MLS

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Americans Abroad - Feb. 13-16 Review the top Americans that have taken their talents overseas this year. /foxsoccer/usa/gallery/gallery-americans-abroad-feb-13-16-performances-players-overseas-021614 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021614-SOCCER-hitting-the-mark-PI_20140217014153889_136_102.JPG
Best Snapshots of the Week - Feb 15 - 21 Review FOX Soccer's best images from the world of soccer /foxsoccer/world/gallery/soccer-football-snapshots-of-the-week-february-15-21-images-players-clubs-managers-fans-021514 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/15/021514-SOCCER-Bayern-Munich-Shaqiri-HF-PI-_20140215113846610_136_102.JPG
Best Snapshots of the Week - Feb 9 -15 Review FOX Soccer's best images from the world of soccer /foxsoccer/world/gallery/soccer-football-snapshots-of-the-week-february-9-15-images-players-clubs-managers-fans-021214 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/12/11/121113-Soccer-Steven-Gerrard-PI-AA_20131211153738813_136_102.JPG
Best Snapshots of the Weekend - Feb. 8-14 Review FOX Soccer's best images from the world of soccer /foxsoccer/premierleague/gallery/soccer-football-snapshots-of-the-week-february-8-14-images-players-clubs-managers-fans-020814 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/08/020814-Soccer-Eden-to-the-top-PI-AA_20140208115908126_136_102.JPG
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MLS 195 8 MLS Cup: How do the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo match up? 31434877 Eyes on the prize Eyes+on+the+prize MLS

Houston and Los Angeles booked their spots in MLS Cup on Sunday. It is the second consecutive meeting at this stage for the two sides, but the faces have changed a bit since the Galaxy won the title at the Home Depot Center last year.

As the first salvo in the buildup to MLS Cup, FOX Soccer offers up a position-by-position breakdown of the two sides. Injuries could alter the equation before the match, but this evaluation suggests there won't be much to separate the sides in Carson, Calif. on Dec. 1. Read on to find out how the two teams stack up ahead of the showpiece final.
 

Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images - Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/1_20121119234747659_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/1_20121119234747659_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Cup: How do the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo match up? 31436560 Tally Hall vs. Josh Saunders Tally+Hall+vs.+Josh+Saunders MLS

Saunders stabilized the Galaxy's fluid goalkeeping situation upon his return from a personal leave of absence in the middle of the season. He usually manages the game well and supplies a steady presence between the sticks. But he can't match the type of performances Hall has submitted over the course of this season. Hall stood out as one of the league's best goalkeepers during the campaign by making the saves he needed to make and rescuing the Dynamo when required.

EDGE: Dynamo

 

US PRESSWIRE - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/2_20121119234748663_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/2_20121119234748663_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Cup: How do the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo match up? 31434879 Defensive clash Defensive+clash MLS

Probable Dynamo starters (R to L): Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe

Probable Galaxy starters (R to L): Sean Franklin, Omar González, A.J. DeLaGarza (if unfit, then Tommy Meyer), Todd Dunivant

Los Angeles boasts perhaps the best individual defender in González and shines defensively when all four starters are healthy, but the Dynamo's overall unit continues to perform to a higher standard. Boswell and Taylor comprise a formidable duo in central defense. Ashe and Sarkodie aren't quite as established as Dunivant, but they do their defensive work and offer width on the overlap. Most importantly, the Dynamo back four offers a measure of stability the Galaxy cannot at this juncture.

EDGE: Dynamo

US PRESSWIRE - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/3_20121119234748664_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/3_20121119234748664_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Cup: How do the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo match up? 31436561 Battle for the middle Battle+for+the+middle MLS

Probable Dynamo starters (R to L): Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark, Adam Moffat, Brad Davis

Probable Galaxy starters (R to L): Christian Wilhelmsson, David Beckham, Juninho, Mike Magee

Both sides are stacked with talent through the middle of the park. Houston focuses its energies in the wide areas and permits Davis and Garcia to tuck inside to create in front of the combative Clark and Moffat. Los Angeles attacks from a variety of angles with Beckham floating diagonals from deep, Juninho scurrying around to cover lots of ground and pick up any scraps and Magee and Wilhelmsson supplying combination play and width on the flanks.

Beckham's decision to leave the Galaxy after this match probably tips the scales in favor of the home side. As several European sides can attest, Beckham will do whatever is required to depart on a high note.

SLIGHT EDGE: Galaxy

- USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/4_20121119234748661_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/4_20121119234748661_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Cup: How do the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo match up? 31436562 Strike force Strike+force MLS

Probable Dynamo starters: Will Bruin, Calen Carr (if unfit, then Mac Kandji)

Probable Galaxy starters: Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane

With all due respect to Bruin's impressive season and his significant playoff haul, these two groups simply don't compare. Donovan and Keane form the most potent attacking duo in the league. Keane stood out as perhaps the most impressive performer in the league during the second half of the season. If this game comes down to one chance in the penalty area for either side, then the Galaxy will like its chances to emerge victorious.

EDGE: Galaxy

US PRESSWIRE - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/5_20121119234748662_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/5_20121119234748662_107_80.JPG
MLS 195 8 MLS Cup: How do the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo match up? 31434878 Dom Kinnear vs. Bruce Arena Dom+Kinnear+vs.+Bruce+Arena MLS

Go ahead and try to pick between two of the savviest operators in the league. Both bosses enter this match with a bevy of big match experience and a lengthy list of achievements in the domestic game. This affair won't come down to a significant difference between the two canny tacticians.

EDGE: Draw

US PRESSWIRE - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/6_20121119234747660_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2012/11/19/6_20121119234747660_107_80.JPG
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