LA Galaxy Weekly Update: April 25

Galaxy head to Texas for Western Conference Championship rematch

Barrett POR

Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora / LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. (Monday, April 25, 2011) – Following their most comprehensive victory of the season on Saturday night, a 3-0 home win over the Portland Timbers, the LA Galaxy will go back on the road this weekend as they prepare to take on FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park. This game will be a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Championship that saw the Galaxy eliminated from the postseason following a 3-0 home loss.

David Ferreira, the reigning MLS MVP, had a goal and an assist for Dallas in that game, but he is not expected to be available on Sunday after suffering a broken right ankle in his team’s 2-1 win at Vancouver on Saturday. While Dallas lost their top attacking threat, the Galaxy welcomed theirs back to the lineup on Saturday as Landon Donovan played 74 minutes in midfield after missing the previous three games because of inflammation in his right knee. He scored twice and set up a third in the win over the Timbers for his first goal and assist of the 2011 season.

The Galaxy are unbeaten in their last two trips to Pizza Hut Park, claiming a 1-0 win last season behind a goal from Mike Magee and a 1-1 draw there in 2009. Since the stadium opened in August 2005, the Galaxy are just 2-5-1 in the regular season at the Frisco, Texas venue, though they did defeat the New England Revolution there in MLS Cup 2005.

Sunday’s game will be broadcast live nationally in Spanish on Galavision and locally in English on FOX Sports West, starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 3:30 p.m. 1330 AM ESPN Deportes Radio will also carry the game live on the radio locally in Spanish, with the English broadcast of the game also available online at lagalaxy.com.

INJURY REPORT

Galaxy Injury Report

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

DOUBTFUL – None

QUESTIONABLE – Miguel Lopez (Left Knee – Contusion)

PROBABLE – None

TEAM NOTES

DONOVAN NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Earlier today, Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan was named the MLS Player of the Week for his two goal, one assist performance against the Timbers on Saturday. This is the first time this season that Donovan has won the award and the tenth time that he has done so since joining the Galaxy in 2005. Donovan scored his first two goals of the season and also tallied his first assist of the year in the win over Portland. His 8th minute goal was his first for the Galaxy in an MLS game since September 18, 2010, breaking a run of 11 straight games without a goal for the Galaxy captain.

Donovan, who now has 105 goals and 92 assists in his MLS career, has won the Player of the Week award at least once in each of the last seven seasons, including a career-high four times in 2008.

In 27 career regular season games against Dallas, Donovan has 16 goals and 12 assists, while also scoring once and adding three assists in LA’s 6-5 win over Dallas in the final game of the group stage of the inaugural SuperLiga in 2007.

TWO UP FOR GOAL OF THE WEEK: Donovan’s second goal, as well as the one that he helped set up from Chad Barrett have been nominated for the AT&T MLS Goal of the Week award. Voting for the award is open now online and runs through 11:59 p.m. (PT) on Thursday with the winner to be announced at MLSSoccer.com on Friday. Click here to vote.

In addition to the goals from Barrett and Donovan, goals from New England’s Rajko Lakic and Marko Perovic and New York’s Juan Agudelo have been nominated for the award. Barrett and Donovan are the second and third Galaxy players to be nominated for the award this season, joining Juninho, who was nominated for each of his two goals this season.

THREE TIED FOR THE TOP: With Chad Barrett scoring once on Saturday and Landon Donovan adding a brace, the Galaxy now have a three-way tie for the team lead in goals. Barrett, Donovan and Juninho each have two goals on the season, one more than Juan Pablo Angel, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo and Mike Magee who each have one. The Galaxy’s 10 goals so far this season leave them tied with Sporting Kansas City and Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the most goals in the league, with half of LA’s goals coming in their last two games.

Through the first eight games of the 2010 season, Edson Buddle had already scored nine times en route to a career-high 17 goals, while six other players were tied for second on the team with one goal apiece.

DEFENDING THEIR HOME TURF: Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made a season-high six saves and kept his third clean sheet in five outings this season in LA’s 3-0 win over Portland on Saturday. Since returning to the lineup for the win over Philadelphia on April 2, Ricketts has allowed just two goals and posted a 3-0-2 record with a 0.40 goals against average, which is tied for the second best in MLS.

With the clean sheet on Saturday, the Galaxy have now not allowed a goal in the last 267 minutes of action at The Home Depot Center dating back to the club’s home opener against New England on March 20. Shalrie Joseph gave the Revolution a 1-0 lead in the 3rd minute of that game, but the club has kept a clean sheet since then, including shutouts in each of their last two home games.

In 2010, the Galaxy tied a club record with 12 regular season clean sheets, though only three of those came at The Home Depot Center.

WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH: Sunday’s game against FC Dallas will be the first meeting between the two sides since FC Dallas upset LA 3-0 in last year’s Western Conference Championship at The Home Depot Center. Since 2003 when MLS adopted the single game Conference Championship, the Galaxy have reached that stage of the postseason four times. In the following season, they have a combine record of 3-3-2 against the team that they faced in the Conference Championship.

