LA Galaxy Mid-week Update: April 11, 2012

Galaxy Return Home to Face Portland on Saturday Night

donovan_portland

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria / LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif.After a 1-0 loss on the road against Sporting Kansas City last weekend, the LA Galaxy return home this weekend to take on Western Conference rivals, the Portland Timbers. That game, which is presented by Barry’s Tickets, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night at The Home Depot Center and tickets are on sale now through lagalaxy.com.

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The Galaxy and Timbers split the regular season series a year ago, each claiming home wins. Landon Donovan scored twice and Chad Barrett scored his first goal at home as a member of the Galaxy in a convincing 3-0 win at The Home Depot Center on April 23. Just over three months later, the Galaxy saw their 14-game unbeaten streak come to an end with a 3-0 loss to the Timbers in front of a capacity crowd at JELD-WEN Field.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live in English on KDOC and in Spanish on KWHY. The game will also be available locally on the radio in English on KTLK 1150 AM and in Spanish on KWKW 1330 AM. Fans can also listen online and participate in an in-game webchat at lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive.

INJURY REPORT

Galaxy Injury Report

OUT – Omar Gonzalez (Left Knee – Surgery), Leonardo (Right Knee – Surgery), Brian Perk (Sports Hernia – Surgery)

DOUBTFUL – None

QUESTIONABLE – David Beckham (Back Spasms), Michael Stephens (Right Ankle – Sprain)

PROBABLE – None

TEAM NOTES

OFF TARGET: For just the second time in club history, the Galaxy did not record a shot on goal in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City. Mike Magee led LA with three shots in the game while Chad Barrett had one but none of the four shots were on target to force a save from Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. The only other time the Galaxy did not record a shot on goal was on May 31, 2003 in a 1-0 loss at Colorado. However, LA had eight shots in that game, which was their last-ever game before opening The Home Depot Center a week later.

During the 2011 season, the Galaxy were limited to just one shot on goal five times, going 0-2-3 in those matches. Four of those five games were played away from The Home Depot Center with three of them finishing as 0-0 draws. In the other two games, the Galaxy lost by a combined score of 6-1, losing 3-0 at Portland and 3-1 at Houston in the final game of the regular season, with Jack McBean scoring LA’s only goal.

BACK AT HOME: Since being named the club’s head coach in August 2008, Bruce Arena has led Galaxy to a 21-15-17 record on the road. Following the first 14 of those losses, the Galaxy have compiled an 8-3-3 record. Eleven of the Galaxy’s first 14 road losses under Bruce Arena have been followed by a home game at The Home Depot Center, with LA going 7-2-2 in those 11 games.

Despite being just 1-2-0 at home in the regular season this year, the Galaxy are 31-11-13 all-time at home under Bruce Arena and have never lost more than four home games in a single season in that time.

AVOIDING A LOSING STREAK: For just the fourth time since August 2008, the Galaxy have lost consecutive regular season games. However, in that time, the club has never lost three straight regular season games. In the three games following those two-game losing skids, the Galaxy have a record of 2-0-1.

Following road losses to Chicago and Columbus late in the 2008 season, the Galaxy bounced back with a 3-2 home win over the Colorado Rapids. Then, in June 2009, the Galaxy saw their 10-game unbeaten streak snapped by a home loss to Real Salt Lake, which was then followed by a defeat against San Jose on the road. Bruce Arena’s team recovered from those defeats with a 1-0 home win over Houston behind a goal from Todd Dunivant. That victory was the start of a six-game unbeaten streak that saw LA take 16 of a possible 18 points to move from sixth place in the Western Conference, all the way up to second.

Finally, following losses at San Jose and at home against Kansas City in August 2010, the Galaxy responded with a 1-1 draw at Chicago thanks to an Omar Gonzalez header in second half stoppage time.

A NEW NUMBER FOR LOPES: Newly acquired defender David Junior Lopes will wear the #3 shirt for the Galaxy, a jersey that was last worn by Gregg Berhalter during the 2011 MLS Cup championship season. The Brazilian center back, who will train with the Galaxy for the first time on Thursday, wore the #77 shirt during his brief stint with Chivas USA. His former assistant coach with Chivas USA, Greg Vanney, spent the most time in the Galaxy #3 shirt, wearing it from 1997-2001 before he moved to Europe, signing with Bastia in France. He also wore that shirt upon returning to the club in 2008 for the final year of his playing career.

Berhalter, who was a player/coach for the Galaxy last season, retired from playing following the completion of the 2011 campaign and is now the head coach for Hammarby of the Swedish Superettan, which is the second division of soccer in Sweden. Berhalter had his first game in charge of the club on Monday, leading Hammarby to a 1-0 home win over Halmstad.

SAUNDERS UP FOR SAVE OF THE WEEK: For the second straight week, Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders has been nominated for the MLS Save of the Week award for his diving stop to deny Sporting Kansas City’s Chance Myers in the first half of Saturday’s loss at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. Myers pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the box and lashed a low, right footed shot which Saunders was able to keep out by diving to his left to palm the ball away. That was the first of three saves on the afternoon for Saunders, who has played every minute of all six official games that the Galaxy have played this season.

Voting for the MLS Save of the Week award is open now (click here to vote) and closes at 11:59 p.m. (PT) on Thursday, April 11.

TORRE ADDED TO U.S. U-20 SQUAD: Galaxy Academy defender Javan Torre has been added to the U.S. Under-20 National Team squad for their camp that is currently being held in Portland, Ore. A native of Santa Monica, Calif., Torre had been in Spain with Galaxy Academy, taking part in the Real Sociedad XXVII Youth Invitational Tournament prior to joining the rest of the U-20 squad on Monday. Torre has played in 14 games so far this season for the Galaxy Academy U-18’s, helping them to a 13-1-3 record in all competitions while allowing just 12 goals in those 17 games.

He is joined in the camp, which will run through April 16, by Galaxy forward Jack McBean and fellow Academy defender Jeff Payeras. The team will play an intrasquad scrimmage on Thursday and then take on the University of Washington on Sunday before closing camp on Monday.