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LA Galaxy vs. D.C. United: CCL’s Over. So Now What Happens?

Robbie Rogers #14 of Los Angeles Galaxy during the CONCACAF Champions League match between Santos Laguna and Los Angeles Galaxy at the StubHub Center on February 24, 2016 in Carson, California. The final score was 0-0 February 24, 2016| Credit: Shaun Clark

Bruce Arena‘s Los Angeles Galaxy and Ben Olsen‘s D.C. United did a deliberately unintentional disservice to their respective fanbases by treating the CONCACAF Chamnpions League as a glorified extension of their preseason. As an aside, Major League Soccer simply has no business winning CONCACAF’s top honors ever again unless they switch to a fall/spring calendar with winter break to ensure they can remain competitive against Liga MX.

The Galaxy and D.C. United will renew their original rivalry this weekend when the teams open up their 2016 Major League Soccer campaigns on Sunday, Mar. 6. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by UniMas. Robbie Rogers struggled at the right back position against Santos Laguna in their 4-0 defeat and his unfamiliarity at the position could be key to D.C. winning this contest.

“I actually thought that, OK, this is fine. I’m right-footed and I’ve played left back, it won’t be that difficult,” Rogers told MLSSoccer’s Scott French. “But as I started thinking about it more and I got here for preseason, I [found] it’s a little more difficult than I thought it was going to be.

“It’s not as easy as people think. It’s a pretty big change. I’ve played on the left side professionally for 10 years now. Just timing and which foot you’re using, how you’re facing the field, it’s kind of opposite on the other side, so it’s going to take me some time to get used to.

“Everything is changing: the way you’re opening up and facing the field and taking your first touch with your right instead of your left, and being able to cut in – instead of cutting in on my right, I’m cutting in on my left. … It’s slowly coming, but it’s not there yet.

“I’ll need a few games, just like it took me a season to really figure out [the left-back] position. It will take me some time. I just need to be patient with it. [Giovani Dos Santos] is the kind of guy who likes to come inside, so I can kind of come around him. As the season gets going and we play more games, I’ll find my spots and my timing, and I’ll feel more comfortable going forward.”

Indeed, Rogers will need a few games to adjust, and the Galaxy are going to have it tough against a team accustomed to winning trophies on their end, although the silverware has not arrived as often as they would have wanted. So here are 10 Bold Predictions for the match between D.C. United and Los Angeles Galaxy.

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  • At least four goals will be scored.
  • At least 40 fouls will be whistled.
  • At least five cards will be issued.
  • Dan Kennedy will make under three saves.
  • Andrew Dykstra will make under four saves.
  • LA Galaxy will not score in this contest.
  • Fabian Espindola will score a brace for D.C. United.
  • Alvaro Saborio will score for D.C. United.
  • Marcelo Sarvas will score for D.C. United.
  • Luciano Acosta will score for D.C. United.

The LA Galaxy’s goalless streak and winless streak, both dating back to last season, are expected to continue. You can retool the players, retool the system, throw the cash, but it takes chemistry to produce and get results.

The Galaxy are going to receive a lesson in how to properly play the game from their original rivals. Better to get the kinks out early so that by the end of March, LA Galaxy’s form stabilizes, a desperate breath of fresh air needed in a city whose glamour club is polluted with poor results in terms of their form.

D.C. United 5, Los Angeles Galaxy 0

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