CARSON, Calif. (Monday, October 10, 2011) – After clinching the Supporters’ Shield on Saturday thanks to Philadelphia’s 2-0 road win over Seattle Sounders FC, the LA Galaxy will now look to make it two trophies in as many weeks as they host Chivas USA in the second leg of the SuperClasico at The Home Depot Center on Sunday evening. The Galaxy won the first leg of the SuperClasico back on May 21, winning 1-0 behind a Chad Barrett goal. As a result of that win, the Galaxy can now retain the SuperClasico title with either a win or a draw on Sunday.
The Galaxy’s final home game of the regular season, Sunday’s game, which is presented by The Home Depot, will kick off at 6 p.m. and be shown live nationally on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
This is the seventh season in which the Galaxy and Chivas USA have faced one another in the SuperClasico, with the Galaxy claiming the title in five of the first six years. The Galaxy are 13-3-5 all-time in the regular season against their in-stadium rivals, as well as 1-0-1 in the MLS Cup Playoffs and 1-0-0 in the U.S. Open Cup. Dating back to the start of the 2008 season, the Galaxy are 6-0-3 in the SuperClasico, including wins in each of their last five games against Chivas USA. In those five contests, the Galaxy have scored seven goals while allowing just one.
Galaxy Injury Report
OUT – Sean Alvarado (Right Knee – Surgery), Sean Franklin (Right Knee – Inflammation), Leonardo (Right Knee – Surgery)
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – David Beckham (Back Spasms), Gregg Berhalter (Right Foot – Sprain), Landon Donovan (Right Quad – Strain), Robbie Keane (Left Adductor – Strain), Mike Magee (Right Hamstring – Strain), Donovan Ricketts (Right Quad – Tightness)
PROBABLE – None
SHIELD CLINCHED: With Philadelphia’s 2-0 road win over Seattle on Saturday, the Galaxy clinched the Supporters’ Shield for the fourth time in club history. Currently seven points ahead of the Sounders with an 18-4-10 record for 64 points, the Galaxy have now clinched home field advantage throughout the MLS Cup Playoffs, which culminate with MLS Cup at The Home Depot Center on Sunday, November 20, and a berth in the Group Stage of the 2012/13 CONCACAF Champions League.
The Galaxy also won the Supporters’ Shield in 1998, 2002 and 2010. In 1998 and 2010, LA lost in the Conference Championship, while in 2002 they beat the New England Revolution 1-0 to win MLS Cup for the first time in club history. That was one of five times that the Supporters’ Shield winners also won MLS Cup, with the last coming in 2008 when current Galaxy defender Frankie Hejduk captained the Columbus Crew to the Supporters’ Shield with a league-best 57 points and then their first MLS Cup, beating the New York Red Bulls 3-1 at The Home Depot Center.
STILL UNBEATEN AT HOME: Heading into Sunday’s final home game of the regular season against Chivas USA, the Galaxy remain the only team in MLS this season without a loss at home. In 16 MLS regular season home games this year, the Galaxy are 11-0-5 for 38 of their league-best 64 points. They have won each of their last seven home games in the league and have outscored opponents 27-8 at The Home Depot Center this season, keeping nine clean sheets while allowing more than one goal just once.
The Galaxy, who are 29-9-13 at home in the regular season under Bruce Arena, are now unbeaten in their last 17 home regular season games, equaling a club record. From July 4, 2004 until July 16, 2005, the Galaxy went 11-0-6 at home. During their current streak, which is still 12 games shy of the MLS record of 29, LA are 12-0-5. LA’s current 17-game unbeaten streak is tied as the fourth longest in MLS history.
Since the start of MLS in 1996, only two teams have ever gone the entire season without losing a game at home. The 2005 San Jose Earthquakes were 9-0-7 for 34 of a possible 48 points at home while Real Salt Lake was 11-0-4 at home in 2010, taking 37 of a possible 45 points at home. The Galaxy enjoyed their best home season in 2002, going 11-1-2 in their final year at the Rose Bowl for 35 of a possible 42 points. They then went 3-0-0 at home in the postseason, outscoring opponents 12-4 en route to winning their first MLS Cup.
SHUTOUT RECORD IN REACH: Despite allowing a goal in each of their last two games, the Galaxy remain one shutout away from tying the MLS record for shutouts in a single season. The Galaxy have 16 shutouts in their first 32 regular season games this year, leaving them one shy of the MLS record of 17 shutouts in a single season, which was set by the Kansas City Wizards in 2000 when they went on to win MLS Cup for the first and only time in the club’s history.
Of LA’s 16 shutouts in the league this season, nine have come at home where they are allowing an average of 0.50 goals per game, with the club allowing more than one goal at home just once this season. The Galaxy have allowed a goal in consecutive home games just once this year, having drawn New York 1-1 on May 7 and then beaten Sporting Kansas City 4-1 a week later.
Prior to their last two league games, a 2-1 home win over Real Salt Lake and a 2-0 loss on the road to New York, the Galaxy had not allowed a goal in consecutive league games since August 3 and August 6. LA have also allowed at least one goal in each of their last three games in all competitions, something that they had not done since the start of May.
