LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo | MLS Match Preview

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LA GALAXY vs HOUSTON DYNAMO
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
May 5, 2013 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #87)
8 p.m. PT (ESPN2/Deportes)

It's a rematch of the last two MLS Cup Finals as the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo once again meet at The Home Depot Center on Sunday evening in front of an ESPN2 audience. The Galaxy won both of those finals, both in Carson, including a 3-1 victory last December. The Galaxy come into the match off back-to-back shutout victories, last a 2-0 win at Real Salt Lake. The Dynamo continued their long home undefeated streak last weekend, reaching a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids.

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REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Corey Rockwell; AR2 (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: Ricardo Salazar
MLS Career: 15 games; FC/gm: 21.3; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 2; pens: 3

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: HOU: Brad Davis (through May 5)
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Marcelo Sarvas

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (16 meetings): Galaxy 6 wins, 18 goals – Dynamo 6 wins, 19 goals – Ties 4
AT LA (7 meetings): Galaxy 3 wins, 10 goals – Dynamo 2 wins, 8 goals – Ties 2

LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/26: HOU 2, LA 1 (own goal 38; Hainault 57; Buddle 10)

  • This is the only league meeting of the season between the two clubs.
  • It's a rematch of the last two MLS Cups, the Galaxy winning 1-0 in MLS Cup 2011, and 3-1 in MLS Cup 2012, both played at The Home Depot Center.
  • Houston has won the last two league meetings between the teams, both coming in Houston, including a 2-1 win last year at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • The Galaxy have defeated the Dynamo in their last six meetings at The Home Depot Center in all competitions, including the last two MLS Cups and the 2009 Western Conference Championship. Houston's last win against the Galaxy in Carson came in 2007, a 3-1 triumph.
  • Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. HOU: P10 W5 L4 D1 – Dominic Kinnear vs. LA: P24 W10 L9 D5

LA GALAXY

The LA Galaxy won their game in a row by shutout, hitting the road and coming away with a 2-0 victory against Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Galaxy are in second place in the Western Conference with 14 points from 7 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy put the game away in the opening quarter-hour. After just six minutes, Mike Magee beat Real fullback Tony Beltran to a spot just outside the six-yard box and deftly headed a ball sent in from a free kick by Juninho past a helpless Nick Rimando.
  • In the 13th minute, Charlie Rugg doubled the Galaxy lead. After some quality hold-up play from Marcelo Sarvas, the midfielder sent the ball out to the right side to Hector Jimenez, who hit a hard one-time bullet across the middle to a streaking Rugg, and he hammered home the ball from close range for his first professional goal.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that stopped Sporting Kansas City with a 2-0 victory at The Home Depot Center. Charlie Rugg started up top in place of Robbie Keane, Hector Jimenez came into the midfield in place of Landon Donovan, Greg Cochrane started at left back for Todd Dunivant, and Brian Rowe came in between the posts for Carlo Cudicini.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Brian Rowe - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Greg Cochrane - Hector Jimenez (Rafael Garcia 89), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Mike Magee - Jack McBean (Gyasi Zardes 53), Charlie Rugg (Michael Stephens 71).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Galaxy won on the road for the first time in three games this season, recording a second consecutive shutout and their fourth in seven contests this year.
  • "Our team shape is very good. Our center backs did not stand and drive, they were organizing the group ahead of them, our line moved pretty well and we got good blocks in the midfield," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "Early in the game, [Real Salt Lake] tried to get behind us, and we dealt with that pretty well. When we needed a save, Brian [Rowe] came through."
  • On a night when Mike Magee netted to take over the lead in the MLS Golden Boot standings with his sixth goal, Charlie Rugg also scored his first professional goal, in his MLS debut.
  • "Charlie did a good job. He kind of hit the wall a little bit in the second half, as expected, but a good first goal – a good first game," said Arena. "Again, he's another player who played his first game tonight. We were really pleased that he got a goal in his first game."
  • Brian Rowe made his full professional debut in goal for the Galaxy, making seven saves in the win at RSL. Rowe had made just one first-team appearance with the club, playing 45 minutes in a friendly vs. Tottenham Hotspur last season.
  • "We obviously felt coming into the game he's a good goalkeeper," head coach Bruce Arena said. "However, no experience in the league, and you're always concerned about the early minutes of the game. ... He looked comfortable right from the start [and] really composed throughout the evening."
  • Said Mike Magee "He was an absolute freak tonight. We all knew he'd be good, but you never expect anyone to have a game like that, especially on their debut, in Salt Lake. I believed in him before, but this was ... man, I'm at a loss for words for his performance."
  • The Galaxy were without Robbie Keane, who is bothered by a sprained left ankle, and Landon Donovan, who suffered a leg strain in the win against Sporting Kansas City.
  • "There's seven veterans on the field, so itís not like we just had a bunch of kids. The group of DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Sarvas, Juninho, Magee and Franklin were giving our young players confidence in helping us get the result," said Arena.
  • In addition, Carlo Cudicini missed a league match for the first time this season with a leg strain, while Todd Dunivant missed his second start in the last three games, also with a leg strain.
  • "With what we put out there, we should win every game. Today, we had a couple of guys that really took advantage – the debutants, I guess you could say," said A.J. DeLaGarza.

