On September 22 at 7:30 p.m. PT, the Los Angeles Galaxy will face off against Toronto FC. Over the summer, the Galaxy were one of the hottest teams in Major League Soccer. On the other hand, TFC haven't won on the road since July. Still, I expect this to be an exciting game. Here are my four questions for the match.
Can we Clinch a Playoff Spot?
A victory will assure us a spot in the playoffs. Considering we were once last in the West, this is a great accomplishment. This will be the Galaxy's fourth consecutive time in the playoffs.
Will Toronto Embarrass us Again?
With a 4-3 aggregate victory, TFC was responsible for booting the Galaxy out of the 2012 CONCACAF Champions league quarterfinal. I think it was this loss that started us on a downward spiral in the spring. With that said, I'm sure L.A. learned their lesson from the CCL game and will be ready for Toronto. Despite Toronto's 5-17-7 record, the Canadian team was able to post a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls on June 30 and another 1-1 result against the Houston Dynamo on August 25. Thus, they are capable of competing with some of the stronger teams in the league.
Can we Finally Beat TFC?
With 22 points, Toronto has the worst record in the league. In 2011, Toronto didn't fare much better and ended the season in 8th place in the East with 33 points. Despite Toronto's overall poor performance, the Galaxy haven't defeated them since 2009. Even in 2011 when the Galaxy took the Supporters Shield, L.A. had two draws with Toronto. I think it's high time that we put an end to these stalemates.
Will Eric Hassli and David Beckham Play?
After spraining his ankle in the Sept. 1 game against the Vancouver Whitecaps, David Beckham has been out of action. So far, he has missed two games and is in question for Saturday's match. Bruce Arena says the English midfielder is "making progress" but wouldn't give a clear answer as to if Beckham would be in the lineup. I think we should make sure Becks is 100% for the games against the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders in October. TFC's Eric Hassli is also dealing with an ankle injury. The striker injured himself in a recent game against the Philadelphia Union and is uncertain for the match against the Galaxy.
A loss against TFC would spoil the Galaxy's winning streak. A victory will earn them a postseason berth. A draw would just be a disappointment for us.
Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.
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