For the first time in more than three weeks, the LA Galaxy will be back in action at home with a pair of games at The Home Depot Center in two different competitions. The week begins on Tuesday as LA open up their 2010 U.S. Open Cup campaign with a Third Round game against AC St. Louis.
Then, following a day off on Wednesday, the club will return to training on Thursday ahead of their Fourth of July showdown with Seattle Sounders FC. That game, which is presented by Chelada by Budweiser, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with the first 10,000 fans arriving at the stadium receiving a complementary American flag and the first 5,000 fans in attendance receiving a free pack of Upper Deck MLS trading cards. After the game, all fans in attendance will be able to enjoy a postgame fireworks extravaganza, powered by 104.3 MYfm. The Galaxy enter this week’s schedule of games with a nine point lead over Real Salt Lake at the top of the Western Conference.
Sunday’s game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports West, starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 7 p.m., while AM 570 and ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 AM will also carry the game live locally on the radio in English and Spanish respectively.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Thursday, June 24, 2010; Galaxy U-20’s 2 – Poway Vaqueros U-20’s 0 – The Home Depot Center
Gyasi Zardes scored a pair of first half goals as the Galaxy U-20’s stretched their unbeaten streak to four games with a 2-0 win over Poway at The Home Depot Center on Thursday. The win improved the Galaxy’s record to 3-1-1 at the halfway point of the Super-20 League season.
Saturday, June 26, 2010; Galaxy U-18’s 2 – FC Greater Boston U-18’s 2 – Bryan Park Soccer Complex
The Galaxy twice fought back from a deficit to earn a 2-2 draw with FC Greater Boston in their first game of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-18 Playoffs in Greensboro, N.C. Christian Alvarado scored his team-best 12th goal of the season in the 25th minute, tying the score at 1-1. Boston then took a 2-1 lead with 15 minutes remaining, but Neil Ignacio scored in the 82nd minute to earn his team a 2-2 draw.
Saturday, June 26, 2010; Galaxy 0 – Toronto FC 0 – BMO Field – Attendance: 18,809
Donovan Ricketts kept his ninth clean sheet in 13 games this season, making one save as the Galaxy earned a 0-0 draw at Toronto. Tristan Bowen had three chances to get the Galaxy on the board, but TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei was equal to the challenge each time as the Galaxy remained unbeaten against the Eastern Conference this season.
Sunday, June 27, 2010; Galaxy U-18’s 2 – Clearwater Chargers U-18’s 1 – Bryan Park Soccer Complex
The Galaxy U-18’s dream of a berth in the Academy Playoff Finals stayed alive with a 2-1 win over Clearwater in their second Group C game at the Bryan Park Sports Complex in North Carolina. Dyllan Stevens gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead just before halftime and Nati Schnitman doubled the LA advantage just after the hour mark. Clearwater was able to pull a goal back with 20 minutes remaining in the game but the Galaxy were able to hold on and earn their first win of the Playoffs.
Galaxy Injury Report
OUT – Mike Magee (Bilateral Sports Hernia – Surgery)
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Dema Kovalenko (Right Hamstring – Strain)
PROBABLE - None
U.S. OPEN CUP BEGINS: The Galaxy’s quest for a third Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title will begin on Tuesday night when they host AC St. Louis of the USSF Division 2 Pro League in an Open Cup Third Round game. The Galaxy are two-time winners of the competition, claiming the title in 2001 and 2005. The Galaxy also reached the Open Cup Final in 2002 and 2006 and lost out in the semifinals in 2000 and 2003.
The Galaxy last reached the Third Round of the Open Cup in 2007, when they defeated the Columbus Crew and New York Red Bulls in Play-In Games before being eliminated by the Richmond Kickers. In both 2008 and 2009, the Galaxy lost to Colorado in their first Play-In Game.
LA did not have to play in any Play-In Games in order to qualify for this year’s Open Cup as a result of their finish in the final 2009 MLS standings. The Galaxy are one of eight MLS teams that will enter the Open Cup in the Third Round this week. Chicago, Chivas USA, Columbus, Houston, LA and Seattle all qualified as having the six best regular season records in MLS last season, while D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls qualified through the Play-In Games.
If the Galaxy defeat St. Louis on Tuesday night, they will play the winner of the game between Portland and Seattle in the Open Cup Quarterfinals. If Portland wins, they will play the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on Wednesday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m., while if Seattle wins, they will host the Galaxy at Starfire Sports Complex on Wednesday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m.
