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FC Dallas vs. L.A. Galaxy Preview | MLS Free Playoff Pick

MLS 2010 Playoff Gambling Series Predictions – FC Dallas vs L.A. Galaxy

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MLS 2010 Playoff Gambling Predictions

Western Conference Final
Matchup: FC Dallas (12-4-14) v Los Angeles Galaxy (18-7-5)
Date and Time: Sunday, Nov 14, 9:00pm ET
Venue: The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.
TV: ESPN2/Deportes/ESPN3
MLS Fixture Betting Lines and Odds from Bodog
Money Line: Dallas (+425) Los Angeles (-160) Draw (+250)
Spread: Los Angeles –1
Over/Under: 2 ½

The road to the 2010 MLS Cup is forked.  One way goes through the Rocky Mountain state and the other through Southern California.

Los Angeles ended their regular season campaign as the best team in Major League Soccer with an 18-7-5 record and then thanks to Edson Buddle, shut out the Seattle Sounders 1-0 in the first leg of the 2010 Western Conference semifinals before sealing the deal with a 2-1 win in the second leg.

Buddle and Omar Gonzalez’s first-half goals proved more than enough as the Galaxy move one game away from appearing in its second consecutive MLS Cup Final. Los Angeles has a 2-4 record in the Finals, beating the New England Revolution in 2002 on a golden goal from Carlos Ruiz and again defeating the Revs in overtime 1-0, just three years later.

On the other hand FC Dallas have yet to play in their first MLS Cup and now they will have try and solve a Los Angeles Galaxy side that defeated them in both of their regular season meetings.

FC Dallas finished the 2010 regular season with a 12-4-14 record, good for fourth place overall in the league and third in the MLS Western Conference.

In the postseason, they defeated reigning champions Real Salt Lake 2-1 in the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal on goals by Jeff Cunningham and Eric Avila before drawing 1-1 in Utah to prevail 3-2 on aggregate.

Sunday will mark the second time in four weeks the Galaxy meet FC Dallas at the Home Depot Center, and you can rest assured Bruce Arena’s men will be ready.

While I wouldn’t count Dallas out of this one totally, I would say the odds of them beating LA will rest solely in the steady hands of goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.

Harman finished the 2010 regular season with a 10-1-8 record, 56 dives, a 0.62 goals against average, and a 78.9 percent save percentage. Injured earlier in the season, the former Galaxy net minder performed admirably between the sticks for the playoff series against Real Salt Lake and has a knack for clutch saves.

He will definitely have his work cut out for him, as LA’s bevy of potential goal scoring threats will likely pepper him throughout the match.

Two of those being hometown favorite Landon Donovan and international star David Beckham on the wing. Their speed and ball distribution will be a key ingredient to keeping the Dallas backline busy.

Love him or loath him, the Galaxy are that much better with Beckham who was instrumental in the Galaxy’s home victory over Seattle. His skill with the set pieces could pose a serious problem for Dallas.

Defensively, the Galaxy backline is solid, bending at times but never breaking. Eddie Lewis, Sean Franklin, A.J. De La Garza, and Gonzalez all played a large role in thwarting Seattle’s attack and have the goods to get it done again on Sunday.

And if all that isn’t enough to scare the daylights out of the visitors, they will be staring down the Big Cat from Montego Bay, as keeper Donovan Ricketts, the 2010 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, is likely to put on a clinic. Ricketts finished the regular season with an 18-7-4 record, 79 saves, a 0.90 goals against average and a 76 percent save percentage. At 6-foot-5, he doesn’t leave much to shoot at.

But that won’t keep Dallas from trying, as fellow Montego Bay’s Jeff Cunningham tries to tap one by his fellow countryman. Cunningham who led FC Dallas with 11 goals in the regular season will get some offensive support from set up man David Ferreira who has 13 assists and eight goals for the campaign. If the two can connect, it could result in some good quality strikes.

The last two matches between Los Angeles and Dallas have been hard fought low scoring affairs. I think we’ll see much of the same in the first 45 minutes, before the Galaxy break it open in the final half.

Prediction: Los Angeles 3, FC Dallas 1

We will continue to provide free weekly MLS gambling predictions due to the responses we’ve gotten on ourSoccer handicapping forums, and survey responses we’ve conducted on our soccer betting blog.

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Matt Martz is a sports writer for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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