LA Galaxy Weekly Update: May 16

Galaxy the visitors in first leg of the SuperClasico on Saturday

Donovan_superclasico2010

Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora / LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. Fresh off a comprehensive 4-1 win over Sporting Kansas City that completed a stretch of three games in eight days, the LA Galaxy will return to action on Saturday night in the first leg of the SuperClasico against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center. After taking Sunday and Monday off, the team returns to training on Tuesday and will hold four sessions before taking on their in-stadium rivals. Saturday’s game kicks off at 7 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

LA are 12-3-5 all-time against Chivas USA and have won the annual SuperClasico in five of the six years that the teams have faced one another. In the last eight meetings between the two sides, dating back to the start of the 2008 campaign, the Galaxy are 5-0-3 and have allowed just six goals while scoring 14.

The Galaxy will be the visiting team on Saturday and fans that cannot make it out to The Home Depot Center are encouraged to head to the ESPN Zone at L.A. Live or the Bier Academy in Santa Clarita (18511 Soledad Canyon Rd.) for the club’s official viewing parties. They can also listen to the game on the radio in English on KTLK 1150 AM or in Spanish on KWKU 1220 AM and ESPN Deportes Radio KWKW 1330 AM. The live play-by-play (audio only) will also be available online at www.lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive.

INJURY REPORT

Galaxy Injury Report

OUT – Sean Alvarado (Right Knee – Surgery), Leonardo (Right Knee – Surgery)

DOUBTFUL – None

QUESTIONABLE – Adam Cristman (Left Knee – Surgery Recovery)

PROBABLE – None

TEAM NOTES

SET FOR THE SUPERCLASICO: Saturday’s game will be the first installment of the SuperClasico, the annual series between the Galaxy and Chivas USA. The two sides will meet again at The Home Depot Center on Sunday, October 16 to complete the season series with the Galaxy serving as the home team for that game. The Galaxy are 5-1-3 all-time when serving as the road team with the only loss coming in 2007.

After playing four times a year from 2005-07, the two teams met three times in 2008 and 2009 and then twice last season. Since 2008, the Galaxy are 5-0-3 in eight regular season games against Chivas USA while also defeating them 3-2 on aggregate in their Western Conference Semifinal Series in 2009.

In the first SuperClasico of each year, the Galaxy are 5-0-1, winning by a combined score of 15-5 in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 while playing to a 0-0 draw in the first meeting of 2009.

AFTER A BUSY WEEK: With the 4-1 win over Kansas City on Saturday, the Galaxy finished their second spell this season of three games in just over a week. In this current stretch of games, the Galaxy went 1-0-2, playing New York to a 1-1 draw at The Home Depot Center on May 7 before travelling to Philadelphia for a 1-1 draw with the Union on May 11. Earlier in the year, the Galaxy played three straight road games in the span of eight days, going 1-0-2 after drawing 1-1 at D.C. United and 0-0 at Toronto FC before defeating the Chicago Fire 2-1 at Toyota Park.

Following that run of games, the Galaxy returned home to beat Portland 3-0, a result that they would be pleased to repeat on Saturday against Chivas USA.

LEAGUE LEADER: With his two goals on Saturday night, Landon Donovan is now the MLS leader in goals scored with seven. After failing to score in any of LA’s first seven games, four of which he missed because of injury or international duty, Donovan has now scored in each of the last five games, tallying all seven of his goals in that span. Donovan now has one more goal than D.C. United forward Charlie Davies, who has six goals in nine games this season.

Donovan, who led MLS in goals in 2008 when he scored a career-high 20 times, scored seven goals in 24 games for the club last year, scoring his seventh and final goal of the season on September 18 in a 2-1 home win over D.C. United.

Additionally, with his two goals against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, Donovan now has 25 career multi-goal games, which are the most in MLS history, three more than Jeff Cunningham and Ante Razov, who each have 22 during their MLS careers. He is also now alone in fourth place in league history with 110 career regular season goals and 29 career game-winning goals.

STEPPING IN: With Donovan Ricketts taken ill before the game, Josh Saunders stepped in to make his fourth start of the season in goal for the Galaxy and his first since March 26. Saunders, who started each of the first three games of the year while Ricketts was recovering from a hamstring injury, made three saves and allowed just one goal, an Omar Gonzalez own goal, to record his first win since the season opener in Seattle on March 15.

The win was the fifth of Saunders’ MLS career, improving his record to 5-4-4. Additionally, he lowered his career goals against average to 1.34 with his performance and dropped his season GAA from 1.67 to 1.50. In his last nine performances in the league, seven of which were starts, Saunders has allowed more than one goal in a game just once while keeping four clean sheets.

