Tag Archive | "Los Angeles Galaxy"

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Mwanga grabs important first goal in scrappy Union tie

Posted on 12 May 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Like in 2010, will his equalizer be the first of many in 2011?

Two years ago from yesterday, the Union formally came in to being. Full house, beautiful night, an absence of any David Beckham hubbub. What better way to celebrate your naming “anniversary” than with a last-gasp equalizer to grab a point against one of the best teams in Major League Soccer?

Head coach for day John Hackworth can think of many. He wanted the win.

The Union were unhappy not to get the full three points, especially amidst a packed house spurring them on as McInerney, Mwanga, Ruiz, and Le Toux grabbed the equalizer and had 10 minutes to find more.

Regardless, it’s a new team attitude in 2011 as they showed resolve after going down early. It was undoubtedly a shaky start for the Union, tested early by the fast paced and fluid Los Angeles attack led by Landon Donovan. It was hard to tell who was the home squad as the Galaxy committed men forward, took chances, and forced the Union defense to scramble. It paid off. In the 24th minute, Juan Pablo Angel’s run into the box was halted as he overstepped the ball. Califf bit and an open opportunity, shielded by Angel, allowed Donovan to step right up to squeeze a shot right past Mondragon’s left. Apparently, a defecit was all the Union needed to step things up. From the 24th minute on, it’s fair to say the Union were the better team.

Bruce Arena would disagree but for Philadelphia, the passes started to string together, Carlos Ruiz and Le Toux started to find the ball more, and chances began to materialize. Sheanon Williams’ forays into the attack were productive, one leading to a near post opportunity for Ruiz in the 34th minute. Both backs, for that matter, were competent in juggling their offensive and defensive duties – a key to the Union staying relevant on attack.

The insertion of Danny Mwanga into the match at the outset of the second half made clear to all of Hackworth’s intentions for the final 45 minutes. Mwanga was instructed to sit in between the Galaxy’s midfield and defensive line and exploit that space. Early on, however, that space wasn’t there. As the half wore on, it was evident he was getting more and more time on the ball. The Galaxy defense held strong, however, with Omar Gonzalez limiting Le Toux’s inclusion and stifling any sort of meaningful involvement of Carlos Ruiz. Once the element of urgency entered into the equation, Mwanga started to find space and allowed him to pressure more, a key to the Galaxy’s costly mistake. It was a scrappy goal but the continued pressure of the Union attack led Sean Franklin to drop an errant backpass that was easily intercepted by Mwanga in the 84th minute. He rounded a sprawling Ricketts and slotted a tight angle shot past AJ DeLaGarza to tie the game up. After that, the young striker played like a man possessed, almost registering a game-winning assist in injury time. Once again beating Franklin, this time on a 30 yard touchline run, he delivered a dangerous cross in to Jack McInerney at the back post. McInerney leapt but couldn’t nod it home.  

The Union were unlucky to get another in the last ten minutes but it should be noted, during that same time, the Union defense thwarted any meaningful Galaxy counter. Faryd Mondragon expertly played his part when he was called upon. A commitment to attack meant Donovan and company had space to manuever if possession was lost. Mondragon’s biggest save came on a 64th minute one-on-one stop of midfielder Chris Birchall after he was put through on net. Unfortunately, on a goal kick later in the half, Mondragon seemed to strain something painful enough for him to ask for a substitution. It is still uncertain how that will affect his availability for Saturday’s game in Frisco.

With the tie, the Union registered their first point against the Galaxy and move to 4-2-2, good for 2nd place in the Eastern Conference.  The Union will have a tough turnaround and a big test against FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park this Saturday.

Philadelphia Starting XI

———————-Mondragon————————-

Williams——-Califf———-Valdes———-Harvey

————————-Carroll—————————-

Mapp—————Nakazawa——————–Daniel

——————Ruiz———Le Toux——————–

Los Angeles Starting XI

————————–Ricketts—————————

Franklin——Gonzalez——-DeLaGarza—-Dunivant

Birchall——Juninho——-Donovan———Stephens

——————Angel———-Lopez———————

Scoring Summary:
LA — Landon Donovan 5 (unassisted) 24
PHI — Danny Mwanga 1 (unassisted) 83

Misconduct Summary:
LA — Chris Birchall (caution; Reckless Foul) 30
PHI — Brian Carroll (caution; Shirt Removal) 58
PHI — Roger Torres (caution; Reckless Tackle) 76
LA — Omar Gonzalez (caution; Delaying a Restart) 78
PHI — Danny Mwanga (caution; Shirt Removal) 83
LA — A.J. DeLaGarza (caution; Reckless Foul) 87
PHI — Sheanon Williams (caution; Reckless Foul) 92+

Lineups:
LA Galaxy —
Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Chris Birchall, Landon Donovan, Juninho, Michael Stephens (Hector Jimenez 89), Juan Pablo Angel (Chad Barrett 89), Miguel Lopez (Jovan Kirovski 82).
Substitutes Not Used: Gregg Berhalter, Paolo Cardozo, Frankie Hejduk, Josh Saunders.

