Philadelphia get a true test, but no Beckham.On Form
Philadelphia Union: Despite being down two of their regular starters at the back, the Union played an organized and determined match in Portland on Friday. The result my have gone the way of the home side in the 1-0 match but Peter Nowak should be pleased with how his backline played in such harsh conditions.
Los Angeles Galaxy: Both Landon Donovan and David Beckham played well this past weekend, but only Donovan will step out against Philadelphia, since Beckham was left to rest back in California. Donovan has scored in the last few Galaxy games, and could keep the streak going against Philadelphia.
Philadelphia: It's getting a bit old ragging on Sebastien Le Toux for not scoring, simply because of how nice of a guy he is, but at the same time, he set the precedent last season that he would be the Union's guy and so far this year, he's disappointed. He seem just seems slightly uncomfortable with himself and has really been a shell of the MVP-caliber form he exhibited in 2010. One goal from a penalty kick simply isn't enough for a team's main offensive threat through seven matches.
Los Angeles: It's tiresome to come up with another pun for the Angel fallen from grace, but Juan Pablo Angel's continued poor production makes it necessary. Bottom line, the Galaxy need goals from their designated player at the forward position, or Bruce Arena's continued loyalty to the striker could start to look as short-sighted as it once was to Claudio Reyna.
Philadelphia: With Danny Califf and Jordan Harvey returning to the lineup, the defense will be back to its complete self, a boost for the club. Also, the news that David Beckham won't be playing in the match will suit the Union just fine as they can focus more of their defensive efforts on shutting down Landon Donovan, a player who has been in great form of late.
Los Angeles: With Beckham out, it's possible Arena will look to surprise the Union with a faster, more mobile midfield that can - if on its game - play with guile and skill. Paulo Cardozo and Miguel Lopez could be key cogs to this effort, combining with Donovan and Juninho.
Philadelphia: The Union have scored less than half as many goals (5) and allowed less than a third (3) as many goals as the Galaxy this season. Look for the home side to try and change that against a team who hasn't exactly been air tight this year.
Los Angeles: Recent quotes indicate that six years after his 2005 forced trade from the Galaxy, Carlos Ruiz is still bitter, which indicates he could have extra motivation against his old squad.
Shane Evans: Despite the Union playing well defensively, the Galaxy are arguably the best team around right now and should collect all three points in a 2-1 win at PPL Park, much to the chagrin of the Philly faithful.
Andrea Canales: The Galaxy tend to draw on the road, so that's a safe prediction. 1-1
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