CARSON, Calif. – Fresh off an entertaining 1-1 draw with New York at The Home Depot Center on Saturday night, the LA Galaxy made their way east for the first of two games this week. The Galaxy will look to complete the season sweep of the Philadelphia Union when they meet at PPL Park. LA won the first meeting of the year at The Home Depot Center on April 2, claiming a 1-0 win behind a goal, one of just three allowed by the Union all season, from Leonardo.
That game will be shown live on FOX Sports West starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 4 p.m. ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 AM will also have the call of the game live in Spanish starting at 4 p.m. while lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive will carry an audio broadcast of the game in English.
The day after the game, the club will return to Southern California and conduct one day of training before hosting Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, May 14. Sporting have played just six games on the season and have a league-low four points from a 1-4-1 record, but they are averaging nearly two goals a game and have not lost to the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center since 2008. That game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and will also be shown live on FOX Sports West, starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show at 7 p.m. ESPN Deportes Radio 1330 AM will also carry the game live in Spanish starting at 7 p.m., as will KTLK 1150 AM and lagalaxy.com in English.
OUT – Sean Alvarado (Right Knee – ACL Tear), Leonardo (Right Knee – Surgery)
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Gregg Berhalter (Left MCL – Sprain), Adam Cristman (Left Knee – Surgery Recovery), Miguel Lopez (Left Knee – Contusion)
PROBABLE – None
WRAPPING UP THE SEASON SERIES: Wednesday night’s game against the Union will be the second and final game of the season between the two sides. The Galaxy handed Philadelphia their first loss of the season on April 2 at The Home Depot Center, winning 1-0 behind a first half goal from Leonardo. That goal was the first one allowed this season by the Union. LA were forced to play the final 37 minutes of that game with just 10 men after Chris Birchall was sent off but managed to hold on for their first home win of the year.
Last season, the Galaxy finished their first series on June 5, completing a season sweep of the Houston Dynamo with a 4-1 win at The Home Depot Center in their 12th game of the season.
AIMING FOR BACK TO BACK SWEEPS: With a win over the Union on Wednesday night, the Galaxy will complete a season sweep of the Union for a second straight year. Last year LA won 3-1 at The Home Depot Center in May before claiming a 1-0 win at PPL Park in October. The Galaxy then won the first meeting of the year between the two sides in Carson on April 2, claiming a 1-0 win behind Leonardo’s first-career goal in.
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.
FOUR STRAIGHT FOR DONOVAN: Landon Donovan scored the Galaxy’s only goal in the 1-1 draw with New York on Saturday at The Home Depot Center, heading home a David Beckham corner kick in the 41st minute. That goal was Donovan’s team-best fourth of the season and the 75th of his Galaxy career.
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.
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.
However, in three career games against the Union, Donovan has never scored a goal, though he did assist on LA’s third goal in a 3-1 win over Philadelphia on May 1, 2010 in Carson.
FIRST TO FIVE: Galaxy midfielder David Beckham recorded his team-best fifth assist of the season on Saturday night, providing the corner kick for Landon Donovan to head past New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul in the 41st minute.
Of Beckham’s five assists, four have come on set pieces. The assist on Saturday was his second of the year from a corner kick, with Mike Magee also scoring from a Beckham corner in the first half of the 1-1 draw at D.C. United on April 9. The other two, for Juan Pablo Angel at Real Salt Lake on March 26 and at home against Philadelphia on April 2 each came on freekicks. Only Chad Barrett’s fourth minute goal against Portland came from the run of play, with Beckham passing the ball to Donovan, who played in Barrett for his second goal of the year.
SLOW STARTS: In four home games this season, the Galaxy have allowed just two goals, one in the home opener against New England and one on Saturday against New York. Both of those goals came in the opening five minutes of those games, with Shalrie Joseph scoring in the third minute for New England and Thierry Henry in the fourth for New York. The Galaxy have gone on to score later in the first half of each to earn 1-1 draws.
In between those two goals, the Galaxy defense played a total of 271 consecutive minutes at home without allowing a goal.