Philadelphia Union — Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Jordan Harvey (Jack McInerney 80), Brian Carroll, Kyle Nakazawa (Roger Torres 66), Keon Daniel (Danny Mwanga 46), Justin Mapp, Sebastien Le Toux, Carlos Ruiz.
Substitutes Not Used: Gabriel Farfan, Michael Farfan, Amobi Okugo, Zac MacMath.

Referee: Andrew Chapin
Referee’s Assistants: Greg Barkey; Matthew Kreitzer
4th Official: Jorge Gonzalez
Weather: Sunny and 73 degrees
Attendance: 19,178

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Game #8 Preview: Los Angeles at Philadelphia

Posted on 10 May 2011 by Breton Bonnette

The Union return to PPL Park after a loss at JELD-WEN Field this past Friday night. A Futty Danso goal on yet another set piece sunk the Union but in essence, the Philadelphia defense – even with the absence of Harvey and Califf – did their job. The Union offense, however, did not. It was Philly’s sixth 1-0 scoreline in seven games this season. Could a possible changes spur the Union attack or will Ruiz, Le Toux and company finally gel? Or will it be all defense in Philadelphia’s rematch with Landon Donovan and the Galaxy?

Los Angeles Galaxy (4-2-4) at Philadelphia Union (4-2-1)
Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 7:30PM EST, TCN
PPL Park, Philadelphia, PA

Los Angeles Galaxy Probable Starting XI

——————————–Ricketts——————————

Franklin———–Gonzalez———–DeLaGarza—–Dunivant

Donovan———–Beckham———-Juninho———–Magee

———————–Angel————-Barrett——————–

OUT: DF Leonardo (R knee ACL/LCL tear); DF Sean Alvarado (R knee ACL strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Gregg Berhalter (L knee MCL sprain); FW Adam Cristman (L knee surgery); MF Miguel Lopez (L knee contusion)

Philadelphia Union Probable Starting XI

——————————Mondragon—————————–

Williams————Califf—————-Valdes————Harvey

———————-Carroll————–Okugo———————-

Le Toux———————————————————Daniel

———————-Mwanga————-C. Ruiz———————

OUT: GK Thorne Holder (concussion); PROBABLE: MF Stefani Miglioranzi (R groin strain)

Game Notes:

If you feel like it hasn’t been too long since we’ve seen the Galaxy, you would be right. The Union were dealt their first loss of the season, 1-0, at the Home Depot Center a little more than 5 weeks ago (April 2). Aside from the Leonardo gamewinner off of a Galaxy set piece (sounds familiar right? Danso anybody?), the Union defense looked solid even away from home. The inability for the Union offense to find net – even with a man advantage – and one real let down on the set piece sent the Union back to Philadelphia with nothing. If we’re still comparing seasons, however, a 1-0 loss is palatable when compared to that 3-1 drubbing in 2010?

Unfortunately, the only thing rosy about the Union’s all-time performance against the Galaxy is their last two meetings – both 1-0 losses. Los Angeles leads the all-time series 3-0-0. The first goal will be vital for each team. Both are 4-0-1 when scoring first.  

The Galaxy are coming off of a 1-1 tie with Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls in a match that proved to be one of the most entertaining of the new season. Henry struck first before Donovan equalized. Several near misses and great play from both teams kept things interesting until the very end. That game, however, played late Saturday night and the cross country travel for a mid-week fixture could have an effect on the Galaxy players.

Jordan Harvey will be back from suspension which should see the back four back in action – Williams, Califf, Valdes, and Harvey. Michael Farfan, in his two appearances, showed big promise for future playing time and may have even worked his way into future lineups. Harvey is considered an iron man when it comes to minutes so unfortunately, something would have to happen to the veteran for Farfan to take over that left flank.

David Beckham has looked impressive in his central role, orchestrating the Galaxy’s offense with pinpoint through balls and switches. Landon Donovan has disappeared in games but always seems to come to life when the Galaxy most need him. Angel has looked increasingly more dangerous as the games go on and he gels with the Galaxy offensive set-up. Still, over 500 minutes and only one goal for the Red Bulls’ all-time leading scorer.

