LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas | MLS Match Preview
LA GALAXY vs FC DALLAS
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
Sept. 20, 2014 (WEEK 28, MLS Game #272)
7:30 p.m. PT (TWCSN-LA/TWCD; KTXA-CBS)
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A clash at the top of the Western Conference is ahead on Saturday evening when the LA Galaxy play host to FC Dallas at StubHub Center. The Galaxy return home riding a seven-game undefeated streak, on the verge of clinching a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs after their 1-1 draw at the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend. FC Dallas are also firmly in control of a postseason position, putting an end to a two-game losing run last weekend in a 2-1 home victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
REFEREE: Kevin Stott. SAR (bench): Jeremy Hanson; JAR (opposite): Eduardo Mariscal; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 256 games; FC/gm: 25.5; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 62; pens: 63
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DAL: Blas Perez
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Baggio Husidic, A.J. DeLaGarza, Alan Gordon, Omar Gonzalez, Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas … DAL: Fabian Castillo, Matt Hedges, Je-Vaughn Watson, Victor Ulloa, Adam Moffat
DISABLED LIST: DAL: Hendry Thomas (season-ending injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (61 meetings): Galaxy 30 wins (1 shootout), 109 goals … FC Dallas 20 wins (1 shootout), 81 goals… Ties 11
AT LA (31 meetings): Galaxy 22 wins (1 shootout), 64 goals … FC Dallas 5 wins (1 shootout), 30 goals … Ties 4
FUTURE MATCH: 10/12: FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy, 6 p.m. CT
5/21: LA 2, DAL 1 (Keane 24; Zardes 44 – Akindele 65)
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes scored first-half goals to send the Galaxy on their way to a 2-1 win May 21 at StubHub Center.
- The Galaxy are undefeated in Carson over the last six meetings vs. FC Dallas in league play, dating back to the start of the 2010 season, going 5-0-1 in that time. But FC Dallas claimed the Western Conference Championship in Carson in 2010, a 3-0 victory.
- Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. DAL: P24 W13 L8 T4 … Oscar Pareja vs. LA: P7 W2 L4 T1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- The Galaxy opened the scoring in the 24th minute. Following a nifty build-up, a long, low ball from Gyasi Zardes on the left split three defenders and found Robbie Keane just beyond the FCD box. He quickly beat one defender on the dribble, then cut inside between two more before rocketing a shot to the upper-left corner.
- The lead was doubled just before the halftime break when Zardes deposited a header over FCD goalkeeper Raul Fernandez, finding space among three defenders at the top of the six-yard box to easily nod home a Juninho chip.
- FC Dallas pulled a goal back in the 65th minute when Tesho Akindele slipped behind the LA backline to finish a diagonal ball from Jair Benitez, slotting home from about the penalty spot.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Jaime Penedo - Dan Gargan, Tommy Meyer, Kofi Opare, A.J. DeLaGarza - Stefan Ishizaki (Baggio Husidic 74), Kenney Walker, Juninho, Gyasi Zardes - Robbie Keane, Samuel (Raul Mendiola 74).
- FC DALLAS (4-2-3-1): Raul Fernandez - Zach Loyd, Stephen Keel, Matt Hedges, Jair Benitez – Andrew Jacobson (Adam Moffat 26), Victor Ulloa - Je-Vaughn Watson, Danny Garcia (Andres Escobar 46), Fabian Castillo - Tesho Akindele (Blas Perez 81).
The LA Galaxy extended their undefeated streak to seven games, reaching a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Galaxy sit in second place in the Western Conference with 51 points from 28 games.
- The Galaxy took the lead in the 28th minute. Center back Omar Gonzalez shed his marker on a corner kick and drove his header down and across the face of goal. San Jose rookie Tommy Thompson had a last-ditch chance to make a save the day but his attempted clearance off the line couldn’t keep out the goal.
- The Galaxy had a glorious chance to make it 2-0 in the 37th minute. Quakes 'keeper Jon Busch couldn’t keep hold of Robbie Keane’s long cross, and in the ensuing penalty area scramble, Jason Hernandez was whistled for a hand ball while sliding to block a shot. Keane let San Jose off the hook by crashing the ensuing spot kick into the crossbar and over the goal.
- The leveler came 66 minutes into the match. Chris Wondolowski snuck in behind two defenders on the right wing to meet Jordan Stewart’s bouncing pass at the back post and send into the roof of goalkeeper Brian Rowe’s net.
- Galaxy coach Bruce Arena made four changes to the team that came back for a 2-2 draw with the Montréal Impact at Stade Saputo. A.J. DeLaGarza, Tommy Meyer, Robbie Rogers and Alan Gordon all came into the team, in place of Leonardo, Juninho and the suspended Dan Gargan and Landon Donovan.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Brian Rowe - A.J. DeLaGarza, Tommy Meyer, Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Rogers - Stefan Ishizaki (Juninho 70), Marcelo Sarvas, Baggio Husidic, Gyasi Zardes - Robbie Keane, Alan Gordon (Jose Villarreal 80).
- The Galaxy reached a second consecutive draw but still extended their undefeated streak to seven games with the draw at San Jose. The Galaxy had an eight-game undefeated run earlier this year, May 21-July 16.
- “I think we played well defensively. I don’t think they had too many offensive chances on the day. You can’t complain about how we defended, but it’s not good that we gave up a goal, given the fact that they weren’t very dangerous,” said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena.
