High-flyers meet at HDC
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER
7 pm PT (FSN-W2; FSN-SW)
A mouthwatering match is in prospect for The Home Depot Center as the Galaxy and FC Dallas put their high-flying attacks against each other for the top of the Western Conference. The visitors come in undefeated on the campaign and tied for the best record in MLS - but also own the league's best defensive record to go with a new-look attack. The Galaxy have peeled off consecutive impressive victories after a rocky start, scoring three goals in each of their last two matches, both at The HDC.
REFEREE: Terry Vaughn. SAR (bench): George Gansner; JAR (opposite): Fabio Tovar; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 48 games; FC/gm: 31.7; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 13; pens: 13
Games involving Galaxy: P10 W2 L5 T3; FC/gm: 33.6; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 3; pens: 2
Games involving FC Dallas: P9 W0 L6 T3; FC/gm: 28.2; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 2; pens: 5
INJURY REPORT: LOS ANGELES GALAXY - OUT: FW Alan Gordon (R hip strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Josh Gardner (L foot sprain) ... FC DALLAS - NONE REPORTED
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
YELLOW PERIL: none
ALL-TIME (34 meetings): Galaxy 17 wins (1 shootout), 63 goals ... FC Dallas 10 wins (1 shootout), 40 goals ... 7 draws
AT LOS ANGELES (17 meetings): Galaxy 12 wins (1 shootout), 33 goals ... FC Dallas 3 wins (1 shootout), 12 goals ... 2 draws
This is the first of four meetings between the clubs this season. Their next meeting is scheduled for June 18 at the Cotton Bowl, then they'll meet twice in 10 days at season's end - Sept. 21 at the Frisco Soccer and Entertainment Center, then Oct. 1 on Victoria Street.
A year ago, the Galaxy won three of the four matches between the teams, winning both of the matches at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy won 3-1 at home on May 8 (Kirovski 57, 65; Ruiz 90 - Nhleko 6), then three weeks later on national TV grabbed a 4-1 victory at the Cotton Bowl (O'Brien 71 - Victorine 9, og 65, Kirovski 72, 90)
Dallas then won for the only time in the series last year, a 2-0 victory on Sept. 18 at home (Johnson 10, 44), before the Galaxy returned the favor with a 2-0 victory on Oct. 9 in Carson (Kirovski 68, 85).
The Galaxy have won five of the last six meetings between the teams, after a stretch where six of the eight encounters ended in draws (each team winning on in that span, Dallas in extra time).
The losing team hasn't scored more than a goal since the 2000 season, when the Burn posted a 4-2 home victory on July 1.
Coaches record: Steve Sampson vs. DAL: P2 W1 L1 D0 ... Colin Clarke v LA: P4 W1 L3 D0
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
The Los Angeles Galaxy hit for three goals for the second consecutive week in winning a second game on the trot, this time a 3-1 victory against Chivas USA in the first Super Clásico. The Galaxy moved into second place in the Western Conference with six points from three matches, four points adrift of FC Dallas heading into their showdown.
At The Home Depot Center, the first Los Angeles derby lived up to many expectations with a vibrant, intense match both on and off the field. But it was the MLS original Galaxy that owned the contest, scoring three goals in the first 32 minutes to run out easy winners.
Cobi Jones gave the Galaxy a 14th-minute lead when Chris Albright turned a corner kick on goal, only to see Chivas USA's Hector Cuadros clear it off the line. But Jones swooped in at the top of the area to blaze a first-time shot back under the crossbar.
Then 10 minutes later the 'home' side struck again, a long ball from Jones out of midfield headed down by Landon Donovan into the path of Peter Vagenas steaming up the center-forward channel, and he skipped through a tackle before lashing a low shot past Chivas 'keeper Brad Guzan.
And then after Donovan was hacked down on the edge of the area, Jovan Kirovski hooked a free kick over the wall and inside Guzan's right-hand post to put the Galaxy up 3-0 (32).
Just after the break Chivas pulled a goal back, credited to Isaac Romo when his slightest of touches slipped a deflection of a Ramon Ramirez free kick from the right flank past Galaxy 'keeper Kevin Hartman (49). But six minutes later Aaron Lopez was sent off for a second bookable offense and that sealed Chivas USA's fate.
"I thought it was a game of two distinct halves. Obviously in the first half, we played very well, played very intelligently and got some great goals from guys with the exception of Jovan that don't normally score," said Galaxy coach Steve Sampson. "Cobi Jones has scored two goals in two games, but didn't score all last year. So, we're obviously very happy with that."