HOUSTON DYNAMO

The Houston Dynamo extended their long undefeated streak, reaching a second consecutive draw with a 1-1 result against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Dynamo are in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 8 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Rapids took a well-deserved lead just before halftime. Center back Drew Moor smartly lost Rico Clark on a corner kick and, free at the back post, headed home a Dillon Powers service for the opener.
  • But the Dynamo hit for the leveler in in the 66th minute. Corralling a loose clearance from a long goal kick, Giles Barnes took two touches and hit a rocket of a shot on a thin angle from just inside the area, beating Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin just under the bar to his left.
  • The Dynamo finished the game with 10 men after Brad Davis was shown a straight red card in stoppage time by referee Juan Guzman for a tackle on Nathan Sturgis.
  • Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear made two changes to the team that got a stoppage-time equalizer for a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC at BMO Field. Eric Brunner came into central defense for the suspended Jermaine Taylor, and Boniek Garcia started in midfield in place of Adam Moffat.
  • HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-1-3-2): Tally Hall - Kofi Sarkodie, Eric Brunner, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe - Ricardo Clark (Luiz Camargo 86) - Andrew Driver (Warren Creavalle 67), Boniek Garcia, Brad Davis (sent off 95) - Giles Barnes (Brian Ching 78), Will Bruin.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Dynamo set an MLS record with their 30th consecutive league match without a loss in the draw with the Rapids. They have now gone 36 games without a home loss in all competitions dating back to 2011.
  • "They took it to us and we woke up in the second half," Brian Ching said. "For us it feels like a loss because we expect to win at home. It's a lesson learned and we need to pick it up." Said defender Bobby Boswell: "The biggest thing to take away from it is we werenít happy with it. Even if we had gotten a win there at the end we wouldnít have been happy with how we played that game for 90 minutes. That's something we have to work on."
  • The Dynamo will be without playmaker Brad Davis for the MLS Cup Final rematch, after he was sent off late in the draw with Colorado.
  • "After I just got that yellow card, I just lost my head a little bit," Davis said. "I don't think it was a straight red, but I think he was looking after our little scuffle we had. I actually talked to the ref at halftime and asked him to be more consistent. There was a lot of inconsistency, so finally I kind of lost it."
  • Boniek García was able to make his first appearance in the starting lineup since March 30, stepping into a central midfield role with Andrew Driver remaining in a wide spot.
  • Adam Moffat was unable to figure in the Colorado match after leaving the Toronto FC game in the first half with a hamstring injury.
  • "There's lots of decisions to be made based on guyís health," Kinnear said. "We want to make sure that guys are healthy when they step on the field. The good thing is those guys are practicing so it makes it easier to make a decision."
  • Giles Barnes took over the Dynamo team lead with his third goal, his first since scoring in back-to-back games March 23 and 30 vs. Vancouver and San Jose.