Preview: Galaxy look to keep rolling against visiting DC
One of the oldest rivalries in MLS kicks off the weekend on FOX Soccer as the LA Galaxy put their winning and shutout streaks on the line, entertaining D.C. United. The Galaxy have won four in a row, three in a row by 1-0 scorelines, after winning at New England last weekend. United are on the second game of a two-game Western swing, the first club to come away from Portland with any points after defeating the Timbers 3-2 last Sunday.
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REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. SAR (bench): Daniel Belleau; JAR (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Drew Fischer
MLS Career: 30 game; FC/gm: 28.6; Y/gm: 3.9; R: 6; pens: 4
INJURY REPORT: LA GALAXY – OUT: DF Sean Alvarado (R knee surgery), DF Leonardo (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: FW Adam Cristman (L knee surgery recovery) …
D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Branko Boskovic (L ACL tear); DF Marc Burch (R hamstring strain); MF Junior Carreiro (L ankle sprain); DF Devon McTavish (concussion); MF Santino Quaranta (concussion); DF Jed Zayner (L hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Kurt Morsink (R ankle sprain); PROBABLE: FW Charlie Davies (R hamstring strain); MF Dax McCarty (R groin strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: LA: Landon Donovan (USA); Donovan Ricketts (Jamaica) … DC: Dejan Jakovic (Canada)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Juninho, David Beckham
ALL-TIME (37 meetings): Galaxy 17 wins (0 shootout), 58 goals … United 13 wins (1 shootout), 48 goals … Ties 6
AT LA (17 meetings): Galaxy 8 wins (0 shootout), 24 goals … United 5 wins (0 shootout), 17 goals … Ties 4
• The teams are meeting for a second time this season, after a 1-1 draw April 9 at RFK Stadium, as Mike Magee and Charlie Davies traded goals.
• The Galaxy have a six-game unbeaten streak alive against United. D.C. last won June 29, 2008; LA has won three of the six meetings since, with three draws.
• United have not defeated the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center since 2005.
• Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. DC: P11 W4 L3 D4 … Ben Olsen v COL: P2 W0 L1 D1
4/9: DC 1, LA 1 (Davies 89 pen – Magee 12)
• The Galaxy took the lead in the 12th minute when David Beckham’s curling corner from the left was nodded home by Mike Magee.
• But United pulled level again through some late heroics by Charlie Davies. After Davies was knocked over by Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez as he tried to push past in the left of the area in the 89th minute, referee Abbey Okujala pointed to the spot and Davies converted with a cheeky chip down the center of the goal.
• D.C. UNITED (4-1-3-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb (Andy Najar 72), Dejan Jakovic, Ethan White, Marc Burch - Clyde Simms - Santino Quaranta (sent off 84), Dax McCarty (Branko Boskovic 81), Chris Pontius - Josh Wolff, Blake Brettschneider (Charlie Davies 53)
• LA GALAXY (4-4-1-1): Donovan Ricketts – A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant - Sean Franklin, Juninho, David Beckham (Jovan Kirovski 80; sent off 95+), Mike Magee - Miguel Lopez (Paolo Cardozo 75) - Juan Pablo Angel (Chad Barrett 90)
The LA Galaxy won their fourth match in a row, defeating the New England Revolution 1-0 on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Galaxy have 29 points from 15 games on the season, leading the Western Conference.
• The game's lone goal came in the 69th minute. David Beckham served in a curling low cross from the right flank and Miguel Lopez cut across a defender to hit a glancing header inside the far post beyond the outstretched Matt Reis.
• Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made three changes to the team that defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 at The Home Depot Center. David Beckham and Mike Magee came into the midfield for Michael Stephens and Chris Birchall, and Miguel Lopez started up top for Juan Pablo Angel.
• LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts – Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant – Landon Donovan, Juninho, David Beckham (Michael Stephens 79), Mike Magee (Chris Birchall 73) – Miguel Lopez, Chad Barrett (Paolo Cardozo 62).
• The Galaxy extended their shutout streak to 321 minutes with a third consecutive clean sheet, the fifth-longest in MLS this season. The longest was FC Dallas’ 531-minute streak snapped last weekend in Houston.
• “We’ve been very good, I think, over the last 10 games or so defensively. We gave up four in Salt Lake and one the opening game at home with New England so we gave up five goals in our first three games,” said Bruce Arena. “ … So, we’ve defended quite well over the last 12 games or so.”
• The Galaxy recorded a seventh shutout in 15 games – having played more games than any other club in the league. Seattle is next with 14; only five clubs have played as many as 13.
• “When you play this many more games than teams, you have to make sure that you’re getting points and you’re getting ahead so that every time they look at the standings, it looks daunting,” Landon Donovan said. “You don’t want to be near other teams when you’ve played so many more games. You want to make it so that they have to come catch us.”
• The Galaxy can become the first team in MLS history to win four in a row by the game’s only goal. The MLS record for consecutive 1-0 games is Colorado with five last year from May 1-June 5, losing the first two then winning the next three.