Assistant Coach John Hackworth will be the one barking orders from the touchline vs. Los Angeles. Piotr Nowak is in Poland for a “Match of Stars” Charity Event with the likes of Lothar Mattheus, Davor Suker, and Hristo Stoichkov held in Poznan. He will return in time for the Union’s trip this Saturday, May 12th, to Pizza Hut Park.

The Union fell to #6 in MLSSoccer.com’s Power Rankings. The Galaxy remained at #3.

Birnis Adames, a Camden, NJ native, won this year’s installment of Sueno MLS and a spot in the Union’s youth academy. The 18 year old scored four goals in the final round held in Dallas, Texas making him a clear favorite to win. It wasn’t confirmed until announced on Republica Deportiva this past Sunday. Check out Birnis’ profile here from the tryouts in Philadelphia. Another Jorge Flores in the making?

By the way, the Philadelphia Union/Broad Street Run Photo Contest has a winner! And it is Crissie Prescott! Quick post to come! Faced by the good problem of having a team to run with, Crissie had to get creative. We’re talking college party, Sharpie-fun creative! $25 gift card heading to her and congrats on the PR. As we weren’t able to get as many participants as we had hoped, only a first prize will be given out this time around. We will be sure to give more time before next year’s Broad Street Run. Thanks to all that participated!

Predict the Scoreline

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Philadelphia Union vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Player Ratings

Posted on 03 April 2011 by stoma

GK Faryd Mondragon (6)- Well, the newly minted captain is human, after all.  I suppose it is better we realize that sooner rather than later, but it’s still a disappointing fact to be faced with.  This is not to say that Mondragon played a particularly bad game; the single goal he gave up was certainly no softie.  However, he did get burned by Juninho (who hasn’t?) only to see the shot rattle the woodwork and benefited from Juan Pablo Angel uncharacteristically flubbing a sitter, pushing a header that came as the result of a Landon Donovan cross off a counterattack wide of the goal.  Ultimately, Faryd did only allow the one goal, but for the first time he seemed a bit hesitant to come off of his line for balls in the air.  Mondragon also did not make any particularly difficult saves, although he did strongly repel a David Beckham in-swinging direct kick that was ticketed for the back of the net.  All in all, not a stellar performance from the captain, but nothing to be concerned about, either.

LB Jordan Harvey (5.5)- Called upon to push forward more than in the first two games combined, Harvey almost paid dividends on several occasions, most notably sending a lovely early cross towards Carlos Ruiz, who had managed to shake Omar Gonzalez during a run to the goal; unfortunately, Ruiz could not get himself on the end of the service.  On the defensive end, did well when directly called upon, but the fact that the flanks were open for the Galaxy attack through much of the game must fall partly on Harvey.

CB Carlos Valdes (6)- A quiet yet effective game from Valdes, as he combined with Califf to largely shut down the Galaxy attack and keep things relatively quiet in front of Mondragon.  Carlos took some smart fouls in tough spots while managing to keep himself out of referee Paul Ward’s book, seemingly an incredible feat in and of itself.

CB Danny Califf (6.5)- Gamely plugging away despite a strained meniscus in his left knee, Califf continued to show his commitment to maintaining his readiness and engagement in the game through the full 90 minutes.  Danny also continues to display his ability to get into shooting lanes and block shots and crosses, which is quickly making him one of the most valuable center backs in the league.  Even when the game opened up and the Union were pushing for an equalizer, Califf was the strong anchor required to prevent the type of easy counterattack that plagued the squad last season.

RB Sheanon Williams (5)- Mixed results for Sheanon against Los Angeles, with nothing particularly good or bad about his game.  Performed ably when asked to go forward and was more or less competent defensively.  However, his tendency to try and get overly physical when he feels he is in a bad spot defensively hurt him in this match and will continue to do so if referees keep perceiving his challenges as reckless, which they often appear to be even when they are really not.  Williams was largely overmatched by Donovan; there is no shame in this, but there is also no need to compound the difficulty of marking someone like Donovan by taking him down repeatedly and giving the official the opportunity to discipline you and give the opposition multiple free kicks in dangerous positions.  Williams was taken off for Jack McInerney in the 73rd minute.

