Preview: Juggernauts LA, Columbus set to collide at HDC

LA Galaxy vs. Columbus Crew, July 20

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images/MLSsoccer.com

THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
10:30 p.m. PT (PT; ONN)
July 20, 2011 (WEEK 19; MLS Game 184)

DOWNLOAD COMPLETE GAME GUIDE (PDF)

The LA Galaxy return to league endeavors and put their undefeated run on the line when the Columbus Crew come to The Home Depot Center on Wednesday evening. The Galaxy are unbeaten in 12 league games, their last league contest a 2-1 victory against Chicago nearly two weeks ago. The Crew returned from a long layoff of their own last weekend, in a scoreless draw at home with San Jose.

REFEREE: Andrew Chapin. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): Matthew Kreitzer; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 33 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 4.5; R: 9; pens: 4

INJURY REPORT: LA GALAXY—OUT: DF Sean Alvarado (R knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee surgery); GK Donovan Ricketts (L ulna fracture); QUESTIONABLE: FW Chad Barrett (R knee sprain); MF David Beckham (back spasms); DF Sean Franklin (L hamstring strain); DF Omar Gonzalez (nose fracture); DF Frankie Hejduk (R ankle inflammation); FW Mike Magee (R hamstring tightness) ... COLUMBUS CREW—OUT: DF Josh Williams (R hip labral tear); MF Dilly Duka (R ankle sprain); DOUBTFUL: DF Shaun Francis (L hamstring strain); MF Rich Balchan (L adductor strain); FW Emilio Renteria (L quad strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: LA: David Beckham
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Juninho ... CLB: Kevin Burns, Tommy Heinemann, Julius James

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (34 meetings): Galaxy 11 wins (0 shootout), 43 goals ... Crew 15 wins (3 shootout), 48 goals ... Ties 8
AT LA (19 meetings): Galaxy 8 wins (0 shootout), 26 goals ... Crew 7 wins (2 shootout), 23 goals ... Ties 4
RETURN MATCH: 9/24: Columbus Crew vs. LA Galaxy, 7:30 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/29: CLB 0, LA 2 (Stephens 10; Bowen 87)
9/11: LA 3, CLB 1 (Buddle 13; Kovalenko 35; Kirovski 55—Mendoza 85)

  • When the Galaxy won 2-0 in Columbus last May 29, it was just the Galaxy's second win all-time at Crew Stadium. The first was a 2-1 win against Columbus on Sept. 30, 2007; that also includes a loss to the Crew in the 2002 U.S. Open Cup final, and loss in MLS Cup 2001 to San Jose.
  • The Crew saw a six-game unbeaten streak vs. the Galaxy in Carson come to an end in the loss last year. They had two wins, with four draws, in their previous six visits.
  • The Galaxy have defeated Columbus just three times in the last 14 league meetings. Since a 2-0 win April 24, 2004 at The Home Depot Center, the Crew are 6-3-5 vs. the Galaxy.
  • Coaches record: Bruce Arena v CLB: P22 W12 L8 D2 ... Robert Warzycha vs. LA: P4 W1 L2 D1

LA GALAXY

The LA Galaxy return to league play, extending their league unbeaten streak to 12 games last time out, a 2-1 win against the Chicago Fire at The Home Depot Center on July 9. The Galaxy have 39 points from 21 games on the season, leading the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • All the goals came after the halftime break. After winning a free kick near the corner flag on the right, David Beckham swung the ball in to the far post, where Landon Donovan was able to outjump Gonzalo Segares and angle his header into the goal.
  • The Fire answered back in the 62nd minute, when Patrick Nyarko's cross into the Galaxy box was met by Cristian Nazarit, who put a powerful header past goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
  • But only three minutes later, Beckham put the Galaxy into the lead with a remarkable, swinging a corner kick in from the left that sailed through a host of bodies and under goalkeeper Sean Johnson, nestling inside the far post.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made five changes to the team that reached a scoreless result with Seattle Sounders FC at The Home Depot Center. Josh Saunders replaced Brian Perk in goal, Bryan Jordan and Gregg Berhalter came into the back four for Sean Franklin and A.J. DeLaGarza, and David Beckham and Paolo Cardozo came into the team in place of Mike Magee and Chad Barrett.
  • LA GALAXY (4-3-2-1): Josh Saunders - Bryan Jordan, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant - Juninho, David Beckham, Chris Birchall (Michael Stephens 94+) - Paolo Cardozo (Miguel Lopez 67), Landon Donovan - Juan Pablo Angel (Adam Cristman 77).

