LA Galaxy Weekly Update: March 13, 2012

Galaxy Look to Advance in CONCACAF Champions League Against Toronto FC on Wednesday

starters_pregame_ccl

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria / LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, March 13, 2012)After losing their home opener on Saturday night, the LA Galaxy will return to action this week with a pair of games at The Home Depot Center. With the two games this week, the Galaxy will conclude a stretch that saw them play four games at the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz., two in the CONCACAF Champions League and two in MLS for a total of eight games in the span of 26 days.

The week kicks off on Wednesday when LA host Toronto FC in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal. The Galaxy came from 2-0 behind to claim a 2-2 draw in the first leg in front of more than 47,000 fans at Rogers Centre and are now in position to advance to the Champions League Semifinals for the first time in club history. The Galaxy can do just that with a win or a draw that finishes 0-0 or 1-1 on Wednesday in a game that can be seen live on FOX Soccer, TeleFutura and concacaf.com starting at 7 p.m. The series will go to 30 minutes of extra time and possibly penalties if Wednesday’s game finishes 2-2 while a Toronto win or a draw of 3-3 or higher will see the Galaxy eliminated from the competition.

Four days later, the Galaxy will wrap up their stretch of four games in two weeks to open the 2012 campaign when they host D.C. United on Sunday, March 18. Like the Galaxy, United lost their season opener at home on Saturday, conceding a late goal to C.J. Sapong in a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City. The Galaxy are unbeaten in their last seven games at home against United in all competitions and have not lost to them in their last seven games overall, going 3-0-4 in those matches.

Sunday’s game, which can be seen live on KDOC in English and in Spanish on Galavision, kicks off at 4 p.m. with Galaxy players receiving their MLS Cup championship rings prior to the game. For more information about this game or to purchase tickets, please visit www.lagalaxy.com/tickets.

INJURY REPORT

Galaxy Injury Report

OUT – Adam Cristman (Concussion), Omar Gonzalez (Left Knee – Surgery), Bryan Jordan (Left Hamstring – Strain), Leonardo (Right Knee – Surgery), Kyle Nakazawa (Tonsillectomy), Jose Villarreal (Bilateral lower leg – surgery)
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – None
PROBABLE – None

TEAM NOTES

STREAKS SNAPPED: With Saturday night’s 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy saw their 18-game regular season home unbeaten streak snapped. That Galaxy won their final home game of the 2010 campaign and then compiled a 12-0-5 record at home last season en route to winning their second consecutive Supporters’ Shield and their first MLS Cup since 2005. LA’s 18-game home unbeaten streak is tied for the third longest in MLS history. The San Jose Earthquakes also went 18 straight games without a loss during the 2004 and 2005 seasons while the Columbus Crew were unbeaten in 22 straight games from 2004-05. Real Salt Lake hold the longest unbeaten streak in MLS history, going 29 straight games without a loss from 2009-10.

The Galaxy did not lose a game at home in all of 2012, going 3-0-0 at The Home Depot Center in the MLS Cup Playoffs, 3-0-0 there in the CONCACAF Champions League and 1-0-0 at home in the U.S. Open Cup, beating the L.A. Blues at Titan Stadium in Fullerton in addition to their 12-0-5 regular season record at home for a 19-0-5 record as the home team.

Additionally, the Galaxy had won each of their last eight regular season home games before Saturday’s defeat, leaving them one game shy of tying the club record for consecutive home victories. During that eight-game home winning streak, the Galaxy had outscored opponents 15-3, keeping five clean sheets and never allowing more than a single goal. LA won nine straight home games from September 1997 until May 1998. Only the San Jose Earthquakes from August 2001 until July 2002 have won more consecutive home games than the Galaxy, winning 12 straight at home during that stretch.

WELCOME BACK EDSON: Playing his first game at home in a Galaxy uniform since November 2010, Edson Buddle scored the Galaxy’s only goal in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake. (WATCH) Prior to his goal on Saturday, Buddle’s last regular season goal in MLS came on September 16, 2010 when he scored LA’s only goal in a 3-1 home loss to Colorado. That was LA’s last home loss in the regular season before Saturday’s defeat to RSL.

Buddle, who is fourth in Galaxy history with 43 goals in 88 regular season games for the club, also scored against RSL when he made his debut with the Galaxy in June 2007, scoring in a 3-2 home win. For his career, Buddle has 10 goals in 13 career games against RSL, scoring at least once against them in six of their seven seasons that he has faced them.

