CARSON, Calif. (Monday, October 18, 2010) – A 3-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night delayed the LA Galaxy’s hopes of winning the Supporters’ Shield and earning home field advantage throughout the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs. But despite that loss, the Galaxy can still claim the club’s third Supporters’ Shield title and first since 2002 with a win over FC Dallas on Sunday evening at The Home Depot Center in a game that kicks off at 5 p.m. Prior to and during the game, the Galaxy will be celebrating Fan Appreciation Night on Sunday, with a series of exciting gifts and prizes available to everyone in attendance. For more details and a complete list of Fan Appreciation giveaways and prizes, click here.
The Galaxy can clinch the Supporters’ Shield with a win over FC Dallas on Sunday or a result equal to that of Real Salt Lake, who play away to Colorado on Saturday night. If RSL lose that game, they will be assured of a second place finish in the Western Conference, giving the Supporters’ Shield and home field advantage throughout the playoffs to the Galaxy. If Salt Lake ties the Rapids on Saturday, the Galaxy would need to get at least a point against FC Dallas as RSL have a +25 goal difference compared to LA’s +17 goal difference.
Sunday’s game against Dallas will be broadcast live on Fox Sports West, starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 4:30 p.m. In addition, the game will be available on the radio in English on KTLK 1150 AM and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes 1330 AM, starting with their pregame shows at 4:30 p.m.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
Saturday, October 16, 2010: Galaxy 1 – Colorado Rapids 3 – The Home Depot Center – Attendance: 27,000
An early goal from Edson Buddle was not enough as the Galaxy saw their two-game winning streak snapped with a 3-1 home loss to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. Buddle gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead after nine minutes with his MLS-best 17th goal of the season. But LA could not hold the lead, giving up two goals later in the opening half and then one more after the break to seal the victory and hand the Galaxy their first loss of the season when scoring first.
Galaxy Injury Report
OUT – None
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Gregg Berhalter (Neck – Strain), Todd Dunivant (Right Adductor – Strain), Dema Kovalenko (Right Adductor – Strain), Leonardo (Left Quad – Strain)
PROBABLE – None
STILL ONE WIN AWAY FROM THE SUPPORTERS’ SHIELD: Despite Saturday’s loss to the Rapids, the Galaxy can still clinch their third Supporters’ Shield with a win over FC Dallas on Sunday. LA can also claim their first Supporters’ Shield title since 2002 with a draw on Sunday combined with a Real Salt Lake draw at Colorado on Saturday night. If RSL lose that game, which kicks off just less than 24 hours prior to the Galaxy-FC Dallas game, the Galaxy will be assured of the Supporters’ Shield before their game kicks off.
The Galaxy can finish no lower than second in the Western Conference, meaning that they will play the first leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series away from home during the final weekend of October, before hosting the second and final leg of the aggregate goal series during the first weekend in November.
In addition to receiving home field advantage throughout the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs, the winner of the Supporters’ Shield receives an automatic berth into group play for the 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League, bypassing the Preliminary Round, the stage at which the Galaxy where eliminated this season.
STREAK SNAPPED: For the first time all season, the Galaxy failed to win a game when scoring first, falling 3-1 to the Rapids on Saturday night after going ahead 1-0 behind a goal from Edson Buddle in the ninth minute. Prior to that game, the Galaxy were a perfect 16-0-0 when scoring first on the season, compared to just 1-6-2 when allowing the game’s opening goal.
Dating back to last season, the Galaxy had won 27 consecutive regular season games in which they had scored first, a streak that dated back to a 1-1 draw at Dallas on May 23, 2009. Saturday’s loss ended a streak of 44 straight regular season games in which LA had not lost when scoring first, dating back to a 2-1 home defeat to Real Salt Lake on Sept. 1, 2007. In those 44 games, the Galaxy were 37-0-7, taking 118 of a possible 132 points.
Since that game, the Galaxy were 6-28-15 in the games in which they allowed the first goal.
BUDDLE AND DONOVAN EXTEND LEADS: Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan were each on the final scoresheet on Saturday in the Galaxy’s 3-1 loss to Colorado with Donovan assisting on Buddle’s ninth minute goal. The goal was the MLS-best 17th of the season for Buddle, extending his career-high and leaving him three ahead of his closest competition, the San Jose Earthquakes’ Chris Wondolowski, who has 14 goals with two games remaining this season. Juan Pablo Angel, Omar Cummings, Dwayne DeRosario and Sebastien Le Toux each have 13 goals on the season.
