Tonights footballing action in America has the potential to be the star studded affair, in the classic rivalry of East vs. West. With both sides existing as the hubs for international players, David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane on the Westside, and Rafa Marquez and Thierry Henry on the East. A match-up that MLS fans drool over, has every possibility of being the fire fueled rivalry that it should be, and when the two clubs met 5 months ago they duked it out in a 1-1 tie that fit the build of the mammoth occasion.
Going into it:
Hans Backe's NY Redbulls had started the season in good form resting in first place for the first couple months of the season, but have since lost their way plummeting like a meteorite from the heavens. Rafa Marquez has been an extreme disappointment, often the catalyst for their constant shipping of goals, whether alternated from midfield to center defense has looked a shadow the player who won the Champions League with Barcelona not tall that long ago. He has embraced the role of the pantomime-villain, boo-ed by the NY supporters when he touches the ball -only has been compounded by his recent calling out of teammates, blaming them for his short comings. Thierry Henry has been a productive player, having notched 13 goals but these high points have been masked by his disgruntled demeanor. Hans Backe has come under fire over his constant tinkering and his teams dismal record.
The LA Galaxy has looked a force in the West, constantly in and around the top spot looking a cohesive unit that has let in only 23 goals this season, nine fewer than any other team. Beckham leads the league with 15 assists, which is honestly what you expect from the man, even at his ripe age. Beckham, playing in his 5th, and final season on his contract has looked the best he has since arriving in the States, has some fire in his belly after getting into it with the Real Salt Lake manager Jason Kreis. Donovan has not traveled due to a problem with strained quadriceps, is a potential issue for the Galaxy going forward. With Robbie Keane looking a handy summer signing, should lead the line, but you can not shirk the value that Donovan has to the team.
The game kicks off at 8pm ET, @ Redbull Arena on ESPN 2