Preview: Crew vs. Galaxy

LA, Columbus set to collide at HDC

THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
10:30 p.m. PT (PT; ONN)
July 20, 2011 (WEEK 19; MLS Game 184)

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The LA Galaxy return to league endeavors and put their undefeated
run on the line when the Columbus Crew come to The Home Depot Center on
Wednesday evening. The Galaxy are unbeaten in 12 league games, their
last league contest a 2-1 victory against Chicago nearly two weeks ago.
The Crew returned from a long layoff of their own last weekend, in a
scoreless draw at home with San Jose.

REFEREE: Andrew Chapin. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): Matthew Kreitzer; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 33 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 4.5; R: 9; pens: 4

INJURY REPORT: LA GALAXY—OUT: DF Sean Alvarado (R
knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee surgery); GK Donovan Ricketts (L ulna
fracture); QUESTIONABLE: FW Chad Barrett (R knee sprain); MF David
Beckham (back spasms); DF Sean Franklin (L hamstring strain); DF Omar
Gonzalez (nose fracture); DF Frankie Hejduk (R ankle inflammation); FW
Mike Magee (R hamstring tightness) ... COLUMBUS CREW—OUT: DF Josh
Williams (R hip labral tear); MF Dilly Duka (R ankle sprain); DOUBTFUL:
DF Shaun Francis (L hamstring strain); MF Rich Balchan (L adductor
strain); FW Emilio Renteria (L quad strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: LA: David Beckham
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: Juninho ... CLB: Kevin Burns, Tommy Heinemann, Julius James

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (34 meetings): Galaxy 11 wins (0 shootout), 43 goals ... Crew 15 wins (3 shootout), 48 goals ... Ties 8
AT LA (19 meetings): Galaxy 8 wins (0 shootout), 26 goals ... Crew 7 wins (2 shootout), 23 goals ... Ties 4
RETURN MATCH: 9/24: Columbus Crew vs. LA Galaxy, 7:30 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/29: CLB 0, LA 2 (Stephens 10; Bowen 87)
9/11: LA 3, CLB 1 (Buddle 13; Kovalenko 35; Kirovski 55—Mendoza 85)

  • When the Galaxy won 2-0 in Columbus last May 29, it was just the
    Galaxy's second win all-time at Crew Stadium. The first was a 2-1 win
    against Columbus on Sept. 30, 2007; that also includes a loss to the
    Crew in the 2002 U.S. Open Cup final, and loss in MLS Cup 2001 to San
    Jose.
  • The Crew saw a six-game unbeaten streak vs. the Galaxy in Carson come
    to an end in the loss last year. They had two wins, with four draws, in
    their previous six visits.
  • The Galaxy have defeated Columbus just three times in the last 14
    league meetings. Since a 2-0 win April 24, 2004 at The Home Depot
    Center, the Crew are 6-3-5 vs. the Galaxy.
  • Coaches record: Bruce Arena v CLB: P22 W12 L8 D2 ... Robert Warzycha vs. LA: P4 W1 L2 D1

LA GALAXY

The LA Galaxy return to league play, extending their league unbeaten
streak to 12 games last time out, a 2-1 win against the Chicago Fire at
The Home Depot Center on July 9. The Galaxy have 39 points from 21
games on the season, leading the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • All the goals came after the halftime break. After winning a free kick
    near the corner flag on the right, David Beckham swung the ball in to
    the far post, where Landon Donovan was able to outjump Gonzalo Segares
    and angle his header into the goal.
  • The Fire answered back in the 62nd minute, when Patrick Nyarko's cross
    into the Galaxy box was met by Cristian Nazarit, who put a powerful
    header past goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
  • But only three minutes later, Beckham put the Galaxy into the lead
    with a remarkable, swinging a corner kick in from the left that sailed
    through a host of bodies and under goalkeeper Sean Johnson, nestling
    inside the far post.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made five changes to the team that
    reached a scoreless result with Seattle Sounders FC at The Home Depot
    Center. Josh Saunders replaced Brian Perk in goal, Bryan Jordan and
    Gregg Berhalter came into the back four for Sean Franklin and A.J.
    DeLaGarza, and David Beckham and Paolo Cardozo came into the team in
    place of Mike Magee and Chad Barrett.
  • LA GALAXY (4-3-2-1): Josh Saunders - Bryan Jordan, Omar Gonzalez,
    Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant - Juninho, David Beckham, Chris Birchall
    (Michael Stephens 94+) - Paolo Cardozo (Miguel Lopez 67), Landon Donovan
    - Juan Pablo Angel (Adam Cristman 77).

