CARSON, Calif. – After getting a late Omar Gonzalez goal to earn a 1-1 draw in Chicago on Saturday, snapping a two-game losing streak, the LA Galaxy will look to end a three-game winless streak at home against the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew on Saturday night. That game, which is presented by the University of Phoenix, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. from The Home Depot Center, with the first 10,000 fans receiving a reusable Galaxy water bottle, courtesy of the University of Phoenix.
The Galaxy and Crew enter the week with matching 13-5-5 records for an MLS-best 44 points, which are one more than Real Salt Lake. However, with Salt Lake playing at Seattle on Saturday, both LA and Columbus could enter Saturday’s game behind RSL in the standings, were they to claim a victory in that game.
Saturday’s game against the Crew will be broadcast on tape delay on Fox Sports West starting at 9:30 p.m., after the conclusion of the game between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Seattle Mariners. Additionally, the game will be live on the radio in English on KTLK 1150 AM and in Spanish on KWKU 1220 AM.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Sat., September 4, 2010: Galaxy 1 – Chicago Fire 1 – TOYOTA Park – Attendance: 21,068
Omar Gonzalez headed home a Landon Donovan corner kick in the first minute of stoppage time as the Galaxy snapped a two-game losing streak with a 1-1 draw at Chicago. The Galaxy played with a man advantage for 69 minutes following Gonzalo Segares’ first half red card, but they fell behind 1-0 in the 88th minute before equalizing a few minutes later to earn the draw.
OUT – David Beckham (Left Achilles tendon surgery – Disabled List)
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Gregg Berhalter (neck)
PROBABLE – None
THREE IN A ROW: The Galaxy will begin a season-long three game home stretch this Saturday when they host the Columbus Crew at The Home Depot Center. Despite dropping each of their last two home games, LA is still 6-2-2 in their 10 home games this season, outscoring opponents 19-11, with Edson Buddle claiming nine of those 19 goals. At the other end of the field however, LA has allowed at least one goal in seven of their 10 home games, including each of the last five.
Prior to this three game home stretch, the last time the Galaxy played three straight regular season games at home was from August 29 until September 19 of last season, when they beat Chivas USA 1-0, lost 6-3 to FC Dallas and beat Toronto FC 2-0.
STILL ON TOP: The Galaxy and Crew head into the week tied for the best record in MLS with 44 points apiece from matching 13-5-5 records. Thanks to their 12-game unbeaten streak to open the season, this is the first time since the first month of the season that the Galaxy have not been in sole possession of the best record in MLS.
However, the Galaxy could find themselves in second place in the Western Conference by the time that Saturday’s game against the Crew comes around. Real Salt Lake, who have a 12-4-7 record for 43 points, travel to Seattle on Thursday to play the Sounders and could surpass both LA and Columbus in the standings with a win in that game.
Prior to this season, the last time the Galaxy were in first place in the Western Conference after their first game of September was in 2002, when they went on to win their first MLS Cup. LA was also in first place after their first September game in 1998, when they finished with the best record in MLS and in 1999, when they reached the MLS Cup, only to fall 2-0 to D.C. United.
GONZALEZ GOAL SNAPS STREAK: Omar Gonzalez’s goal in second half stoppage time not only gave the Galaxy a 1-1 draw with the Fire on Saturday, it also snapped the Galaxy’s scoreless streak at 350 minutes. Prior to Gonzalez’s goal, LA’s last tally came from Edson Buddle in the 10th minute of the 1-0 win at New York on August 14. That streak is the third longest in MLS this season and the second longest in club history.
Only the Kansas City Wizards (402 minutes) and D.C. United (352 minutes) have gone longer without scoring a goal in the league this season. The Galaxy record for the longest span without a goal is 525 minutes, which they set from April 29-June 3 during the 2006 season. During that stretch, the Galaxy were shutout in five consecutive games in between their goals, setting a club record.
STEPHENS SITS: After playing in each of the Galaxy’s first 22 games of the season, Michael Stephens was an unused substitute on Saturday afternoon against the Fire. The 21-year-old rookie was the only Galaxy player to appear in each of the club’s first 22 games and was aiming to become the second straight rookie to appear in all 30 of the club’s games this season, joining Omar Gonzalez who accomplished the feat in 2009 en route to winning the Rookie of the Year award.
Stephens is now tied with Gonzalez for the most games played on the team this season, each appearing in 22 games. He has one goal and seven assists in that time, making 18 starts and playing 1,629 minutes, which are the fourth most on the team.
BECKHAM AND JUNINHO SET FOR RETURN: The Galaxy will welcome two of their top midfielders back into the fold this week with the anticipated returns of David Beckham and Juninho. Beckham is expected to be removed from the club’s Disabled List later this week and could make his debut against the Crew on Saturday, while Juninho has missed the last two games while attending to personal matters in his native Brazil. Both players trained with the club on Tuesday and are expected to be available to train all week in the lead up to the game against Columbus.
While Beckham has not played for the club this season after undergoing surgery in March to repair a torn Achilles tendon, Juninho has been a near-constant figure in Bruce Arena’s starting lineup, appearing in and starting 18 games for the club. In that time, the 21-year-old Brazilian has a goal and two assists, while also adding a goal in the U.S. Open Cup win over AC St. Louis on June 29. This was the second time this season that Juninho had to return to Brazil in order to attend to personal matters, having also missed the 2-0 win at Columbus on May 29, as well as the club’s friendly win over Boca Juniors at The Home Depot Center on May 23. LA is 1-2-1 in the four games that he has missed this season.
TWO IN A ROW AT HOME: Last Saturday’s loss to Kansas City was the Galaxy’s second straight home loss in the league and extended their winless streak at home to four games in all competitions. LA is 0-3-1 at The Home Depot Center since a 3-1 win over Seattle on July 4, including 0-2-1 in the league.
By losing their last two games at home; against the Wizards and the Chicago Fire, the Galaxy have now lost consecutive home games in the league for the first time since 2007. On August 23 of that year, LA lost 3-0 to Chivas USA before falling 2-1 to Real Salt Lake a few days later on September 1.
Since moving into The Home Depot Center in June 2003, the Galaxy have only lost three or more consecutive home games once, dropping four straight from April 22-June 8 during the 2006 season.
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.
GALAXY TO HOST FOOD DRIVE ON SEPT. 18: Prior to the to LA Galaxy’s game against the D.C. United on Saturday, September 18, the Galaxy will be hosting a Food Drive as part of the club’s annual Drive Series. September is Hunger Action Month and the Galaxy are asking fans to join in the fight. All donations will benefit the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank. Fans are encouraged to give the gift of food by donating non-perishable, food items such as canned vegetables, peanut butter, canned meats (i.e. tuna, chicken, spam), canned fruits and spaghetti. The donated food items can be dropped off outside of each entrance at The Home Depot Center on the day of the match.
The Galaxy Drive Series is a community initiative where the Galaxy's Community Development department conducts equipment, food, clothing, and school supplies drives aimed at assisting Los Angeles area youth and local non-profit organizations. For more information on the Galaxy Drive Series, please visit the Community section of the website at www.lagalaxy.com.
FOR THE FANS
CUP OF JOE WITH EDDIE LEWIS: Galaxy midfielder Eddie Lewis 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. Lewis will stop by to answer all the questions that the fans are asking about the club’s dramatic draw in Chicago and this Saturday’s top of the table clash with the Columbus Crew. The show will air live on the Galaxy’s website, www.lagalaxy.com, where it will also be archived for future viewing.
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.