It’s another meeting of conference high-fliers when the LA Galaxy travel cross-country to take on Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night at PPL Park. Union sit second in the Eastern Conference, two points out of first, after falling 1-0 at the Portland Timbers last Friday. The Galaxy still sit atop the Western Conference after coming away from their home top-of- the-table clash with New York with a 1-1 draw.
WATCH:FOX Sports West, Direct Kick (oustide of LA), MatchDay Live (oustide of LA)
LISTEN: AM 1330 (Spanish)
LIVE AUDIO & WEBCHAT: lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Galaxy 3 wins, 5 goals … Union 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
AT PPL PARK (1 meeting): Galaxy 1 win, 1 goals … Union 0 wins, 0 goals … Ties 0
The teams are meeting for the second time this season. A Leonardo goal gave the Galaxy a 1-0 win on April 2 at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy have now won all three meetings all-time against Union. They won both meetings in Union’s inaugural season, winning 3-1 at The Home Depot Center on May 1 and 1-0 at PPL Park.
If the Galaxy can complete the season sweep, this will be the first time ever that they have swept a team in two straight years. The closest that the Galaxy have come recently to achieving the feat was in 2009 and 2010 when they drew their first of three games against Chivas USA in 2009 before winning the final two of the year and then sweeping the season series last year with a pair of wins. They also went 1-0-1 in 2009 against Houston before sweeping them last year for a 3-0-1 record over the last two years.
Coaches record: Bruce Arena v PHI: P3 W3 L0 T0 … Peter Nowak vs. LA: P10 W1 L6 T3
LAST MEETING (MLS):
- 4/2: LA 1, PHI 0 (Leonardo 33) [Recap | Photos | Highlights]
- The game's lone goal came from a David Beckham set piece in the 33rd minute. After Juninho was taken down some 30 yards out, Beckham lined up a free kick and sent it to the heart of the penalty area. Leonardo shook off Stefani Miglioranzi’s mark and rattled in a header off the right post. WATCH
- LA GALAXY (4-4-1-1): Donovan Ricketts – Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant – Chris Birchall (sent off 53), David Beckham (Jovan Kirovski 91+), Juninho, Landon Donovan – Miguel Lopez (Bryan Jordan 57) – Juan Pablo Angel (Chad Barrett 94+).
- PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-3-2-1): Faryd Mondragon - Sheanon Williams (Jack McInerney 73; sent off 95+), Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey - Kyle Nakazawa (Roger Torres 62), Stefani Miglioranzi, Brian Carroll - Sebastien Le Toux, Carlos Ruiz - Danny Mwanga (Keon Daniel 46).
The LA Galaxy returned home and played to a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls in a high-profile meeting of conference leaders, Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy have 16 points from 10 games on the season, still leading the Western Conference.
- The Red Bulls jumped out to an early lead. Dane Richards took possession and raced towards the Galaxy penalty area. The Jamaican winger curled a through ball into the path of Thierry Henry, who eluded LA goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and slipped his shot into the back of the net from a tight angle. WATCH
- The Galaxy equalized four minutes before halftime. David Beckham’s in-swinging corner kick was met by an unmarked Landon Donovan, who powered a header into the back of the net. WATCH
- Donovan has now scored each of the Galaxy’s last four goals, dating back to the 3-0 win over Portland on April 23. Additionally, he assisted on Chad Barrett’s goal in the 4th minute of that game, meaning that he has factored in each of the Galaxy’s last five goals, dating back to the 2-1 win in Chicago on April 17, a game that Donovan missed because of inflammation in his right knee.
- Both teams also saw close calls in the opening 45 minutes. LA striker Juan Pablo Ángel appeared to have scored against his old club, but his apparent goal was ruled out for offside. WATCH And moments after equalizing, Donovan rounded Red Bulls 'keeper Bouna Coundoul and rolled the ball toward goal, but defender Tim Ream slid and hooked it off the line. WATCH
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made no changes to the team that lost 2-1 to FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park.
- Todd Dunivant remains the only Galaxy player to start every game this season for the Galaxy and play every minute of each. Dunivant has now played the full 90 minutes in all 10 of his team’s games this season, giving him a league-high 900 minutes played.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Juninho, Mike Magee (Chris Birchall 78) - Juan Pablo Angel, Chad Barrett (Miguel Lopez 80)
- Landon Donovan has scored the last four goals for the Galaxy, over the last three games the club has played. Two of them have come on headers, including the equalizer in Saturday’s draw with New York; in his MLS career, Donovan has not scored more than three goals in a season from headers (2005).
- The last Galaxy player to score four straight goals for the club is Edson Buddle, who scored each of LA’s first seven goals to open the 2010 season. Prior to his current streak, Donovan was the last Galaxy player to factor in five straight Galaxy goals, a feat that he accomplished in a three-game span during July and August last year. He is also the last to factor in six straight, tallying a goal and five assists during a three-game span at the start of May last year.
- “He is playing well. Obviously, on the corner kick, David [Beckham] delivered a great ball and Landon was in a good spot,” Arena said. “We actually had that same play in training yesterday, where he hit it over the crossbar, so it was good to see him put it in the back of the net today.”
- David Beckham set up the goal with his fifth assist of the season, tied with Vancouver’s Davide Chiumiento, one behind Houston’s Brad Davis. Of Beckham’s five assists, four have come on set pieces.
