German Alegria

Galaxy first team to secure playoff spot

CARSON, Calif. (Monday, September 20, 2010) – Unbeaten in three straight matches, the LA Galaxy will close out a three game homestand on Friday night when they host the New York Red Bulls at The Home Depot Center. That game, which is brought to you by Herbalife, kicks off at 8 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

The Galaxy will be looking to win their third straight game, which would extend their lead over Real Salt Lake at the top of the MLS and Western Conference standings. Following their come from behind win over D.C. United last weekend, a win that clinched a second straight postseason berth for LA, the Galaxy are now three points clear of RSL with five matches left on the season. This is the second and final meeting between the Galaxy and New York, who are currently second in the Eastern Conference, with LA winning 1-0 at Red Bull Arena on August 14 behind a 10th minute goal from Edson Buddle. That win stretched the Galaxy’s unbeaten streak over New York to four games dating back to the 2008 season, with LA going 3-0-1 in those matches.

In addition to being shown live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, Friday’s game against the Red Bulls will be available on the radio locally in English on KTLK 1150 AM and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 AM KWKW.

THE WEEK THAT WAS

Sat., September 18, 2010: Galaxy 2 – D.C. United 1 – The Home Depot Center – Attendance: 20,094

Landon Donovan scored twice in the final 10 minutes as the Galaxy claimed their first come from behind victory of the season, defeating D.C. United 2-1. LA fell behind in the 60th minute and Donovan Ricketts made a series of saves to keep the deficit at one before Donovan rescued the game with a late brace. The Galaxy captain’s second goal was his 71st regular season goal for the club all-time, making him LA’s all-time leading scorer. 

INJURY REPORT

Galaxy Injury Report

OUT – None

DOUBTFUL – None

QUESTIONABLE – David Beckham (Left Achilles tendon), Gregg Berhalter (neck), A.J. DeLaGarza (Left knee), Leonardo (Left quad fatigue)

PROBABLE – None

TEAM NOTES

FIRST TO 50: With their win over D.C. United on Saturday, the LA Galaxy became the first team in MLS this season to reach 50 points. With a 15-5-5 record, the Galaxy have now won 15 games in a season for the first time since 2002, which is also when they last eclipsed the 50 point plateau, finishing the year with a 16-9-3 record for 51 points. LA also registered 50 or more points in 1998 (68 points), 1999 (54 points) and 2000 (50 points).

With five games remaining on the season, the Galaxy could finish with as many as 65 points, which would be the second highest total in MLS history, beaten only by the Galaxy’s 68 point season in 1998. If LA can take 10 of the final 15 points, they will become the third team in MLS history with 60 points in a season, joining the 1998 Galaxy and 2005 San Jose Earthquakes (64 points). Finally, with just eight points from their final five games, the Galaxy will finish with 58 points and set a new record for points in a 30 games season, surpassing the 2008 Columbus Crew who went 17-7-6 for 57 points en route to winning the MLS Cup.

In the first 14 years of MLS, 29 teams recorded 50 or more points in a season, with eight of those going on to win MLS Cup. Since 2007, the only time that the eventual MLS Cup champion did not record 50 points was in 2009 when no teams reached that milestone.

POSTSEASON SPOT SECURED: As a result of the Galaxy’s come from behind win over D.C. United last weekend, LA became the first MLS club to qualify for the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs. They now have a league-best 50 points with five games remaining on their schedule. Colorado, Columbus, FC Dallas, Kansas City, New York, Real Salt Lake, San Jose and Seattle can each either match or surpass the Galaxy this season, but based on those club’s remaining games, not all of them can, meaning that the Galaxy will finish no lower than eighth in the overall MLS standings.

With a postseason spot secured, the Galaxy can now focus on securing a top two spot in the Western Conference, which guarantees home field advantage in their two-leg, aggregate goal Western Conference Semifinal Series.

Galaxy full season seat holders will be able to use their Bonus Game E tickets for the Galaxy’s first home playoff game.

DONOVAN’S RECORD SETTING GOALS: Galaxy captain Landon Donovan wrote his name into the Galaxy record books on Saturday with his two-goal performance against D.C. United. Those were the 70th and 71st regular season goals of Donovan’s Galaxy career, making him the club’s all-time leading scorer, breaking the old record that was held by Cobi Jones. The club’s leading scorer each year since joining the team in 2005, Donovan scored his 70th and 71st goals in his 140th regular season game with the club. Including the postseason, as well as Champions League/Champions Cup, SuperLiga and U.S. Open Cup games, Donovan now has 89 goals in a Galaxy uniform.

Additionally, that was Donovan’s 23rd career multi-goal game in the MLS regular season, giving him the most multi-goal games in league history. Donovan entered the game tied with FC Dallas forward Jeff Cunningham and former Galaxy forward Ante Razov with 22 multi-goal games each before scoring twice on Saturday. Of his 23 career multi-goal games, 16 have come as a member of the Galaxy.

MARSHALL DEBUTS: Just recalled from his loan assignment with the Austin Aztex of the USSF Division 2 Pro League last week, Galaxy defender Yohance Marshall made his MLS debut on Saturday, playing the full 90 minutes in central defense alongside Omar Gonzalez. An undrafted free agent in 2009 out of the University of South Florida, Marshall appeared in one U.S. Open Cup Play-In Game for the Galaxy in 2009 and was on the field for the second half of the friendly against Boca Juniors on May 23, but had never appeared in a league game for the Galaxy before Saturday. The 24-year-old helped the Galaxy allow just one goal in the game and was booked in the 62nd minute for a foul on Pablo Hernandez.

OMAR OUT: Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez was shown his eighth yellow card of the season on Saturday night against D.C. United, earning him a second one-game suspension that will keep him out of Friday night’s clash with the Red Bulls. Gonzalez, who has been booked more than any other player in the league this season, missed the 2-0 loss at New England on July 10 after being booked five times, and has now earned a second one-match ban by collecting three more yellow cards.

The second year center back has appeared in and started all 54 regular season games that he has been eligible for since the start of the 2009 MLS season, only missing the loss at New England in July for which he was suspended. The 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year, Gonzalez has played a team-high 24 games so far this season, scoring twice

FOR THE FANS

CUP OF JOE WITH BRUCE ARENA: With just five games remaining between now and the end of the regular season, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena will discuss the state of the club on this week’s installment of Cup of Joe, the Galaxy’s weekly live web show hosted by Joe Tutino. The show will air live at 1 p.m. on the Galaxy’s website, www.lagalaxy.com/cupofjoe, 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 Bruce now to socialmedia@lagalaxy.com.

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. 

 

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