Thursday, May 10, 2007

Revs @ LA Galaxy Preview

Saturday will be the first trip for the Revs to the Home Depot Center since the opener last season. That one was a fairly drab affair with the Revolution coming out the better in a 1-0 affair. However, Steve Nicol's boys won't have Clint Dempsey to tip the scales this year as they take on Landycakes and some other superfluous players going through the motions until Beckham arrives in a few months. (click title to read more)

Due to the wonders of marketing-based scheduling, LA will have only played one MLS regular season matchup between their second game (April 12) and their fourth game (May 12). They did play, and beat, New York in the US Open Cup on Wednesday. If you're one of the 30,000 or so people in the country who care about it, they won 3-1 while down a man with all four goals scored in extra time. Some of the Galaxy starters saw a good amount of action, but not enough to have an effect on their output on Saturday.

Speaking of rest, Shalrie Joseph is fresh off his one game suspension and Andy Dorman was substituted out early in the second half during Sunday's game so both key midfielders will be ready to go. What is anything from a sure bet is the health of Pat Noonan, who missed Sunday's game after starting the game in DC last Thursday. Noonan is a first choice starter for the Revs, but with Adam Cristman providing a different (more physical) look up top, it'll be interesting to see who lines up in the first eleven Saturday night.

Another good question is who the gaffer now favors at left back, a position the team is suddenly almost too deep at. With Micheal Parkhurst returning and bumping James Riley from central defense, it is unclear if Avery John is favored over Riley. John won the spot after returning from the World Cup and through Riley's injury problems early last summer. When Riley returned, his form was off from the spring and he lost the starting role for the rest of the year. Riley has been playing very well in Parkhurst's stead. He has also allowed John to have reduced minutes in the last three games, and it'll be interesting to see who lines up at 10:30 EDT tomorrow night. Joey Franchino is another option at left back after returning from his leave of absence. Although, he is more likely to supplement the midfield, possibly giving Larentowicz some time off.

LA has been known to play an up-tempo game, especially at home. For this reason, I suspect the Revs will look to play defensively and then try to exploit them on the counter attack. However, if they allow players like Landon Donovan to dictate the game, they'll come away with a loss. It is very important for Joseph and Larentowicz to impose their physical presence early on. Donovan has been known to cower and disappear when faced with a tough battle. Give him space, though, and the Revs are in for a long night.

Another matchup problem for the back line to worry about is Nate Jaqua. He was pish for the Fire at times in his career, but he's done well against New England at times due to their size differential, especially with Riley. Jaqua hasn't found his groove with LA yet, and here's hoping it takes him a bit longer.

Other Previews:

Revolution Preview
MLSnet Preview
Fox Soccer
LA Soccer News

Probable Revs Lineup

Reis, Heaps, Parkhurst, John, Ralston, Larentowicz, Joseph, Smith, Dorman, Twellman, Noonan

1 Comment:

Adrian said...

Especially with Jacqua's size, I'd start John over Riley. They have some decent speed in midfield with Quaranta, so I'd take Larentowicz over Franchino.