Galaxy looking to defend five-game unbeaten streak against D.C.

D.C. United return home to RFK Stadium to face an old rival, the LA Galaxy, on Saturday evening. United opened their season with a victory at home, but come into the game off back-to-back losses on the road. The Galaxy rebounded from a heavy defeat last weekend at home in a 1-0 win against Philadelphia Union.

WATCH: Head coach Bruce Arena and Galaxy players preview Saturday's match against D.C. United

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HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • The Galaxy have a five-game unbeaten streak alive against United. D.C. last won June 29, 2008; LA has won three of the five meetings since, including 2-1 victories in both contests last season.
  • United have not defeated the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center since 2005.  Landon Donovan has scored 14 goals, along with 3 assists, in 18 career games vs. D.C. United.
  • Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. DC: P10 W4 L3 D3 ... Ben Olsen v COL: P1 W0 L1 D0

ALL-TIME (36 meetings): Galaxy 17 wins (0 shootout), 57 goals ... United 13 wins (1 shootout), 47 goals ... Ties 6

AT RFK STADIUM (9 meetings): Galaxy 9 wins (0 shootout), 33 goals ... United 8 wins (1 shootout), 30 goals ... Ties 2

LAST YEAR (MLS):

7/18: DC 1, LA 2 (Donovan 58; Najar 54 – Buddle 38) [RECAP | HIGHLIGHTS]

9/18: LA 2, DC 1 (Donovan 81, 86 – Najar 60) [RECAP | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS]

LA GALAXY

The LA Galaxy rebounded from their first loss with a 1-0 victory Saturday against Philadelphia Union at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy have 7 points from 4 games on the season, sitting in second place in the Western Conference. STANDINGS

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came from a David Beckham set piece in the 33rd minute. After Juninho was taken down some 30 yards out, Beckham lined up a free kick and sent it to the heart of the penalty area. Leonardo shook off Stefani Miglioranzi’s mark and rattled in a header off the right post. WATCH LEONARDO'S GOAL

TEAM NEWS

  • Donovan Ricketts, the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, and Best XI honoree Omar Gonzalez made their first starts for the Galaxy in the 1-0 win against Philadelphia after missing the first three games through injury.
  • "Bruce just said to me, 'Do you want to try something different?' and did," Beckham said. "We kept the ball well tonight, we passed the ball around well and we created chances. I've played that position a number of times before, whether it be Manchester United, Real Madrid and England and I know I can play that position."
  • Said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena: “I think [it's about] getting him more involved with the team, having a little more responsibility. He's obviously a player with quality and experience, and we should throw him right in the middle of everything, give him that kind of responsibility.”
  • The scheme changed yet again when Birchall was sent off early in the second half and the Galaxy had to protect the lead. But goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was not forced to make a save, as Union were able to manage just four attempts at goal. WATCH: Birchall sees red
  • “The back four did a really good job organizing us, David and Juninho’s work ethic were great in the middle – closing down lanes, tackling – and in the right moments we went for it and got some chances,” Galaxy captain Landon Donovan said. “If you drew up how you want to play when you’re down a man, that was ideal.”
  • Center back Leonardo scored his first MLS goal after getting onto the end of a Beckham free kick. WATCH LEONARDO'S GOAL
  • “I know when I put it in the right areas, we can score from it,” Beckham said. “It’s something we practice week in and week out in training. If I put it in the right area, I know we’ve got either Omar [Gonzalez] or Leonardo. They’re brave players. They stick their head on it.”
  • Juan Pablo Angel made his second consecutive start in attack, but this time was paired with rookie Miguel Lopez, who made his first MLS start.
  • “I thought he played well. When we went down to ten players, we had to make a change and we took Miguel out because of that and plus the fact that he had a yellow card. I thought he showed pretty well,” Arena said.

INJURY REPORT: OUT: DF Gregg Berhalter (L knee MCL sprain); FW Adam Cristman (L knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: MF Hector Jimenez (R wrist surgery)

SUSPENDED: LA: Chris Birchall (through April 10)

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: David Beckham


D.C. UNITED

D.C. United suffered their consecutive road defeat, falling 4-1 to the Colorado Rapids on Sunday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. United have 3 points from 3 games on the year, sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Caleb Folan put the Rapids into the lead in the 38th minute when he latched onto a perfectly weighted ball from Jeff Larentowicz and feinted past the D.C. defense before connecting well with a left foot drive past Pat Onstad.
  • United evened terms in the 70th minute through a Santino Quaranta first-time volley at the far post from a cross by rookie Chris Korb.
  • But barely a minute later, Rapids midfielder Jamie Smith popped up in the box to head home an Anthony Wallace long-range cross to push the Rapids back in front.
  • Folan then completed his double when he outjumped the D.C. defense to expertly head a Sanna Nyassi cross into the right hand corner of the net in the 81st minute.
  • Omar Cummings, who was rested for the start of the game and did not come on until an early second-half injury to Conor Casey, finished off a header in injury time off an assist from midfielder Pablo Mastroeni.

TEAM NEWS

  • With Perry Kitchen and Dejan Jakovic, the starting central defense partnership for the season opener, both unavailable, Olsen started natural left back Daniel Woolard alongside Rodrigo Brasesco.
  • Right back Jed Zayner was out with a hamstring injury, meaning Chris Korb was given his second MLS start – and he contributed with his first MLS assist.
  • “This is kind of good for our team — these guys who haven’t played much getting some time,” Zayner said to The Washington Post. “This league is all about depth and we’re going to prove to be a good team when we have awesome depth everywhere. We have it in midfield and forward, and now we need it on defense.”
  • United were also without striker Charlie Davies in the 4-1 loss at Colorado, after he missed the trip with a groin injury. Davies had scored goals in each of United’s first two games.
  • The makeshift defense held out for 70 minutes – until conceding three goals over the final part of the match after Santino Quaranta hit for the equalizer from a Korb cross.
  • “These are all parts of learning and becoming a better team,” goalkeeper Pat Onstad said. “With the amount of guys we have out at the back line it’s a learning experience...we just have to learn, get better as a team. That’s all you can do – it’s early.”
  • On Wednesday, United advanced to the next level of U.S. Open Cup qualifying with a victory on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw with Philadelphia Union.
  • The two sides exchanged first half goals via Carlos Ruiz and Josh Wolff, and then in extra time, when DC defender Daniel Woolard and Philadelphia’s Brian Carroll scored eight minutes apart to force penalty kicks. United made all four of their attempts in the shootout, while D.C. ‘keeper Bill Hamid saved one.
  • Here’s the United team: Bill Hamid; Brandon Barklage, Ethan White, Rodrigo Brasesco (Dejan Jakovic 41), Daniel Woolard; Andy Najar, Stephen King, Fred (Chris Pontius 89), Branko Boskovic; Josh Wolff, Joseph Ngwenya
  • Midfielder Andy Najar on Tuesday announced he would represent Honduras in his international career. Najar was born in Honduras, but has lived in the USA for years, although he still does not have U.S. citizenship.
  • “From the beginning, I was leaning toward Honduras. I don’t think it would have been more difficult,” Najar said. “ ... If they call me, I am ready to represent Honduras in the Gold Cup.”

INJURY REPORT: D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Junior Carreiro (R ankle sprain); GK Steve Cronin (L wrist fracture); DF Devon McTavish (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: FW Charlie Davies (R groin strain); PROBABLE: MF Clyde Simms (R calf strain); DF Jed Zayner (L hamstring strain)

REFEREE: Abbey Okulaja. SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: John McCloskey MLS Career: 105 games; FC/gm: 27.3; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 16; pens: 24

 
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