MLS West final notes: Keane finding form, RSL waits on CB tandem & more

MLSDB11032011134

Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com


By ADAM SERRANO

Robbie Keane seems healthy and ready to contribute for the Los Angeles Galaxy's run to MLS Cup. Now all he needs to do is find the back of the net. 

Keane was appearing in just his second match since an adductor strain cost him the last three weeks of the season as well as a number of important matches for club and country. However, against the Red Bulls on Thursday night, Keane was a constant threat to score, and on another night might have come away with two goals.

In the 19th minute, he was denied by Red Bulls goalkeeper Frank Rost from close range. Then in the 38th, he cut down the right side only to be denied by the left post. With a number of important matches on the horizon for the Galaxy and Ireland, Keane belives that he is finally rounding into form after his injury. 

"I had a couple of chances, hit the post with one and the keeper made a good save on the other," said Keane. "There's been two games in four games for me after three weeks of being back, it's just nice to be back, and every minute is going to help me." 

OLAVE, BORCHERS STILL IN QUESTION

All of the focus on Real Salt Lake centers around the club's starting centerback tandem of Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers, who both had to miss the second leg of RSL's conference semifinal triumph over Seattle with injuries.

RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey told reporters Friday that the club is monitoring the situation closely and that whether the duo is cleared to play won't be decided until Sunday, when RSL is slated to play the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.

Chris Schuler and converted fullback Chris Wingert start in place of Olave and Borchers against Seattle, and while RSL persevered to advance to the conference final, there's no question that having Olave and Borchers available gives the club a better chance of knocking off the Galaxy.

MAGEE HAPPY TO KNOCK OFF OLD CLUB

In a series between New York and Los Angeles that featured five Designated Players, perhaps no player was more influential than the unheralded Galaxy winger Mike Magee. 

Playing along the left flank for the Galaxy, Magee terrorized the New York defense and registered two goals against the club he played at for six seasons. The converted forward found the back of the net on Thursday, heading in a David Beckham corner kick for the eventual series-winning goal.

Following the match, Magee couldn't help but confess that he was proud of doing is part to eliminate the Red Bulls.

"A little bit, yeah," Magee confirmed to reporters on Thursday. "Once the whistle blew it was nice that New York was gone and I was continuing on. But we have a goal to win MLS Cup and that outweighs that as of now."

REVENGE FOR '09? NOT QUITE

The Western Conference final will pit two teams that are incredibly familiar with one another.

Real Salt Lake and the Galaxy were opponents in the 2009 MLS Cup final, which saw RSL earn its first MLS Cup championsip in penalty kicks on a rainy Seattle night. Since the final, the two have become two of the most dominant clubs in the Western Conference, providing the league with several thrilling games.

The two teams split the season series this season with both sides winning on their own home field. Just two years removed from that match-up the Galaxy admit that they are not out for revenge when they take on RSL on Sunday. 

"There is no revenge about any games that we play in game, but, of course, we want to beat them," David Beckham said. "As simple as that. They are a very good team, they have a very good manager that is passionate about the game, and we know it’s going to be a difficult game. But, the advantage is, we're at home and we'll have our fans behind us. But we know we are going to be in a game."

This entry was posted in MLS Playoffs, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Real Salt Lake. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to MLS West final notes: Keane finding form, RSL waits on CB tandem & more

  1. Neruda says:

    RSL all the way! Praying that Olave and Borchers are good to play. We’ll need at least one of them.

  2. Benny Dargle says:

    Galaxy all the way!

  3. Michael F says:

    If by finding form u mean not scoring, sure.

  4. fischy says:

    I think it was more in reference to his breakaway-killing giveaway.

  5. Indigo Montoya says:

    It’s destiny for the triumvirate of Keane, Donovan and Beckham to lose on penalties…

    …but if they don’t, they’re going to win the cup.

    (yep, sitting on both sides of the fence there)

  6. Vince Clortho says:

    Doom! DooooM! DOOOOOOMMM!
    I expect an intense and entertaining affair, hopefully with RSL coming out on top. Actually I think RSL matches up with LA better than they do/did with Seattle. IF B&O are back in the lineup…Still gonna be close…

  7. Ajaz says:

    RSL will need both of them.

  8. Heathen says:

    LA needs to find Keane a decent partner if they want to win CCL.

  9. ShaggyReAL says:

    If one of Olave or Borchers can play a full 90, Shuler can fill in for the other one. But having WIngert and Shuler playing together will spell disaster for RSL.

  10. Paul Dickov says:

    Funny to see Beck’s complimenting Jason Kreis…

  11. dgoshilla says:

    Keane was having trouble finding his footwork on Thursday. He should be ready for Sunday. Everyone should note that it looks like it’ll be nasty weather for Sunday. Rain is in the forecast all day and it will be unusually cold for Los Angeles in the high 40s. This could effect turnout for the game and field conditions.

  12. J Shuler says:

    +1

  13. Max says:

    It didn’t affect the season opener…LA has been waiting for this game for 2 years

  14. Mack says:

    Schuler and Wingert are nice depth in the middle. RSL’s defense is fine, it the offense that needs to come up big. LA’s defense is excelent at home.

  15. Gnarls says:

    Free ponchos, homies!

  16. Will says:

    The luck of the Irish is about to kick in

  17. Timo says:

    Remember RSL was in the finals last year and lost by 1 goal. LA might need Buddle back for the Western Conference Final. Oh wait, he choked in the 2009 final.

  18. Four4byu says:

    Go RSL!! Beat LA!