Juan Pablo Ángel, LA Galaxy

LA's Ángel: We expect a physical game versus Houston


CARSON, Calif. — When the Houston Dynamo visit the Home Depot Center on Wednesday, the Galaxy will expect two things to happen.

One, Houston will bring a distinct style of play. Two, Galaxy players have a clear vision of what needs to happen.

“They're physical … We have to be ready for it,” Galaxy forward Juan Pablo Ángel said. “We expect a physical game, and [we must] try to get three points. It’s important for us to continue with the winning mentality that we've had the last few games, getting the results at home.”

The Galaxy will gun for their third consecutive victory on Wednesday. They have collected wins by 4-1 and 1-0 at home the last two times out, and if they get the win against Houston, it will mark their first three-game winning streak in 2011.

This Houston squad, though, could give LA problems.

“Between [Geoff] Cameron and their two forwards, they have three horses who are very good in the air, attack the ball well and they've had a lot of success this year scoring goals,” Galaxy captain Landon Donovan said. “It’s going to be a tall task for us.”

Dynamo forwards Will Bruin and Cam Weaver have combined for seven goals this season while Cameron has one goal and two assists on the season.

What makes Bruin and Weaver trickier are the team’s wide midfielders and flank play.

“They have Colin Clark and Brad Davis serving balls in wide and it makes it real tough on the defense when you give them space and they get the service in to their big guys,” Galaxy left back Todd Dunivant said. “We have to do a good job of cutting off that service and being ready for those through balls.”

Houston and the Galaxy have a bit of history playing against one another. LA beat Houston in the 2009 Western Conference Championship to reach the 2009 MLS Cup final. It was the last time the Dynamo made the playoffs. They missed out on the postseason in 2010, after enjoying playoff soccer in each of the first four years of the club’s existence.

But the team has dusted itself off in 2011, and they now sit in third place in the Eastern Conference table.

“They're in a little bit of a rebuilding stage,” Donovan said. “They've lost a few players over the last few years, but they're starting to get their identity back. You can see that they're getting more and more comfortable and they're playing well. They probably should have beaten New York last week so they're going to come in really with nothing to lose, and they're going to come in pretty confident.”

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