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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting the Los Angeles Galaxy

LA has locked up the three seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

MLS: LA Galaxy at Houston Dynamo Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas heads to Carson to finish of the season after a 2-1 comeback in Frisco. LA goes home after a 1-0 win over the Dynamo.

What it means for both

FC Dallas is 2 points clear of Colorado, and a win or draw will mean Dallas win more silverware. LA are stuck in third place despite results. This game means two different things for these two team. Bruce Arena has made it clear, that this game is just a match to avoid injuries in before their knockout game next week. With Diaz gone though, this is a huge opportunity for Dallas to lock up a second trophy before the playoffs.

Potential Lineup

Hard to predict LA’s lineup, as they will almost certainly field a B team, but it is unlikely to feature Giovani Dos Santos or Robbie Keane.

GK: Brian Rowe; LB: Ashley Cole; CB: Jelle Van Damme, Daniel Steres; RB: Robbie Rogers; CM: Jeff Larentowicz, Sebastian Lletget, Baggio Husidic; RW: Landon Donovan; LW: Emmanuel Boateng; FW: Alan Gordon.

Key Matchup

Michael Barrios vs. Ashley Cole. Dallas attack will certainly suffer without Diaz. It is crucial that the other creative players on this team step up. With that in mind, Barrios has been quiet in recent weeks so it is vital that he find some form tonight. For Cole, or whoever else starts left-back, it is important to keep Barrios locked down, if he gets in behind, he is a serious threat, and his crosses can be lethal. Shut down Barrios and Dallas becomes much more manageable.

Keys to Three Points

Take advantage of the B team.

Dallas is in a weakened state themselves, so it is important that they find a weak link in the LA side that gets trotted out and exploit it. They also need to be wary of players like Boateng, who are out their looking to make an impression going into the playoffs.

Midfield.

Last time Dallas faced LA, it was a midfield battle that Dallas won. It is key for LA to exploit the loss of Diaz and make the midfield there’s if they want to win this game. Dallas will likely struggle without Mauro and this will add work to the defensive midfielders Gruezo and Acosta.

Score a Goal.

B teams don’t often make for high scoring games, and with that in mind, a goal might be plenty to get a win or draw. It is important that Dallas finds the back of the net and gives themselves some breathing room. It will give the Hoops plenty of room to settle into the game.

Prediction

I had a dream that Dallas will win 10-0, and however unlikely, I have to go with that.

My Prediction: FC Dallas 10-0.