Fresh off their first league win in nearly a month, the LA Galaxy will look to make it two wins in a row on the road this weekend when they travel north to San Jose to take on the rival Earthquakes. The Galaxy enter Saturday’s game alone atop the Western Conference with 43 points, four more than second place Real Salt Lake and 17 points ahead of the Earthquakes, who sit in sixth place with 26 points.
This will be the second and final meeting of the season between the two sides, following their 2-2 draw at The Home Depot Center on July 22. Bobby Convey gave San Jose a second minute lead on that night before Edson Buddle equalized just before the hour mark. Former Galaxy midfielder Brandon McDonald then put the Earthquakes back in front with just under 20 minutes remaining before Landon Donovan equalized in the 90th minute to rescue a point for LA.
This Saturday’s game will be broadcast live nationally in Spanish on TeleFutura and locally in English on Fox Sports West, starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 12:30 p.m. Additionally, the game will be live on the radio in English on KTLK 1150 AM and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 AM KWKW.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Saturday, August 14, 2010: Galaxy 1 – New York Red Bulls 0 – Red Bull Arena – Attendance: 25,000
Edson Buddle scored his league-best 13th goal of the season and Donovan Ricketts helped the Galaxy defense keep their first clean sheet since June 26 with a 1-0 win at Red Bull Arena on Saturday. Buddle gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute and the defense made that goal stand, keeping the potent New York attack at bay to give LA their first league win since July 18.
Galaxy Injury Report
OUT – David Beckham (Left Achilles tendon surgery – Disabled List)
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Todd Dunivant (neck spasms)
PROBABLE – None
BUDDLE STRETCHES LEAD: Edson Buddle extended his lead atop the MLS scoring charts on Saturday with the only goal of the game in LA’s 1-0 win at New York. The goal was Buddle’s 13th of the season, which is two more than his next closest competition, the Red Bulls’ Juan Pablo Angel. Buddle is now just two goals shy of tying his single season high of 15 goals in a year, which he set in 2008.
Buddle has tallied a goal in nine of the 15 games in which he has played this season, including an MLS-best four multi-goal games. Since returning from the World Cup in late June, Buddle has four goals in six games, with LA going 3-0-1 in the games that he has scored and 0-2-0 in those that he does not.
TWO-THIRDS COMPLETE: Saturday’s 1-0 win at New York was the Galaxy’s 20th game of the season, leaving them two-thirds of the way through the regular season. With a record of 13-3-4, the Galaxy have 43 points and currently sit four points ahead of Real Salt Lake for the best record in MLS. They need just five more points to equal their point total of 2009 when the Galaxy won their first Western Conference Championship since 2005 and they need only seven points to record the fifth 50 point season in club history and their first since 2002.
The last time the Galaxy entered the final third of a 30-game season in first place in the Western Conference was in 2004, when they had 33 points from a 9-5-6 record. However, LA won just two more games the rest of the season and finished in second place in the West before falling to Kansas City in the Western Conference Championship.
At this point last season, the Galaxy sat in second place in the Western Conference with a 7-3-10 record for 31 points. They went on to go 5-3-2 over the final 10 games to finish the season with 48 points from a 12-6-12 record.
RICKETTS BACK ON TOP: With his clean sheet on Saturday against New York, Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts regained first place on the list of the lowest goals against averages in MLS this season. Ricketts entered Saturday’s game with a 0.72 GAA, just behind former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who had a 0.71 GAA in his first season with FC Dallas. However, while Hartman did help Dallas to a win over D.C. United, he did allow a goal, raising his goals against average to 0.73, while Ricketts saw his GAA fall to 0.68 following his league-best 10th clean sheet of the season.
With his 0.68 goals against average this season, the Jamaican international remains on pace to record the lowest goals against average in MLS history. Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad currently holds that record with a 0.82 goals against average in 2007 when he allowed 22 goals in 27 games while helping the Dynamo win their second MLS Cup.
For his entire MLS career, Ricketts has a 0.88 goals against average, which is the best in the history of the league amongst goalkeepers that have played at least 90 minutes.
ONE FROM RECORDS: Donovan Ricketts and the Galaxy defense moved one step closer to a pair of club records on Saturday with their shutout of the Red Bulls. The clean sheet was Ricketts’ 10th of the season, leaving him one shy of the club record for shutouts by a goalkeeper in a single season, a record that was set by Kevin Hartman in 1999.
The team is also one shutout away from tying the club record of 12 clean sheets in a single season, a mark that was set in 2009 when Ricketts had nine clean sheets, Josh Saunders had two and the pair combined for one more. Saturday’s shutout was the Galaxy’s 11th of the season, with Ricketts keeping 10 clean sheets and Saunders keeping one in his only league appearance of the year.
ANOTHER NEW PLACE: For the second straight week, the Galaxy will be playing their first-ever game at a new stadium when they visit Buck Shaw Stadium to take on San Jose on Saturday. The Earthquakes played at Spartan Stadium from 1996-2005 before moving to Buck Shaw Stadium, which is on the campus of Santa Clara University, upon their return to MLS in 2008.
The Galaxy made two trips north to the Bay Area in both 2008 and 2009 to play the Earthquakes, but those games were played at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum as opposed to Buck Shaw Stadium because of the former’s larger capacity, with all four games drawing more than the 10,500 capacity of San Jose’s current home.
LA went 1-2-1 in their four games at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, with an average of 24,733 fans in attendance.
Buck Shaw Stadium will be the 33rd different stadium that the Galaxy have played a regular season game in since the start of MLS in 1996. After Saturday’s win at Red Bull Arena, LA is now 14-13-5 all-time in their first game at a new stadium. The Galaxy will step on the field in one more stadium that they have never played in this season, with the club visiting the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Thursday, October 7.
FOR THE FANS
CUP OF JOE WITH LANDON DONOVAN: Galaxy captain Landon Donovan will join Galaxy radio announcer Joe Tutino on Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. for Cup of Joe, the Galaxy's weekly live web show. Donovan will stop by to answer all the questions that the fans are asking ahead of Saturday afternoon’s big game against his former club, the San Jose Earthquakes. The show will air live on the Galaxy’s website, www.lagalaxy.com/cupofjoe, where it will also be archived for future viewing.
Fans can participate by asking questions live during the chat.
NEED TO KNOW
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