getting back to our theme -- is not the most attractive player, but he certainly is one of the most effective. Unfortunately, the defense seems to be an issue. With Danny Califf out with an MCL strain and Hong Myung-Bo fighting flu symptoms and not having the best week of training, their defense might be in trouble against the Dallas Burn's track stars -- Eddie Johnson and Toni Nhleko -- at the front.
In Los Angeles, the mood is good overall, but the Galaxy could lose ground Saturday and end up in the middle of the pack, which is where they don't want to be. The attitude in L.A. has always been that with that market and that team and that stadium, the Galaxy should always be in first.
Dallas is in a place they haven't been in a long time. They've had a great start and an unexpected start, but when you talk to people in and around the team, it's clear that they were very well aware of what they were capable of. When you talk about being effective as a team, it is imperative that the players are organized, and that's exactly what Clarke and Steve Morrow have accomplished here. If you look at those guys' backgrounds and look at where they played as professionals, it's very clear to me that they know what it takes to win and they don't seem to care at all about the criticisms of how they play, as long as they are winning. Good for them.
My player to watch is Eddie Johnson. Eddie is, without a doubt, a talent, and he is an amazing athlete. He's never acted like he's had much to learn, and at times he acts like he knows all the answers. A little advice, Eddie: Start listening and keep learning. You're getting better every week, whether you are aware of it or not.
To win, Dallas will have to control Ruiz. If they can accomplish that, since no one else seems to want to score in L.A., Dallas will take this one, 1-0, probably on another ridiculous tackle by an L.A. defender leading to a free kick or a penalty kick. I don't expect the goal to come from the run of play.
Catch Eric this weekend as the analyst on RadioShack Soccer Saturday on ESPN2. Do you have feedback on Wynalda's column? Please send your comments to Wynalda. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or MLSnet.com.