LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids | MLS Match Preview

STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
Sept. 7, 2013 (WEEK 28, MLS Game #256)
7:30 pm PT (TWCSN-LA/TWCD; Altitude)

Two of the hottest teams in Major League Soccer meet in a crucial Western Conference match on Saturday evening as the LA Galaxy play host to the Colorado Rapids at StubHub Center. The Galaxy have won three games in a row and now find themselves in a tie for second place in the division following their 3-0 victory against San Jose last weekend. The Rapids saw their nine-game undefeated streak come to an end last weekend, dropping a 2-1 decision to Sporting Kansas City on the road.


REFEREE: Allen Chapman. AR1 (bench): Corey Rockwell; AR2 (opposite): Colin Arblaster; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 29 games; FC/gm: 20.9; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 5; pens: 7

DISABLED LIST: COL: Diego Calderón
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: COL: Shane O’Neill, Nathan Sturgis
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Juninho, A.J. DeLaGarza, Marcelo Sarvas, Sean Franklin … COL: Dillon Powers, Hendry Thomas
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: LA: Robbie Keane (Ireland), Jaime Penedo (Panama), Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez (USA) … COL: Gabriel Torres (Panama)


ALL-TIME (61 meetings): Galaxy 32 wins (2 shootout), 94 goals … Rapids 22 wins (1 shootout), 70 goals … Ties 7
AT LA (30 meetings): Galaxy 22 wins (1 shootout), 60 goals … Rapids 6 wins (1 shootout), 29 goals … Ties 2

2013 (MLS)
3/30: LA 1, COL 0 (Magee 50)
7/27: COL 2, LA 0 (Thomas 41; Powers 47)

• The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Hendry Thomas and Dillon Powers scored on either side of halftime to give the Rapids a 2-0 win July 27 in Commerce City; a Mike Magee penalty kick in the 50th minute was all the Galaxy needed for a 1-0 victory March 23 in Carson.

• The Rapids victory ended a six-game winless streak against the Galaxy, over the last two-plus seasons. It was Colorado’s first win vs. LA at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park since 2008.

• Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. COL: P23 W17 L5 D3 … Oscar Pareja vs. LA: P5 W1 L3 D1


• Both goals came on either side of halftime. In the 41st minute, Dillon Powers delivered a corner kick for Hendry Thomas to blasted a header home from the center of the penalty box.

Highlights: COL 2, LA 0

• The Rapids scored their second two minutes into the second half. Edson Buddle flicked a perfect through ball in between Galaxy defenders and right onto the feet of Powers, who coolly slotted past oncoming goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.

• COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Clint Irwin - Marvell Wynne (German Mera 70), Shane O'Neill, Drew Moor, Christopher Klute - Nathan Sturgis, Hendry Thomas - Deshorn Brown (Danny Mwanga 77), Dillon Powers, Nick LaBrocca (Atiba Harris 35) - Edson Buddle.

• LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin, Tommy Meyer, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Hector Jimenez (Laurent Courtois 65), Pablo Mastroeni (Michael Stephens 77), Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas - Gyasi Zardes, Jose Villarreal (Jack McBean 65).


The LA Galaxy made it three wins on the trot, strolling to a comprehensive 3-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at StubHub Center. The Galaxy are in second place in the Western Conference with 43 points from 26 matches.


• The Galaxy took the lead in the 26th minute. From a cleared free kick, Marcelo Sarvas fed Robbie Keane at midfield, and he turned and chipped the ball over the Quakes backline. Landon Donovan ran down the ball in open space, rounded goalkeeper Jon Busch in the area and tucked the ball home from a tight angle.

• Keane doubled the Galaxy lead in the 43rd minute on a penalty kick, when referee Kevin Stott pointed to the spot after San Jose fullback Steven Beitashour fouled Gyasi Zardes.

Highlights: LA 3, SJ 0

• The rout was complete in the 67th. A ball played over the area from the left was knocked back across goal by Zardes, and Keane smashed a full volley past Busch on the bounce from just inside the box.

• Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made one change to the team that defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0 at BC Place. Sean Franklin came back into the team in place of Hector Jimenez.

• LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Jaime Penedo - A.J. DeLaGarza (Michael Stephens 83), Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant - Sean Franklin, Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Gyasi Zardes (Pablo Mastroeni 84) - Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane (Jack McBean 90).


• The Galaxy have won three league games in a row for the first time this season, having scored eight goals in that span and also recording back-to-back shutouts. They have won four in a row in all competitions.

• “Our team played well. It was a game winner. As the game went on, our passing improved. I thought we scored some good goals. Overall, a good performance. A good team effort,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.

