As I wrote yesterday, this is the biggest test for New York this season yet. This is not to say that competition like Philadelphia or DC are poor, but rather a testament to how good the Galaxy are. They currently lead the Western Conference with 15 points in 9 games, though they have played more games than the rest of the conference so far this season.
LA saw their two-game winning streak snapped in their last match against a struggling FC Dallas, and they’ll be looking to right the ship this week back at the Home Depot Center. The Red Bulls come into the meeting hot, having won their last three games with and not allowing a goal in 292 straight minutes – the second-longest shutout streak in MLS this season – while striking eight of their own goals in that time.
All things have been going swimmingly for New York since their rough four game stretch to start the season where they scored a measly two goals and gave up the same during that time. Since then, Thierry Henry has added three goals; Luke Rodgers has replaced Juan Agudelo and done so with style, kicking off the Red Bulls winning streak with a goal in the 1’ against San Jose; Bouna Coundoul has played admirably in goal, shutting out the last three games – though some mention has to go to the defense of Tim Ream and Rafael Marquez being unflappable during that time as well.
The defense will surely have the work cut out for them this week against the attacking power of David Beckham and Landon Donovan. Of special note has to be Donovan, who has been hot of late – scoring three goals in the last two games. New York will also have to defend against their former teammate Juan Pablo Angel for the first time. The shutout streak will certainly be put to the test this week, though conceding a goal to the attacking power that the Galaxy has is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
New York may find itself with an easier time scoring goals than LA as their defense has not been much to write home about, having allowed nine goals in as many games, good for a +2 Goal Difference. It should be noted that almost half of those goals came in their 4-1 loss to Real Salt Lake – an understandable drubbing. However, that has not stopped the Galaxy as their offense has been able to carry them through; their loss to DC United last week was the first one in March 26 as they went undefeated in April.
The game is a late one in New York. Kick off will take place at 11 ET and it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.
Here are the game notes for the evening’s match. Be sure to check out the full game guide.
REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. SAR (bench): Colin Arblaster; JAR (opposite): Mike Kampmeinert; 4th: Sorin Stoica MLS Career: 29 games; FC/gm: 21.7; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 3; pens: 4
INJURY REPORT: LA GALAXY – OUT: DF Gregg Berhalter (L knee MCL sprain); FW Adam Cristman (L knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee ACL/LCL tear); QUESTIONABLE: MF Miguel Lopez (L knee contusion) … NEW YORK RED BULLS – OUT: MF Austin Da Luz (R ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (35 meetings): Galaxy 15 wins (1 shootout), 52 goals … Red Bulls 15 wins (1 shootout), 51 goals … Ties 5
AT LA (16 meetings): Galaxy 8 wins (0 shootout), 25 goals … Red Bulls 5 wins (0 shootout), 20 goals … Ties 3
RETURN MATCH: 8/6: LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m. PT
LAST YEAR (MLS):
8/14: NY 0, LA 1 (Buddle 10)
9/24: LA 0, NY 2 (Richards 36; Angel 60)
– The visiting team has won each of the last three meetings in the all-time series. Last year, the Galaxy won 1-0 at Red Bull Arena in March, before the Red Bulls returned the favor with a 2-0 win at The Home Depot Center in July.
– The teams have had some memorable meetings over the past few years. In 2009, the second meeting was David Beckham’s first league match with the Galaxy after completing his loan with AC Milan. In 2007, the teams played a remarkable match at Giants Stadium in Beckham’s first appearance there, a 5-4 Red Bulls win before 66,237 fans.
– Coaches record: Bruce Arena v NY: P16 W10 L6 D0 … Hans Backe vs. LA: P2 W1 L1 D0