Preview: Galaxy seek to rebound against still in-flux Union
LA GALAXY vs PHILADELPHIA UNION
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
July 4, 2012 (WEEK 18, MLS Game #162)
10:30 pm ET / 7:30 pm PT (KDOC/KWHY; TCN-Phi)
The LA Galaxy and Philadelphia Union meet for the only time this season with both clubs looking to pull themselves back into the playoff placings. The Galaxy saw their three-game winning streak come to an in a dramatic 4-3 loss at San Jose last weekend, dropping them out of the top five in the Western Conference. Union sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference after starting the road swing with a 2-1 loss at the Houston Dynamo last Saturday.
REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. SAR (bench): George Gansner; JAR (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 2 games; FC/gm: 19.0; Y/gm: 2.0; R: 1; pens: 0
INJURY REPORT: LA GALAXY: OUT: DF Andrew Boyens (L sports hernia surgery); FW Edson Buddle (R knee surgery); DF Omar Gonzalez (L knee surgery); MF Dan Keat (R knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee inflammation); QUESTIONABLE: MF Kyle Nakazawa (back spasms); FW Pat Noonan (R quad strain) ... PHILADELPHIA UNION: OUT: FW Chandler Hoffman (L big toe fracture); FW Krystian Witkowski (concussion symptoms); PROBABLE: DF Sheanon Williams (R big toe fracture recovery)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: LA: David Beckham (caution accumulation; through July 4)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: LA: Juninho
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Steven Beitashour, Marvin Chavez Ö LA: Landon Donovan Ö PHI: Michael Farfan, Carlos Valdes, Brian Carroll, Gabriel Gomez
ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Galaxy 3 wins, 6 goals ... Union 0 wins, 2 goals ... Ties 1
AT LA (2 meetings): Galaxy 2 wins, 4 goals ... Union 0 wins, 1 goal ... Ties 0
LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/2: LA 1, PHI 0 (Leonardo 33)
5/11: PHI 1, LA 1 (Mwanga 84 ñ Donovan 24)
- Union have never defeated the Galaxy. LA saw its three-game winning streak vs. Philadelphia come to an end in the second meeting a year ago, a 1-1 draw May 11 at PPL Park.
- Coaches record: John Hackworth vs. LA: first game ... Bruce Arena v PHI: P4 W3 L0 D1
The LA Galaxy saw their three-game winning streak put to an end in dramatic circumstances, the San Jose Earthquakes once again putting on a storming comeback, this time for a 4-3 victory on Saturday evening at Stanford Stadium. The Galaxy are now in sixth place in the Western Conference with 20 points from 17 games.
- Steven Lenhart put the Quakes up in the seventh minute, tapping home the rebound of a Marvin Chavez drive that Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders could only parry with his right hand.
- But the Galaxy were level in the 31st minute after Mike Magee was pulled down some 21 yards from the Quakes goal. A flat-footed Jon Busch could only watch David Beckhamís masterfully struck free kick sail into the upper corner at the near post.
- Five minutes later, Jason Hernandez tried to clear Hector Jimenez's dangerous cross, but instead knocked it past the helpless Busch. Landon Donovan then put the Galaxy in the driverís seat with his 41st-minute score, a clinical finish from the heart of the box after a tic-tac-toe passing move that came after Hernandez's back pass was intercepted in front of the San Jose goal.
- But the Quakes pulled a goal back just before the half, when Victor Bern·rdez made a near-post run to meet a Chavez corner kick from the right, lashing it inside the back post. Two minutes after the restart, Sam Cronin pulled San Jose even, outracing Saunders to a long ball out of the Quakes half and sliding in to touch it home.
- Then in the 61st minute, Chris Wondolowski conjured up the winner, breaking away from his marker and deftly redirecting Ramiro Corrales' flick on from a Chavez corner kick.
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made no changes to the team that strolled to a 3-0 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - Sean Franklin, David Junior Lopes, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant (Bryan Gaul 83) - Hector Jimenez (Marcelo Sarvas 81), Juninho, David Beckham, Mike Magee (Chad Barrett 74) - Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane.
- The Galaxy saw their three-game winning streak, their longest of the season, come to an end in another late loss to San Jose. The Quakes have twice come back from two goals down to defeat the Galaxy.
- "We did a poor job defending set pieces and overall it just wasn't good," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "Our goalkeeping was sub-par... We have no one to blame but ourselves. We should not lose a game when weíre up two."