MID Kyle Nakazawa (5)-Another down performance from Nakazawa, which is becoming a bit of a troubling trend.   As we’ve stressed, this team needs production from the attacking midfielder spots, particularly from the wing.  Nakazawa may not take much off the table, but at this point, he is not bringing anything to the table either.  A free kick specialist who does not put any free kicks on frame or to a teammate in a dangerous position is not very valuable.  Nor is an attacking midfielder who has to be taken off for another attacking midfield because he is not playing his role effectively.  

MID Brian Carroll (6)- Carroll continues to be an excellent defensive midfielder, but it was more clear than ever during the Los Angeles match that the team cannot rely upon him to be any sort of dependable link to the offense.  He has better ball control and possession ability than Stefani Miglioranzi, but is no better equipped to participate in the buildup or attack in any meaningful way.  None of this is to detract from what Carroll is, but it is certainly something to note for a team still searching for its identity in the early part of this campaign.

MID Stefani Miglioranzi (4.5)- For the first time in memory, we can honestly say that Migs played a poor game for the Union.  Sometimes it looks like he is just doing things effortlessly because he performs so smoothly; against the Galaxy, one had to wonder if he actually was exerting any effort because the results were so lackluster.   Whether he was missing wide open passes to continue the buildup or tentatively looking to go backward with the ball when the Union were trying to push forward with the man advantage, Stefani looked a bit out place, topping a substandard performance off by losing Leonardo during the scoring set piece, which led to the only goal of the match.

Sebastien Le Toux ©ASN/Terry McLaughlinMID Sebastien Le Toux (6.5)- Along with the rest of the attack, Le Toux was largely invisible for the early part of the match.  Seba did manage to track back a fair bit in an effort to initiate the attack from the midfield, but his efforts were largely fruitless throughout the 1st half.  At that point, it became clear that Le Toux would need to move forward in order to be effective against the packed-in Galaxy defense, so Piotr Nowak and the coaching staff decided to remove Danny Mwanga and let Seba operate from the top of the formation.  This proved a wise decision: even though the Union still did not break through, their attack created far more chances in the 2nd half, the best of which was created by Le Toux when he took a shot from the top of the area that was deflected and landed at the feet of Jack McInerney, who just missed equalizing.

FWD Danny Mwanga (4)- Unlike Le Toux, Danny never found a way to get himself involved in the game after the team’s early offensive struggles.  Part of Mwanga’s necessary development is going to have to be him acquiring the knowledge of how to maximize his touches and opportunities when they are severely limited, as was the case in Los Angeles.   Due to his ineffectiveness, Mwanga came off for Keon Daniel at halftime.

FWD Carlos Ruiz (5.5)-Conversely to attackers such as Le Toux or Mwanga, there is really not much one can expect Ruiz to do if the ball is not getting to him from the back.  His job is to receive the ball and hold up or capitalize on a chance, not to advance the ball from the midfield and link all by himself.   Of course, when crosses did come his way, he was either a step late (50th minute) or committed a foul (77th minute).  Still, though, you have to give Ruiz credit for doing his best to get under the opposition’s skin, which led to Chris Birchall’s sending off, and for continuing to plug away until the final whistle was blown.

MID Keon Daniel (7 * ASN PHILLY MAN OF THE MATCH*)–  Rare is the occasion when a substitute can do enough to be called the best player on the field for a particular side, but that was the case for Daniel in his first appearance in a Union kit.  The 24 year-old Trinidad and Tobago international came on for Danny Mwanga at the half and allowed Seba Le Toux to move up front.  Immediately, Daniel took control out wide and became the link between the backfield and the attack that was lacking for the entire 1st half.  He was the point man on the vast majority of the buildup in the 2nd half and acquitted himself quite well, showing reliable ball handling and excellent field vision.  If Justin Mapp is out for an extended period of time, Daniels may be the answer the Union are looking for on the wing.

MID Roger Torres (6.5)- This game was simultaneously an exhibition of the talents Torres already possesses and his limitations.  Roger came on for Kyle Nakazawa in the 62nd minute.   His presence was sorely needed, and his inclusion in the match unquestionably benefited the Philadelphia side, but Roger’s playmaking still lacks that refined sense of discipline that produces results.  The kid can create, there is no doubt about that, but his tendency is to go for the all-or-nothing play, the spectacular as opposed to the practical.  He sees things on the pitch that few others can, but he needs to understand that he cannot simply will the play to end how he envisions it.   Sometimes he needs to make the lateral pass to maintain possession and momentum instead of trying to drop one over the top of the defense; sometimes he needs to go out wide instead of trying an outside foot direct pass to Jack McInerney making a run towards the goal mouth, who himself chided Torres following the play.  Torres breathes life into the Union attack, but we’re still waiting on tangible products of his contribution.

