A new challenge awaits the LA Galaxy as they host the expansion Philadelphia Union for the first time in club history on Saturday night at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy enter Saturday’s game, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m., with a 4-0-1 record and the best goal difference in the league at +6. Bruce Arena’s team has allowed just one goal in five games this season, keeping four clean sheets, while Edson Buddle is a favorite for the MLS Player of the Month award for April after scoring all seven of the club’s goals through the first five games of the year.
The game can be seen live locally on FS West beginning with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 7 p.m. Additionally, the game can be heard locally in English on AM 570 and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 AM. Both broadcasts start at 7 p.m. with their respective pregame shows.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Saturday, April 24, 2010; Galaxy 0 – Kansas City Wizards 0 – CommunityAmerica Ballpark –
Donovan Ricketts made a season-high six saves and kept his fourth clean sheet in five outings this season as the Galaxy drew the Wizards 0-0 on a cold and wet night in Kansas. The draw ended the Galaxy’s perfect start to the season, coming on the heels of four straight wins to open the campaign. LA remains one of two undefeated teams in MLS and are three points clear of Colorado at the top of the Western Conference.
Saturday, April 24, 2010; Galaxy U-16’s 1 – Nomads SC U-16’s 1 – The Home Depot Center
Josh McNeely allowed just one goal and Juan Mendoza scored for the home side as the Galaxy U-16’s snapped a two-game losing streak with a 1-1 draw at The Home Depot Center. The draw evens their record on the season in league play to 3-3-3.
Saturday, April 24, 2010; Galaxy U-18’s 3 – Nomads SC 0 – The Home Depot Center
Eric Verso scored midway through the first half and Vince Paldino kept a clean sheet as the Galaxy U-18’s won their fourth straight game and stretched their unbeaten run to five games dating back to the end of February.
Galaxy Injury Report
OUT – None
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Sean Franklin (Left Ankle – Sprain), Dema Kovalenko (Right Hamstring – Strain), Leonardo (Right Quad – Strain), Eddie Lewis (Left Foot – Contusion), Clint Mathis (Left Knee – Surgery Recovery)
PROBABLE - None
WINNING STREAK SNAPPED, UNBEATEN STREAK CONTINUES: While the Galaxy’s four game winning streak this season (five dating back to the end of the 2009 regular season) came to an end with the 0-0 draw on Saturday night, the Galaxy remain one of two MLS teams without a loss this season. The Galaxy are now 4-0-1 for 13 points on the season, leaving them three points ahead of the second place Colorado Rapids who are 3-1-1 and play at San Jose on Saturday before hosting the Galaxy on Wednesday, May 5.
Dating back to the end of the 2009 regular season, the Galaxy are unbeaten in their last eight games, going 6-0-2 in that time and taking 20 of a possible 24 points. LA has kept a clean sheet in seven of those eight games and have not trailed in any of them.
The last time the Galaxy lost was on September 26, 2009 when they fell 2-0 to the Columbus Crew, who are the only other undefeated team in the league this season.
FACING OFF FOR THE FIRST TIME: Saturday’s game against the Union will be the first-ever game between the two sides. Last year, the Galaxy were 0-1-1 against the expansion Seattle Sounders FC, playing to a 1-1 draw at Qwest Field in May and losing 2-0 at The Home Depot Center in August.
Since MLS first expanded in 1998, the Galaxy are 10-5-3 against expansion teams, including a 7-3-0 mark at home. The Galaxy split their inaugural season series with both expansion teams in 1998, going 2-2 against Chicago and 1-1 against Miami. MLS next expanded in 2005 and LA won both of those series, sweeping Chivas USA with a 4-0-0 record and going 2-1-1 against Real Salt Lake. The Galaxy also won the season series with Toronto FC in 2007, tallying a 1-0-1 record against them.
RICKETTS SETS SEASON HIGH: Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made a season-high six saves in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Kansas City. Ricketts faced six shots on goal on the evening, equaling the total that he had faced in LA’s first four games. Prior to his six save performance against the Wizards, Ricketts had not faced more than three shots on goal or made more than two saves in a game all season long.