In 2005, one year after falling to Kansas City, the Galaxy went 1-0-1 against them, winning 2-1 at The Home Depot Center and drawing 2-2 in Kansas City. One year later, after defeating Colorado in the 2005 Western Conference Championship, the Galaxy were a disappointing 0-3-1 against the Rapids, falling by identical 1-0 scorelines in each of their first three meetings of the year before battling to earn a 0-0 draw in the fourth and final meeting. Last year, the Galaxy were a perfect 2-0-0 against the Houston Dynamo, winning 2-0 in Houston in April and beating them 4-1 at home in June, after beating them in the 2009 Western Conference Championship.

FRIENDLIES ON TAP FOR MCBEAN: Galaxy forward Jack McBean is currently in Mexico with the U.S. Under-17 National Team for a pair of friendlies against Mexico ahead of this summer’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup, which will also be played in Mexico. The 16-year-old played a central role in helping the U.S. qualify for the tournament by winning the CONCACAF U-17 Championship. In the final of that tournament, McBean assisted on all three of his team’s goals as they defeated Canada 3-0.

McBean and the U.S. arrived in Queretaro, Mexico on Friday and will remain there until next Monday, playing a pair of games, first on Wednesday, April 27 and then again on Sunday, May 1 before returning to the U.S. the following day. The FIFA Under-17 World Cup will be held in Mexico from June 18-July 10.

RESERVES OPEN SEASON WITH DEFEAT: Playing their first Reserve League game of the season on Sunday, the LA Galaxy fell 3-1 to the Portland Timbers at The Home Depot Center. Featuring a lineup that included rookies Sean Alvarado, Hector Jimenez, Dan Keat, Dustin McCarty and Ryan Thomas, all of who saw their first game action of the season, the Galaxy were reduced to 10-men just before the 30 minute mark when Michael Stephens pulled down Portland’s Ryan Pore to deny a goal-scoring opportunity.

The Timbers went ahead just before the halftime break and added a second just three minutes after the second half began. Bryan Jordan pulled a goal back for LA from the penalty spot in the 79th minute before Portland sealed the win with a third goal in the game’s final minutes.

The Galaxy are now 0-1-0 in Reserve League play. They are back in action on Tuesday, May 3 when they take on Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center.

LA GALAXY YOUTH ACADEMY

DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY TEAMS RETURN TO ACTION ON SATURDAY: The LA Galaxy Academy U-16 and U-18 teams will return to action this weekend when they host Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center. The U-18’s kick off at 1 p.m. while the U-16’s will follow 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.

The Galaxy U-16’s are currently 14-2-1 for 43 points in all competitions, including a 5-2-0 mark in their seven SoCal Division games. Their 43 points are the most in the Division, six more than Pateadores and San Diego Surf. The U-18’s are 10-5-2 for 32 points on the season, including 3-2-2 in the Division. They currently sit in fourth place in the Division, 14 points behind the leaders, Pateadores, though they have at least three games in hand on all three of the teams that sit in front of them in the standings.

Both teams have 11 games left in the season against SoCal Division opponents. Of those 11 games, six will be played at home, starting with Saturday’s games against Chivas USA.

TWO ACADEMY PLAYERS FEATURE FOR RESERVES: Galaxy Academy players Justin Dhillon and Matt Tilley each came on as second half substitutes in the Galaxy’s 3-1 loss to the Timbers in Reserve League play on Sunday afternoon. Dhillon, a forward from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., replaced Frankie Hejduk in the 66th minute and helped the Galaxy score their only goal of the game when he was taken down in the box by Portland’s Freddie Braun, leading to a penalty kick which was converted by Bryan Jordan.

Tilley, who was originally born in England but now lives in Irvine, Calif., came on for Jordan in the 84th minute.

Dhillon plays for the Galaxy’s U-16’s, he’s scored seven times in 12 games, while Tilley, who recently joined the Academy program, has scored once in his five games with the U-18’s.

IN THE COMMUNITY

READING GARDEN 2011: As part of it’s commitment to give back to the community, the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation, The Home Depot Center Charitable Foundation and The Home Depot will be building a Reading Garden at Leapwood Avenue Elementary School in Carson on Thursday, April 28, 2011, starting at 9 a.m. Galaxy players will be present as well as volunteers from the Galaxy front office, The Home Depot Center venue and The Home Depot stores in Carson and Lakewood.

Leapwood Avenue Elementary was the winner of the 2011 Reading Garden Challenge. The challenge encouraged schools and students (grades K-5) to focus on Earth Day by reading Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax as part of the NEA’s Lorax project student Earth Day and creating posters based on one of the following environmentally friendly themes: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, Save a Tree, Don’t Waste Water, and Conserve Energy. The top four entries from Leapwood Avenue Elementary were displayed at the SouthBay Pavilion in Carson last week.

For more information about the Reading Garden, including photos from last year’s build, please click here.

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 feature 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 (Make up application and tips), Mimosa Salon (Manicure and hair styling) and the California Healing Arts College (Massages). 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 special 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.