LA Galaxy Weekly Update: September 19

Galaxy on the road for two games this week

joran_magee_VAN

Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora / LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. (Monday, September 19, 2011) – After a disappointing 2-1 loss to Morelia in Mexico on Tuesday, the Galaxy rebounded in style, cruising past Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-0 at The Home Depot Center on Saturday night. That win maintained the Galaxy’s seven point lead over Seattle in the race to win the Supporters’ Shield and put the Galaxy on the verge of clinching one of the three guaranteed playoff spots in the Western Conference.

The crowded schedule does not get any easier for Bruce Arena’s team this week as they hit the road for a pair of games in two separate competitions.

Following the team’s training session today at The Home Depot Center, the Galaxy flew to San Jose, Costa Rica ahead of Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League Group A game against LD Alajuelense. The Galaxy won the first meeting between the two sides by a 2-0 score at The Home Depot Center on August 25 and will now be looking for their first road win of the competition when they take on the Costa Rican champions, who beat Morelia 1-0 in their only previous Champions League game at Estadio Morera Soto. That game will kick off at 7 p.m. (PT) and will be shown live on FOX Soccer.

Following the game, the team will fly to Columbus, Ohio for Saturday’s league game against the Eastern Conference leading Crew. Sean Franklin scored the game’s only goal when LA and Columbus met at The Home Depot Center on July 20 as the Galaxy claimed a 1-0 win. The Galaxy have won each of the last three meetings with the Crew, including a 2-0 win at Crew Stadium in May 2010 when Tristan Bowen and Michael Stephens each scored the first goals of their MLS career. That win is one of only two that LA has recorded in their history at Crew Stadium, with the other coming in 2007.

The team will return to Southern California on Sunday morning ahead of two more game’s next week, against Morelia in the Champions League on Wednesday and in the league against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, though both of those games will be played at The Home Depot Center.

INJURY REPORT

OUT – Sean Alvarado (Right Knee – Surgery), Gregg Berhalter (Right Foot – Sprain), Sean Franklin (Right Knee – Inflammation), Leonardo (Right Knee – Surgery)

DOUBTFUL – None

QUESTIONABLE – David Beckham (Back Spasms), Juninho (Left Hamstring – Strain), Donovan Ricketts (Right Quad – Tightness)

PROBABLE – None

TEAM NOTES

FOUR REMAIN IN RACE: With their 3-0 win over Vancouver on Saturday, the Galaxy were able to maintain their seven point lead over Seattle in the race for the Supporters’ Shield, which is given to the team with the best regular season record in MLS. With 58 points on the season, which are one less than the club tallied last season when they won the Supporters’ Shield for the first time since 2002, the Galaxy are seven points clear of Seattle, 10 points ahead of Real Salt Lake and 12 points ahead of FC Dallas. None of the other 13 teams in the league can match 58 points that the Galaxy have already secured, meaning that they cannot win the Supporters’ Shield.

A Galaxy win over the Crew on Saturday or a Dallas loss to Houston earlier that day would eliminate FC Dallas from the Supporters’ Shield race, leaving just Seattle and Real Salt Lake in contention behind the Galaxy.

The MLS record for points in a season is 68, which was set by the Galaxy in 1998. In order to match that record, the Galaxy would need to get three wins and a draw from their remaining five league games, while anything more than that would see LA set a new league record. The Galaxy need just two more points to become the third team in MLS history to record 60 or more points in a season, joining the 1998 Galaxy and the 2005 San Jose Earthquakes, who had 64 points.

If the Galaxy can repeat as Supporters’ Shield winners, they would once again earn a berth directly into the Group Stage of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League and become just the third team in MLS history to achieve the feat, joining D.C. United (2006 and 2007) and the Columbus Crew (2008 and 2009).

A GOOD DAY: Now in his ninth MLS season, Galaxy forward Mike Magee had the second multi-goal game of his career on Saturday, scoring once on either side of halftime in the Galaxy’s 3-0 win over Vancouver.  Prior to that game, the only other time that Magee had scored twice in a game was exactly six years earlier on September 17, 2005 when he was a member of the MetroStars, who beat New England 5-4 at Giants Stadium that day.

Magee, who has only played twice in his MLS career on September 17, is now second on the Galaxy with five regular season goals and six in all competitions this year.

Additionally, after failing to score in any of his first 28 regular season games at home with the Galaxy, Magee now has four in his last four league games at The Home Depot Center, scoring once against Dallas on August 6, once against San Jose on August 20 and then two times last weekend against the Whitecaps. Prior to those four goals, the only time Magee had scored at The Home Depot Center in an MLS game was on November 1, 2009 when he scored LA’s first goal in a 2-2 draw with Chivas USA in the first leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series.

BECKHAM INTO FIRST: By assisting on each of Mike Magee’s goals for the Galaxy on Saturday night against Whitecaps FC, David Beckham moved into sole possession of first place in the race for the most assists in MLS this season. Beckham has 14 assists, the most of his MLS career, in 23 games this season, leaving him one assist ahead of Houston’s Brad Davis, who has 13 assists in 30 games with the Dynamo. Beckham now has four multi-assist games in his MLS career, including two this season, having also had two assists in the 3-1 win over FC Dallas on August 6. His 14 assists this year, which leave him tied with Martin Machon in 1998 for the fourth most assists by a Galaxy player in a single season, now has 30 assists in 71 career regular season games for the Galaxy.