MIDWEEK WORK: The game against the Union will be the Galaxy’s third midweek game of the season, with the club also playing at Seattle and in Toronto on a Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. In their previous two midweek games, LA are 1-0-1 and have not allowed a goal, beating Seattle 1-0 and playing to a 0-0 draw with Toronto FC.
UNBEATEN AGAINST THE EAST: Wednesday night’s game against the Union will be the Galaxy’s seventh of 18 games that they are scheduled to play this season against the nine Eastern Conference teams in MLS.
Since the start of the 2009 season, the Galaxy have a 16-5-9 record against the East, going 8-1-5 in 2009 and 8-4-4 in 2010.
OLD FRIENDS: Wednesday night’s game will feature a meeting of two old friends, Galaxy forward Juan Pablo Angel and Philadelphia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. The two former Colombian internationals were never teammates outside of with the National Team, they did play in the Colombian league at the same time and became lifelong friends. Angel is also the godfather of Mondragon’s eldest son.
In the first meeting of the year between the two sides, Angel started and played nearly the entire match before being taken off in second half stoppage time. He had three shots in the game, but none were on goal. Mondragon made three saves in the game but allowed a 33rd minute goal to Leonardo, the first goal he allowed all season, as the Galaxy won 1-0.
IRONMAN DUNIVANT: After once again playing the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw with New York on Saturday, 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.
In addition to Dunivant, only Chad Barrett and Sean Franklin have appeared in all 10 Galaxy games this season while those three, along with A.J. DeLaGarza, Frankie Hejduk, Mike Magee and Josh Saunders have been in the 18-man squad for all 10 games.
CRISTMAN IN: Galaxy forward Adam Cristman made his debut in the club’s 18-man squad for the 1-1 draw with New York on Saturday. Cristman had missed the first nine games of the season while recovering from left knee surgery that he underwent in mid-March. The club placed him on the Disabled List at that time but activated him on Friday, making him eligible to play against the Red Bulls.
The 26-year-old Virginia native made his first appearance for the club in the 3-1 Reserve League loss to Chivas USA on May 3, assisting on LA’s only goal. He started and played the opening 45 minutes of that game before being replaced by Jack McBean.
ALVARADO OUT: While the Galaxy welcomed Adam Cristman back to the field in the Reserve League defeat to Chivas USA last week, the club lost defender Sean Alvarado in that same game to a torn ACL in his right knee. Alvarado, who was signed in March, had started each of the Galaxy’s first two Reserve League games but did not dress for any of the club’s 10 regular season games. He was forced to leave the game against Chivas USA in the 20th minute because of his injury and was replaced by Galaxy Academy defender Matthew Tilley. He is scheduled to undergo surgery later today.
A graduate of UCLA, Alvarado was forced to redshirt his junior season with the Bruins after suffering a similar injury in 2007. He returned for the end of the 2008 season and then was a regular starter for the Bruins as a senior in 2009. A teammate of Brian Perk and Michael Stephens at UCLA, Alvarado trained in England with Tottenham Hotspur and with Chivas USA last year before training with the Galaxy this preseason, eventually signing a contract with the club the day before the season opener in Seattle.
Alvarado is the second central defender that the Galaxy have lost to a knee injury this year with Leonardo tearing both the ACL and LCL in his right knee late in the 2-1 win in Chicago on April 17. He was placed on the club’s Season Ending Injury list on April 22 and underwent surgery a few days later.
LA GALAXY YOUTH ACADEMY
U-16’S AND U-18’S FALL TO COSMOS IN DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY ACTION: The LA Galaxy Academy teams lost a pair of games to Cosmos Academy West on Saturday with the U-16’s falling 1-0 and the U-18’s falling 2-0. For the U-18’s, the loss snapped a two-game unbeaten streak and was the first time they had been shutout in more than a month. The U-16’s suffered just their third loss of the season and were shutout for the first time all year.
Both teams are back in action with a pair of games this weekend in SoCal Division play. On Saturday, they take on Irvine Strikers on Field #7 at The Home Depot Center with the U-18’s kicking off at 1 p.m. and the U-16’s following at 3:30 p.m. They are in action at the same times on Sunday against Pateadores on Field #5 at The Home Depot Center.
NEED TO KNOW
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