CARSON, Calif. – After travelling north to the Bay Area and falling behind early en route to a 1-0 defeat to San Jose on Saturday, the LA Galaxy return home this weekend to finish their season series with the Kansas City Wizards. The game, which is presented by Titan Insurance Sales, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and is LA’s first home league game in nearly a month.
The Wizards were the first team to take a point off the Galaxy this season, holding them to a 0-0 draw at CommunityAmerica Ballpark on April 24. That game snapped LA’s four-game winning streak to open the season and was very nearly a loss for Bruce Arena’s team only for the Wizards’ Kei Kamara to have a goal called back after he knocked the ball in with his hand in front of a wide open goal from two yards out, keeping the game scoreless.
This Saturday’s game will be broadcast live regionally on Prime Ticket, starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 7 p.m. Additionally, the game will be live on the radio in English on AM 570 and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 AM KWKW.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Saturday, August 21, 2010: Galaxy 0 – San Jose Earthquakes 1 – Buck Shaw Stadium – Attendance: 10,799
Chris Wondolowski scored for San Jose in the fourth minute and the Galaxy could not find an equalizer as they fell 1-0 to the rival Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Galaxy had 18 shots in the game, including eight on goal, but could not find a way past Jon Busch as they were shutout for a sixth time this season.
OUT – David Beckham (Left Achilles tendon surgery – Disabled List)
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Gregg Berhalter (virus), Todd Dunivant (neck spasms)
PROBABLE – None
LONG TIME AWAY: The Galaxy will host the Kansas City Wizards on Saturday night in what will be the club’s first game of any kind at The Home Depot Center since a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Fire on August 1. Since that game, the Galaxy have won at New York and lost at San Jose in the league, while also defeating Puerto Rico on the road in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Preliminary Round series and falling to Real Madrid in a friendly at the Rose Bowl.
The span of 26 days between home games is the Galaxy’s second longest of the season, exceeded only by the 28 days in-between the club’s home games on June 5 and July 4, with the team only playing two games in between those dates, a 1-0 loss at Real Salt Lake on June 9 and a 0-0 draw at Toronto FC on June 26, because of the two-week World Cup break that MLS took this season.
Saturday’s game against the Wizards will be one of six home games that the club has over the final two months of the season, compared to just three road matches. Of those three, one is against Chivas USA, meaning that the club will have to make just two road trips, to Chicago and Philadelphia, before the end of the MLS regular season.
A HALF DOZEN AT HOME: Since Bruce Arena was named head coach of the Galaxy on August 18, 2008, the club has lost just six MLS regular season home games at The Home Depot Center, including their last home game on August 1 against Chicago. In the club’s next home game immediately following a home loss under Arena, LA is 3-0-2, including a 3-0-1 mark in 2009.
The loss to the Fire was LA’s first home defeat since September 12, 2009, when the Galaxy fell 6-3 to FC Dallas.
The last time the Galaxy lost consecutive home games in the league was in 2007, when LA fell 3-0 to Chivas USA on August 23 and then fell 2-1 to Real Salt Lake on September 1. Since those two games, the Galaxy are 22-10-12 in regular season home games at The Home Depot Center.
BUDDLE AND DONOVAN KEEP LEADS: Despite failing to get on the scoresheet in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Earthquakes, Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan remain atop the league’s scoring charts with the most goals and assists in MLS respectively.
Buddle’s 13 goals are one more than New York’s Juan Pablo Angel, who scored his 12th goal of the season on Saturday in New York’s 4-1 win at Toronto FC. Despite missing six weeks of action while at the World Cup, Buddle has led MLS in goals scored all season long after scoring seven times in LA’s first four games. Neither Buddle nor Angel have ever led MLS in goals scored over an entire season, with Angel finishing second with a career-best 19 goals in 2007 and Buddle finishing third with a career-best 15 goals in 2008.
Donovan remains in first place in assists with 11, two more than San Jose’s Bobby Convey, who assisted on Chris Wondolowski’s goal for his ninth assist of the season, Sebastian Le Toux and Fredy Montero. Donovan last recorded an assist in an MLS game on July 22 when he set up Buddle in a 2-2 home draw with San Jose, leaving him two shy of tying his career-high of 13 assists that he set in 2007. He finished tied for second in the league that season, just as he did in 2004, though he has never led MLS in assists.
