CARSON, Calif. (Monday, November 8, 2010) – After dispatching the Seattle Sounders FC in their Western Conference Semifinal Series, the LA Galaxy are now one game away from a second straight MLS Cup appearance. The Galaxy will now face FC Dallas in the Western Conference Championship on Sunday night at The Home Depot Center, with the winner advancing to MLS Cup. This game kicks off at 6 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
The Galaxy and FC Dallas met twice in the regular season with Mike Magee scoring the game’s only goal in a 1-0 win at Pizza Hut Park on May 20 and then David Beckham and Juninho scoring on either side of halftime as the Galaxy won 2-1 in the season finale at The Home Depot Center on October 24, a win that clinched the Supporters’ Shield for LA.
If Sunday’s game is tied at the end of 90 minutes, the game would go to 30 minutes (two 15-minute halves) of extra time and then penalty kicks, if necessary. In 2009, the Galaxy and Houston Dynamo were tied 0-0 after regulation in the Western Conference Championship before Gregg Berhalter gave LA a 1-0 lead in the 103rd minute and Landon Donovan sealed the win with a 109th minute penalty kick as the Galaxy won 2-0 to advance to MLS Cup.
If the Galaxy advance past FC Dallas, they will reach MLS Cup for the record seventh time, where they would meet the winner of the Eastern Conference Championship between the Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Sunday, November 7, 2010: Galaxy 2 – Seattle Sounders FC 1 – The Home Depot Center
Western Conference Semifinal Series – Game #2 – Attendance: 27,000
Galaxy win series 3-1 on aggregate
David Beckham set up a pair of first half goals from set pieces as the Galaxy defeated the Sounders 2-1 to advance to the Western Conference Championship with a 3-1 win on aggregate. Beckham’s corner kick in the 19th minute found Edson Buddle, who headed in his second goal in as many games, to give LA a 1-0 lead. Eight minutes later, Omar Gonzalez headed home a Beckham freekick, doubling the LA lead at 2-0. Despite a late Steve Zakuani goal for the Sounders, the Galaxy defense and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made the lead stand up as they held on for the 2-1 victory.
Galaxy Injury Report
OUT – None
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Leonardo (Left Knee – Pain)
PROBABLE – None
BACK IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: The Galaxy are back in the Western Conference Championship for the second straight season and the fourth time in the seven years that MLS has used the current playoff format. This is also the Galaxy’s second straight season hosting the Conference Championship at The Home Depot Center after defeating Colorado on the road in the 2005 Western Conference Championship and losing the 2004 Western Conference Championship in Kansas City.
In the first seven years of this playoff format, the team that has hosted the Conference Championship game has advanced to MLS Cup 10 times, while the road team has advanced on just four occasions.
All-time, the Galaxy have reached the playoff round before MLS Cup (Western Conference Championship, Western Conference Finals or MLS Semifinals) ten times including this season. In the first nine, the Galaxy have gone on to advance to MLS Cup a record six times, including in four of their last five trips to this stage of the playoffs.
LA and Dallas have met in the postseason three times, with Dallas eliminating the Galaxy in the 1997 Western Conference Semifinals and the Galaxy knocking Dallas out of the playoffs in the 1998 Western Conference Semifinals and then again in the 1999 Western Conference Finals. The Galaxy are 4-3-0 and have outscored Dallas 16-10 in the seven postseason games between the two sides, though two of Dallas’ wins came by way of the shootout, which was abolished after the 1999 season.
STAYING STRONG AT HOME: With Sunday night’s win over the Sounders, the Galaxy have continued their home dominance during the MLS Cup Playoffs. All-time, the Galaxy are now 20-2-1 at home in the MLS Cup Playoffs, outscoring opponents 57-17. They last lost a home playoff game in 1998, falling to Chicago in the Western Conference Finals. Since that game, the Galaxy have won 16 of their 17 home playoff games, including each of their last 11 dating back to 2001.
At The Home Depot Center, the Galaxy are 6-0-1 in the postseason, winning all six of their home games and outscoring opponents 12-2 while also claiming a 2-2 draw when Chivas USA was the home team in the first leg of their 2009 Western Conference Semifinal Series.
BECKHAM DOUBLES UP: David Beckham assisted on both Galaxy goals on Sunday providing the corner kick and free kick for Edson Buddle and Omar Gonzalez to head home, respectively. For his career, Beckham has now played in and started six games in the MLS Cup Playoffs, tallying three assists, with the first coming in MLS Cup 2009 against Real Salt Lake.
Beckham is the first Galaxy player to have two assists in a postseason game since Cobi Jones did so in Game 1 of the MLS Cup Semifinals against Colorado on October 5, 2002. The Galaxy won that game 4-0 en route to their first MLS Cup championship.
This was the 10th multi-assist postseason game in Galaxy history. Mauricio Cienfuegos, the club’s all-time leader in postseason assists with 14, had three multi-assist games in the postseason, while Jones had two and Luis Hernandez, Alexi Lalas, Martin Machon and Roy Myers each had one, as does Beckham.