FWD Jack McInerney (6)- Came on for Sheanon Williams in the 73rd minute as the Union made their final big push for the equalizer.  McInerney continues to show signs that he is going to be a very special player when he puts it all together.  Not only can he be a large contributor, but he has the makings of a team leader.  Union fans might decry the effort and heart displayed against the Galaxy by some on the pitch, but those accusations cannot be put upon Jack Mac.  He came into the game prepared to try and make a difference and almost did on several occasions.  His retaliation against Chad Barrett in stoppage time for an upending that earned McInerney a red card and a one-match suspension may have been ill-advised, but it also went a long way towards endearing Jack Mac to the fans even more.

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Game #3 Preview: Philadelphia at Los Angeles

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Breton Bonnette

If Houston was tough, Los Angeles should be tougher. The Galaxy are coming off their worst defeat in recent memory and should be itching to make a statement. The Union will be their test case. Both teams are looking to jumpstart an impressive array of offensive threats (Angel, Donovan, Beckham vs. Mwanga, Ruiz, and Le Toux) but, and it seems surreal to say this, the Union head to Los Angeles with a firm defensive advantage. Can Mondragon and company hold the fort until the Union attack awakens or will the Galaxy, stunned by Real Salt Lake, return to 2010 form first?

Philadelphia Union (2-0-0) at Los Angeles Galaxy (1-1-1)
Home Depot Center, Carson, CA, 10:30PM EST

Philadelphia’s Probable Starting XI

————————-Mondragon————————-

Williams———Califf————-Valdes———Harvey

——————-Miglioranzi——Carroll—————–

Le Toux—————-Nakazawa—————–Mwanga

——————————Ruiz——————————

QUESTIONABLE: MF Justin Mapp (L hamstring strain); PROBABLE: DF Carlos Valdes (R ankle sprain); DF Danny Califf (L knee meniscus)

Los Angeles’ Probable Starting XI

——————————Saunders—————————-

Franklin———DeLaGarza——–Leonardo——Dunivant

Beckham———-Birchall———-Juninho——–Donovan

———————-Barrett———–Angel———————

OUT: DF Gregg Berhalter (L knee MCL sprain); FW Adam Cristman (L knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: GK Donovan Ricketts (R hamstring strain); PROBABLE: DF Omar Gonzalez (R shoulder sprain)

Notes:

There are a couple ways to look at Saturday’s game in Los Angeles. The Galaxy could either be down and out after a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Real Salt Lake or they could be ready to right the wrongs of a game that simply got out of their hands. Our guess, with guys like Landon Donovan and Juan Pablo Angel leading the way, is that they’ll be amped. If the Union are going to avenge their 3-1 loss at the Home Depot Center they’ll have to continue and even improve upon their defensive strengths. Mondragon should really get tested this game so it’ll be interesting to really see him under fire.

It only took 53 seconds for AJ DeLaGarza to score the first goal in last year’s match-up. The Galaxy dealt with that same issue in last weekend’s loss to Real Salt Lake. Real Salt Lake was up 2-0 in the first 10 minutes and didn’t look back from there. One huge positive for the Union is that Edson Buddle, scorer of 3 goals out of 4 vs. the Union last season, was snapped up by Inglostadt in the German 2.Bundesliga. The bad news? Buddle was replaced by MLS veteran goalscorer Juan Pablo Angel. Chad Barrett is another addition for the Galaxy that could pose a problem. He’s well known for the amount of sitters he inexplicably misses but from time to time, he connects.

The Galaxy’s defense has looked subpar as of late and if Le Toux, Ruiz, and Mwanga can build upon their developing chemistry, they could break it again. Los Angeles, however, could get a defensive boost from the return of starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts from injury. Josh Saunders has filled in well but Ricketts provides that “unbeatable” quality when he’s up for a game. Centerback Omar Gonzalez may still have to miss Saturday.

Piotr Nowak, in Wednesday’s press conference, named numerous players that could potentially be out or play a limited role in Saturday’s match-up. Justin Mapp is almost certainly out while other names in the walking wounded include defensive stalwarts Carlos Valdes and Danny Califf.

Right on the heels of Saturday’s game vs. Los Angeles is the first Open Cup qualifier vs. DC United at the Maryland SoccerPlex. One can expect on April 6th a blend of starters and reserve players as the Union look to get at least one step farther than last season in qualifying process. In 2010, Nowak used a mixed squad but the team failed to really show up in New York dropping a disappointing 2-1 loss.