The 32-year-old Jamaican international now has a league-best 0.20 goals against average on the season, having allowed just one goal in five games and keeping four clean sheets. He has lowered his career GAA from 1.03 to 0.89 and is currently on pace to shatter all MLS single season goalkeeping records, including Tony Meola’s 2000 record of 16 shutouts and Pat Onstad’s 2007 record of a 0.82 goals against average.
BERHALTER MAKES 2010 DEBUT: Playing a major role in the Galaxy’s shutout on Saturday was central defender Gregg Berhalter, who made his 2010 debut, playing the full 90 minutes. Berhalter, who appeared in 26 games during his first season with the Galaxy in 2009, missed each of the first four games of the season with soreness in his left knee.
His return allowed Bruce Arena to move A.J. DeLaGarza back to right back and play Berhalter alongside 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year Omar Gonzalez in central defense. Those three were joined by left back Todd Dunivant to round out the back four. That same back four started 16 of the Galaxy’s 30 games last season, with LA going 7-5-4 in those games.
CHRIS BIRCHALL SITS DOWN FOR CUP OF JOE: Tune-in to the Galaxy's weekly live web show, Cup of Joe, with radio play-by-play announcer Joe Tutino every week. On Thursday, Tutino will be interviewing the Galaxy’s Chris Birchall at 12:30 p.m. Birchall has appeared in all five of his club’s games this season and has been included in Bruce Arena’s starting lineup in each of the last four.
Fans can participate asking by questions either beforehand or live during the chat. Start submitting questions for Chris now to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TWO ON TAP THIS WEEKEND FOR GALAXY ACADEMY TEAMS: Fresh off a win and a draw against Nomads SC last weekend, the LA Galaxy Youth Academy teams will be back in action this weekend with a pair of games. On Saturday, both the U-16’s and the U-18’s will travel to Concordia University to take on the Irvine Strikers. The U-16’s will kick-off at 11 a.m. with the U-18’s following at 1 p.m.
The Galaxy will remain in Orange County the following day when they take on the San Diego Surf with the U-16’s playing at 1 p.m. and the U-18’s following at 3:15 p.m.
This will be the first time in more than a month that the Galaxy Academy teams play Development Academy games on consecutive days. In late March, the U-16’s beat De Anza Force 3-2 before falling to the California Development Academy 3-0 the following day. The U-18’s also defeated De Anza Force on Saturday, March 27, winning 5-2 before knocking of the California Development Academy 3-0 on Sunday.
GALAXY DREAMERS TO BE ANNOUNCED SUNDAY: Watch the recap of Sueño MLS tryouts in LA and the announcement of the five LA Galaxy tryout finalists this Sunday, May 2 on Univision’s Republica Deportiva, which airs on the West Coast from noon to 2 p.m.
The 10 finalists chosen from the tryouts held in Glendale on April 17-18 were: Dennis Alvarado (16yrs - Fairfield, CA); Javier Castro (18yrs - Pomona, CA); Marco Granados (17yrs -Pacoima, CA); Arturo Gallegos (18yrs - Pomona, CA); Dennis Garcia (18yrs - Sacramento, CA); Ricardo Guillen (16yrs - Homeland, CA); Victor Jimenez (16yrs - Anaheim, CA); Jonathan Navas (18yrs - Los Angeles, CA); Luis Perez (18yrs - Los Angeles, CA), Oscar Velazquez (14yrs - Las Vegas, NV).
The five chosen move on to the finals of Sueño MLS, which will be held in LA from May 5-9 with the overall winner being announced live on Republica Deportiva on Sunday, May 9.
IN THE COMMUNITY
GALAXY FOUNDATION SHOT OF THE WEEK: At each LA Galaxy home game, fans are invited to visit the Galaxy Foundation Booth to place your bid on the Galaxy Foundation's Shot of the Week presented by MoraPhotography.com. Each photo will be signed by the player or players featured. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY FOUNDATION JOINS GOODSEARCH: The Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation has joined GoodSearch, which means that the Galaxy Foundation will earn a donation every time you search the Internet and receive a percentage of every purchase you make online through GoodShop.com.
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.
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.