Robert Mora

LA Galaxy Weekly Update: November 17

CARSON, Calif. (Wednesday, November 17, 2010) – After seeing their season end with a 3-0 Western Conference Championship defeat to FC Dallas on Sunday, the Galaxy will begin their offseason with The Qantas Challenge, an international friendly in Australia against the Newcastle United Jets of the Hyundai A-League.

The club will train on Thursday and Friday this week before taking the weekend off. After another day of training on Monday, the team will depart for Australia on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s game against the Jets. These will be the club’s final training sessions of the year with the offseason officially beginning after the club’s return at the end of the month.

THE WEEK THAT WAS

Sunday, November 14, 2010: Galaxy 0 – FC Dallas 3 – The Home Depot Center

Western Conference Championship – Attendance: 27,000

The LA Galaxy saw their season end on Sunday night at The Home Depot Center as they were defeated 3-0 by FC Dallas in the Western Conference Championship. The Galaxy had a number of chances to take the lead in the game’s opening 25 minutes, only to be thwarted each time by Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. David Ferreira gave Dallas a 1-0 lead against the run of play in the 26th minute and George John and Marvin Chavez added goals after the break to end LA’s season and send Dallas to their first-ever MLS Cup.

TEAM NOTES

KNOCKED OUT AT HOME: Sunday night’s loss to Dallas in the Western Conference Championship was the Galaxy’s first-ever home playoff loss in an elimination game. Prior to that game, the Galaxy had lost just two home playoff games all-time, with each coming in Game 1 of a three-game series. Every other time that the Galaxy had been eliminated from the playoffs came either as the road team or at a neutral ground in MLS Cup.

All-time, the Galaxy are now 20-3-1 at home in the MLS Cup Playoffs, including 6-1-1 at The Home Depot Center, with the lone draw coming as the road team in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinal Series against Chivas USA in 2009. Prior to Sunday night’s game, the Galaxy had allowed just one goal as the home team in a playoff game at The Home Depot Center, outscoring opponents 10-1.

This was the fourth postseason meeting between Dallas and the Galaxy, with LA eliminating Dallas in 1998 and 1999 and Dallas knocking the Galaxy out of the playoffs in 1997.

GALAXY TIES TO MLS CUP FINALISTS: The Galaxy’s final two regular season opponents, the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas, will face off for MLS Cup 2010 at BMO Field in Toronto on Sunday. The game could feature as many as four former Galaxy players starting between the two teams, three of whom were a part of past Galaxy MLS Cup championships.

Brian Mullan is the lone former Galaxy player on the Rapids, with the club acquiring the veteran midfielder from Houston late in the season. Drafted by the Galaxy in the first round of the 2001 MLS SuperDraft, Mullan spent two seasons with LA, helping the club with the 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2002 MLS Cup, the first in club history. He appeared in 31 games for the Galaxy in the 2001 and 2002 seasons, scoring five goals and adding four assists while adding one assist in eight postseason games. He was traded to San Jose prior to the start of the 2003 campaign, where he went on to win one more MLS Cup before claiming two more titles with Houston in 2006 and 2007.

FC Dallas feature three former Galaxy players on their roster, with all three starting in their Western Conference Championship win over LA on Sunday. Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, defender Ugo Ihemelu and midfielder Daniel Hernandez, the Dallas captain, all began their MLS careers with the Galaxy. Hartman joined the club in 1997 and went on to set club records for goalkeepers in nearly every statistical category over a 10-year career with the Galaxy that ended when he was traded to Kansas City prior to the start of the 2007 campaign. A Southern California native who starred at UCLA before joining the Galaxy, Hartman was in goal for both the 2002 and 2005 MLS Cup championships, making him the only goalkeeper in league history to keep a clean sheet in multiple MLS Cups.

Hernandez was drafted by the Galaxy in 1998 and spent a year and a half with the club, appearing in 29 games before being traded to Tampa Bay in August 1999.

Ihemelu was selected by the Galaxy in the first round of the 2005 MLS SuperDraft and helped the club win MLS Cup as a rookie that season, appearing in 25 regular season games, collecting one assist, and all four of the club’s postseason matches. He was back with the club in 2006, starting 29 of their 32 games before being traded to Colorado shortly after the end of that season.

EXPANSION DRAFT TO BE HELD WEDNESDAY: Major League Soccer will hold an Expansion Draft on Wednesday, November 24 at 11 a.m. (PT) ahead of the 2011 debuts of the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps, the two most recent MLS clubs. The Galaxy, and all other MLS teams, can protect 11 players ahead of the draft, with the list of 11 needing to be submitted to the league on Monday afternoon. Additionally, teams do not have to protect Generation adidas players, meaning that the Galaxy will not need to expose 19-year-old forward Tristan Bowen.

All teams can lose a maximum of two players in the Expansion Draft and have the opportunity to protect one more player from their original non-protected list once one player is selected.

A full breakdown of the Expansion Draft rules can be found here.

OFF TO AUSTRALIA: On Tuesday, the Galaxy will fly to Newcastle, Australia for The Qantas Challenge, a friendly against the Newcastle United Jets of the Hyundai A-League. The game, which will be played at EnergyAustralia Stadium in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia on Saturday, November 27, kicks off at 12:30 a.m. (PT), with complete broadcast information to be announced later today.

This is the Galaxy’s second trip to Australia in the last four years, with the club also playing Sydney FC in front of more than 80,000 fans at Telstra Stadium in November 2007. This time around, they will face the 2008 Hyundai A-League Grand Final champion Newcastle United Jets. The Jets, who are led by former England international forwards Michael Bridges and Francis Jeffers, currently sit in ninth place in the A-League with a 2-5-6 record for 12 points from their first 13 games of the season. The Jets currently sit five points out of the sixth and final playoff spot in the A-League, though they have played the second fewest games in the league and have as many as three games in hand on the teams that they are chasing.

Under the leadership of head coach Branko Culina, the Jets have allowed just 11 goals in their 13 league games and have taken four points from their last two games, against the top two teams in the league, claiming their best result of the season on Saturday, a 3-1 win over second place Adelaide, which saw Australian forward Marko Jesic scored his first two goals of the season, with Jeffers setting up one in his debut for the club. On Wednesday, the Jets held first place Brisbane to a 1-1 draw at home.

BOWEN HEADS TO GEORGIA WITH U-20’S: One player who will not accompany the team to Australia is forward Tristan Bowen, who was one of 18 players named to the U.S. Under-20 National Team last week for the upcoming Torneo de las Americas in Kennesaw, Ga. Bowen and the rest of 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. He last appeared in a game with the U.S. U-20’s in November 2008 when the team played three games in Spain against Real Madrid, Athletico Madrid and Rayo Vallencano. Bowen started all three of those games and scored in the friendly against Real Madrid.

The 19-year-old Los Angeles native is one of seven current MLS players that are included on the roster.

YOUTH ACADEMY

GALAXY U-14 BEGIN POSTSEASON; U-16’S AND U-18’ BACK IN ACTION SATURDAY: In their first season of play, the Galaxy’s U-14 teams each qualified for the postseason of their league after finishing with identical 8-1-0 records. Those records tied the two Galaxy teams for first place along with the Cosmos Academy West 96’s, though the Cosmos won the league’s regular season title because of a better goal difference.

By finishing second and third respectively, the Galaxy’s U-14 A squad and U-14 B squad faced one another in the league semifinals, with the A squad coming out on top 5-2. As a result of that win, the A squad will now take on Cosmos Academy West 96’s this week for the 2010 L.A. Futbol Circuit league championship. That game will be played at a yet to be determined time and location.

While the U-14’s are playing for a league championship, the Galaxy’s U-16 and U-18 teams will be back in action for the first time in three weeks when they host the California Development Academy in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play at The Home Depot Center on Saturday. Those games kick off at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Field #5 at The Home Depot Center, with the U-18’s playing the day’s first game. Both games are free to attend and open to the public.

The Galaxy U-16’s currently have a record of 6-0-1 in all competitions while the U-18’s are 4-2-1, with the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase coming up next month in Arizona.

IN THE COMMUNITY

USE GOODSEARCH & GOODSHOP THIS HOLIDAY SEASON AND SUPPORT THE GALAXY FOUNDATION: Please make every gift count this holiday season. Go to GoodShop.com, designate the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation as the cause you support and then click over to your favorite store. More than 1,600 top stores will donate a percentage of virtually every sale to the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation. You pay nothing extra - and you can even save money as GoodShop lists thousands of money-saving coupons and free shipping offers. 

GoodSearch.com is a new Yahoo-powered search engine that donates about a penny per search to the charities its users designate. Fans can use it just as you would any search engine, to get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations add up for the foundation.

Download the GoodSearch – Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation toolbar, and the club’s foundation will earn money every time you shop and search online - even if you forget to go to GoodShop or GoodSearch first. Add the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation toolbar at http://www.goodsearch.com/toolbar/los-angeles-galaxy-foundation. There's no easier way to support us this holiday season.

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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