2003 Club by Club
The Los Angeles Galaxy finished the 2003 regular season as the fourth-placed team in Major League Soccer's Western Conference, ending the season with a 9-12-9 record and collecting 36 points in the process. Forced to play a league-record first eight games at te start of the season on the road while construction was completed at The Home Depot Center, the defending MLS Cup Champions posted a respectable 0-4-4 record over the first two months and went on to post a 0-9-6 road mark. In June, the team settled into a comfortable rhythm, posted a 3-1-2 record, including a record of 3-0-1 at the new cathedral for soccer in the Americas. July was a light month in league play for the Galaxy as the team spent nearly two weeks competing against some of the best club sides in the world at Peace Cup Korea 2003. After returning stateside, the team ran off a 4-1-1 record over the remainder of July and all of August, bolstered by a three-pronged strike force of Guatemalan Carlos Ruiz, Venezuelan Alejandro Moreno and recent acquisition, Colombian Diego Serna. Los Angeles finished with a 9-3-3 record at home (second-best in MLS) and led the league in attendance, drawing 329,752 fans to The Home Depot Center. That number was good enough for an average of 21,983, up 15.4 percent from the 19,047 they drew in 2002, the club's last season in the Rose Bowl.
RUIZ, MORENO AND SERNA ... THE TRIPLE EDGED SWORD: The Galaxy forward trio of Carlos "El Pescadito" Ruiz, Alejandro "El Oso" Moreno and Diego "El Humvee" Serna is pushing itself to the forefront of such combinations in MLS. After leading the league in 2002 with 24 tallies and earning Honda MVP honors, Ruiz led all goal-scorers in 2003 with 15 goals and has also chipped in five assists. Meanwhile, Moreno and Serna have come into their own in the second half of the season and have combined for nine goals and four assists (6 goals, 2 assists for Moreno/3 goals, 2 assists for Serna).
CIENFUEGOS, JONES REACH THE 200-GAME PLATEAU: Two Galaxy mainstays since the team's inception in 1996, midfielders Mauricio Cienfuegos and Cobi Jones are two of the newest members of Major League Soccer's most exclusive group, the "200 Club." Both have now played in at least 200 MLS regular season matches, and are two of just ten players in league history to accomplish the feat. Additionally, the midfield tandem comprises two of the only five players to do so with just one team, joining Brian McBride and Mike Clark of the Columbus Crew, and Jason Kreis of the Dallas Burn.
GALAXY AND THE HOME DEPOT CENTER DO THE DOUBLE: 2003 marks the first time in Major League Soccer's eight-year history that one team will host both the Pepsi MLS All-Star Game and the MLS Cup final in the same season. The Galaxy and The Home Depot Center, the new cathedral for soccer in America, presented the 2003 MLS All-Star Game on Saturday, Aug. 2. The All-Star Game was a hotly contested battle between a team of MLS All-Stars and Mexican club CD Guadalajara in front of a sold-out crowd of 27,000 that resulted in a 3-1 victory for the MLS side, thanks to MVP and hometown hero, Galaxy striker Carlos Ruiz.