SOUNDERS KEEP DONOVAN OFF THE SCORESHEET: After tallying either a goal or an assist in seven of his first eight postseason games as a member of the Galaxy, Landon Donovan was kept off the scoresheet in his club’s Western Conference Semifinal Series against Seattle.
This is the first time in Donovan’s MLS career that he has failed to score a goal or register an assist in consecutive postseason games. Since coming to the league in 2001, Donovan has played in and started 24 postseason games, scoring a league-record 17 goals and adding eight assists, including seven goals and two assists in 10 playoff games for the Galaxy.
Donovan has never faced Dallas in the postseason, but he does have 16 goals and 12 assists in 27 regular season games against the club, including eight goals and six assists in 15 regular season games as a member of the Galaxy. Donovan also added a goal and three assists in LA’s 6-5 win over Dallas in the 2007 SuperLiga.
BOWEN GETS INTERNATIONAL CALL: On Monday, Galaxy forward Tristan Bowen was one of 18 players named to the U.S. Under-20 National Team for the upcoming Torneo de las Americas in Kennesaw, Ga. Thomas Rongen’s team is scheduled to report to camp starting on Sunday, November 21 before opening the three-team, round robin tournament against Colombia on Friday, November, 26 and then facing Mexico on Sunday, November 28.
Bowen, who has also played for the U.S. Under-18 National Team, played in 17 regular season games for the Galaxy in 2010 while also playing in both of the club’s CONCACAF Champions League games and the U.S. Open Cup Third Round win over AC St. Louis. Bowen had two goals and two assists in the regular season while also adding a goal in the friendly win over Boca Juniors. This is his first inclusion with the U.S. U-20’s since a three-game trip to Spain in November 2008.
If the Galaxy advance to MLS Cup in Toronto, Bowen would not join up with the U-20’s until after that game, which will be played on Sunday, November 21. As a result of being in this camp, Bowen will not accompany the Galaxy to Australia for their friendly against the A-League’s Newcastle Jets on Saturday, November 27.
MARSHALL RETURNS: Defender Yohance Marshall was back with the Galaxy on Sunday night though he did not dress for the game. The 24-year-old center back had spent the previous two weeks in Trinidad with the Trinidad & Tobago National Team competing in Group F of the Digicel Caribbean Championships. Marshall played in two of his team’s three games, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 win over Guyana on Thursday and then again in the 4-0 win over Haiti on Saturday.
As a result of winning their group, Trinidad advance to the final round of the tournament, which will be played in Martinique from November 26 until December 5. They will open the final round in Group H along with the hosts, Martinique, Grenada and a yet to be determined team. Those four teams will play in a round robin format, playing each of the other three teams once, with the top two advancing to the semifinals along with the top two teams from Group I, which consists of Guyana, Jamaica, Guadeloupe and a yet to be determined fourth team. All four semifinalists will advance to next summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will be played in the United States.
Marshall, who made his debut for the Galaxy against D.C. United on September 18 and played in two games for the club this season, now has three caps for T&T, earning all of them in the last two months.
FOR THE FANS
CUP OF JOE WITH OMAR GONZALEZ: After scoring the eventual game-winning goal in the Galaxy’s 2-1 win over Seattle on Sunday night, Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez will join the radio voice of the Galaxy, Joe Tutino, for the weekly Cup of Joe on Thursday afternoon at 12:15 p.m. Gonzalez scored the Galaxy’s second goal, the first of his postseason career, in the 27th minute to propel the club to a win over the Sounders in their Western Conference Semifinal Series. The 22-year-old Dallas-native will talk to Tutino about the series win over the Sounders as well as looking ahead to the Conference Championship against FC Dallas. 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 asking by questions either beforehand or live during the chat. Start submitting questions for Omar now to firstname.lastname@example.org.
GALAXY U-14’S CLAIM IMPORTANT WINS: With the Galaxy U-16 and U-18 teams not in action this weekend, the club’s U-14 teams stepped into the limelight and picked up three wins. The Galaxy’s A squad defeated Compton United to improve to 7-1-0 on the season, while the Galaxy’s B squad defeated the Pumas L.H. U-14’s and Chivas USA U-14’s to round out the regular season with an 8-1-0 record.
Both U-14 teams are in action again this week as the A squad plays their final regular season game on Thursday evening against the first place Cosmos Academy West 96. Then on Saturday, both the A and B squads will be in action in the 2010 L.A. Futbol Circuit Group B Semifinals, with the final pairings still to be decided.
The U-14 Final will be played on Saturday, November 20, the same day that the Galaxy U-16 and U-18 teams return to action against the California Development Academy in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play.
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.
The Galaxy face FC Dallas in the Western Conference Championship on Sunday, November 14 at 6 p.m. at The Home Depot Center. Tickets are available as low as $20! BUY TICKETS