Chris miss: Galaxy midfielder Chris Birchall takes one of 10 second half LA shots against out-gunned Houston. The less than Dynamic Dynamo were officially given credit for one shot on target all night (the Galaxy had three) but that was being generous (AP Photo).
A perfunctory win gets a perfunctory blog post:
*Reporter Phil Collin has the game story.
*Notable: Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena allowed that had David Beckham been playing the Galaxy very well could have unlocked the Houston defense and found the insurance second goal they wanted.
I thought the Galaxy midfield looked far more mobile without Beckham and that if he had been in the lineup Houston could have tested the Galaxy more often.
Same coin, different sides, I guess.
“We knew we wanted to prevent their service first and foremost,” said Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant. “If we did that their big guys wouldn’t get service and they didn’t have a lot of opportunities because of that. So that was kind of the first object. In the first half especially we did a good job of keeping the ball and putting them on their heels. (Brad) Davis and (Colin) Clark had to do a lot more defending than they did attacking and I think that was to our advantage.”
*Arena said he subbed out Juan Pablo Angel in the 61st minute because he “looked tired.”
*With few real talking points in the game, I would be remiss for not acknowledging that veteran full back Dunivant, 30, made his 200th MLS appearance tonight in a season that has seen him become the only Galaxy player to play every minute of every game so far this year.
“It crept up on me, I didn’t know about it until this week,” he said. “It’s cool. I guess I’m doing something right if I can play 200 games.
Incidentally, his first stint with the club (he’s also played for San Jose, New York and Toronto) saw him ever-present in all 32 games in 2005.
Can he do it again (although the Galaxy could play around 40-plus games this season)?
“In my rookie year I played all but 12 minutes (of the season). I like to be the consistent guy in there and do the job for the team,” he said. “We’ve played a lot (this season); we’ve had a very front-loaded schedule to pave the way for the (CONCACAF) Champions league later on. I think it will pay off in the end. I’m feeling good. With the (hernia) surgery I had in the off-season I had a little more time to rest, recover and I think that actually helped me.
“Who wouldn’t? (like to play every game this season),” he added. “It might be tough when you talk about (U.S.) Open Cup,. Champions League and all that when you’re talking three games every week. That’s a lot. We’ll play it by ear. Whenever I can get in there and help the team and be a steadying force in there that’s what I want to do.”
*When I wrote a column earlier this week taking U.S. Coach Bob Bradley to task for his unimaginative player selection for the Gold Cup, Todd Dunivant was one of the players that came to mind.
Why has a self-described “not the flashiest guy in the world and quite honestly I don’t get a ton of credit – that’s kind of the way I play,” not added to his meager total of two national team, caps he achieved five long years ago (aside from the fact he isn’t flashy as virtually no defender this side of Roberto Carlos should ever be). Do you ever think about the fact you haven’t had more chances at that level, I asked?
“I do think about that,” Dunivant said. “I think I was in three January camps in a row in ’06, ’07, ’08. (I) was an alternate for the World Cup team in ’06, but I tore my quad leading up to that. I had two caps in those games, had a couple of assists and did very well. The chances that I’ve gotten I’ve done well.
“I haven’t gotten the chance (to play for) Bob Bradley yet. You see the same guys getting called up over and over. I’m just going to continue doing what I do and if I get a chance I’m going to take advantage of it.”
Yeah, you do see the same guys getting called up over and over. So we shouldn’t be surprised when we see the same results over and over.
(Climbs off soapbox).
Next for the Galaxy: at New England Revolution Saturday (and yeah, Arena is not thrilled about trekking across the country after a midweek game). Hard to blame him on that.
Here are the highlights from the game (such as they are). How the person who edited this managed to find seven minutes of highlights is beyond me: