The LA Galaxy will face their toughest challenge of the 2010 season this weekend when they travel to Ohio to take on the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew. The only two unbeaten teams remaining in MLS will face off at Columbus Crew Stadium on Saturday night in a game that kicks off at 4:30 p.m. (PT). The Galaxy are a league-best 8-0-2 for 26 points, leaving them 10 points clear at the top of the Western Conference while the Crew are 6-0-2 on the season for 20 points, leaving them five points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Fox Sports West will broadcast Saturday’s game live at 4:30 p.m., starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 4 p.m. The game will also be available locally on the radio, with KTLK 1150 AM and ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 AM carrying the game live in English and Spanish respectively starting with their pregame shows at 4 p.m.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Thursday, May 20, 2010; Galaxy 1 – FC Dallas 0 – Pizza Hut Park – Attendance: 10,947
The Galaxy remained unbeaten on the season with a 1-0 win over FC Dallas on Thursday at Pizza Hut Park. Mike Magee scored his first goal of the season in the 17th minute, finishing off a feed from 19-year-old Tristan Bowen, who was making his first career start. Donovan Ricketts made three saves in the game to give the club their fourth straight clean sheet and extend their streak of not allowing a goal to 366 minutes, the longest such streak in MLS this season.
Saturday, May 22, 2010; Galaxy U-16’s 0 – LAFC Chelsea U-16’s 2 – La Canada High School
The Galaxy U-16’s were shutout for the first time in nearly two months, falling 2-0 at LAFC Chelsea. LAFC were ahead 1-0 at the half and then added a second late on to seal the win and solidify their hold on third place in the Division.
Saturday, May 22, 2010; Galaxy U-18’s 3 – LAFC Chelsea U-18’s 2 – La Canada High School
Gyasi Zardes scored twice and Christian Alvarado added a second half penalty kick as the Galaxy overturned a 2-0 halftime deficit to pull out a 3-2 road win over LAFC Chelsea. The Galaxy were behind 2-0 at the break before Zardes cut the lead in half early in the second half with his first goal. Alvarado then tied the game with two minutes left with his team-best ninth goal of the year. That goal set up the game’s exciting finale, with Zardes scoring his second goal of the game in second half stoppage time to give his team their third win in the last four games.
Sunday, May 23, 2010; Galaxy 1 – Boca Juniors 0 – The Home Depot Center – Attendance: 18,267
Josh Saunders made 13 saves and Tristan Bowen scored his first-ever goal for the club as the Galaxy defeated Boca Juniors 1-0 in an international friendly at The Home Depot Center. Bowen scored the game’s only goal in the 83rd minute, finishing off a pass from Michael Stephens, who flicked a Mike Magee cross into his path to give LA the win. The Galaxy are now 2-0-1 in international friendlies this season, defeating Puntarenas FC of Costa Rica on March 10 and playing to a 0-0 draw with CD Aguila of El Salvador on March 21.
OUT – None
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Alan Gordon (Right Quad – Strain), Dema Kovalenko (Right Hamstring – Strain), Leonardo (Right Quad – Strain)
PROBABLE - None
UNBEATEN STREAK REACHES 13: With the 1-0 win over FC Dallas on Thursday night, the Galaxy stretched their unbeaten streak to 10 games to the start of the season and 13 regular season games overall dating back to the end of the 2009 season. The Galaxy are now 8-0-2 for an MLS-best 26 points on the season, leaving them 10 points ahead of Houston, Real Salt Lake and San Jose, who are all tied with 16 points, in the Western Conference standings. Against those three teams, the Galaxy are 2-0-0 this season, winning at Houston and at home against Real Salt Lake.
Dating back to the end of the 2009 regular season, the Galaxy are unbeaten in their last 13 games, going 10-0-3 in that time and taking 33 of a possible 39 points. LA has kept a clean sheet in 11 of those 13 games and have not trailed in any of them. This is the fifth unbeaten streak of 10 games or more in Galaxy history and the second longest unbeaten streak in club history.
