CARSON, Calif. – Everyone wants a prediction for Saturday’s MLS Cup contest. Fair enough.
The trouble is in knowing which version of the Los Angeles Galaxy will show up Saturday at the (potentially rainy) Home Depot Center?
Will it be the version that tiptoed meekly into the playoffs? The one that managed to scrape by a Vancouver side that was only a “playoff” team in the academic sense that it was actually in the playoffs? (That is, the Whitecaps never looked like any kind of a playoff threat.)
That same Galaxy-lite version also carried surprisingly little zip or zing into its subsequent match, a loss at home to San Jose. By then we were all wondering where Bruce Arena’s team had gone – who had kidnapped the swashbuckling bunch that held court in the Western Conference over the seasons’ last few weeks, leaving us with this bunch of underperforming imposters?
For Saturday’s final would we see the Galaxy version that turned things around with such a mighty force in that dominant, subsequent night at San Jose? Led by Landon Donovan (pictured) and Robbie Keane, Arena’s men nearly ran the Supporters Shield winners out of their own cozy little stadium in a 3-1 thumping.
A few days later, more of the same as the Galaxy sliced up Seattle to take a firm hold on that series. So, are we going to see that version?
Will we get another spin from the version that, just a few days later, barely escaped Seattle to close out the series and arrive into the MLS Cup final – and needed a controversial penalty kick to do that?
If the better version shows up, it’s the Los Angeles Galaxy’s game to lose. If the lesser version arrives into Carson tomorrow, it’s not hard to see Houston finding a way to reverse last year’s result.