Several Union starts spent signficant time with the Galaxy in the past – Carlos Ruiz had some of his best years with Los Angeles winning a MLS Cup alongside an impressive Danny Califf in 2002, Stefani Miglioranzi featured in the midfield at the dawn of the Beckham era. How about former Union players? If Donovan Ricketts isn’t ready to start and Josh Saunders continues in net, former third string Union keeper Brian Perk will most likely back him up.

It’s early but this is still nice to read – the Union are leading the Eastern Conference for the first time in club history, after having won back-to-back shutouts for the first time. Two Union players, Carlos Valdes and Brian Carroll, found their way onto ASN’s Best XI for Week Two. Not bad. Brian Carroll made Major League Soccer’s Best XI as well.

Two Union youngsters featured for US U-20 MNT earlier this week. Zac MacMath had a quiet game in net as the U-20s beat up on Suriname 4-0. Amobi Okugo started and picked up a yellow card. The Union will move on to play Panama in the final group match-up this Saturday at 6:00pm EST (therefore they will be missing this match as well).

In the Union Firsts Contest standings, E. Frysinger leads with FIVE points, Reaser is close behind with FOUR points, and several are in third with THREE points. 9/15 questions have been answered. They are vying for a $50 e-gift card to PhiladelphiaUnionStore.com.

In case you missed it, head over the Union’s website to check out the Pledge Program, “Union Fans Assist”.

Predict the Scoreline:

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Photo Gallery: Los Angeles visits PPL Park for the first time

Posted on 08 October 2010 by Breton Bonnette

We’ll have more up as the weekend goes on. It was a tough 1-0 loss for the Union but all in all, there is much hope for the 2011 season. David Beckham and the Galaxy did what they had to do to win in a hostile environment. ASN Philly photographer Lee Pease was on hand as the action unfolded.

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Edson Buddle's early goal gives Galaxy 1-0 win over Red Bulls

Posted on 15 August 2010 by dkarell

After a win mid-week win over Toronto F.C, the Red Bulls were unable to keep the momentum going against Los Angeles on Saturday night, where they lost 1-0.

Sometimes, one silly mistake can hurt you in a big way. Rafa Marquez, making his home debut for the Red Bulls, lost possession of the ball in the middle of the field to LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho. He expertly put Edson Buddle through on goal, and he easily finished for his league leading 13th goal of the season.

Overall, the Red Bulls didnt play so poorly as you would think by the scoreline.

Early on, Red Bull midfielder Dane Richards used his speed to get past Galaxy defender Ivan DeLaGarza on the right wing on numerous occations, only to see his crosses defended well by the Galaxy defense.

Other times, the Red Bulls tried playing through the middle, or sending balls over top. But both captain Juan Pablo Angel and his strike partner Thierry Henry were not sharp during the match. The Red Bulls were whistled for offsides eight times, many of them on Angel. And while some of them were disputed, eight offsides in a match is not good. Angel leads Major League Soccer with 36 times being whistled for offsides in 20 games played.

In the second half, the Red Bulls seemed to slow down their pace, most likely due to the tired legs they are playing with. Saturday’s game was their third in seven days.

And despite bringing in Mac Kandji and Sinisa Ubiparipovic in the second half, the Red Bulls were unable to equalize, and even just get through a strong Los Angeles defense.

Current U.S. international Omar Gonzalez and former U.S. international Gregg Berhalter combined to shut down two of the best strikers in the world, in Henry and Angel.

And U.S. star Landon Donovan had a good game too, especially in the second half, springing plenty of counter attacks once the Red Bulls had pushed numbers forward.

For the Red Bulls, it was not the greatest performance and debut from Marquez, who most likely was a bit tired from playing with Mexico against Spain in a friendly on Wednesday.

His delivery on free kicks was top notch, but he was pretty quiet throughout the rest of his time in the match.

With the loss, New York still sits in second place in the Eastern Conference with 31 points, still five ahead of Toronto, and six back from Columbus.

The Red Bulls now must regroup, and practice their passing in the final third of the field, before they head to Toronto for a match with the Reds next Saturday night, August 21.

Match Facts:

Scoring Summary:

LA — Edson Buddle 13 (Juninho 2) 10

Misconduct Summary:

NY — Juan Pablo Angel (caution; Dissent) 59

NY — Roy Miller (caution; Reckless Foul) 76

Los Angeles Galaxy — Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, A.J. DeLaGarza, Michael Stephens, Chris Birchall (Chris Klein 83), Juninho (Jovan Kirovski 90), Landon Donovan, Tristan Bowen (Mike Magee 61), Edson Buddle.