From September 7, 1997 until May 17, 1998, the Galaxy won a club record 15 straight games, with all but one of those wins being settled in regulation, as opposed to a shootout, which was used to decide tie games from 1996-1999. That streak is the second longest in MLS history, four games shorter than the Columbus Crew’s MLS record 19-game unbeaten streak that began in July 2004 and was ended in April 2005.
The last time the Galaxy lost was on September 26, 2009 when they fell 2-0 to this weekend’s opponent, the Columbus Crew, who are the only other undefeated team in the league this season.
SHUTOUT STREAK EXTENDED: After their 1-0 win at FC Dallas on Thursday night, the Galaxy have now gone 366 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal this season. That streak, which dates back to the 84th minute of the 3-1 win over Philadelphia on May 1, is the longest in the league this year.
Of the 10 longest consecutive minutes without allowing a goal streaks in the league this season, three are owned by the Galaxy. LA opened the season by going 311 minutes without allowing a goal before Kyle Beckerman scored for Real Salt Lake in a 2-1 Galaxy win at The Home Depot Center. That is the fourth longest shutout streak in the league this season. After that goal, Galaxy goalkeepers went 223 minutes before allowing another goal, to Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney, for the eighth longest streak in MLS this season.
PERFECT AGAINST THE WEST: Following their 1-0 win over FC Dallas on Thursday night, the Galaxy are now a perfect 6-0-0 against fellow Western Conference opposition. Of those six wins, four have come on the road, with the Galaxy winning at Colorado, Dallas, Houston and Seattle, giving LA 12 points on the road against conference foes this season already.
With three road games against Western Conference opposition remaining on the schedule, the Galaxy already have more points on the road against conference opposition than they had in all of 2009 when they went 1-1-6 for nine points. Including home games last season, the Galaxy were 4-5-7 against the Western Conference last season for 19 points – one more than they have in six games this season. With a draw in any of their final eight games against the West, the Galaxy can match their point total from last season against their conference opposition.
BOWEN ON THE BOARD: It was quite a week for Galaxy forward Tristan Bowen as he made the first start of his MLS career on Thursday against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park. The 19-year-old forward had appeared in two games this season as a second half substitute, but was making his first start for the club against FCD. That appearance became even more memorable in the 17th minute when Bowen raced onto a Chris Klein through ball and drew Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman off his line before squaring the ball back across the face of goal for Mike Magee to slot home for his first goal of the season, a goal that gave LA a 1-0 win.
The week got even better for Bowen on Sunday afternoon when he again started and played the full 90 minutes up front in the friendly with Boca Juniors. With the score tied 0-0 late in the game, Bowen got free in the box and slid a low shot past Boca goalkeeper Javier Garcia for his first goal with the club, giving the Galaxy a 1-0 victory.
TRISTAN MAKES 22: With Bowen starting on Thursday against FC Dallas, the Galaxy have now had 22 of the 25 players on the club’s roster start at least one regular season game this season. The only players not to start a game for Bruce Arena’s squad this season are midfielder David Beckham, who is currently recovering from surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon and is not eligible to play for the Galaxy until the transfer window re-opens, midfielder Clint Mathis, who has come off the bench in each of the club’s last five regular season games and defender Yohance Marshall, who has been on loan with the Austin Aztex of the USSF Division 2 Pro League for most of the season, though he was on the bench for the win at FC Dallas.
MATHIS FROM THE START: Midfielder Clint Mathis made his first start since re-joining the Galaxy in January on Sunday evening, playing 80 minutes up front in the 1-0 win over Boca Juniors. Mathis, who missed most of the preseason while recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, made his season debut in the 3-1 win over Philadelphia on May 1 and has played in each of the Galaxy’s last five regular season games, coming on as a second half substitute and playing between 13-25 minutes in each.