DIVISIONS DOWN: Tuesday’s game against St. Louis will be the 13th all-time meeting between the Galaxy and a non-MLS club in the Open Cup. In the previous 12 games against non-MLS teams, the Galaxy are 10-2, including a 7-1 mark against teams that play one division below MLS. In addition to their 7-1 mark against teams from the A-League/USL First Division (now called the USSF Division 2 Pro League), the Galaxy are 1-0 against United States Amateur Soccer Association teams, 2-0 against Pro Development League teams and 0-1 against USL Second Division teams, falling 1-0 to the Richmond Kickers in the Third Round of the 2007 Open Cup.
The Galaxy have not qualified for the Third Round of the competition since that defeat.
The Galaxy last played a team that plays one division below MLS in the 2005 Open Cup Semifinals, defeating the Minnesota Thunder (USL First Division) 5-2 en route to winning their second Open Cup title.
LIFTING THE CUP: Seven current Galaxy players and three of the club’s coaches have won the Open Cup during their time in MLS.
Dema Kovalenko, who is suspended for Tuesday’s game after picking up a red card in an Open Cup Play-In Game against Columbus in 2008 as a member of Real Salt Lake, won the Open Cup in 2000 as a member of the Chicago Fire. Two years later, Edson Buddle helped the Columbus Crew win the Open Cup for the first time, defeating the Galaxy 1-0.
Chris Klein then won his first Open Cup in 2004, helping the Kansas City Wizards win the trophy for the first time in club history. In 2005, the Galaxy won their second Open Cup title, with Landon Donovan, Todd Dunivant, Alan Gordon and Josh Saunders all playing for the club that season. Donovan and Dunivant each started in the 2005 Open Cup Final win over FC Dallas, while Gordon entered the game as a late substitute.
Of the Galaxy’s five coaches, Bruce Arena won the Open Cup in 1996 as the head coach of D.C. United, Dave Sarachan won two Open Cups as the head coach of the Chicago Fire, winning the competition in 2003 and 2006. Finally, Cobi Jones won a pair of Open Cups as a player with the Galaxy, helping LA win the trophy in 2001 and 2005.
ANOTHER CLEAN SHEET: The Galaxy kept a clean sheet for the 10th time in 14 games this season on Saturday night in Toronto as they played to a 0-0 draw with Toronto FC. The Galaxy have allowed just four goals on 39 shots on goal in 14 games this season for a league-best 0.29 goals allowed per game.
In 2009, Donovan Ricketts and Josh Saunders combined to keep a team record 12 clean sheets, meaning that the Galaxy need just three more shutouts in their final 16 games in order to set a new club record for shutouts in a season. The Galaxy still need seven more cleans sheets this season in order to tie the MLS record of 17 clean sheets in a single season, a mark set by the 2000 Kansas City Wizards, who shutout their opponent in 17 of their 32 regular season games.
Additionally, Donovan Ricketts recorded his ninth shutout of the season in Toronto on Saturday, equaling his shutout total of last season. He needs two more shutouts to equal Kevin Hartman’s club record of 11 clean sheets, a record that he set in the 1999 season.
AIMING FOR A SEATTLE SWEEP: The Galaxy will play their second and final game of the regular season against Seattle on Sunday night at The Home Depot Center. LA won 4-0 in Seattle on May 10 and will look to complete the season sweep of the Sounders with a win on Sunday night.
The Galaxy have already finished their season series with three teams this season, going 2-0-0 against Houston, 1-1-0 against Real Salt Lake and 0-0-2 against Toronto FC. In 2009, the Galaxy swept their season series with Chicago, New England, New York and Toronto. They also won twice against Chivas USA while also playing to a 0-0 draw with them in April.
The only other time the Galaxy and Sounders played at The Home Depot Center was on August 15, 2009, when David Beckham and Eddie Lewis were each sent off in a 2-0 Sounders win. Since that game, however, the Galaxy have lost just once at home and have a regular season record of 15-3-5, which is the best in MLS over that period.
HALFWAY THERE: Sunday’s game against Seattle will be the Galaxy’s 15th regular season game of the year, putting them officially at the halfway point of the 2010 MLS season. With 33 points, so far, the Galaxy have already recorded their best first half of the season since 1998 when LA had 40 points at the halfway point of the season with a 14-2 record. The only other time that the Galaxy had at least 10 wins in the first half of the season was in the club’s inaugural season of 1996 when they were 12-4 in the first half of the season.