Substitutes Not Used: Bryan Jordan, Eddie Lewis, Leonardo, Josh Saunders.

New York Red Bulls — Bouna Coundoul, Chris Albright, Carlos Mendes, Tim Ream, Roy Miller, Dane Richards, Rafael Marquez (Macoumba Kandji 71), Tony Tchani, Joel Lindpere, Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Angel (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 85).

Substitutes Not Used: Danleigh Borman, Mike Petke, Carl Robinson, Seth Stammler, Greg Sutton.

Referee: Mark Geiger

Referee’s Assistants: Steven Taylor, Peter Manikowski

4th Official: Mark Kadlecik

Weather: Partly cloudy and 76 degrees

Attendance: 25,000

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Quel debut!

Posted on 23 July 2010 by iyeo

In a game that counted little if anything in the grand scheme of things, Thierry Henry dazzled a crowd of 20,312 at Red Bull Arena on Thursday night, beating his man off the dribble, playing passes into space and ultimately scoring his first goal in a Red Bulls kit. Surely this is the start of great things to come for the Thierry Henry reign at Red Bull Arena. No pressure though. Check out the Thierry Henry photo gallery in the match report!

Meanwhile, on the left coast it was Algeria all over again for Landon Donovan.

The Los Angeles Galaxy star came to the rescue again on Thursday night, only this time, instead of the stars and stripes, Donovan was representing the Los Angeles Galaxy, and instead of soccer’s biggest stage, it was an MLS regular season match against its in-state rivals, the San Jose Earthquakes.

Donovan again came through in the 90th minute in almost the same situation as the United States World Cup match against Algeria last month, but instead of the full three-points, Donovan’s last-minute rebound goal prevented the Galaxy from suffering it’s first home loss of the season and Los Angeles split the points with the Earthquakes courtesy of a 2-2 draw at the Home Depot Center. Ivan Yeo reports from Carson, Calif.

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Thunderstruck: RSL hand Galaxy first defeat of the season

Posted on 10 June 2010 by Patrick McShane

Lightening struck twice for Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night as they overcame a 37-minute lightening storm delay to later claim a controversial goal and a hard-fought 1-0 victory over league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy. With the victory RSL not only handed the Galaxy their first loss of the season, but they also continue their hot form as they are undefeated in their past seven matches and unbeaten at home in over 16 league matches. While the validity of the game-winning goal can be questioned, RSL were easily the better side all night long and continually put themselves into position to earn the victory.

Comparable to a grudge match between two gladiators rather than a beautiful display, the match carried a physical and urgent tone from the opening whistle and never let up. The Galaxy demonstrated why they’re running away with the Supporters’ Shield this season, remaining organized and tactically smart throughout the match despite missing many of their stars due to World Cup duty or injury. Comparatively, RSL did a valiant job breaking down the Galaxy defensive front throughout the match, earning 6 corner kicks in the first half alone, and created the majority of the dangerous chances throughout the match.

After the match, RSL coach Jason Kreis acknowledged the difficulties they face while trying to overcome a tough Galaxy side. “I just think they’re a really mature, composed, compact, and organized team defensively. They make things extremely difficult to break down. As I saw tonight, it was extremely difficult to get that goal. Interesting that it comes off a bit of a misplay.”

Much of the match was played in the middle of the pitch with both squads trying to make something magical happen in hopes of surprising their opponents. This resulted in a great deal of sloppy play by both sides and most of the attempts on goal coming from either long-range blasts or haphazard chaos in the box after a miscue. RSL finally found the much-desired breakthrough in the 80th minute after a nice bit of combination play between Alvaro Saborío, Javier Morales, and substitute Pablo Campos coupled with a questionable decision by referee Edvin Jurisevic.

Despite the nifty passing and interplay, Campos found himself deep in the Galaxy’s defensive third with nowhere to go. While Campos cut back to try and find an open space to pass or shoot, Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens was able to catch up and knock the ball away. Unfortunately for Galaxy fans, and particularly keeper Donovan Ricketts, the deflected ball fell to Morales who had little work to do to casually slot the ball home thanks to being in what appeared to be a painfully offside position. While the Galaxy squad reacted in anger to the allowed goal, RSL players and the 19,513 fans in attendance celebrated a hard-fought and meaningful result.