MARSHALL RETURNS TO AUSTIN: After being an unused substitute against FC Dallas and playing the final 45 minutes of the 1-0 win over Boca Juniors on Sunday evening, second year Galaxy defender Yohance Marshall has returned to Austin ahead of his team’s game against Miami FC on Wednesday. The 24-year-old center back has played in seven games for the Aztex while helping them to a league-best 4-1-2 record for 14 points.
JOSH SAUNDERS SITS DOWN FOR CUP OF JOE: Tune-in to the Galaxy's weekly live web show, Cup of Joe, with radio play-by-play announcer Joe Tutino. On Wednesday afternoon, goalkeeper Josh Saunders will sit down with Tutino to discuss his performance against Boca Juniors, the life of a goalkeeper in MLS and much more. The show will air live at 12:30 p.m. on the Galaxy’s website, www.lagalaxy.com, where it will also be archived for future viewing.
Fans can participate asking by questions either beforehand or live during the chat. Start submitting questions for Dave now to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GALAXY ACADEMY HEAD TO FLORIDA FOR SHOWCASE: The LA Galaxy Youth Academy teams head to Sarasota, Fla. this week for three games at the annual U.S. Soccer Development Academy Spring Showcase. Both Galaxy teams will play on Friday, Sunday and Monday before returning to Los Angeles for the final two games of the Development Academy regular season.
Both the U-16’s and U-18’s will open the Showcase against North Carolina’s CASL Chelsea FC Academy on Friday before facing NJSA 04 of New Jersey on Sunday and rounding things out against St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro from Missouri on Monday.
This is the second straight season in which the Spring Showcase is held at the Sarasota Polo Club. In 2009, the Galaxy U-16’s went 2-1-0 there while the U-18’s recorded a 1-1-1 record.
With two games left in their Development Academy divisional schedule, the Galaxy U-18’s are currently in third place in their division, giving them a berth in the postseason at this time. If the Galaxy win one of their final two games, they will be assured of a top three spot and a potential postseason berth, while two wins in those games would give them a second place finish in the division and a guaranteed postseason berth.
The U-16’s, who are currently tied for fifth place in their division, also have two games left in the division. They will need to win both of their games in two weeks time in order to possibly qualify for the postseason.
RILEY WOLFE GETS U-18 NATIONAL TEAM CALL: Galaxy U-18 midfielder Riley Wolfe has been included in the U.S. Under-18 squad that travelled to Portugal for the Lisbon International Tournament late last week. A native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., Wolfe has played in 18 games with the Galaxy U-18’s this season, scoring five goals. He will miss this week’s Spring Showcase in Sarasota, Fla. before returning for his team’s final two games of the season.
Mike Matkovich’s team travelled to Lisbon, Portugal on Friday for the start of the 10-day trip. While in Lisbon, Wolfe and the rest of the U.S. Under-18’s will face Norway on Thursday, Romania on Friday and Portugal on Sunday before returning home next Monday.
IN THE COMMUNITY
COPA LA KICK’S OFF IN RIVERSIDE THIS WEEKEND: The LA Galaxy’s Ninth Annual Copa LA, presented by La Curacao, will kickoff this Memorial Day Weekend (May 29-31) at the Ab Brow Sports Complex.
More than 150 teams ranging from Under-9 to Under-19 in boys and girls divisions will compete in the event. Group preliminary matches will be played Saturday and Sunday with the semifinals and finals in each age category to be contested on Monday.
Copa LA, a tournament for unaffiliated Hispanic youth soccer teams, provides an opportunity for players to be seen by Galaxy scouts as well as their counterparts from Southland colleges.
GALAXY FOUNDATION SHOT OF THE WEEK: At each LA Galaxy home game, fans are invited to visit the Galaxy Foundation Booth to place your bid on the Galaxy Foundation's Shot of the Week presented by MoraPhotography.com. Each photo will be signed by the player or players featured. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation.
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 the club’s official blog at thelagalaxy.blogspot.com for all the latest news from the club. The Galaxy can also be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lagalaxy and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lagalaxy.