DC United vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Match Preview

D.C. UNITED vs LA GALAXY
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
Sept. 14, 2013 (WEEK 29, MLS Game #270)
4 p.m. ET (UniMás; CSN-DC; TWCSN-LA)

Perhaps the longest standing rivalry in Major League Soccer will be resumed on Saturday afternoon when D.C. United play host to the LA Galaxy at RFK Memorial Stadium. United were officially eliminated from playoff consideration last weekend, in a 1-0 defeat at Chivas USA. The Galaxy hit the road after seeing their three-game winning streak come to an end following a 1-0 defeat by the Colorado Rapids at StubHub Center.

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE (PDF)

REFEREE: Drew Fischer. AR1 (bench): Sean Hurd; AR2 (opposite): Craig Lowry; 4th: Jose Carlos Rivero
MLS Career: 20 games; FC/gm: 25.6; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 2; pens: 6

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DC: Chris Korb, John Thorrington … LA: Juninho
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Perry Kitchen, Daniel Woolard, Kyle Porter, Dennis Iapichino, Luis Silva … LA: A.J. DeLaGarza, Marcelo Sarvas, Sean Franklin
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (39 meetings): United 13 wins (1 shootout), 48 goals … Galaxy 18 wins (0 shootout), 61 goals … Ties 8
AT DC (20 meetings): United 8 wins (0 shootout), 31 goals …Galaxy 9 wins (0 shootout), 34 goals … Ties 3

LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/18: LA 3, DC 1 (Keane 45, 69; Sarvas 86 – DeLeon 87)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The latest installment of the one of the most enduring rivalries in MLS history, the Galaxy have a eight-game unbeaten streak vs. United. Since a 4-1 D.C. win in 2008 at RFK Stadium, the Galaxy have won four times with four draws, including a 3-1 win in Carson last March 18 in the only meeting between the teams.
  • United’s last win against the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center came all the way back in 2005, a 1-0 victory on July 23.
  • Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. LA: P4 W0 L2 D2 … Bruce Arena vs. DC: P13 W5 L3 D5

D.C. UNITED
D.C. United had their winless run stretched to five games, still winless on the road following a 1-0 defeat by Chivas USA on Sunday evening at StubHub Center. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 27 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's only goal came six minutes after halftime. A cross into the area wasn't cleared, eventually bounced off a pair of United players and falling into the the area where Erick Torres stabbed it past D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
  • Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy made five saves for the shutout.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made four changes to the team that fell 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Ethan White and Dennis Iapichino came into the back four for Dejan Jakovic and James Riley, and Collin Martin and Conor Doyle started in place of Jared Jeffrey and Dwayne De Rosario.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-1-1): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Ethan White (Sainey Nyassi 82), Daniel Woolard (Conor Shanosky 31), Dennis Iapichino - Nick DeLeon, Lewis Neal, Perry Kitchen, Collin Martin (Chris Pontius 65) - Luis Silva - Conor Doyle.

TEAM NEWS

  • With the defeat, United became the first team officially eliminated from playoff consideration, with five weeks still remaining in the regular season.
  • United had their winless streak extended to five league games, and lost for the eighth time in the last 11 MLS matches.
  • “We’ll pick ourselves up. It’s a tough loss but we’ll move forward,” said United head coach Ben Olsen. “We got another game next weekend. We’ll be fine. We’ll recover. We’ll get some guys back from national duty and injuries.”
  • United also remain winless on their travels, now 0-11-3 in road games this season. Four teams in MLS history have gone winless over the entire season on the road, last Vancouver in 2011. They face back-to-back trips to New England and Toronto following the LA home match.
  • “I think we started off well, spreading the field and creating some opportunities to score and then we just felt like we dropped off,” said United midfielder Luis Silva. “They took over the game. They had a little bit more precision and they took their chances.”
  • Collin Martin made his second career league start, wide on the left of midfield, while Conor Doyle returned to the starting lineup after coming off the substitutes’ bench vs. New York.
  • Dennis Iapichino made his first start since coming to the club from Montréal, while Homegrown Player Ethan White made his first league start since Aug. 10.
  • “Overall, it wasn’t a great performance from us. I think we had too many poor performances from individuals,” Olsen said. “I expect a little bit, you’re putting some new guys out there and some youth and they’re going to have their growing pains. I thought we saw that a little bit tonight.”
  • Chris Pontius was able to make his first appearance since July 7, coming off the bench for the final 25 minutes after missing seven matches with neural tension in his left leg.
  • “I felt good in terms of the injury. Coming in as a sub, you just have to catch up with the pace of the game. I thought I did OK with that,” Pontius said. “I just have to keep on working on my fitness and hopefully next week I can put in more minutes.”