With Beckham leading the league in assists and Landon Donovan tied for the MLS lead in goals with 12, that duo is looking to become just the third pair of teammates in league history to lead the league in those statistics. In 2000, the now-defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny had the MLS leader in both goals and assists with Mamadou Diallo scoring a league-best 26 goals and Carlos Valderrama leading the league with 26 assists. One year later, Alex Pineda Chacon scored 19 goals for the Miami Fusion to lead MLS while teammate Diego Serna finished tied for the league-lead with 15 assists.

The Galaxy came close to accomplishing the feat last year when Landon Donovan had an MLS-best 16 assists while Edson Buddle finished the year with 17 goals, one fewer then San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski, who won the Budweiser Golden Boot with a league-best 18 goals.

RECORD DAY FOR JORDAN: After recording just one assist in the first 44 games of his MLS career, Galaxy midfielder Bryan Jordan had two in the final 30 minutes of LA’s 3-0 win over Vancouver on Saturday night. Making his third start of the season, all of which have come at right back, Jordan provided the cross for Robbie Keane’s 64th minute goal which gave the Galaxy a 2-0 lead. Eleven minutes later, Jordan crossed from a similar advanced position on the right wing for Mike Magee to head home his second goal of the game, making the score 3-0.

Jordan, whose only previous assist had come on September 6, 2008 in a 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake when he made his first start in MLS and scored his first goal, is the fourth different Galaxy player to record two assists in a game this season, joining Chad Barrett, Miguel Lopez and David Beckham, who has done so twice, including on Saturday night against the Whitecaps. The Galaxy are 4-0-0 this season when they have a player record two assists in a game, compared to a 4-0-1 record when they have a player score two goals in a game.

SHUTOUT RECORD IN REACH: Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders made four saves against Vancouver on Saturday, helping lead the Galaxy to a 3-0 win. That shutout was the sixth of the season and the club record 15th for the Galaxy in 29 regular season games this year. LA are now just two clean sheets shy of matching the MLS record of 17 shutouts in a single season, which was set by the Kansas City Wizards in 2000 when they went on to win MLS Cup for the first and only time in the club’s history.

In 15 home league games so far this season, the Galaxy have kept nine clean sheets while allowing one goal or less in five of the other six games. The only time that the Galaxy have allowed more than one goal at home this season was on June 11 in a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC. In 14 road games, the Galaxy have recorded six shutouts, though they have allowed two or more goals four times, while also doing so once in the Open Cup and once in the Champions League.

In all competitions this season, the Galaxy have 17 shutouts in 34 games while allowing just 28 goals for a 0.85 goals against average.

HITTING THE ROAD: Following Monday’s training session, the Galaxy hit the road for a pair of games, first traveling to Costa Rica for Wednesday’s Champions League game against LD Alajuelense before returning to the U.S. to face the Columbus Crew in MLS action on Saturday at Crew Stadium. By the time the team returns to Southern California on Sunday, they will have traveled 6,780 miles.

The Galaxy are 6-3-5 on the road in league play this year, while they are 0-1-0 in the Open Cup and 0-1-0 in the Champions League following last week’s 2-1 loss in Mexico to Morelia. This will be the third time this year that LA plays more than one game on a road trip, going 1-0-2 from April 9-17 while traveling to face D.C. United, Toronto FC and Chicago while splitting a two-game road swing this summer, winning 4-0 in Vancouver on July 30 and then losing 3-0 in Portland on August 3.

ARENA ALONE IN SECOND: The 3-0 win over Vancouver on Saturday was the 125th of Bruce Arena’s career as a head coach in MLS, moving him into second place for the most wins in league history. Arena surpassed Bob Bradley, who had 124 wins with Chicago, the MetroStars and Chivas USA from 1998-2006 before becoming the head coach of the U.S. National Team. Only Seattle’s Sigi Schmid, who has 153 career wins in MLS, has more wins than Arena, though he is just 3-5-3 for his career in the regular season against the Galaxy boss as well as 0-2-0 in the playoffs.

In addition to being second in MLS history in wins for a coach, behind Sigi Schmid, Arena is also in second place, behind Schmid, in Galaxy history for wins by a coach. Arena has 48 wins since joining the Galaxy in August 2008, while Schmid is the club’s all-time leader in wins with 79 from April 1999 until August 2004. No other head coach has ever recorded more than 40 wins with the Galaxy.

IN THE COMMUNITY

GALAXY TO HOST DRIVE SERIES CLOTHING DRIVE ON OCTOBER 1: Winter is on its way and as a result, the Galaxy will be collecting new and gently-used clothing, shoes and blankets prior to the game against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, October 1. All items collected will go benefit children and families in need through the Union Rescue Mission.

Collection booths will be set up outside of all gates at The Home Depot Center starting two hours prior to the game. All fans that donate clothes will receive a Galaxy Drive Series voucher good for $5 off a ticket to the Galaxy’s game against Chivas USA on October 16, a player card signed by Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza and be entered into a drawing to win an adidas soccer ball signed by members of the 2011 Galaxy.

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.