Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Galaxy-Santos? Epic Storylines

We're not daydreaming here at all. Well, maybe a little but we're looking ahead at the potential Galaxy-Santos matchup and, well, we like what we see.

That's not to say a Galaxy/Toronto-Seattle series wouldn't be grand. It would mean a lot to MLS to have another Champions League finalist, but the possible series between the Galaxy and Santos Laguna is brimming with storylines, possibly the grandest storylines of any potential matchup anywhere down the road in this tournament.


* Herculez Gomez vs. LA Galaxy - The legend of Herculez was created at Home Depot Center. Gomez was one of the bright spots in a successful 2005 season, and the breakthrough kid won over hearts while consistently filling the back of the net. Gomez was dealt away a year later and after mixed success in MLS found his form in Mexico.

* Landon Donovan vs. Oswaldo Sanchez - Do we really need to say more? Well, okay. Donovan and Sanchez had some epic battles in previous US-Mexico games. A lot of back-and-forth and trash-talking has gone on, with Donovan usually having had the last laugh. Donovan scored on Sanchez in a friendly in 2007, afterward Sanchez slid into Eddie Johnson; later that year, Donovan buried a penalty kick past Sanchez in the Gold Cup final.

* Landon Donovan vs. Mexico - Santos is not representative of Mexico but anytime Donovan steps on Mexican soil (in a soccer capacity anyway) he instantly becomes Public Enemy No. 1. His reception in Morelia last year was hostile, and Torreon should be equally as inviting.

* David Beckham's first trip to Mexico - That was supposed to have happened when the Galaxy played in Morelia but Beckham was left behind in order to give him some extra rest - three games in eight days was too much for Becks in 2011. Beckham would presumably visit Santos and touch off a frenzy, as he did in Costa Rica and Honduras a year ago.

* MLS vs. Mexico - This is an ever-present storyline and one that will not cease to exist. How do MLS clubs fare against their Mexican counterparts? In this case, the question will be how does the top team in MLS, the one with the high-priced big-name stars, fare against a solid Mexican club.

I may have missed a storyline there somewhere but I think those would be plenty to grab attention on both sides of the border to begin with.

Of course, I'm not necessarily hoping this happens. In all honesty, I'd like to see another MLS team in the final, and an LA/Toronto vs Seattle series would guarantee that, but the games will have to be played before we can really start hammering out story ideas.

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