CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy head into the final month of the season with the best record in MLS and in line to claim the Supporters' Shield for the first time since 2002. LA are two points ahead of Real Salt Lake for the best record in both the Western Conference and MLS and will look to maintain that lead this weekend when they take on Chivas USA in the second leg of the Honda SuperClasico at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy will be the road team in that game, which kicks off at 5 p.m. and can be seen live nationally on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
A Galaxy win or draw would not only see the club retain the Honda SuperClasico title, but also eliminate Chivas USA from postseason consideration. With four games left in their season, the Galaxy have 50 points, which is twice as many as Chivas USA, who have 25 points from their 25 games. LA are unbeaten in their last seven games against their intra-stadium rivals, going 4-0-3 in the regular season since the start of the 2008 season, while also eliminating them from the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2009.
In addition to being shown live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, Sunday’s game against Chivas USA will be available on the radio locally in Spanish on ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 AM KWKW and online in English at www.lagalaxy.com.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Friday, September 24, 2010: Galaxy 0 – New York Red Bulls 2 – The Home Depot Center – Attendance: 27,000
Dane Richards and Juan Pablo Angel scored on either side of halftime as the New York Red Bulls claimed a 2-0 win at The Home Depot Center on Friday night. The loss snapped the Galaxy’s three-game unbeaten streak, but did not knock them from first place in the Western Conference as Real Salt Lake earned a 1-1 draw with Colorado on Saturday, keeping them two points behind LA for the best record in MLS.
OUT – None
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Gregg Berhalter (Neck – Strain), Dema Kovalenko (Right Adductor – Strain)
PROBABLE – None
THE FINAL MONTH: The Galaxy enter the final month of the 2010 MLS season two points clear at the top of the MLS standings with just four games remaining. With a 15-6-5 record for 50 points, the Galaxy have the chance to become the third team in MLS history to reach the 60 point plateau, joining the 1998 Galaxy and 2005 San Jose Earthquakes. To achieve that feat, LA will need to record at least 10 points from their final four games, meaning that they would need to go either 4-0-0 or 3-0-1 in those games.
This is the eighth straight season in which the MLS regular season will end in October. Since the start of the 2003 season, the Galaxy have played 22 games in the month of October, going 9-8-5 in those contests. Last year, the Galaxy were 2-0-1 in October for their first-ever unbeaten October. They beat Chicago and San Jose while playing to a draw at Houston, keeping a clean sheet in all three of those games.
LA have never recorded more than seven points in October, going 2-1-1 in 2007 and 2-0-1 in 2009.
SUPERCLASICO TITLE ON TAP: The Galaxy will look to win their third consecutive Honda SuperClasico and their fifth in the six year history of the competition this weekend when they take on Chivas USA. The Galaxy were the home side in the first leg of this year’s series and claimed a 2-0 win at The Home Depot Center on April 1 with Edson Buddle scoring on either side of halftime. Because of that result, the Galaxy can retain the SuperClasico title with a win, a draw or a loss by a single goal on Sunday evening.
Chivas USA can only win the SuperClasico title, which they have only won once, by defeating the Galaxy by more than two goals.
The Galaxy are 11-3-5 all-time against Chivas USA, including 4-1-3 when playing as the road team. Landon Donovan leads the Galaxy with seven career goals against Chivas USA, while Edson Buddle has four, including two game-winners in the last three games between the two sides.
FIRST START FOR BECKHAM: Just more than six months after tearing his Achilles tendon, David Beckham made his first start of the season for the Galaxy on Friday night against the Red Bulls. Beckham, whose last start in a Galaxy uniform came in MLS Cup 2009 on November 22, 2009, played 90 minutes on the right said of midfield, placing one shot on goal and collecting a second half yellow card.
With Beckham starting against the Red Bulls, that leaves just two of the 26 players that have been on the Galaxy roster this season without a start. Goalkeeper Brian Perk, who was acquired in August, has not appeared in a game for the club, while Clint Mathis appeared in nine regular season games as a substitute but did not make a start before retiring from the game in early August. Mathis did start for the Galaxy in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, as well as in the friendly against Real Madrid.
GONZALEZ TO RETURN SUNDAY: Central defender Omar Gonzalez is eligible to return to the lineup for the Galaxy on Sunday afternoon after sitting out Friday’s 2-0 loss to the Red Bulls. Gonzalez, who has been booked a league-high eight times this season, is now second on the team in games played and minutes played this season, having played the full 90 minutes in all 24 of the games that he has played in this season for a total of 2,160 minutes played. Only Donovan Ricketts with 2,250 minutes in 25 games played has been on the field more than Gonzalez this season.
Since joining the Galaxy last season, Gonzalez has missed just two regular season games, both this season through suspension for yellow card accumulation. He also missed the 2-0 loss at New England on July 10.
FOR THE FANS
CUP OF JOE WITH EDSON BUDDLE: Heading into the final month of the regular season, Edson Buddle, the leading goal scorer in MLS this season will sit down with Joe Tutino for this week’s installment of Cup of Joe. Buddle’s 14 goals are the most in MLS this season and one shy of his career high of 15, which he set in 2008. Two of Buddle’s 14 goals this season came against this weekend’s opponent, Chivas USA, and the big Galaxy forward would like to get his name back on the scoresheet in a Galaxy win on Sunday.
The show will air live at 1:15 p.m. 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 Edson now by sending the via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEET OMAR GONZALEZ AHEAD OF THE HONDA SUPERCLASICO: Galaxy fans will have the chance to meet defender Omar Gonzalez at Best Buy in Downey on Thursday evening from 6-7:30 p.m. The reigning MLS Rookie of the Year, Gonzalez will sign autographs, take photos with fans and much more on behalf of Panasonic, who will have a host of cool prizes on hand for those in attendance, including hats, jerseys, scarves and tickets to this weekend’s Honda SuperClasico between the Galaxy and Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center. Additionally, Gonzalez will be playing the all-new EA Sports FIFA ’11, which will be released on Tuesday, against Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein.
ACADEMY SEASONS GET UNDERWAY SATURDAY: The LA Galaxy Youth Academy U-16 and U-18 teams will begin their U.S. Soccer Development Academy seasons on Saturday afternoon at The Home Depot Center. The U-18’s will open their season against Development Academy newcomers Real Salt Lake Arizona at 1 p.m. on Field #5 at The Home Depot Center. Shortly after that game is completed, the Galaxy U-16’s will begin their season against Real Salt Lake Arizona’s U-16’s, with that game also being played at The Home Depot Center. VIEW THE FULL ACADEMY SCHEDULE
Additionally, the Galaxy have two U-14 teams, which are playing in the Cal South’s U-15 LA Futbol Circuit this fall. Both are in action on Saturday morning at The Home Depot Center. The A squad, which is 2-0-0 this season, host Pumas L.H. at 8 a.m., while the B squad, which is 1-1-0 so far this season, host the Cosmos Academy West 96’s at 11:40 a.m., with both games being played on at The Home Depot Center.
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.