Friday, August 31, 2007

Last-place battle

I'm trying to get amped up for tomorrow's Real Salt Lake-Galaxy match. I am, really. But it's been difficult to do so.

David Beckham will not play and may not play any more this year because of a sprained MCL. Worse, the two teams aren't very good. Combined, the two sides are 6-21-11 in league play. Only Toronto and their ghastly offense (18 goals) has scored fewer goals than the Galaxy (21), while RSL has scored a league-low 17 goals this season in 20 games.

Yet there the Galaxy was, slugging it out with Pachuca on Wednesday in the SuperLiga final and surely if the Galaxy could spar with and nearly beat Pachuca, they can beat RSL, right?

Well, that was an emotionally-charged final. Saturday's winner also won't receive one million dollars, so that argument doesn't exactly hold true. Also, you have to account for the fatigue factor. The Galaxy is, according to Frank Yallop, f-in knackered while RSL also played mid-week.

Perhaps Robbie Findley will want to put his stamp on the game against his old team and will get on the scoreboard early. I think the best that could happen for this game is for RSL to score early because that would force the Galaxy to step their own game up much like they did against Pachuca.

Neither side has much playoff life left. The Galaxy has that fool's gold that is "games in hand" as the Galaxy has played four fewer games than Colorado and Columbus and three fewer than Chicago. But those teams are far ahead of the Galaxy in the standings, so much so that even if you assume the Galaxy will win those four games in hand, the Galaxy still wouldn't make up enough ground to catch them. Plus, the Galaxy still has to play at Kansas City, Houston, Columbus, Chicago and Salt Lake.

Real Salt Lake has also played fewer games than the Rapids and the Crew but their attack has been lousy all year. Their problems are vast and likely can't be fixed during the remainder of this season.

So the fight to stay out of last place will unfold at Home Depot Center on Saturday. Let's just hope a soccer game unfolds as well.

1 comment:

Edward said...

Have you seen that trio of Argentinians RSL has LB? Not a bad pick up; wouldn't be surprised to see them with a few points.