• “To manage to pull nine points out of three games is remarkable. and it’s all the credit to the players,” Arena said. “They’ve been fabulous. We could see [against New England] we had a tired team and weren’t as sharp going forward, but their concentration was great, and their desire to compete and win were great.”
• After playing in the testimonial for Manchester United’s Gary Neville at Old Trafford at midweek, David Beckham returned to the Galaxy lineup and recorded his seventh assist, one off the MLS lead.
• “I thought David played well. He was a little fatigued from his travel. He managed to find 90-plus minutes in a testimonial game – which shouldn’t help matters – but his ankle got tweaked a little bit,” Arena said. “But he did a good job passing the ball and obviously a very good ball for Lopez’s goal.”
• It was the sixth assist from a service for Beckham, but the first from a cross in run of play; three had come from free kicks, and two from corners.
• “I obviously put the ball in a good position, and without Miguel running into that front post area, he’s made my ball a good one,” Beckham said. “I think we deserved it, overall. I think we had a lot of chances, so we’re happy.”
• Friday’s game will be the first with Landon Donovan and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts away on international duty for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
• “We’re not a team that plays the same 11 or 12 or 13 guys the whole year,” Donovan said. “Some teams do that, but that’s not been the way we’ve operated over the last three years. … I don’t worry about how we’re going to do. We’re going to do fine.”
D.C. United extended their unbeaten run to four matches, becoming the first MLS team to come away with three points from Jeld-Wen Field in a 3-2 defeat of the Portland Timbers on Sunday afternoon. United have 15 points from 11 games on the year, sitting in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference.
• United took the 13th minute when rookie Perry Kitchen slotted home a ball off the head of fellow first-year man Blake Brettschneider.
• The Timbers pulled even at the three-quarter mark in a bizarre sequence. After United's Dejan Jakovic pulled down forward Kenny Cooper in the penalty box, Cooper stepped up to take the spot kick, but he twice saw efforts saved by D.C. United ‘keeper Bill Hamid. Hamid was called by the assistant referee for leaving his line early each time. On the third try, Cooper moved aside for Jack Jewsbury, who slotted in the equalizer.
• But in the 75th minute, United won a penalty of his own, as Diego Chara was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area, and Chris Pontius beat Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins from the spot. United then made 3-1 10 minutes later as Josh Wolff collected a Brettschneider flick-on from a goal kick and slotted home past Perkins.
• The Timbers pulled a goal back in the 88th minute when Jorge Perlaza headed home a long throw from Jeremy Hall from the left corner, but it was not enough.
• United coach Ben Olsen made three changes to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids at RFK Stadium. Stephen King came into the midfield for Dax McCarty, and Blake Brettschneider and Joseph Ngwenya were an all-change strike pair for Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff.
• D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid – Perry Kitchen, Ethan White, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard – Andy Najar (Fred 87), Clyde Simms, Stephen King, Chris Pontius – Blake Brettschneider, Joseph Ngwenya (Josh Wolff 51 / Brandon Barklage 92+).
• The main talking point of the match came with the penalty kick attempted three times – twice after goalkeeper Bill Hamid was adjudged to have come forward off his line early.
• “It happens everywhere around the world and this guy calls it twice,” Hamid said. “The second one, I definitely kept it in mind: ‘All right, stay back and make the save — react.’ For him to call it a second time, I don’t know what’s going on.”
• United were able to respond with a third goal on the afternoon – the third time they’ve scored three goals this season, which have led to three of their four victories on the campaign.
• “After that call [on the penalty kick], and the second call, to regroup after that in front of this crowd, shows a lot of character,” United coach Ben Olsen said. “I couldn’t have regrouped. I would’ve followed the referee for 40 minutes and been in his ear and would’ve been useless.”
• In a friendly against AFC Ajax, Blake Brettschneider scored a goal. Inserted into the starting lineup against Portland, the rookie from the University of South Carolina set up two goals in United’s win – the third start of his MLS career, but first since April 9.
• “I thought I did pretty well,” said Brettschneider. “I feel like I did what the coaches asked me to do — I tried to cause problems for them, tried to be dangerous, create chances.”
• Brettschneider and Joseph Ngwenya were given the start with Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff both still slowed by injuries. Davies has not featured for United since aggravating his hamstring against Colorado on May 14, while Wolff was able to come off the bench for 38 minutes of play.
• Chris Pontius scored for the second consecutive week from the penalty spot, and has four goals on the year – surpassing his total of a season ago. He’s been ever-present in the United lineup through 11 games, playing wide on the left of midfield.
• “I’m already so much happier this year than I was last year,” Pontius said. “There’s just a lot of things that went wrong last year.”
• Dax McCarty was also a late scratch from the lineup with a groin strain, but is considered available for the Galaxy match.
• "It's a big step for us," Olsen said. "I don't want to blow it out of proportion too much because in this league on any given day, you can beat a team. I was proud of the way we defended set pieces. We had a bunch of men out there and they showed that we have the ability to compete physically with a pretty demanding Portland team when it comes to set pieces."
• United became the first team from the Eastern time zone to win in the Pacific time zone with their victory in Portland. In nine previous matches, the six teams from the Eastern time zone had lost five, and drawn four.