MLS Cup final: Postcards from LA (Part 1)

Throughout his week in Los Angeles, FOX Soccer senior writer will be sending “postcards” from MLS Cup 2011. Here is his first.

The first full day of MLS Cup events saw the LA Galaxy hold their first full day of media availability while the Houston Dynamo arrived in LA to an almost non-existent media contingent.

Bruce Arena was at his sarcastic best addressing the media. When asked about David Beckham’s absence from practice (he was out with a cold), Arena joked that he was taking part in Occupy LA.

"He’s downtown today,” Arena said. “I think he’s protesting the banking system in the country."

The Dynamo arrived at their team hotel on Thursday afternoon, and with most of the media in town for MLS Cup converging on Galaxy practice, the Dynamo faced few media inquiries.

Among the Houston contingent was MVP candidate Brad Davis, who was walking without crutches, but is still listed as out for Sunday’s final, sidelined with a thigh injury suffered in Houston’s Eastern Conference Final win over Sporting KC.

With Davis out, Corey Ashe will be called on to play on the left wing, the position he spent most of his career playing before moving to left back earlier in the season.

“If I play there it won’t be too tough an adjustment,” said Ashe. “They have some really good guys on that side of the field so it will be a good challenge.”

Ashe will have to contend with Landon Donovan and Sean Franklin on the Galaxy right flank, not the easiest of tasks. He will have help from Jermaine Taylor, a centerback expected to play at left back as he did in the East final.

Several members of the Houston roster were sporting thick playoff beards. Some players, like Adam Moffatt, were doing much better jobs with growing thick beards than some others, like Bobby Boswell and Geoff Cameron.