- “Once we kept the ball a little bit more, it was easier for us to penetrate in the game a lot more,” Bekcham said. “Physically, I feel fine. Obviously, I have been traveling a lot which isn’t ideal, but I was straight back into it and had a good week training this week and rest. I was able to get on the beach because the weather has been good.”
- Six of the Galaxy’s 12 goals this season have come from dead ball situations – three from corner kicks, two from free kicks and one penalty kick.
- Of the 10 goals the Galaxy have allowed this season, four have come in the opening 15 minutes of the game. Just three other teams have allowed that many in the opening quarter-hour – Portland and D.C. United also four, and Toronto FC five.
- “It’s a 90-minute game and we fought back. We had a lot of chances and Landon scored a great header tonight from David’s corner. It just shows our character and shows that even though we gave up an early goal, whIch kind of has been somewhat of a problem for us this season, we fought back and played well tonight,” said Omar Gonzalez.
- Juan Pablo Angel faced his former teammates for the first time and seemed to have hit for his second goal on the season and first since March 26, but it was ruled out for offside.
- “For me it’s just another game. At the end of the day it’s just three points. I felt good, I was calm, there’s emotion playing against your old teammates, a team that you played a number of years for, but it was just another game,” Angel said.
- Galaxy Mid-Week Update
- Beckham to be rested against Union
- Union striker Ruiz's jabs at LA come with history
- Union's Ruiz not impressed with Galaxy
- View from the Booth: Galaxy look to sweep Union
- Dunivant: Ruiz comments serve as motivation
- Donovan: No Beckham, no problem
LA GALAXY – OUT: DF Sean Alvarado (R knee ACL tear), DF Leonardo (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Gregg Berhalter (L knee MCL sprain); FW Adam Cristman (L knee surgery); MF Miguel Lopez (L knee contusion)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none
Philadelphia Union lost for just the second time on the season, falling 1-0 to the Portland Timbers on Friday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. Union have 13 points from 7 matches on the year, starting the week in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference.
- The game's lone goal came in the 71st minute. Jack Jewsbury curled in a free kick service for Mamadou "Futty" Danso to head home between Union ‘keeper Faryd Mondragón and the upright. WATCH
- Union manager Peter Nowak made four changes to the team that defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 at PPL Park. Twins Michael and Gabriel Farfan came into the back four for Danny Califf and the suspended Jordan Harvey, and Justin Mapp and Brian Carroll came into the midfield for Roger Torres and Keon Daniel.
- PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Faryd Mondragon - Michael Farfan, Carlos Valdes, Sheanon Williams, Gabriel Farfan (Kyle Nakazawa 64) - Justin Mapp (Roger Torres 78), Amobi Okugo (Jack McInerney 78), Brian Carroll, Sebastien Le Toux - Danny Mwanga, Carlos Ruiz.
- Union played to a sixth 1-0 result in seven matches last week in their loss at Portland. All four Philadelphia wins and both losses have come with 1-0 scorelines; the only difference is a 1-1 draw with Seattle.
- "I think we played well enough to at least get a tie," Justin Mapp said. "That's frustrating, but that's the game, and we've got another one coming up Wednesday [against Los Angeles]."
- Union did not have one defender in Jordan Harvey through suspension, then lost a second when Danny Califf was not able to play through illness.
- “We brought Danny in on Wednesday to check out the situation and the travel and the weather were not going to help him get back to where he was a week ago,” Nowak said. “Especially with the games we have coming up we need to be up and running, we don’t need any setbacks.”
- Nowak inserted twin brothers Gabriel and Michael Farfan at left back and right back, respectively, while shifting Sheanon Williams to center back alongside Carlos Valdés.
- When the Farfans started, it was the first time in MLS history twins played in the same game. Sainey (New England) and Sanna (Colorado, ex-Seattle) Nyassi – the first set of twins in MLS history – saw their clubs meet over their first two seasons together in the league, but the pair were never on the field at the same time.
- Union have allowed just three goals on the season (tied with New York, one more than league-leader Real Salt Lake). But all three goals have come from set pieces – two from free kicks and one from a corner.
- “We need to work very hard on the many things that happened today and the past week,” Nowak said, “because anyone who plays against us right now knows the free kick is going to be a weapon.”
- Union had planned to start usual defensive midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi in central defense, but he was a late scratch from the lineup with a groin ailment.
- Carlos Ruiz will face the club he played for from 2002-05 and again in 2008, for the first time while a member of Union.
- “The Galaxy have great players that can make a difference, I have no doubt about that. But when they play as a team, they have a lot of mistakes,” Ruiz said. “… From my point of view, LA Galaxy is in trouble right now. They’ve played more games than any other team. They are going to come here and try to do something about it, but we are in a better position than them. We’re going to try to play smart this game so we can be in first place in the East.”
- READ: Union striker Ruiz's jabs at LA come with a history
PHILADELPHIA UNION – OUT: GK Thorne Holder (concussion); PROBABLE: MF Stefani Miglioranzi (R groin strain) …
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none
REFEREE: Andrew Chapin. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): Matthew Kreitzer; 4th: Jorge Gonzalez MLS Career: 29 games; FC/gm: 27.7; Y/gm: 4.7; R: 8; pens: 4