- Said Omar Gonzalez: “Going up, 1-0, we usually come out with three points, but Robbie with the missed PK and then us not being tight enough on [Jordan Stewart, who fed the Quakes' goal] and leaving Wondo alone in the back, that was a mistake on Keano, a mistake on the defense, and we end up tying the game.”
- The Galaxy saw a fourth penalty kick missed in eight attempts this season. The Chicago Fire have also missed four penalties, most in MLS (five from nine).
- “It's big,” Arena said. “We've missed five penalty kicks this year, and it's cost us a good number of points. We have the best two penalty-kick takers in the league, in theory, and I don't know what our record is on the year. It's terrible.”
- Robbie Keane has missed three of those penalties, converting one. He also missed a penalty for the Republic of Ireland in a June friendly. He has converted seven of 11 penalties in his MLS tenure.
- “You have to make penalties, and, unfortunately, we didn't,” Arena said. “It's part of the game, but that's life. We've either lost games or only gotten a point in games where we've failed to convert a penalty. It adds up at this point in the season, when you're three points behind in the Supporters' Shield race. It's cost us between five and nine points.”
- Omar Gonzalez scored his fourth goal of the league campaign, all coming over the last nine matches, all since his return from the FIFA World Cup and the U.S. national team. The four goals are a new single-season career-high for Gonzalez; he had seven goals total in MLS play in his first five seasons.
- “Let’s keep doing what we’re doing,” said Gonzalez. “It’s been a tough stretch since July 28. We’ve had a stretch of 11 games in a [short time] span. Now, we move to one game a week and we can put our bodies to rest.”
- A.J. DeLaGarza returned to the lineup following a three-match absence, playing the full 90 minutes at right back. Tommy Meyer also came into the back four, his first league start since July 19, while Robbie Rogers made his first start in three matches.
- “I felt all right,” DeLaGarza said. “I wish I had more of an impact, but the fact is … I haven't played a game in two weeks, which is not bad, but to come back and be your first real good minutes was a little bit of a damper on what I think I could have done.” Said Arena: “He played very well. He's had a lot of support, and he's a strong person.”
FC Dallas put an end to their brief two-game losing slide, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at Toyota Stadium. FC Dallas sit in fourth place in the Western Conference with 45 points from 28 games.
- FC Dallas took the lead in the 20th minute on a stunning strike by Blas Perez. Receiving the ball near the right corner flag, and he took a floating, adventurous shot that curled and dipped and fooled Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted as it flew over his head and into the far upper corner of the goal.
- Whitecaps FC pulled level in the 67th minute. On the counter attack, an excellent pass from Mauro Rosales fed substitute Erik Hurtado in the area and he cracked a first-time shot that beat FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez.
- But the leveler came 10 minutes later. From a foul about 40 yards from the Vancouver goal, Michel played the resulting free kick into the Vancouver area, where Akindele pushed a partial clearance to Perez, and he made no mistake, finishing well through a crowd of Whitecaps players for his second goal of the night.
- FCD head coach Oscar Pareja made three changes to the team that fell 2-1 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Moises Hernandez, Tesho Akindele and Blas Perez all came into the team, in place of Kellyn Acosta, Peter Luccin and Jair Benitez.
- FC DALLAS (4-4-2): Raul Fernandez - Je-Vaughn Watson, Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Moises Hernandez (Jair Benitez 46) - Andres Escobar (Mauro Diaz 55), Michel, Victor Ulloa, Fabian Castillo - Tesho Akindele (Kellyn Acosta 82), Blas Perez.
- FC Dallas put an end to their losing skid after two games, which followed a four-game winning streak and a 10-game undefeated run.
- “The effort, like always, is there,” said FCD head coach Oscar Pareja. “What I saw from our players is a team that always gives 110 percent effort and sometimes we play better than others but the second half today was one of those games where my team is like the other teams that are in the top positions.”
- Blas Perez scored a pair of goals in a game for the third time in his MLS career, netting his first goals since July 27.
- Perez returned to the lineup after missing both previous matches, one through suspension and one for the Copa Centroamericana, where he played two matches for Panamá but did not play in the third-place match on Saturday.
- “I am glad for him. He set the path, and the boys follow him,” said Pareja. “Blas set the tone for this group, in the locker room and off the field also. In the field you saw it – he is a player who gives all what he has, and the game rewarded him with two goals today. We needed him.”
- “I was a little tired, but I recovered quickly. I told Oscar that I was ready to play. He asked me if I could play at 100 percent, and I told him that I felt I could. I am glad everything went the way that we planned,” Perez said.
- Moises Hernández made his first start since Aug. 3, coming in at left back and playing the first half. Hernández had come on as a substitute in each of the last two matches.
- Mauro Diaz made a second consecutive substitute appearance following a three-match absence, after making his first start in four months in the Colorado win Aug. 9.
- “Mauro’s getting there. Today was a very demanding and taxing game but he needed to come and get his rhythm quick,” said Pareja. “Mauro knew he needed to get rhythm and make the team play better, which is a huge responsibility for Mauro and he did it. That tells me that he’s getting to his best and I’m happy to see that.”
- Tesho Akindele returned to the starting lineup after coming off the substitutes’ bench in the Real Salt Lake match, recording his third assist of the season. He has six goals and two assists in his last nine games.