Galaxy prepare to face the Crew on Saturday in a battle of unbeatens

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BY ADAM SERRANO

While much of the focus this week has been on the World Cup, a pair MLS unbeatens will do battle on Saturday as the Los Angeles Galaxy head east to take on the Columbus Crew.

The Galaxy bring the league's best defense to Ohio having only allowed a pair of goals in route to 26 points and an 8-0-2 record which is best in MLS. Columbus boasts the best record in the Eastern Conference at 6-0-2 having accumulated 20 points this season. Although there are still five months left in the season, the Galaxy are aware that Saturday's match is immense in their quest to earn the Supporters Shield. 

"It's a huge game this week, last time we weren't happy with our performance there and obviously if you look at the standings its a game between the top teams in the league," said defender Gregg Berhalter. "Going into their game, our mindset has to be that we are going to match them physically."

The gritty and physical play of Columbus should offer a significant test for a Galaxy team that has had success in grinding out results with a timely goals, defensive process and depth.

One example of that depth is Galaxy forward Tristan Bowen. The 19-year-old striker has seen considerable time in the Galaxy front line since the departure of Edson Buddle due to international duty. The forward has impressed during the past week earning a goal against Boca Juniors on Sunday and an assist on Thursday against F.C. Dallas. A big performance against the best team in the Eastern Conference could solidify the forward's spot in the starting line up.

"This game is really important for me to show the coaches that I can be consistent," said Bowen. "I want to make sure that I continue to play for the guys and make sure that we can get these big three points on the road."

The Crew will be boosted by the inclusion of winger Robbie Rogers and defender Chad Marshall who return to Columbus after a stint at the United States National Team. The addition of Rogers to an attack that boasts Guillermo Barros Schelotto as well as reigning MLS player of the week Emilio Renteria should pose a major test for the Galaxy defense. Despite the additions for the Crew, the Galaxy remain unconcerned.

"We're not worried if (Marshall or Rogers) are there or not there," said head coach Bruce Arena. "We're only concerned about our own team." 

Although the Galaxy will not be boosted by its own South Africa bound stars Landon Donovan or Edson Buddle, the club has shown impressive depth so far this season. Of the 25 players on the roster, 22 of them have started a match for the Los Angeles. A statistic that should come in handy as the club continues to play without its top offensive performers.

"It's a massive testament to Bruce and to the organization, I think if you really broke down how these teams are structured and the somewhat limited means and roster spots," said midfielder Eddie Lewis. "To have so many players capable of being in the starting line up says a lot about the players that are here, but also the training methods and the level of focus that the team has in general."

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22 Responses to Galaxy prepare to face the Crew on Saturday in a battle of unbeatens

  1. Nathanael Greene says:

    Can’t Wait for this one.

  2. Sergio of SF says:

    I pick Columbus to win this.

  3. Fitzgeralds Ghost says:

    Will be a great game. even without Donavan and Buddle, Galaxy are still a strong side. The depth of Columbus is also great. Home game for Columbus and GBS proven in big games will be the difference.

  4. Never First says:

    Galaxy defense has been incredible this year, but I wonder if the loss of Buddle and Donovan will allow opponents to push forward without as much fear of a counter-attack.

    I predict Crew to win 1-0 as the team knows the Galaxy could easily run away with the Supporter’s Shield with a win Saturday.

  5. dantheblue says:

    PLease… counter attack so we can PUNISH you for it.

    Galaxy 1-0

  6. mike says:

    this game should be on espn and telefutura

  7. Lil' Zeke says:

    I pick Columbus to tie at best. The Galaxy on the other hand cannot lose. Something’s got to give. Or not.

  8. Lil' Zeke says:

    There are a lot of shoulds in this life, and those aren’t two of them

  9. Never First says:

    OK you do that. I think the Galaxy are the better team this year (that would change if Donovan leaves), but I just don’t see Columbus losing this one at home with so much on the line and no Donovan or Buddle. A draw is possible.

  10. Brennan says:

    I completely agree. A lot of people are saying this is the game that will decide who is number one, but i feel that Galaxy has way too many disadvantages for this to be a fair measure of superiority.

  11. steve says:

    the relevance of your opinion is another…

  12. jco18 says:

    I’m trying to get tickets to US-England and/or US-Slovenia matches in SA. Anyone looking to sell?

  13. Will says:

    The loss of Donovan and Buddle really takes away from what would be a huge matchup. I’m sure it will still be a good game though.

  14. yankiboy says:

    I don’t like either one of these teams (but I respect them both). In fact, I don’t know which one I “hate” more. But I will be very interested in how this match goes. If LA wins it without Donovan and Buddle then I gotta give them their propers.

  15. BrooklynFC says:

    +1 Without Donovan or Buddle C-Bus is simply more complete plus they got Rogers and Marshall back

  16. Trent says:

    The thing that most people do not realize about Columbus is the massive amount of offensive build Eddie Gaven. Maybe the most underrated player in the league. Also, most defensive mistakes come through Brunner. I think it will be a close game. The final result will be a direct indication of which Eddie Gaven shows up and how efective Will Hesmer will be at covering for Brunner

  17. Trent says:

    *From Eddie Gaven. I apoligize.

  18. the tuppers says:

    I’d like to hear what a Columbus fan thinks of Emilio Renteria. From the little bit I’ve seen of him, he looks like a beast.

  19. Waterlewd says:

    You have to apply for tickets. FIFA or US Soccer are the places to get tickets, they just started the last phase of sales yesterday so maybe you’ll have luck. Tickets can only be re-sold through FIFA. Guest tickets can be transfered, but then that person is legally responsible for your actions. Not something I would sign-up to do.

  20. Dantheblue says:

    Losing ld and eb are definately hard but arena has built a solid team… La wil be fine.
    I stand by my prediction… La 1-0

  21. ACB says:

    to all the doubters HA HA HA HA! i will sleep tonight know ALL things Los Angeles win today.

  22. ACB says:

    shout out to my man in the media box SERRANO ACB loves you