STEPHENS CALLED UP TO THE U-23 NATIONAL TEAM: Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens was one of 19 players called into the U.S. Under-23 National Team for a training camp in Nashville, Tenn. by head coach Caleb Porter. Players begin reporting to the camp, which is the U-23’s final one before the start of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, later today. This is the fourth consecutive camp that Stephens has been included in, having trained with the U-23’s at various camps in December, January and February before being named in Porter’s current squad.

Stephens has played in each of the Galaxy’s two games this season, coming on late in the 2-2 draw with Toronto in the Champions League while also playing the final 21 minutes of Saturday’s loss to Real Salt Lake.

HOME COOKING IN CONCACAF: The Galaxy were a perfect 3-0-0 at home in the CONCACAF Champions League during the Group Stage of the competition, beating Motagua and Alajuelense by identical 2-0 scorelines while also claiming a 2-1 win over Morelia. Of the five MLS teams that qualified for the Champions League Group Stage (four representing the U.S. and one representing Canada) only the Galaxy took all nine possible points at home.

MORE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE NEWS

All-time in CONCACAF play, the Galaxy are 8-3-4 in games played within the United States, losing to Cruz Azul in the Champions Cup Final and to Necaxa in the first leg of the 2003 Champions Cup Quarterfinals. Their only loss in the U.S. to a non-Mexican club in CONCACAF play was in the Preliminary Round of the 2010/11 Champions League, falling 4-1 to the Puerto Rico Islanders at The Home Depot Center.

TIED ON THE TOP: With their goals in Toronto last week, Landon Donovan and Mike Magee moved into a tie with Juninho for the Galaxy lead in goals in the 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League. All three players have scored twice in the competition so far, making them the club’s top scorers in the current competition as well as all-time in the Champions League.

Additionally, Donovan’s goal was his third for the Galaxy in CONCACAF competition, making him the club the second leading scorer in the club’s history in all CONCACAF competitions. Donovan now has three goals in 11 games for LA in the Champions Cup and the Champions League, one fewer than Eduardo Hurtado who scored four goals during the 1997 Champions Cup.

The all-time leading goal scorer for the Galaxy, Donovan now has 106 goals in all official competitions for the club, scoring 83 times in the MLS regular season, 10 times in the MLS Cup Playoffs, six times in the U.S. Open Cup, four times in SuperLiga and three times in CONCACAF play.

HONORING THE CHAMPS: Prior to Sunday’s game against D.C. United, the 20 players on the current Galaxy roster who were also on the club’s roster at the end of last season will receive their MLS Cup championship rings. Galaxy fans now have the chance to win a ring of their own as well as a pair of season tickets for the 2012 season by filling out the entry form at www.lagalaxy.com/ring-sweepstakes by 11:59 p.m. (PT) on Thursday, March 22.

CHAMPIONS LIVE AT THE HOME DEPOT CENTER: On Saturday, March 24, the Galaxy will host a special event at The Home Depot Center from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. entitled Champions Live at The Home Depot Center. Galaxy fans will have the chance to watch the club train while also meet the 2012 Galaxy squad. All Galaxy Season Ticket Holders, Galaxy Champions Pack buyers and Partial Plan holders will receive a complimentary ticket to the event while all other Galaxy fans can attend for a $10 donation to the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation. Preregistration for the afternoon’s festivities, as well a complete schedule of the day’s events can be found at www.lagalaxy.com/championshdc.

In addition to the open training session, head coach Bruce Arena and captain Landon Donovan will address the crowd and help introduce the 2012 LA Galaxy. After training, the club will unveil a special Champions banner, which includes the names of all 2011 and 2012 Galaxy Season Ticket Holders, Partial Plan Holders and Champions Pack buyers. All fans will also have the opportunity to tour The Home Depot Center, purchase authentic team gear at the club’s Equipment Sale, attend a special Town Hall meeting with Galaxy Chief Operating Officer Chris McGowan and Vice President Chris Klein, meet the club’s broadcasters for the 2012 season, receive autographs from a number of past Galaxy greats and the club’s coaching staff as well as much more.

Additionally, all Galaxy Season Ticket Holders will have the opportunity to receive autographs from some of their favorite Galaxy players.

Fans can also purchase tickets to the event through a special deal that is currently being offered through Living Social through Wednesday. For just $25, fans can purchase one ticket to the Galaxy’s home game on March 18 vs. D.C. United or March 31 vs. New England and receive a ticket to the event on March 24 and a Robbie Keane t-shirt. This offer will run through Friday, March 9 and is sure to go fast so be sure to pick yours up today by visiting the club’s website.

RESERVE LEAGUE OPEN SEASON: The Galaxy will play their first game of the season in the MLS Reserve League on Monday afternoon when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on University Field #1 at The Home Depot Center. That game is scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m.