The Houston Dynamo can win the 2012 MLS Cup on Saturday. No question about it. Will they? Who the heck knows, it's a one game playoff finale and anything can happen. I happen to think the Dynamo are uniquely suited to beat the Galaxy for a couple reasons and of course I'd be glad to share them with you.
The Dynamo are the best TEAM in MLS
There are stars on this Dynamo team but there are no STARS. That's a good thing, trust me. There are a ton of things that make this team successful from having a fantastic head coach and a great mix of veterans and young talent. What make them special though is there really is no star or MVP. Sure Boniek Garcia was voted the player's MVP and Brad Davis voted the overall MVP at last night's Dynamo Awards gala, but you could make a case for several players being this season's MVP. Bobby Boswell has a case, Tally Hall has a case as well. This is great though really because it's another reminder of how great a team Kinnear has built.
The Dynamo are a well oiled machine with all their important parts working in unison and plenty of backups waiting to cover should anything go wrong. This isn't to say that LA isn't a good team either, they are, but the Dynamo are the best team in the league because as talented as some of the parts of, it's how they work together that makes them truly great.
Quiet Confidence and Motivation
The Dynamo are not afraid of the Galaxy. They're not afraid of Robbie Keane or David Beckham, they're not intimidated by the talent in LA's midfield or the solid defensive unit at the back. They've seen it before, they've played it before and they've shown they can stand toe-to-toe with them. Don't forget that the Dynamo were one defensive mistake from forcing extra time in last year's final despite having zero offense with Brad Davis out injured.
Houston enters this match with everyone healthy. The have not one, but two midfield attacking options to split the Galaxy's attention. Ricardo Clark is back and will finally be able to play in an MLS Cup Final after missing his first two chances. This is a confident and motivated bunch at the moment and they want nothing more than to walk in to the Home Depot Center and lift a trophy.
Add in the motivational boost that comes from the memories of two straight playoff defeats against the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center. The veterans remember those moments, it still stings and it's time to get our payback.
Golden Balls Mania Really Doesn't Matter
While the media have themselves more lathered up than a dog that's been running around chasing things all day over this match being the final time David Beckham will play for the Galaxy, it's not a big deal. The Galaxy really won't be affected since they've grown quite accustomed to the various media hurricanes that have swept through over the past few years. Bruce Arena is more than capable of dealing with this, so unfortunately, don't look to Beckham mania as some sort of potentially advantage point, at least not in terms of being a distraction.
We'd also like to think that the added pressure on his teammates wanting to send Beckham out in style could help the Dynamo, but once again, pressure is nothing new to the Galaxy.
If anything, it's additional motivation for the Dynamo. As I mentioned before, they already have the memories of two frustrating playoff defeats against LA to fuel them. Now they get a chance to not only knock off the cup holders, they can spoil Beckham's going away party.
The media and the league are ready to lose they fucking minds over Beckham winning a championship in his final match. The Dynamo are ready to ruin that story.
This will be a tough match, this will be a close match, but I'm confident the Dynamo will win. Now we just have to wait a little longer to see what happens.