LA GALAXY
The LA Galaxy had their winning streak put to an end after three games, the Colorado Rapids claiming a 1-0 victory on Saturday evening at StubHub Center. The Galaxy are in third place in the Western Conference with 43 points from 27 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's only goal came with a quarter-hour remaining. Vicente Sanchez won the ball on LA's left flank, surged forward, cut inside, spun to avoid a defender and played the ball back to Edson Buddle, who hit the upper-left corner from just beyond the penalty area for the eventual winner.
  • The Galaxy nearly took the lead after just two minutes, but Marcelo Sarvas saw his effort come down off the underside of the crossbar. Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin made six saves for the clean sheet.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that strolled to a comprehensive 3-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes at StubHub Center. Brian Rowe, Kofi Opare, - Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal all came into the side, with Jaime Penedo, Omar Gonzalez, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane all away on international duty.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Brian Rowe - A.J. DeLaGarza (Hector Jimenez 82), Kofi Opare, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant - Sean Franklin (Colin Clark 67), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Gyasi Zardes - Jack McBean (Charlie Rugg 67), Jose Villarreal.

TEAM NEWS

  • The loss to Colorado ended a three-game winning streak for the Galaxy, their longest of the season. It also ended a six-game winning streak at StubHub Center and was their first home loss in seven matches, dating back to May 26.
  • It was a second defeat in three meetings with the Rapids for the Galaxy – and all three meetings have occurred during international match windows.
  • “I don't think we've played Colorado yet this year with our [full] team, which is ridiculous,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “You know, you're in playoff races, and I think every time – I don't know if every time is a fixture window, but for whatever reason, we've not played them yet with our full team.”
  • The last time the Galaxy were shut out at the attacking end came in the last loss to Colorado, a 2-0 defeat on July 27.
  • “That just showed how big they are to our team, all four of them are. I think the last three times we’ve played Colorado it’s been in an international window, so that being said, we still have the players that can make plays and we were in the game for quite a while and gave up a goal like we gave it out to another player who was our teammate,” said defender A.J. DeLaGarza. “It seems these things always happen to us and it’s unfortunate.”
  • With Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan away on international duty – who had scored 10 goals between them in the Galaxy’s last four matches – Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean comprised the strike partnership. “An OK performance, certainly not dangerous enough,” Arena said. “Between them, probably not enough chances.”
  • Said goalkeeper Brian Rowe: “Jack and Jose have been sort of coming on every once and awhile so it’s tough to get a rhythm with the first team when you’re not playing as much, but, I mean, in the end, when we had those opportunities whoever it is needs to step up and get something on target and test the goalie.”
  • Kofi Opare made his MLS debut, starting in central defense in place of Omar Gonzalez. Opare had played the Galaxy’s opening match in group play in the CONCACAF Champions League.
  • “He did well, very young guy. He had a little bit of experience in Champions League, which is also tough,” said DeLaGarza. “I thought he held his own tonight for sure, he’s just a simple player and as a simple player myself, I can appreciate that style.”
  • Rowe also made just his second league appearance of the season, in place of Panamanian international Jaime Penedo. Rowe’s only other MLS outing this year was a 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on June 8.
  • “Kofi played very well, I thought Brian Rowe played well, the new players we brought into the lineup did very well,” Arena said.