JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, May 3, 2013
Kofi Sarkodie and the Houston Dynamo take on the Los Angeles Galaxy in their first of a tough stretch of three games in eight days.
Sarkodie, Houston's third year right back, and the rest of the backline will have their hands full against one of the league's most potent attacks. LA's Mike Magee leads MLS in goals scored, while Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane are well-established offensive threats.
For the 22 year old, taking on the Galaxy will be tough but possible to contain.
"Yeah, those guys are talented players and were familiar with them from last year's final," explained Sarkodie after Friday's practice in Houston.
"All you can do with them is make sure when you get on the pitch to be as aggressive as possible, and limit the amount of space and the amount of area that they have to operate.
"They're all talented guys so they're going to be able to find ways to create opportunities for themselves, so the key is to limit that as best as possible," added the Akron alumni.
Another theme leading up to Sunday's match will be the rematch of the last two MLS Cup finals, where Houston came up second in both games.
"Naturally, last year didn't end like we wanted it to," explained Sarkodie. "Were up for the match. We definitely want to get there and put our best foot forward and not only that but we want to make sure we get some away wins in the stretch and make our stamp on the Eastern Conference," added the defender.
Also on the mind of Sarkodie and the rest of the players is on preparing for a rough stretch of games and heavy travel schedule.
"Yeah, it's going to be tough. Were going to LA, then all the way to DC and then back to Houston, so were kind of doing a triangle around the US," said Sarkodie.
"So it's going to be tough. We just have to take care of our bodies, make sure that were recovering as quick as possible, and make sure were smart with the guys and utilize what we've got."
Houston is currently in second place in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Montreal Impact by just two points. A win in LA could bolster the Dynamo to the top of the standings and start their stretch of three games in eight days on a good note.