In all competitions this season, the Galaxy have 18 shutouts in 39 games while allowing just 33 goals for a 0.85 goals against average. Josh Saunders has nine of those shutouts, two of which have come in the CONCACAF Champions League, while Donovan Ricketts has seven, Brian Perk has one and the combination of Ricketts, Saunders and Mike Magee combined for the other in a 0-0 draw in San Jose on June 25.
FOUR POINTS FROM RECORD: Heading into the final two games of the regular season, the Galaxy have 64 points, leaving them tied with the 2005 San Jose Earthquakes for the second most points in a single MLS season. The Earthquakes went 18-4-10 that year to finish with 64 points, which are four fewer than the MLS record of 68 points, which was set by the 1998 Galaxy.
If the Galaxy are able to take a single point from either of their final two games, the club will set a new record for the most points in a season since the end of the shootout to decide games following the 1999 season. If they can record a win and a draw from those matches, they will match the 1998 squad’s tally of 68 points while two straight wins to close out the regular season would see LA become the first MLS team ever to reach the 70-point plateau.
FOLLOWING UP: Last week’s 2-0 loss to New York was just LA’s seventh loss in all competitions this season and the seventh time that they have been shutout. The Galaxy are 5-0-1 following a loss this year and have the same record following a shutout. In the league, the Galaxy have now been shutout six times, going 0-2-4 in those matches, claiming four 0-0 draws. Prior to the loss to the Red Bulls, the only time the Galaxy had lost this season without scoring was in a 3-0 loss on the road to Portland. LA followed that up with a 3-1 home win over FC Dallas, starting a seven-game unbeaten streak in the league during which they went 6-0-1, a streak that was snapped with last week’s loss at Red Bull Arena.
CLOSE TO 30: While Todd Dunivant has already appeared in more than 30 regular season games for the Galaxy this year, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in 31 of the first 32 games of the year, three more players could reach the 30 games played plateau heading into the final weeks of the season. A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez would need to see action in each of the Galaxy’s final two regular season games in order to reach 30, while Juninho would only need to play in either Sunday’s home finale against Chivas USA or the regular season finale in Houston a week later. If four Galaxy players play in 30 games or more this season, it would be the most 30-game players for LA in more than a decade.
The club record for the most players appearing in 30 or more regular season games is five, which was set in 1998, the year the Galaxy won their first Supporters’ Shield. That season, midfielder Martin Machon, defender Greg Vanney and forward Welton all appeared in 31 of the Galaxy’s 32 regular season games while midfielders Mauricio Cienfuegos and Clint Mathis each appeared in 30. Since that season, only 12 players have played more than 30 games in a year for the Galaxy, though never more than three in a single year.
In 1998, four more players; Robin Fraser, Kevin Hartman, Ezra Hendrickson and Steve Jolley, played more than 30 games combined between the regular season and the postseason. If the Galaxy reach MLS Cup this year, as many as five more players could reach 30 games played in MLS competitions, with Chad Barrett, David Beckham, Sean Franklin, Miguel Lopez and Mike Magee all within reach of 30 matches. Including games in the CONCACAF Champions League and the U.S. Open Cup, seven Galaxy players have already played in 30 games this year, led by Todd Dunivant’s 37 games played.
RESERVES FALL: Hector Jimenez scored his team-best third Reserve League goal of the year, but it was not enough as the Galaxy lost 2-1 to Chivas USA on Monday at The Home Depot Center. Jimenez gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead midway through the first half, but Chivas USA scored twice three minutes apart midway through the second half to earn the victory.
The Galaxy are now 1-6-2 for five points in the Reserve League heading into their final game of the season on Tuesday, October 25 against the San Jose Earthquakes, a game that will be played at The Home Depot Center.
IN THE COMMUNITY
GALAXY TO RAISE AWARENESS AND FUNDS FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST BREAST CANCER ON SUNDAY: The LA Galaxy and MLS W.O.R.K.S. will continue their efforts to raise awareness and funds to help in the fight against breast cancer at Sunday’s game against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy and Chivas USA, along with their respective players, coaches and officials will be outfitted in pink gear for the game in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, the Galaxy have partnered with the Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) sorority to distribute 10,000 pink ribbons to fans while Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC), who handle event security and crowd management at The Home Depot Center, will have all of their personnel wearing pink uniforms during the day.
As part of their effort to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer, the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation will have a limited number of special edition LA Galaxy pink scarves and other items available for purchase, as well as an auction featuring autographed pink memorabilia at its booth. For complete details, please click here.
ANNUAL JERSEY-OFF-THE-BACK AUCTION: On Sunday, the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation will host its annual Jersey-Off-the-Back auction with a portion of the proceeds benefiting cancer fighting organizations. Fans can bid on the game-worn jersey from one of the Galaxy's starting eleven players at the Galaxy Foundation booth through the end of half-time. All bidders must be present to win.
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. The Galaxy can also be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lagalaxy and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lagalaxy.