LA Galaxy Weekly Update: April 4

Galaxy start three-game road trip this weekend vs D.C. United

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Photo Credit: 
German Alegria / LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. (Monday, April 4, 2011) – Following their hard fought 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night, the LA Galaxy will hit the road for the start of a three-game road trip that begins on Saturday night against D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Following the game, the Galaxy will head to Canada for a game against Toronto FC at BMO Field on Wednesday, April 13 before rounding out the trip in Chicago against the Fire at TOYOTA Park on Sunday, April 17.

Saturday’s game against United, who the Galaxy have not lost to since June 2008, will be shown live locally on FOX Sports West, starting at 4 p.m. with the Galaxy Live pregame show. Saturday’s game will also be available locally on the radio in English on KTLK 1150 AM, in Spanish on ESPN Deportes Radio KWKW 1330 AM and online in English at www.lagalaxy.com.

The Galaxy swept the season series against United in 2010, winning 2-1 at RFK Stadium on July 18 before claiming a come-from-behind 2-1 win at The Home Depot Center on September 18. Landon Donovan had three of LA’s four goals in those two games, while Edson Buddle had the other. LA are 3-0-2 against United in their last five meetings and are 9-8-2 all-time in regular season games at RFK Stadium.

INJURY REPORT

Galaxy Injury Report

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

DOUBTFUL – None

QUESTIONABLE – Hector Jimenez (Right Wrist – Surgery)

PROBABLE – None

TEAM NOTES

HITTING THE ROAD: Following Saturday’s 1-0 win over Philadelphia, the Galaxy will now hit the road for a three-game road trip that will see the club play three Eastern Conference foes in an eight-day span, starting with a game against D.C. United on Saturday night. From D.C., the team will head north to Toronto for a game on Wednesday against Toronto FC before rounding out the road trip with a game in Chicago on Sunday, April 17. This is the only time this season that the Galaxy will play three consecutive games on the road, though they will play two straight games away from home on two separate occasions later this year.

On the trip, which the club will leave for on Thursday and return from 10 days later, the team will travel 4,835 miles over their four legs of travel, averaging more than 1,200 miles per flight.

The Galaxy will not play again at home until Saturday, April 23 when they host the expansion Portland Timbers at The Home Depot Center.

KEEPING A CLEAN SHEET AT HOME: While he did not need to make a save in his 2011 debut, Donovan Ricketts did manage to keep a clean sheet in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Philadelphia. By keeping a shutout, Ricketts and the Galaxy defense snapped a run of 13 consecutive home games in either the regular season or postseason in which they had allowed at least one goal dating back to May 15, 2010. In those 13 games, LA had a record of 6-5-2, allowing 22 goals. In the 13 previous home games, dating back to June 2009, LA was 10-2-1, keeping nine clean sheets and allowing just 10 goals.

Since the start of the 2009 season, the Galaxy have kept 29 clean sheets in their 71 regular season and postseason games, with 14 of those coming at home and 15 coming on the road.

FIRST FOR LEONARDO: Brazilian defender Leonardo scored the first goal of his MLS career on Saturday, rising to head a David Beckham freekick past Faryd Mondragon from eight yards out, giving the Galaxy a 1-0 win over the Union. The 23-year-old native of Sao Paulo, Brazil had just four shots and one shot on goal in 10 league games for the Galaxy last season and scored with his first shot of this season.

The Galaxy have scored a total of four goals this season, scoring once in each of their four games. Of those four goals, three have been scored by Brazilians with Juninho and Leonardo each getting on the scoresheet and a Colombian, Juan Pablo Angel, tallying the other.

BEATING THE EAST: The Galaxy collected their first home win of the season on Saturday night against the Union. This was the third consecutive season in which the Galaxy’s first home win of the year came against Eastern Conference opposition. In 2009, LA got their first home win of the year on May 7, beating New York 1-0 behind a Landon Donovan penalty kick and a Donovan Ricketts shutout. Last year, on March 27, the Galaxy claimed their first win of the season, winning their home opener 1-0 over New England behind an Edson Buddle goal and another shutout by Ricketts.