TEAM NEWS

  • David Beckham is one behind Houston's Brad Davis for the league lead in assists, setting up Landon Donovan's league-leading ninth goal against Chicago—his first assist since May 28.
  • "I told Landon to play hard and goals are always good. The second half he played very well. I thought his second half was real good and once he scored he really lifted his game," Bruce Arena said. We need the leadership out of Landon and David to be successful and we certainly got it in the second half, the whole night really. The goal really helped Landon. I thought it was good performance in the second half in particular."
  • Beckham's goal came directly from a corner—a rarity in football. Beckham said he had scored one while on loan to Preston North End.
  • "From what I hear, playing with the injury that he is playing with is really painful. He is a warrior. Since he has been here he has played through a lot of tough injuries," said Donovan of Beckham. "He has spent a lot of time off the field so I think he wants to do everything he can do this year to play as much as possible so he is playing through a lot of pain."
  • The Galaxy had three changes to their back four plus goalkeeper, and still came away with the victory. Gregg Berhalter played 90 minutes for a second match this season, and Bryan Jordan made his first start of the campaign, coming in at right back.
  • "I think he did well. He showed the guy the line and played him defensively very well. It's tough for him to come in as a midfielder and play a defensive spot so I thought he did well," said goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who returned after he was suspended for the Seattle match.
  • On Saturday, the Galaxy fell 4-1 to Real Madrid in a World Football Challenge match at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Jose Callejon, Joselu, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scored for Real Madrid; Adam Cristman pulled a goal back for the Galaxy, heading in a rebound in the 67th minute
  • Here's the Galaxy team: Josh Saunders (Brian Perk 45), Todd Dunivant(Kyle Davies 62), Sean Franklin (Bryan Jordan 46), Gregg Berhalter(Ryan Thomas 78), A.J. DeLaGarza, Miguel López (Paolo Cardozo 71), Juninho (Dan Keat 71), Chris Birchall, David Beckham (Jovan Kirovski), Juan Pablo Angel (Adam Cristman 45 / Chad Barrett 77), Landon Donovan (Hector Jimenez 45)
  • "If we were healthy and didn't have to play the game Wednesday in Seattle I think we would have gotten a lot more out of this game," Arena said. "We certainly saw that we had a tired team. We played a couple players that were hurt and we don't have the kind of depth that you need when you play teams of this caliber."
  • On Wednesday, the Galaxy were dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup in a 3-1 quarterfinal loss to Seattle Sounders FC at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.
  • Here's the Galaxy team: Josh Saunders, Bryan Jordan, A.J. DeLaGarza, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Chris Birchall, Michael Stephens, Juninho (Jovan Kirovski 78), Landon Donovan (Hector Jimenez 75), Paolo Cardozo (Miguel Lopez 64), Adam Cristman.

COLUMBUS CREW

The Columbus Crew returned to action after a long layoff with a scoreless draw against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew have 28 points from 19 games on the season, in third place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • William Hesmer made five saves for the Crew in keeping the clean sheet, while Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch was called upon to make six saves.
  • The Earthquakes nearly took the lead before the game was a minute old, but Khari Stephenson saw a low drive clatter off the base of the goalpost.
  • Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made one change to the team that took a dramatic 1-0 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Empire Field. Emmanuel Ekpo came into central midfield for Dejan Rusmir.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-2): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Josh Gardner - Eddie Gaven (Justin Meram 79), Eric Gehrig, Emmanuel Ekpo, Robbie Rogers - Bernardo Anor (Tommy Heinemann 58), Andres Mendoza (Jeff Cunningham 79).

TEAM NEWS

  • After the 10-day layoff and an in-season mini-vacation, the Crew weren't able to find their way past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch.
  • "Obviously you want the forwards to get some looks at the goal and [Andres Mendoza] did today," said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. "Probably his shot selection wasn't good but also [Jon] Busch did well blocking Robbie's [Rogers] and his [Mendoza's] shots."
  • It was a second attacking shutout in three games for Columbus, the only goal in that time the dramatic winner by Jeff Cunningham to secure victory in Vancouver.
  • "Definitely we have to be sharper in front of the goal, we need to keep creating chances but as a team we need to play a little better," said Warzycha.
  • The Crew were able to keep a clean sheet for a second consecutive game. They had four consecutive shutouts from March 26-April 16.
  • "We got one point but played for three and created some chances. ...  I think it was just an off night a little bit, I think goals change games and I think that had we scored before half time when Robbie [Rogers] had the one against one I think probably we would have changed the game but they kept it at zero and I am a little disappointed," Warzycha said.
  • The Crew were involved in a trade with Toronto FC, obtaining midfielder Tony Tchani from the Canadian side in exchange for midfielder Leandre Griffit and defender Andy Iro.
  • "We're working on some things outside the league but we're certainly not close to anything," said technical director Brian Bliss. " ... It does create some roster room, but this move wasn't done to create that."