• Said Robbie Keane: “I think we’re certainly starting [to get it going] if you look at the last few games. I think in this league it’s important that you get back-to-back wins, it’s amazing how it pushes you right up there and keeps you in contention. Certainly in the last month or so it’s important that we’ve done that.”

• Keane scored multiple goals in a game for the fourth time this season. Keane has a pair of two-goal games and two hat tricks; in 16 MLS games this season, he has 12 goals and 10 assists, with five goals over the three-game winning run.

• “It’s nice to score, it’s always nice to score,” said Keane. “I know I was out for a few weeks but I keep saying I don’t like being injured, it’s frustrating, so it’s just nice to be back playing and scoring the goals and helping the team progress and get the points on the board.”

• Landon Donovan scored his fifth goal in the last four matches and now has 132 goals for his league career, two away from tying the all-time record currently held by Jeff Cunningham.

• “The team is playing well and full of confidence. I think we're defending well, we're attacking well, we're moving well, we're moving the ball well,” said Donovan. “Everything's clicking, and I think we felt when we had our full team together that this was possible, so we're real happy with how things are going and we want to keep making a push and try to catch Salt Lake.”

• Returning to the first team after coming off the substitutes’ bench in the last two games, Sean Franklin collected his fourth assist of the MLS season, all coming over the last seven matches.

• Jaime Penedo started his third consecutive game in goal and kept a second straight clean sheet, having allowed two goals in MLS play.

• “He’s an experienced goalkeeper. When called on, he’s come up for us in the last three or four games. He’s certainly going to get tested a little bit more. I think he’s played very well. He’s given up two goals in four games. Jaime’s obviously doing well,” said Arena. Said Penedo: “What’s helped me (adjust so quickly) is that I have two central defenders that speak Spanish and benefitted everyone a lot. A lot of credit goes to the defenders, they are the once that are running and cover a lot of space.”


The Colorado Rapids saw their undefeated streak come to an end after nine matches, Sporting Kansas City getting a late winner for a 2-1 victory on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. The Rapids are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 39 points from 27 matches.


• Sporting took the lead in the 33rd minute. Collecting a loose ball won by Dom Dwyer in midfield, Benny Feilhaber used the outside of his right foot to send a curling, dipping shot past Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin from all of 30 yards.

• The Rapids evened the score in the 77th minute. Substitute Edson Buddle tracked down a loose ball about 25 yards from goal and let fly with a shot that took a deflection off center back Matt Besler and past a sprawling Jimmy Nielsen in the SKC goal.

Highlights: SKC 2, COL 1

• But Sporting had the final answer two minutes from time. A Chance Myers cross was sent back into the box by C.J. Sapong and Graham Zusi finished with aplomb for the game-winner.

• Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja made no changes to the team that defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

• COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Clint Irwin - Marvell Wynne, Shane O'Neill, Drew Moor, Christopher Klute - Hendry Thomas, Nathan Sturgis (Martin Rivero 57) - Vicente Sanchez (Atiba Harris 80), Dillon Powers, Deshorn Brown (Edson Buddle 70) - Gabriel Torres.


• The Rapids saw their team-record undefeated streak come to an end after nine matches, their first loss since a 3-0 defeat by Portland on June 23. The streak equaled the mark set April 30-June 11, 2011.

• “We're fighting. We have a tough schedule. We're fighting for points every week,” said Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja. “We hadn't lost a game in nine games and today, in the last three minutes we gave away a really important point. I can't let this change our momentum and affect the team. The team is solid, we're good.”

• Edson Buddle came off the substitutes’ bench for a second consecutive match and scored a goal for a second consecutive match, his first two since scoring in back-to-back matches May 4-11.

• “I don’t know if it’s luck when you do it two weeks in a row,” Buddle said. “When you shoot, you never know what can happen.”

• The Rapids allowed two goals, equaling the most they’ve allowed in a game since a 4-3 win vs. Montréal on June 29. They conceded seven goals in their last nine games, and have the third-best defensive record in MLS (1.07 goals allowed per game).

• “I thought we were not as solid as we wanted,” Pareja said. “The second half was much better, so I’m going to stick with that image of a team that was defending better in the second half.”

• The defeat at Sporting Kansas City opened a stretch of six games where the Rapids will play four away from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids are 3-5-5 on their travels this season.

• “Now these games are for playoff points. The beginning of the season doesn’t even matter anyone because everyone’s pretty much even on the points and we know that,” said defender Chris Klute. “It’s a different ball game so we need to change our game up a little bit.”


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