CARSON, Calif. (Monday, August 8, 2011) – The LA Galaxy will enjoy a full week of training this week at The Home Depot Center before opening play in the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday, August 16. Currently sitting atop the Western Conference, the Galaxy have the best record in MLS this season with a 13-3-9 record for 48 points, leaving them six points ahead of second place FC Dallas. The Galaxy are tied for second in MLS this year with 35 goals scored while their 20 goals allowed are the second fewest in the league as well.
Bruce Arena’s team will be back in action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 16 when they host Club Motagua from Honduras at The Home Depot Center in the first game for both teams in the CONCACAF Champions League. Two of the four teams in Group A, the Galaxy and Motagua will also face LD Alajuelense from Costa Rica and Monarcas Morelia from Mexico during the Group Stage, which is scheduled to conclude in mid-October.
Galaxy Injury Report
OUT – Sean Alvarado (Right Knee – Surgery), Leonardo (Right Knee – Surgery), Donovan Ricketts (Left Ulna – Fracture)
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Chad Barrett (Right Knee – Sprain), David Beckham (Back Spasms), Jovan Kirovski (Left Ankle – Sprain)
PROBABLE – None
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SCHEDULE TO BE UNVEILED TUESDAY: The complete schedule for the Group Stage of the CONCACAF Champions League is scheduled to be officially announced on Tuesday morning. The Galaxy, who will play in Group A, are already scheduled to face Club Motagua on Tuesday, August 16 and then LD Alajuelense on Thursday, August 25 with both of those games being played at The Home Depot Center. Monarcas Morelia, the 2011 Mexican Clausura runner-up, is the fourth team in the group.
All teams will play the other three teams in the group twice, once at home and once on the road, during the Group Stage which runs from August 16 through October 20. The top two teams in all four groups will advance to the Champions League Quarterfinals, which are scheduled to begin in March 2012.
The Galaxy qualified for the Group Stage of the Champions League for the first time ever by winning the 2010 MLS Supporters’ Shield. They qualified for the tournament last year but were knocked out in the Preliminary Round by the Puerto Rico Islanders, losing 5-3 on aggregate. Prior to the tournament being reformatted in 2008, it was known as the CONCACAF Champions Cup, with the Galaxy qualifying for it on five separate occasions. The best of those came in 2000 when the Galaxy beat Honduran champion CD Olimpia 3-2 in the Champions Cup Final at the L.A. Coliseum to become the last MLS team to be crowd champions of CONCACAF.
THREE GOALS EQUALS THREE POINTS: For the fifth time this season, the Galaxy scored three or more goals on Saturday night, beating FC Dallas 3-1 at The Home Depot Center to stretch their lead at the top of the Western Conference standings to six points. The Galaxy also scored three goals on April 23 in a 3-0 home win over Portland and on June 18 in a 3-1 road win over Colorado while scoring a season-high four goals in a 4-1 win at home over Sporting Kansas City on May 14 and then again in a 4-0 win at Vancouver on July 30.
Since the start of the 2010 campaign, the Galaxy have scored three or more goals in a regular season game 10 times, going 10-0-0 in those contests. In that same time, the Galaxy have allowed three or more goals just four times, losing all four of those, doing so twice this year and twice last year.
LA last lost a game in which they scored three or more goals in September 2009 when they lost 6-3 at home to FC Dallas. They last won a game when allowing three or more goals on May 30, 2001 when they won 4-3 in Chicago.
LEAGUE LEADERS: Following Saturday’s win over FC Dallas, the Galaxy have the co-MLS leader in both goals and assists. Landon Donovan is tied with New York’s Thierry Henry with 11 goals on the season while David Beckham is tied with Houston’s Brad Davis for the league lead in assists with 10. Only two teams have ever had the league-leader in goals and assists play for them in the same season, though neither had a goalkeeper finish in the top three in the league in goals against average as the Galaxy do this year with Donovan Ricketts currently leading MLS with a 0.53 GAA, which is the lowest amongst goalkeepers that have played at least 600 minutes this season.
In 2000, the now-defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny had the MLS leader in both goals and assists with Mamadou Diallo scoring a league-best 26 goals and Carlos Valderrama leading the league with 26 assists. One year later, Alex Pineda Chacon scored 19 goals for the Miami Fusion to lead MLS while teammate Diego Serna finished tied for the league-lead with 15 assists.
The Galaxy came close to accomplishing the feat in 2010 when Landon Donovan had an MLS-best 16 assists while Edson Buddle finished the year with 17 goals, one fewer then San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski, who won the Budweiser Golden Boot with a league-best 18 goals.
DOUBLING UP: For the first time in more then three years and just the third time in his MLS career, David Beckham had multiple assists in Saturday’s win over FC Dallas. Beckham was credited with an assist on Juninho’s goal in the 62nd minute (WATCH) and then another on Mike Magee’s goal in the 81st minute (WATCH), giving him 10 on the season. The 36-year-old midfielder played a major role in LA’s first goal, which was scored by Omar Gonzalez, but was not credited with an assist on the play as the ball was judged to have deflected off of either Kevin Hartman or George John before reaching Gonzalez (WATCH).
Beckham last had two assists in a regular season game on April 19, 2008 when he set up a pair of Landon Donovan goals in a 2-2 home draw with Houston. He also had two assists in the first start of his MLS career, a 5-4 loss to the MetroStars at Giants Stadium on August 18, 2007. Last year, Beckham had a pair of assists in the second leg of the Galaxy’s Western Conference Semifinal Series win over Seattle, setting up goals for Gonzalez and Edson Buddle as the Galaxy won 2-1.
Beckham has now matched his MLS career-high for assists in a season with 10, a record that he set in 2008, which was his first full season with the Galaxy. One of just nine players in Galaxy history to record 10 or more assists in a season and one of just five to do so on more than one occasion, Beckham became the seventh player in club history to tally 25 or more career regular season assists in a Galaxy uniform, doing so in his 67th game for the club.
DOWN TIME: For the first time since the MLS regular season started on March 15, the Galaxy will be completely idle this weekend with no game scheduled in any competitions. The Galaxy did not have league games scheduled for the weekends of July 15-17 and July 22-24, but did face Real Madrid and Manchester City respectively on those weekends as part of the Herbalife World Football Challenge.
The Galaxy are currently tied with Colorado and Toronto FC for having played the most regular season games in the league with all three having played 25 times. The Rapids have a 9-6-10 record and sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with 37 points while Toronto is 3-11-11 for 20 points, which leaves them eighth in the East.
Between Saturday’s win over FC Dallas and their next league game against San Jose, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 20, Houston, New England and Portland will each play three MLS games, while a number of other clubs will play two. The 14-day layoff is the Galaxy’s longest to this point of the season, though it will be eclipsed at the start of October when the club goes 15 days between their games at home against Real Salt Lake on October 1 and at home against Chivas USA on October 16.
In 2010, the Galaxy went 17 days between games in June as the league took a two week break for the start of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
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