Just as Buddle leads MLS in goals, Landon Donovan leads the league in assists with a career-best 15 on the season. Donovan is the first Galaxy player to record 15 or more assists in a single season since Mauricio Cienfuegos tallied a club record 17 assists in 1999. After never having recorded more than 13 assists in a single season, Donovan has 15 this year, leaving him two ahead of FC Dallas midfielder David Ferreira in the race to finish as the league’s assist leader.
If both players can hold onto their leads, they would become just the third set of teammates to lead the league in goals and assists in the same season, joining Mamadou Diallo (26 goals) and Carlos Valderrama (26 assists) from the 2000 Tampa Bay Mutiny and Alex Pineda Chacon (19 goals) and Diego Serna (15 assists) from the 2001 Miami Fusion.
RICKETTS ON THE BRINK OF RECORD: Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts can put his name into the Galaxy record books on Sunday if he allows two goals or less in the season finale against FC Dallas. The Jamaican international has started 28 of the Galaxy’s 29 regular season games this season, compiling a 17-7-4 record with 11 clean sheets and a 0.89 goals against average.
That goal’s against average is 0.02 goals per game lower than the 0.91 GAA that Kevin Hartman recorded for the Galaxy in 1999, setting a club record that still stands today. That season, he appeared in and started all 32 of the Galaxy’s games, going 20-12 while setting a club record that Ricketts equaled this season with 11 clean sheets.
If Ricketts plays the full 90 minutes on Sunday against FC Dallas and allows either zero or one goal, his GAA will not rise above 0.91, meaning that he would set a new club record for the lowest single season GAA in club history. He has allowed 25 goals in 28 games so far this season and would see his GAA rise to 0.93, 0.02 higher than Hartman’s club record, if he allows two goals in the game.
In addition, if the Galaxy allow less than four goals on Sunday, they will set a new club record for the fewest goals allowed in a single season, breaking the record of 29, which was also set in 1999.
TEAM AWARD WINNERS TO BE ANNOUNCED ON SUNDAY: Following Sunday’s game against FC Dallas, the Galaxy will announce the winners of the club’s four team awards. The club’s Most Valuable Player and Defender of the Year awards are voted on by select members of the local media, the Budweiser Golden Boot, which goes to the club’s top goalscorer and the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year, which is given to the player that is judged to have been the most actively involved in working with the club and the Galaxy Foundation in the local community.
In 2009, Landon Donovan was the club’s MVP and Golden Boot winner, while Donovan Ricketts was the Defender of the Year and Todd Dunivant was the Humanitarian of the Year.
IN THE COMMUNITY
MEET GALAXY STARS AT THE HOME DEPOT IN INGLEWOOD ON TUESDAY: Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan, Todd Dunivant and Eddie Lewis will be at The Home Depot in Inglewood, Calif. on Tuesday, October 19 from 6-7 p.m. The quartet of Galaxy stars will meet with fans and sign autographs at the Home Depot location on Century Blvd. while also helping to give away a series of great Galaxy prizes, including playoff tickets, autographed memorabilia and much more. Click here to learn more about the appearance and for an exact address.
FOR THE FANS
FOLLOW 2011 MISS LA GALAXY CONTEST ON SUNDAY: The Miss LA Galaxy 2011 Contest presented by COVERGIRL will be held in conjunction with Fan Appreciation Night, Sunday, October 24 at The Home Depot Center. The contest will begin at 3:00 p.m. on the stage in SoccerFest with an introduction of the 10 finalists. The Miss LA Galaxy 2011 court will be announced during halftime of the Galaxy match against FC Dallas, which kicks off at 5 p.m..
Now's your chance to vote for who you think should be crowned Miss LA Galaxy presented by COVERGIRL. Fans can vote once per day through Friday at 5 p.m. (PT) for the Miss LA Galaxy “Fan Favorite.” Click here to vote.
GALAXY ACADEMY TEAMS BACK IN ACTION THIS WEEKEND: After a weekend off, the Galaxy Academy U-16 and U-18 teams return to action this weekend with a pair of games against teams from Washington at The Home Depot Center. On Saturday, the Galaxy host Seattle Sounders FC, with the U-18 game kicking off at 1 p.m. and the U-16 game following at 3:30 p.m. The following day, the Galaxy host Crossfire Premier, with all games free to the public to watch.
While the U-16’s and U-18’s were off, the Galaxy U-14 teams were once again in action on Saturday, claiming a pair of wins, with the A squad beating Cruz Azul USA Academy 7-0 and the B squad beating West Covina FC 12-0. Both teams are now 5-1-0 going into this weekend’s games, leaving them tied for second place, three points behind Cosmos Academy West 96, who are a perfect 6-0-0 on the season.
On Saturday, the A squad will take on West Covina FC, while the B squad will take on Cruz Azul USA Academy.
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.