FIRST FOR BECKHAM: Back in the starting lineup after being rested for the trip to Philadelphia, David Beckham completed the scoring in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Sporting Kansas City with an 87th minute freekick. That goal, which has been nominated for the AT&T MLS Goal of the Week award (click here to vote, voting ends at 11:59 p.m. (PT) on Thursday), was Beckham’s first of the season and the 10th of his MLS career.

After scoring directly from a freekick just once in MLS play in his first three years with the club, Beckham has now scored a pair of freekicks in league play since the start of October last year. In addition to his goal on Saturday, Beckham also scored a freekick against Chivas USA on October 3, 2010 in a game the Galaxy won 2-1. Prior to that, his only other goal from a freekick came on May 3, 2008 in a 2-2 draw at Real Salt Lake, which is the only multi-goal game of Beckham’s MLS career.

ANGEL OPENS HOME ACCOUNT: Juan Pablo Angel scored the Galaxy’s third goal on Saturday night against Sporting Kansas City for his second goal of the season and his first at The Home Depot Center as a member of the Galaxy. The veteran forward scored his first goal as a member of the Galaxy on March 26 against Real Salt Lake but had not scored in any of the last eight games, making six starts, before breaking through against Kansas City. He entered that game in the 61st minute, coming on for Miguel Lopez, and scored three minutes later. He finished the game with two shots on goal, tying a team-high, in his 29 minutes of action.

In his five-year MLS career, Angel now has 60 goals in 113 games after scoring 58 times in four years with the New York Red Bulls. He is now the 21st player in MLS history to record 60 regular season goals in his career with seven of those 21 having spent at least a portion of their career in a Galaxy uniform.

FIRST FOR BARRETT: Chad Barrett helped set up a pair of Galaxy goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half against Sporting Kansas City, turning a 1-1 halftime scoreline into a 3-1 LA lead. The first assist, his second of the season, came just 30 seconds into the second half as he played the ball into the path of Landon Donovan for his second goal of the game, putting LA up 2-1. Then, 18 minutes later, Barrett headed a Juan Pablo Angel knock down behind the Kansas City defense and into the path of Angel, who beat goalkeeper Eric Kronberg, to make the score 3-1.

These were the 21st and 22nd assists of Barrett’s MLS career, but it was the first time that he had ever tallied two assists in the same game. One of three players to appear in all 12 of the Galaxy’s games this season, Barrett now has three assists on the year, all of which have come at home, to go along with two goals. Barrett’s three assists leave him second on the team, two behind David Beckham who has five assists and a goal in 10 games this season.

FIRST FOR BARRETT: Chad Barrett helped set up a pair of Galaxy goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half against Sporting Kansas City, turning a 1-1 halftime scoreline into a 3-1 LA lead. The first assist, his second of the season, came just 30 seconds into the second half as he played the ball into the path of Landon Donovan for his second goal of the game, putting LA up 2-1. Then, 18 minutes later, Barrett headed a Juan Pablo Angel knock down behind the Kansas City defense and into the path of Angel, who beat goalkeeper Eric Kronberg, to make the score 3-1.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW TO BE SET ON WEDNESDAY: The draw for the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League will be held on Wednesday, May 18 starting at 8 a.m. (PT) from the CONCACAF headquarters in New York City. 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

ACADEMY SUPERCLASICOS ON TAP FOR SATURDAY: Just as the first team will face Chivas USA on Saturday at The Home Depot Center, so too will the LA Galaxy Academy U-16 and U-18 teams, who will be the road teams this weekend in the second and final meeting of the season between the two rivals. The two sides first met on April 30 with the Galaxy U-16’s winning 1-0 and the U-18’s playing to a 2-2 draw. Saturday’s games will be played on Field #6 at The Home Depot Center with the U-18’s kicking off at 2 p.m. and the U-16’s following at 4:30 p.m.

Both Galaxy teams were in action this weekend, playing a pair of games at The Home Depot Center. On Saturday, the U-18 played to a 2-2 draw with the Irvine Strikers while the U-16’s lost 3-0. One day later, the U-18’s fell 3-2 to Pateadores while the U-16’s played to a 2-2 draw.

Both teams remain in the hunt for a spot in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs, which begin late next month at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. A total of 32 teams from each age bracket qualify for the postseason, with 20 teams that finish first or second in their group and the next 12 best teams making up the field based on points per game average. The U-16’s are 15-4-2 for 47 points in all competitions for an average of 2.24 points per game, which is fifth best in the country while the U-18’s are 10-7-4 for 34 points in all competitions for an average of 1.62 points per game, which is the 23rd best in the country.

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.