LA Galaxy Weekly Update: April 18

Galaxy Return Home from Road Trip to Celebrate Earth Day

Ricketts CHI

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CARSON, Calif. – After returning from a three game road trip that saw them take five of a possible nine points, the LA Galaxy are back at home this weekend for their first game at The Home Depot Center since April 2. On Saturday, the Galaxy will host the expansion Portland Timbers in the first-ever MLS game between the two clubs. The game, which is presented by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, will kick off at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, the Galaxy are also doing their part to help the planet as the club will be hosting an Earth Day Celebration, featuring a series of environmentally-friendly initiatives and activities. Among the activities in which the club is taking part is a free parking upgrade at The Home Depot Center to fans that drive hybrids, Galaxy staff carpooling to work and Galaxy players giving eco-friendly tips on lagalaxy.com.

On game day, the Galaxy will be handing out several green giveaways including 10,000 Children’s Hospital Los Angeles sports injury first aid kits provided in reusable bags, 5,000 eco guides by the Natural Resources Defense Council and 5,000 seed packs courtesy of the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation and the America the Beautiful Fund. To read more about what the Galaxy is doing on Earth Day click here. To see a list of all the activities the club is taking part, click here.

FOX Soccer will broadcast Saturday night’s game live, starting at 8 p.m. KTLK 1150 AM and 1330 AM ESPN Deportes Radio will also carry the game live on the radio locally in English and Spanish, with the English broadcast of the game also available online at lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive.

INJURY REPORT

Galaxy Injury Report

OUT – Gregg Berhalter (Left MCL – Sprain), Adam Cristman (Left Knee – Surgery), Leonardo (Right Knee)

DOUBTFUL – None

QUESTIONABLE – Landon Donovan (Right Knee – Inflammation), Hector Jimenez (Right Wrist – Surgery)

PROBABLE – None

TEAM NOTES

ROAD TRIP WRAPS UP: The Galaxy returned to Los Angeles late on Sunday night after wrapping up their three-game road trip that saw the club go 1-0-2, earning draws at D.C. United and Toronto FC and a win in Chicago on Sunday. On the road for a total of 11 days, the club traveled more than 4,800 miles.

So far this season, the Galaxy have already played five games away from The Home Depot Center, compared to just two at home. The Galaxy have played more road games already this season than Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City have played home or away in the league, with each of those clubs playing just four games so far this season.

A NEW OPPONENT: Saturday night’s game against Portland is the first of four games that the Galaxy will play against MLS expansion teams this season. LA will travel to Vancouver and Portland on July 30 and August 3, respectively, while also hosting the Whitecaps at The Home Depot Center on September 17. Since the first expansion teams (Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion) joined MLS in 1998, the Galaxy have an all-time record if 12-5-3 against expansion teams, including a 6-1-0 mark at The Home Depot Center. LA’s only loss to an expansion team at The Home Depot Center came on August 15, 2009 in a 2-0 loss to Seattle Sounders FC. In that game, David Beckham and Eddie Lewis were each sent off, while Landon Donovan missed the first half of the game while recovering from a virus

The Galaxy’s record against expansion teams does not include their 2-1-0 record, including a 1-0-0 mark at home, against the 2008 San Jose Earthquakes who returned to MLS two years after the original Earthquakes relocated to Houston.

BARRETT AND GONZALEZ OPEN GOAL ACCOUNTS: Chad Barrett and Omar Gonzalez each recorded their first goals of the 2011 campaign, scoring on either side of halftime in Sunday’s win over the Fire. The pair are now tied with Juan Pablo Angel, Leonardo and Mike Magee for second on the team in goals, one behind Juninho, who is the only player with more than one goal for the club this season.

Barrett’s goal was his first-ever in a Galaxy uniform, while Gonzalez’s was his first in the regular season since September 4, 2010 in a 1-1 draw at Chicago. Like Sunday’s goal, that goal came on a second half header, from a right wing corner kick at the south end of Toyota Park.

With each player getting on the scoresheet, the Galaxy recorded their first multi-goal game of the season after scoring exactly one goal in five of their first six games of the season and being shutout in the other. In 2010, LA scored multiple goals in 15 of their 30 regular season games last year, including four of their first seven games.

DOUBLING UP: In his third start of the season up front and his first alongside Chad Barrett, Miguel Lopez played the full 90 minutes for the first time in his MLS career on Sunday against Chicago. In those 90 minutes, Lopez recorded the first two assists of his MLS career, crossing for Chad Barrett to score the game’s opening goal late in the first half and then taking the corner kick which Omar Gonzalez headed past Jon Conway for LA’s second goal on the afternoon. The Argentinean also suffered a game-high fours fouls in the game, one of which led to a ninth minute yellow card for Michael Videira.

Prior to Lopez, the last player to record two assists in a game for the Galaxy was Landon Donovan, who set up a pair of first half goals in LA’s 3-1 win over Columbus on September 11, 2010.

CAPTAIN KEEPER: With Landon Donovan injured and David Beckham suspended, Donovan Ricketts served as the Galaxy’s captain for Sunday’s 2-1 win in Chicago. The Galaxy’s first goalkeeper captain since Joe Cannon wore the armband for a game in Colorado in August 2007, Ricketts made two saves and only allowed one late goal in earn his 30th career victory. Since returning from a hamstring injury at the start of the month, Ricketts is 2-0-2, with eight saves and a 0.50 goals against average in his four games played this season.