TEAM NEWS

  • David Beckham is one behind Houston's Brad Davis for the league lead
    in assists, setting up Landon Donovan's league-leading ninth goal
    against Chicago—his first assist since May 28.
  • "I told Landon to play hard and goals are always good. The second half
    he played very well. I thought his second half was real good and once
    he scored he really lifted his game," Bruce Arena said. We need the
    leadership out of Landon and David to be successful and we certainly got
    it in the second half, the whole night really. The goal really helped
    Landon. I thought it was good performance in the second half in
    particular."
  • Beckham's goal came directly from a corner—a rarity in football.
    Beckham said he had scored one while on loan to Preston North End.
  • "From what I hear, playing with the injury that he is playing with is
    really painful. He is a warrior. Since he has been here he has played
    through a lot of tough injuries," said Donovan of Beckham. "He has spent
    a lot of time off the field so I think he wants to do everything he can
    do this year to play as much as possible so he is playing through a lot
    of pain."
  • The Galaxy had three changes to their back four plus goalkeeper, and
    still came away with the victory. Gregg Berhalter played 90 minutes for a
    second match this season, and Bryan Jordan made his first start of the
    campaign, coming in at right back.
  • "I think he did well. He showed the guy the line and played him
    defensively very well. It's tough for him to come in as a midfielder and
    play a defensive spot so I thought he did well," said goalkeeper Josh
    Saunders, who returned after he was suspended for the Seattle match.
  • On Saturday, the Galaxy fell 4-1 to Real Madrid in a World Football
    Challenge match at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Jose Callejon,
    Joselu, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scored for Real Madrid; Adam
    Cristman pulled a goal back for the Galaxy, heading in a rebound in the
    67th minute
  • Here's the Galaxy team: Josh Saunders (Brian Perk 45), Todd
    Dunivant(Kyle Davies 62), Sean Franklin (Bryan Jordan 46), Gregg
    Berhalter(Ryan Thomas 78), A.J. DeLaGarza, Miguel López (Paolo Cardozo
    71), Juninho (Dan Keat 71), Chris Birchall, David Beckham (Jovan
    Kirovski), Juan Pablo Angel (Adam Cristman 45 / Chad Barrett 77), Landon
    Donovan (Hector Jimenez 45)
  • "If we were healthy and didn't have to play the game Wednesday in
    Seattle I think we would have gotten a lot more out of this game," Arena
    said. "We certainly saw that we had a tired team. We played a couple
    players that were hurt and we don't have the kind of depth that you need
    when you play teams of this caliber."
  • On Wednesday, the Galaxy were dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup in a 3-1
    quarterfinal loss to Seattle Sounders FC at Starfire Sports Complex in
    Tukwila, Wash.
  • Here's the Galaxy team: Josh Saunders, Bryan Jordan, A.J. DeLaGarza,
    Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Chris Birchall, Michael Stephens,
    Juninho (Jovan Kirovski 78), Landon Donovan (Hector Jimenez 75), Paolo
    Cardozo (Miguel Lopez 64), Adam Cristman.

COLUMBUS CREW

The Columbus Crew returned to action after a long layoff with a
scoreless draw against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at
Crew Stadium. The Crew have 28 points from 19 games on the season, in
third place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • William Hesmer made five saves for the Crew in keeping the clean
    sheet, while Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch was called upon to make
    six saves.
  • The Earthquakes nearly took the lead before the game was a minute old,
    but Khari Stephenson saw a low drive clatter off the base of the
    goalpost.
  • Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made one change to the team that took a
    dramatic 1-0 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Empire Field.
    Emmanuel Ekpo came into central midfield for Dejan Rusmir.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-2): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad
    Marshall, Julius James, Josh Gardner - Eddie Gaven (Justin Meram 79),
    Eric Gehrig, Emmanuel Ekpo, Robbie Rogers - Bernardo Anor (Tommy
    Heinemann 58), Andres Mendoza (Jeff Cunningham 79).

TEAM NEWS

  • After the 10-day layoff and an in-season mini-vacation, the Crew
    weren't able to find their way past Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch.
  • "Obviously you want the forwards to get some looks at the goal and
    [Andres Mendoza] did today," said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha.
    "Probably his shot selection wasn't good but also [Jon] Busch did well
    blocking Robbie's [Rogers] and his [Mendoza's] shots."
  • It was a second attacking shutout in three games for Columbus, the
    only goal in that time the dramatic winner by Jeff Cunningham to secure
    victory in Vancouver.
  • "Definitely we have to be sharper in front of the goal, we need to
    keep creating chances but as a team we need to play a little better,"
    said Warzycha.
  • The Crew were able to keep a clean sheet for a second consecutive
    game. They had four consecutive shutouts from March 26-April 16.
  • "We got one point but played for three and created some chances. ...  I
    think it was just an off night a little bit, I think goals change games
    and I think that had we scored before half time when Robbie [Rogers]
    had the one against one I think probably we would have changed the game
    but they kept it at zero and I am a little disappointed," Warzycha said.
  • The Crew were involved in a trade with Toronto FC, obtaining
    midfielder Tony Tchani from the Canadian side in exchange for midfielder
    Leandre Griffit and defender Andy Iro.
  • "We're working on some things outside the league but we're certainly
    not close to anything," said technical director Brian Bliss. " ... It
    does create some roster room, but this move wasn't done to create that."