El Gato returns: Former UCLA goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, taking care of business Saturday against Real Salt Lake’s Fabian Espindola, showed why he is statistically the best goalkeeper in MLS this season and produced two clutch saves with his feet to help keep Dallas’ playoff run alive (AP Photo).
The last time I saw former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, after the 2-1 Galaxy win over Dallas Oct. 24 at Home Depot Center (he didn’t play as he rehabbed the injury sustained during the Thierry Henry incident), the Palos Verdes Peninsula product said, “I’ll see you in a couple of weeks.”
Part of his prediction came true today when the Seattle Sounders and Galaxy learned who awaits the winner of their two-game series in the Western Conference final: FC Dallas. A 1-1 tie between FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake gave the Kevin Hartman led Texans a 3-2 aggregate win Saturday in the other Western Conference semifinal.
Dallas looks sharp and full of confidence and arguably have been the most impressive team in the playoffs so far.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy are selling spots on the grass berm for Sunday’s 6 p.m. Western Conference semifinal decider in Carson against the Seattle Sounders for $24, the club announced Saturday.
That’s always a sure sign the 24,500 seats in the stadium are nearing a sell out; the grass berm holds an additional 2.500 fans. Call 1-877-3GALAXY for tickets.
The Galaxy hold a one goal lead at what is essentially halftime of a 180 minute game after winning on Edson Buddle’s wonder strike last Sunday at Qwest Field.
The game kicks off at 5 p.m. I’ll have a complete preview a little later.
The Colorado Rapids won today’s other MLS playoff game over the Columbus Crew. Rolling Hills Estates’ Robbie Rogers scored for the Crew, but it wasn’t enough to save their season.