- David Beckhamís goal vs. San Jose was his second directly from a free kick this season. Of the 13 league goals in his six MLS seasons, five have come directly from free kicks. Beckham also last year scored a goal directly from a corner.
- After receiving a yellow card in a late-match melee, Beckham will be suspended for the Philadelphia match because of yellow card accumulation.
- "It was a sloppy game, a lot of mishaps," Arena said. "Kind of what we expected on a tight, short field. ... We did a poor job [defensively] today. Our defense on set pieces wasn't good, and it cost us the game. We have no one to blame. We should not lose that game."
- Landon Donovan scored for a third consecutive match in the 4-3 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at Stanford Stadium, with four goals (and two assists) in that time.
- "The goal before halftime really hurt us," Donovan said. "We fell asleep on a set piece and they made us pay and that gave them some momentum going into the second half as opposed to us having momentum going into the half. It carried over. We didn't start well in the second half. We gave up an early goal and we knew it was going to be tough from there."
- Arena ran out the same team in back-to-back league games for the first time since last May.
- "I think they played the type of game we thought they would," said defender Todd Dunivant. "You know it's a tight field or small field and they dumped a lot of balls in behind. They put it up to their big guys and battled and did what we thought they would. They are good at it."
Philadelphia Union werenít able to build on their first win in seven games, falling 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. Union are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from 14 games.
- The Dynamo grabbed the lead in the 20th minute. Boniek Garciaís cross from the right found Macoumba Kandji on the edge of the box. The forward slid the ball into the path of the onrushing Brad Davis, who superbly curled the ball into the far corner.
- Union pulled back to even terms just 36 seconds into the second half. Brian Carroll found Keon Daniel at the top of the box, and the Philly midfielder turned and lash a bouncing drive beyond Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall from 20 yards.
- But the home side claimed the winner in the 83rd minute after Gabriel Farfanís sent the Dynamo substitute Brian Ching tumbling to the turf. Referee Fotis Bazakos awarded a penalty and Ching converted the ensuing spot kick himself.
- Union interim manager John Hackworth made four changes to the team that rolled to a 4-0 win against Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park. Sheanon Williams came into the back four for Raymon Gaddis, Keon Daniel and Gabriel Gomez started in midfield for Freddy Adu and Michael Lahoud, and Jorge Perlaza came in up top for Jack McInerney.
- PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams (Freddy Adu 84), Carlos Valdes, Amobi Okugo, Gabriel Farfan - Keon Daniel, Gabriel Gomez (Michael Lahoud 75), Brian Carroll, Michael Farfan - Jorge Perlaza (Antoine Hoppenot 64), Lionard Pajoy.
- It was the sixth loss in the last eight games for Union, and their fourth game in a row without a win on the road.
- "We lost a little bit of steam midway through the second half. We got away from our possession game and we let them creep back into the game a little bit," said Union interim manager John Hackworth. "We have to manage it better. We have to be more intelligent."
- With 13 goals scored on the season, Union have netted more than just one team in MLS: Chivas USA, who have scored 11 (in two more games).
- "We didnít particularly play our best, but we came out in the second half and got an equalizer, and really should have made the game 2-1," said Hackworth. "We had two chances that we just have to put on frame. They are sitters and the have to be finished. They are critical moments in the game and we didnít finish either of those chances."
- Back in the starting lineup after a three-match absence, Keon Daniel scored his first goal of the season at Houston. His only previous goal in MLS had come more than a year earlier, June 11, 2011 vs. Real Salt Lake.
- "I think it's just instincts, but [Brian Carroll] played me a good ball. For the past few weeks, coach [John Hackworth] has been asking me to shoot the ball more often because they know I can do that," said Daniel. "I'm confident in myself that I can do it, I took the chance and thankfully it paid off."
- Midfielder Gabriel Gomez returned to the lineup following a three-match absence, starting and playing 75 minutes.
- Jorge Perlaza made his first start since his acquisition from the Portland Timbers, playing 64 minutes.
- "I thought we came out slower than we wanted to and then they got a good goal. I think in the second half we played the game we wanted to," said goalkeeper Zac MacMath. "We got the early goal and maybe should have had two others. We are unfortunate to come out with a loss."
- Newly signed center back Bakary Soumare is not expected to be available for the Galaxy match, while he still looks to regain fitness after knee surgery a few months ago, but could be ready for selection for the Toronto FC match at home at the weekend.