allowed 28; Dynamo 41; however the numbers are deceptive as Dynamo tightened up considerably over the final few weeks of the season

The Dynamo have not allowed a goal since early in the conference semifinal first leg against Philadelphia, 263 minutes ago.

Houston defender Andre Hainault is enjoying a purple patch – he has three goals in the last five games. 

The emergence of Camargo in the Dynamo midfield has had a positive ripple effect. Geoff Cameron has moved to centre back and the goals against have dropped dramatically

The Dynamo have had 17 different players score in 2011 and seven players with at least four goals in the regular season.

Los Angeles Galaxy has spent only two rounds out of the last 22 rounds of play out of first place overall in the league – winners of the Supporters’ Shield

Ten of the Galaxy’s wins this year have been by 1-0 – 5 home and 5 away

“Play-off” Mike Magee – he scored three key goals in each of the Galaxy’s three playoff wins

Magee has scored 8 goals this season behind Landon Donovan’s 14

The weekly podcast will review the game and so if you have any questions or points to make then please feel free to post.

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14 responses to “The 2011 MLS Cup Final Preview In Less Than 300 Words”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    “Biggest difference between the sides in the regular season was goals against.”

    Biggest similarity = Philip Anschutz (AEG and co-founder of Major League Soccer) owns BOTH TEAMS! Almost as farcical and self indulgent as allowing an Eric Wynalda to interview Sepp Blatter on race relations and FIFA politics.

    Enjoy the “game”! 🙂

  2. Gus Keri says:

    Chelsea – Liverpool:

    Starting line-up:

    Liverpool: Reina, Enrique, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Lucas, Adam, Kuyt, Maxi, Bellamy, Suarez.
    Subs: Doni, Downing, Carroll, Carragher, Henderson, Kelly, Spearing.

    Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luis, Terry, Cole, Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Drogba, Malouda
    Subs: Turnbull, Bosingwa, Romeu, Meireles, Sturridge, Anelka, Torres

    It looks like Liverpool will not be using a long ball style and will not be relying on crosses a lot. It’s going to be more Braca-like style.

    Starting former Liverpool players Torres, Meireles and Anelka on the bench is strange to say the least. It might be better for Chelsea.

  3. The fact that AEG owns both clubs is very underreported. And, I think the fact that Houston was in the Eastern conference was something AEG wants to remain, imagine, they can constantly try to win the eastern and western conference.

  4. J Rob says:

    Surely time for Glen Johnson to move to midfield. Great goal but terrible defending all second-half. Reina’s save from Luiz was crucial. Liverpool very good in 1st half but why no pressing in 2nd? Mata too good to press? Loved that Dalglish finely realised he has a squad of players that need to be rotated according to who the opponents are. Henderson looked good off bench. Good to see Downing not automatically chosen.

    Chelsea have problems. Another day they might have been down 2 or 3 at half-time. Tiote in January?

  5. Guardian headline writers suffering from brain farts?
    Headline “Wenger casts doubt on Arsenal future”
    Story opening line – ” Arsène Wenger has confirmed his commitment to Arsenal after reports emerged from France casting doubt on his future at the club.”

  6. Gus Keri says:

    Give AEG some credits, guys. If it wasn’t for them, MLS would not have existed.

    At the begining, nobody wanted to invest in soccer. They came along and co-founded the league and initially owned the majority of the teams. They even bailed out some teams which were in trouble to keep the league going.

    But since the arrival of Don Garber, he encouraged the policy of a separate ownership for each team. And they started selling teams one by one to interested inverstors. They were left with only two; LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo.

    They have been trying to offload Houston, as far as I know, but no buyer showed up. they sold part of it to Oscar De La Hoya.

    It wasn’t the first time two teams with the same owners met in the final. It wasn’t a problem before and it won’t be tonight.

  7. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – As I am a cynic, I think there are quite a few wealthy businessmen who played soccer in collge or rich celebrity soccer fans (i.e Drew Carey) who wouldn’t mind investing in an MLS team. I myself developed a project to establish Miami FC as part of the MLS a few years ago.

    It may just be that AEG has its own vision of the MLS and their promotion of hair model Beckham and his dog Spice. Seattle is case in point of the need for quality young players and not over the hill hair models who can place a soccer ball on a dime if given 10 seconds to survey the field, fix their lovely hair and then make a 30 yard pass which is only possible in a weaker league.

    *Typical American promotion strategy… instead of educating the customer and treating them like intelligent folks, let’s sensationalize and hype the shit out of a product!

  8. Gus Keri says:

    SL:

    “I myself developed a project to establish Miami FC as part of the MLS a few years ago.”

    You and the like of Drew Carey are new bandwagon jumpers.

    Where were you in the early nineties when MLS was looking for investors?

    You either didn’t bother or if you were interested, you didn’t leave your contact information.

  9. Tim says:

    If Beckham does leave, who could they possibly bring in considering the TV deal in LA….gotta keep stars in the Galaxy fans eyes?

  10. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – In the early nineties I was in college. Just because the MLS claimed they were looking for investors doesn’t mean AEG accepted everyone who “applied”. The educated business elite and financially wealthy of this country and others, have always traveled and knew the worldwide appeal of soccer and new trend appeal in USA.

    In other words, just because a company puts out an ad for a vacant position, it doesn’t mean they havem’t already considered someone to fill the post and simply put an add out due to Equal Employment Opportunity.

    In the early nineties the Economy was booming and I am confident that it wasn’t difficult to find a few millionaire investors per team. The problem was the rigid contract and laws which AEG had set up for MLS “franchises”.

    There is more to the early so called struggle of MLS than meets the eye (i.e. AEG’s grip on the league and Anschutz’ relationship with owners of various baseball and American football teams).

  11. Gus Keri says:

    SL:

    There are 19 teams next season in MLS. 17 of them are not owned by AEG. All of them accepted those rigid contracts and laws you are talking about.

    Without those rigid laws, MLS might have suffered the same fate like the old NASL and the WUSA and all other leagues that folded because of poor planning.

  12. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – Fair enough but it is still “FISHY” when wealthy members of an “FA” who develop a soccer league are also owners of a team… let alone TWO with one on each coast!

  13. Gus Keri says:

    SL:

    I didn’t speak to any one in AEG but I have a feeling they will be very happy to sell you what left of Houston if you want to buy.
    It might be better for you than betting on games. LOL

  14. John Bladen says:

    Gus: Well said.

    People can piss & moan about the Hunt family & Anschutz all they want. These guys stepped up with cash to float the league. Some reports I’ve read suggest they invested as much as $400m in the league – more than half of that in covering annual operating losses – before the league stabilized and they were actually able to start selling franchises.

    Do the math on every expansion team ever sold in this league. Anschutz & the Hunt family still aren’t “in the black” on this investment. America would not have a “D1” league if it weren’t for the patience and financial backing of these men. Yet some like to whine about their “influence”.

    IF anyone with ties to Miami had truly been willing to invest the requisite amount of money and commit to operating a team (whether profitable or otherwise) for a decade, they would have had a franchise. MLS has wanted to be back in the South East for some time, they just can’t find the right partner (even Carlos Slim) to work with.

    Frankly, talk of monsters under the bed is just childish.

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