Western Conference final postgame: FC Dallas at Galaxy

Galaxy 0 FC Dallas 3

i-0acffd57fcfbb563eb7dda9768223b80-dallaswchamps.jpgFC Dallas: Western Conference champions (AP Photos).

From the Galaxy’s point of view, the first quote in the game story from Coach Bruce Arena sums up the night:

“We have no excuses. We were outplayed. We were certainly in position in the first half to get a lead and maybe take control and failed on that. … We were outplayed, we were beat on most matchups on the field and we were outcoached. Dallas deserved the victory.”

Game story.

Indeed, all the Galaxy’s deficiencies were surgically exposed by Dallas: a plodding defense, unimaginative midfield and predictable offense.

This was an opponent that managed to bring out the worst characteristics of individual Galaxy players.

Was this Omar Gonzalez’ worst game in a Galaxy jersey with his somnolent defensive awareness? Sean Franklin once again confirmed he is not a full back by habitually being caught out of position. A.J. DeLaGarza looked small and exposed.

Dema Kovalenko mistook mindless hacking for calculated midfield bite. David Beckham (not even close to being 100 percent, to be fair, said Arena) was ordinary. Landon Donovan was a non entity after moving up front from his deep lying midfield position.

Edson Buddle looked isolated and out-matched.

Or was former Chivas USA man Atiba Harris – who Dallas Coach Schellas Hyndman said he believed would match up better physically with Gonzalez than veteran Jeff Cunningham – that good?

i-b9a99efce6fb5507ae0186e6ca92af7a-hartmansavestheday.jpgHot hands: Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman saved the day on several occasions.

Quotable:

“Kevin Hartman has been unbelievable,” said FC Dallas Coach Schellas Hyndman. “What you saw tonight was tremendous saves, one after another, especially in the first half when LA was really putting the heat on us. … He could very well be the man of the match.”

Kevin Hartman vanished after the game, incidentally, which is why you don’t see any quotes from him.

A photo gallery of game images is here

Notable: This was the Galaxy’s first home postseason loss since 1998. The Galaxy had also not lost a game this emphatically – by three goals, while scoring none – all season.

It was all the more disappointing because this was as loud a capacity Galaxy crowd of 27,000 as I can remember at the HDC and they deserved more.

Highlights:

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  • Inigo Montoya

    Well, at least the lights didn’t go out. Not literally, anyway.

    Good grief, that was awful. For all the reasons you described, Nick.

    The first 25 minutes was entertaining. The HDC was rocking and the G’s put several challenging shots on frame. Hartman, bless him, kept Dallas in the game.

    It was clear from the outset that Dallas came to play. Their work rate was high and they were very physical. Dallas was not Seattle and they were not to be intimidated. The G’s tried to match the physical play and the ref signaled he was going to keep the cards in his pocket, and very quickly Dallas established its dominance.

    Over and over again a Galaxy player kept the ball a beat too long and got a pass stuffed or blocked. Over and over again a Galaxy player got knocked to the ground and complained to the ref for a call. Over and over again the G’s sent the ball toward Buddle and he got swarmed.

    I have to say that despite being outplayed the G’s still could have pulled it out with some luck until the third goal. They did have their chances.

    But Dallas deserved the win. Though nobody will watch it, the final with Colorado should be an open and entertaining match. One of those teams will win its first Cup. Good for them.

  • Studs Up

    Nothing to be said of LA.

    Hartman was in fantastic form and his one given senior moment in the second half was not punished when Donovan shot over the goal. He was very gracious in his comments on TV after the game and did not celebrate overtly. Class act.