Sampson made no changes to the team that defeated Real Salt Lake 3-1 two weeks before on Victoria Street. Here's Sampson's team (4-4-2): Kevin Hartman - Chris Albright (Michael Umana 54), Ugo Ihemelu, Tyrone Marshall, Todd Dunivant - Cobi Jones, Paulo Nagamura, Peter Vagenas, Guillermo Ramirez - Landon Donovan, Jovan Kirovski (Ednaldo da Conceicao 64)
Sampson was less thrilled about the second half. "I felt we did a poor job of managing the result," he said. "I know we want to entertain our fans, but I think in the second half we have to do a much better job managing the fact that we were a man up. I think the guys got caught up in trying to entertain people in the stands. ... Our boys are disappointed, quite frankly. They're disappointed with the way we played in the second half."
Galaxy coach Steve Sampson elected not to release midfielder Guillermo Ramirez for Guatemala's friendly against Brazil in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.
Cobi Jones' goal was named the Sierra Mist MLS Goal of the Week in balloting on MLSnet.com, the league's official website.
FC Dallas continued their unbeaten run to begin the campaign, running wild in a 3-0 victory against Real Salt Lake on Saturday night at home. FCD now had 10 points from their four matches on the season, the best record in Major League Soccer and four points ahead of the Los Angeles Galaxy in the Western Conference.
At the Cotton Bowl, FC Dallas struck early and never looked back in remaining unbeaten through four matches on the season. Richard Mulrooney opened the FCD account after just four minutes when he whipped in a free kick from just outside the area, the second time this season he's scored within four minutes of the start of a match.
Then after Eddie Johnson hit the woodwork for the first of two times he would do it on the night, he doubled the Dallas lead on a quick break, running down a long ball played over the top before cutting inside and lashing a low shot inside D.J. Countess's near post from the right side of the are (35).
Carlos Ruiz finished off the scoring from the penalty spot (63), taking his own spot kick after he was tripped up running at goal. Real defender Eddie Pope was sent off 18 minutes from the end, just the second time in his 10-year MLS career he was shown a red card.
FC Dallas coach Colin Clarke made no changes to the team that defeated Chivas USA the previous weekend in Carson. Here's Clarke's team (4-3-3): Scott Garlick, Bobby Rhine, Clarence Goodson (Drew Moor 84), Greg Vanney, David Wagenfuhr, Richard Mulrooney, Simo Valakari (Ramon Nunez 68), Carey Talley (Ty Maurin 85), Eddie Johnson, Carlos Ruiz, Ronnie O'Brien
"Obviously, we're pleased, 3-0 at home, a clean sheet, we're in good shape. We're disappointed that we couldn't score more," Clarke said. "We created a lot of chances and good opportunities. We could have possibly had three penalties, but only ended up with one, but overall, very, very happy."
Ruiz earned a penalty with a foul for the second consecutive match, and for the second match converted from the spot. "Once again, I had a penalty kick. The goals are always welcome in any way."
FC Dallas coach Colin Clarke allowed Carlos Ruiz to join the Guatemala national team for its 3-0 loss in a friendly Brazil on Wednesday in Sao Paulo, but given the long travel involved Guatemala technical director Ramon Maradiaga decided not to have Ruiz join the team. Anderson (5), Romario (17) and Grafite (66) scored in Romario's farewell match for the Brazilian national team.
While the front attacking three has gained a lot of attention, Clarke said perhaps the key to the Dallas start thus far as been central midfielder Richard Mulrooney. "He's a good player, a different class," Clarke told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "He closes things down. He reads things very, very well and takes up good, intelligent positions. He's a very, very good central midfielder, and you can see why San Jose, when they were a good squad, won the championship with players like him."
The last time the Dallas club won by shutout while scoring three or more goals came June 12, 2001.
FC Dallas dealt Trinidad & Tobago international forward Cornell Glen to Columbus for the Crew's second-round selection in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, and a youth international slot in 2005. Glen did not play for FCD after arriving from the MetroStars over the winter.
FC Dallas also announced the signing of Alex Woods to a developmental contract. The diminutive attacker from Houston led Trinity University to an undefeated record and NCAA championship in 2003.
FC Dallas has the joint third-best attack in MLS with the Galaxy with 2.0 goals per game, behind New England (3.0) and San Jose (2.3). "[FCD] has three guys up top that are very good," Ellinger said. "You've got Eddie [Johnson], who's probably the fastest guy in the league when he gets going. Carlos [Ruiz] is pretty cheeky about what he does. Ronnie [O'Brien], I thought he was always the best wide player in the league, and, now, he's playing up front. So he's a handful when he comes inside and you've got to deal with him. So it's a pretty potent offense."