Ricketts was the third different player to wear the captain’s armband to start a game this season with Landon Donovan and David Beckham each wearing it three times. In 30 regular season games during the 2010 campaign, only two players served as the Galaxy’s captain with Landon Donovan doing so for all 24 games in which he played and Gregg Berhalter doing so in the other six.

THREE RETURN FROM SUSPENSION: After missing the 2-1 win in Chicago on Sunday, David Beckham, Juninho and Jovan Kirovski are all eligible to return to action for Saturday’s game against Portland. Beckham and Juninho had each started the first six games of the season but missed yesterday’s game because of yellow card accumulation and a red card, respectively.

With those three players out, Bruce Arena utilized Paolo Cardozo and Michael Stephens in central midfield with Chris Birchall on the right side of his four man midfield.

Through the first seven games of the season, the Galaxy have lost men in four games to suspension with Kirovski missing two while Beckham and Juninho have each missed one. In all of 2010, the Galaxy lost a total of four men to suspension with Omar Gonzalez missing two games for yellow card accumulation and Chris Birchall and Eddie Lewis each missing a game.

RESERVE LEAGUE RETURNS: The Galaxy will make their 2011 MLS Reserve League debut on Sunday afternoon when they host the Portland Timbers at the Track & Field Stadium at The Home Depot Center. That game will kick off at 12 p.m. and will be the first of 10 games that they will play this season. The Galaxy played in the MLS Reserve League from 2005-08 before the league was scrapped prior to the start of the 2009 campaign.

Fans wishing to attend Sunday's Reserve League match should enter The Home Depot Center off of Victoria, on the north side through Gate D, and park in lot 18. Seating will be available on the west side of the Track & Field stadium at no cost for admission.

The Galaxy will play in the West Division of the Reserve League, playing home and away games against Chivas USA, Portland, San Jose, Seattle and Vancouver. The Galaxy and Timbers are the only two teams in the Division who have yet to make their season debut.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW TO BE SET ON MAY 18: The draw for the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League will be held on Wednesday, May 18 in New York. The Galaxy qualified for the competition for the second straight year by winning the Supporters’ Shield last season. They will be joined in the Group Stage of the competition by the Colorado Rapids, while FC Dallas and Seattle Sounders FC will enter in the Preliminary Round.

The Preliminary Round games will be played over two legs starting in late July, with the first round of Group Stage games being played August 16-18. All 16 teams that qualify for the Group Stage will be drawn into groups of four and play a total of six games within their group. The final games of the Group Stage will be played October 18-20, with the Championship Round beginning on March 6, 2012.

LA GALAXY YOUTH ACADEMY

GALAXY U-16’S WIN; U-18’S EARN A DRAW: The LA Galaxy U-16’s got back to their winning ways with a 3-2 win over Real So Cal at The Home Depot Center on Sunday. Ludwing Vargas and Ivan Vasquez gave the Galaxy a 2-0 halftime lead before Justin Dhillon added a third early in the second half to make the score 3-0. Real would score twice in the final 30 minutes of the game, but that would not be enough as LA held on for the win, which improved their record to 14-2-1 on the season in all competitions.

Earlier in the day, the Galaxy U-18’s got a 90th minute goal from Matthew Tilley to claim a 2-2 draw with Real So Cal. Eric Gonzalez gave LA a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute, but Real scored a pair of second half goals to take the lead and appeared to be on their way to securing three points before Tilley equalized late on.  

Both Academy teams are off this weekend but will return to action on Saturday, April 30 when they host Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center. The U-18 game kicks off at 1 p.m., while the U-16’s will play at 3:30 p.m. Both games will be played on Field #5 at The Home Depot Center and admission to the games is free.

IN THE COMMUNITY

GALAXY FOUNDATION TO HOST SPECIAL MOTHER’S DAY VIP EXPERIENCE: The Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation will be hosting a special Mother’s Day VIP Experience prior to the Galaxy’s game against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, May 7 from 6-8 p.m. at The Home Depot Center. The Mother’s Day VIP Experience is open to all women and will treat them to a VIP Experience featuring a pre-game reception with appetizers and cocktail stations by Korbel and Finlandia Vodka, a coach’s chalk talk with Associate Head Coach Dave Sarachan and pampering experiences by Stila Cosmetics, Mimosa Salon and the California Healing Arts College. Additionally, the American Heart Association and Amella Caramels will take part in the event, which will include an Opportunity Drawing and gift bags.

The Mother’s Day VIP Experience is an exclusive fundraiser benefiting the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation. Fans can treat their mom or any woman in their life to a VIP Experience. Event tickets are $50 and can be purchased by calling the Galaxy Foundation at 310-630-2200 or downloading the Mother’s Day VIP Experience order form.

NEED TO KNOW

LOOKING FOR MORE UPDATES?: If you are looking for continuous updates from the Galaxy all week long, be sure to visit the club’s official websites www.lagalaxy.com and www.lagalaxyfutbol.com. The Galaxy can also be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lagalaxy and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lagalaxy.