BIRCHALL SEES RED: Midfielder Chris Birchall became the first Galaxy player to be sent off in a game this season when he was shown a red card by referee Paul Ward in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Philadelphia at The Home Depot Center. Early in the second half, Birchall was involved in an incident with the Union’s Carlos Ruiz off the ball, near midfield that ended with Ruiz being booked and Birchall being sent off, leaving LA to play with 10 men for the final 37 minutes of the game.

Birchall was the seventh player to be sent off in an MLS game this season, with the Union’s Jack McInerney becoming the eighth player to be shown a red card late in second half stoppage time.

The Galaxy have now won each of their last two games in which they have had a player sent off. Before Birchall, the last Galaxy player to be sent off was Eddie Lewis, who was shown a red card in the 76th minute of a 2-1 win over Chivas USA on October 3, 2010. Prior to that game, the Galaxy had not won a game in which one of their players was sent off since June 2008. In between, LA had eight players sent off in six different games, going 0-3-3 in those six contests.

YELLOW CARDS MOUNT UP: For the second straight game, the Galaxy collected four yellow cards, giving them a total of 10 cautions on the season, which are the most in MLS. Of those 10 yellow cards, three have been shown to David Beckham, who is now tied for the league lead in bookings along with Colorado’s Conor Casey and Seattle’s Leo Gonzalez. Beckham has been booked in three of the Galaxy’s four games this season, only avoiding a card in the 1-1 draw with New England on March 20.

In addition to Beckham’s three cautions, Miguel Lopez has two, collecting one in each of the last two games, while Chris Birchall, Landon Donovan, Leonardo, Donovan Ricketts and Josh Saunders each have one yellow card this season.

Players who receive five yellow cards in the season will earn an automatic one-game suspension, with additional suspensions to be served upon reaching a total of eight yellow cards, as well as for every two yellow cards after that. However, once a player is one card away from a suspension, he can have one booking expunged from his record by playing three consecutive games without being shown a card. This good behavior incentive can only be used by a player once per season.

RESERVES BEAT UCLA ON SUNDAY: Three weeks ahead of the start of the Galaxy’s MLS Reserve League schedule, the players who did not play significant minutes on Saturday against the Union defeated UCLA 2-0 at The Home Depot Center. Chad Barrett gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead late in the first half while 16-year-old Jack McBean, who was signed as a Home Grown Player from the Galaxy Academy in January, scored late in the second half to round out the scoring.

The Galaxy officially open their Reserve League schedule on Sunday, April 24 when they play the Portland Timbers at The Home Depot Center. That is the first of 10 games (five at home and five on the road) on the season for the Galaxy Reserves, who will play in the Reserve League’s Western Division along with Chivas USA, Portland, San Jose, Seattle and Vancouver.

LA GALAXY YOUTH ACADEMY

GALAXY U-16’S AND U-18’S SWEEP WEEKEND SERIES: The LA Galaxy U-16 and U-18 teams each picked up a pair of wins this weekend defeating the San Diego Surf and Nomads SC on the road on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

On Saturday, the Galaxy U-16’s claimed a 2-0 win over the Surf while the U-18’s were 1-0 winners. One day later, the Galaxy U-16’s won their third straight game, defeating Nomads 4-0 while the U-18’s won 3-2 for their third straight win.

The U-18’s are now 10-4-1 in their 15 games this season, including a 3-1-1 mark in SoCal Division games. The U-16’s are 13-1-1 in all competitions this season, including a 4-1-0 record in SoCal Division games.

Both teams are back in action on Sunday, April 10 when they play their first home games since November against SoCal Division rival Arsenal FC. The U-18’s 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.

GALAXY ACADEMY PARTNERS WITH SOUTH BAY FORCE: Early last week, the LA Galaxy Youth Academy formed a strategic partnership with Redondo Beach-based club, South Bay Force. Through this partnership, which is one of many that the Academy hopes to form with clubs throughout the region, the two clubs will share coaching resources and staff, and develop a common curriculum and methodology for training and developing young players while top players from South Bay Force will be able to move onto the Galaxy’s Academy teams.

The clubs will also share administrative resources for player registration, league participation, field inventory, and special events. They will also partner in developing regional training centers and creating community training opportunities for players throughout the region.

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.