In seven games against the nine teams remaining on LA’s schedule this season, Buddle has recorded six goals and an assist, hitting twice against Chivas USA and Philadelphia while adding single tallies against D.C. United and New York. Donovan has also played seven times against LA’s nine remaining opponents, scoring three goals and adding four assists.
RICKETTS BACK IN SECOND: After allowing one goal in Saturday’s 1-0 loss at San Jose, Donovan Ricketts moved back into second place for the lowest goals against average in MLS this season. Because of Chris Wondolowski’s fourth minute goal for the Earthquakes, Ricketts’ GAA went from 0.68 to 0.70, while FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman saw his GAA fall from 0.73 to 0.69 after shutting out Chivas USA on Saturday night.
Both Hartman and Ricketts, who rank first and second respectively in Galaxy history in shutouts, remain on pace to shatter the current MLS record for the lowest GAA in a single season. 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.
STILL ONE AWAY FROM RECORD: With the loss to San Jose, Donovan Ricketts and the Galaxy defense remain one shutout away from a pair of club records. Ricketts has an MLS-best 10 shutouts so far this season, leaving him one shy of tying the club record for shutouts by a goalkeeper in a single season, a record that was set by Kevin Hartman in 1999.
The club 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. Through 21 games this season, LA has kept 11 clean sheets, with Ricketts keeping 10 and Saunders keeping one in his only league appearance of the year.
Landon Donovan also remains on the verge of a club record, sitting one goal shy of tying Cobi Jones for the most regular season goals in Galaxy history. Jones tallied 70 goals in his 12-year Galaxy career, while Donovan has 69 since joining the club prior to the start of the 2005 season. Including the postseason, both players have scored 76 goals in a Galaxy uniform, though Donovan is the Galaxy’s all-time leading goal scorer with 87 goals compared to Jones’ 82, when including Champions League/Champions Cup, SuperLiga and U.S. Open Cup games.
IN THE COMMUNITY
VOTE FOR GALAXY TO RECEIVE A $50,000 PEPSI REFRESH GRANT: The LA Galaxy are asking fans to vote for the club’s Pepsi Refresh Project idea in order to help receive a $50,000 grant. Edson Buddle is the Galaxy’s Pepsi Refresh Project Ambassador and fans can view his video online at http://www.mlssoccer.com/pepsirefresh/la to learn more about the club’s Pepsi Refresh Project idea. They can then cast their vote for the Galaxy’s idea up to 25 times per day at the above link. Voting is open now and runs until Monday, September 20 at 8:59 p.m.
GET YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR HOW SUITE IT IS! FUNDRAISER: The LA Galaxy Foundation and The Home Depot Center Charitable Foundation’s fourth annual How Suite It Is! will be held this Saturday, August 28 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on the East Terrace of the American Express Stadium Club at The Home Depot Center. Event tickets and VIP tickets are still available for the annual fundraiser by completing the order form at http://www.lagalaxy.com/howsuiteitis.
Everyone who attends the event will receive a host of exclusive food and drink options, while VIP tickets holders will be able to watch pregame warmups from the field, have the opportunity to meet the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle, Todd Dunivant and Omar Gonzalez and much more. To learn more about this event and everything that it has to over, please visit the link above.
How Suite It Is!, sponsored by The Home Depot and Watson Land Company, will feature wine and champagne tasting by E & J Gallo Winery, a Marani Vodka Martini Bar, Bud Light Golden Wheat sampling and live entertainment prior to Saturday’s game. DJ Bobcat, deejay and producer for LL Cool J, and Jared Lee, whose music has been featured on MTV’s “The Hills”, highlight the night’s live musical performances.
FOR THE FANS
CUP OF JOE WITH OMAR GONZALEZ: Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez will join Galaxy radio announcer Joe Tutino on Thursday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. for Cup of Joe, the Galaxy's weekly live web show. Gonzalez will stop by to answer all the questions that the fans are asking about his recent international debut for the U.S. against Brazil and ahead of Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Wizards. The show will air live on the Galaxy’s website, www.lagalaxy.com, where it will also be archived for future viewing.
Fans can participate by asking questions either beforehand or live during the chat. Start submitting questions for Omar now to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, 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.