In 2009, the Galaxy were 3-3-9 for 18 points in the first half of the season before ending the year with 30 points from a 9-3-3 record over the second half of the year, giving the team a total of 48 points and a first place finish in the Western Conference.
DONOVAN NOMINATED FOR ESPY AWARD: Fresh off his run at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Galaxy captain Landon Donovan has been nominated for a 2010 ESPY Award for the Best Player in MLS. Donovan is one of five nominees for the award, joining Conor Casey, Jeff Cunningham, Shalrie Joseph and Kasey Keller.
He has been nominated in the “Best MLS Player” category award every year since its inception in 2006, winning it in 2006, 2007 and 2009 while missing out to teammate David Beckham in 2008.
In 2002, 2003 and 2004 Donovan was nominated in the “Best Male Soccer Player” category, winning the ESPY in 2002. In 2005, he was nominated in the “Best Soccer Player” category.
Hosted by Seth Meyers, the 2010 ESPY Awards will be held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Wednesday, July 14. The show will be aired live on ESPN that night at 6 p.m. (PT).
Fans can vote for Donovan and all other ESPY nominees at http://espn.go.com/espys/#/home.
GALAXY U-18’S NEED WIN TUESDAY TO ADVANCE TO ACADEMY FINALS: Through their first two games in Group C at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs in North Carolina, the LA Galaxy U-18’s find themselves in second place in their four-team group. The Galaxy have a 1-0-1 record for four points, leaving them two points behind group leaders, FC Dallas.
The Galaxy play FC Dallas on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. (PT) and will go into the game knowing that a win would see them win the group and advance to the Academy Finals, which will be held at The Home Depot Center from July 10-17. However, a loss or a draw against FC Dallas would eliminate the Galaxy from the postseason.
The 32 teams that qualified for the U-18 Playoffs were divided into eight groups of four, with the eight group winners advancing to the Finals in Carson. The Galaxy are one of eight MLS team academies to advance to the U-18 Development Academy Playoffs.
GALAXY U-20’S BACK IN ACTION ON SATURDAY: The LA Galaxy U-20’s are unbeaten in their last four games and will look to make it five in a row on Saturday evening when they travel to Lancaster to take on the last place Lancaster Rattlers at Antelope Valley High School at 5 p.m.
LA won the first meeting between the two sides 6-0, with Gyasi Zardes scoring twice and Michael Denny, Justin Finch, Michael Shadduck and Andre Turoldo all adding goals.
The Galaxy are 3-1-1 on the season, leaving them with 10 points and in a tie for second place with SUSA – Everton. Both teams are six points behind first place Chivas USA, who have 16 points from a 5-1-1 record, though they have played two more games than the Galaxy and SUSA.
The game Saturday against Lancaster is the first of five games in a span of 10 days that the Galaxy U-20’s will play to end the Super-20 League season. On Monday, July 5, the Galaxy will play their final home game of the season when they host Chivas USA. Two days later, the team will travel to Riverside to take on SUSA – Everton. They will be back in action on Friday, July 9 when the travel to Poway to take on the Vaqueros before closing the season on Tuesday, July 13 when they take on the Southern California Seahorses in La Mirada.
The winner of the Super-20 Pacific Southern California Division will qualify for the Super-20 Finals, which will be held later in the summer.
IN THE COMMUNITY
LOS ANGELES GALAXY FOUNDATION NEEDS FAN SUPPORT TO WIN $250,000 FROM CHASE COMMUNITY GIVING: The Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation, the charitable arm of the LA Galaxy, is competing with charities nationwide for donations ranging from $20,000 to $250,000 through the Chase Community Giving program. Fans have 15 days remaining to help ensure the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation’s success by simply voting through the Chase Community Giving program running on Facebook. Fans can vote for the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation and give them the chance to win the grand prize of $250,000 by visiting the Chase Community Giving program at: http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/954770699-los-angeles-galaxy-foundation and clicking the green “Get Started to Vote” button. One vote can be cast for each charity in the competition until 8:59 p.m. (PT) on Monday, July 12.
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.
FOR THE FANS
GALAXY HELP ARRANGE TRIPS FOR FANS TO SAN JOSE AND NEW YORK: Galaxy fans wishing to see their team play live in New York or San Jose are in luck as the club has paired with Bixby Travel Company to put together a pair of exciting travel packages. Visit Bixby’s official website at http://www.bixbytravelcompany.com/ for complete details and pricing for both trips.
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.lagalaxy.com/es, or the club’s official blog at www.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.