The remainder of the match was an intense and heated affair, with both sides exchanging words and almost coming to blows on multiple occasions. Galaxy midfielder Juninho highlighted the anxiety of the final minutes with a goal-bound blast from 25 yards out that required a frantic diving save from RSL keeper Nick Rimando. Despite the pressure and final flurry it was RSL’s night as stoppage time wound down. RSL enter the much needed World Cup break on a high and now have the ability to heal and hope to get back many of the injured players they have lost over the past two weeks. Noted Kreis: “We end up on a really positive note. I am really pleased with where we are right now. We can take a little bit of a breather now and relax and enjoy some time off.”

REAL SALT LAKE (7-3-2, 23 pts.) v. LOS ANGELES GALAXY (10-1-2, 32 pts.)
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM

Scoring Summary:
RSL – Javier Morales 4 (unassisted) 80

Misconduct Summary:
LA — Juninho (caution; Tactical Foul) 20
RSL — Andy Williams (caution; Tactical Foul) 63
?RSL — Javier Morales (caution; Shirt Removal) 81
?LA — Omar Gonzalez (caution; Tactical Foul) 85 ?
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Los Angeles Galaxy (4-4-2) — Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Michael Stephens, Chris Birchall, Juninho, Alex Cazumba (Eddie Lewis 78), Jovan Kirovski (Clint Mathis 63), Tristan Bowen (Alan Gordon 72).

Statistics: SHOTS: 7 (Juninho 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 players with 1); SAVES: 2 (Ricketts 2); FOULS: 12 (3 players with 2); CORNERS: 4 (Mathis 2); OFFSIDES: 2 (Dunivant, Kirovski 1)
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Real Salt Lake (4-4-2) — Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran (Chris Wingert 60), Andy Williams (Collen Warner 78), Ned Grabavoy, Javier Morales, Will Johnson, Alvaro Saborío, Fabian Espíndola (Pablo Campos 64).

Statistics: SHOTS: 9 (3 players with 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 players with 1); SAVES: 3 (Rimando 3); FOULS: 11 (Saborío 4); CORNERS: 10 (Morales 9); OFFSIDES: 1 (Saborío 1)

Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee’s Assistants: Frank Anderson; Eric Proctor
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Cloudy-and-78-degrees / Attendance: 19,513

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial

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Disappointment, left coast style

Posted on 03 May 2009 by arozsa

Another disappointing outing for the Red Bulls tonight, especially on the attacking end, as New York created very few chances going forward. In all fairness, this game should have been a 0-0 draw, as the Galaxy also offered very little going forward.

There’s no truth to the rumor that Abbey Okaluja will be receiving Landon Donovan’s jersey after the match. At least I don’t think so.

For a more complete match report, read the piece from ASN’s Galaxy beat reporter.

New York Player Ratings (scale of 1-10 with 10 being best):

Conway 6 – Handled crosses well, but looked very slow coming off his line at times. Really should have at least gotten close to Donovan’s penalty…he looked like he was standing in quicksand.

Goldthwaite – 7 – Another solid outing in the center of defense. Seems to have this spot locked down.

Mendes – 6 – Solid outing. A nice physical presence on the backline.

Johnson – 6 – Probably relieved he actually made it 90 minutes without seeing red. More willing to come forward than Dane Richards was willing to use him.

Pacheco – 5 – Chris Klein had his way with him tonight, and the narrow field really limited his effectiveness in distribution.

Ubiparipovich – 5 – Quiet in midfield. Combined well with Rojas.

Stammler – 6 – Always around the ball, but often a bit slow changing the point of attack. Shouldn’t be asked to do anything but break up plays, really.

Rojas – 6 – Looked very lively running with the ball, both centrally and when he moved out left. Began to play the ball quickly in midfield, and looked much more effective for it. He seems to be adjusting, and that’s an encouraging sign for New York.

Kandji – 6 -Dangerous on the ball, but spent the better part of his night helping Pacheco deal with Klein and Sean Franklin.

Richards – 4 – Was not the right fit on this narrow field with only one forward. He’s virtually invisible when not given space to work with.

Angel – 6 – At his best when he dropped in the midfield to get the ball. Looked frustrated and lacking sharpness at times. He desperately needs a 10-12 goal scorer alongside of him to help free him up in the penalty area.

Subs
Celades – 6 – Very calming presence in the midfield, but seems quite disinterested in defending or ball-winning. His class is evident, but it’s yet to be determined whether he’s a good fit for this league.

Borman – 6 – Looked very lively coming off the bench. Would like to see him start as a left-sided midfielder.

Wolyniec – N/A
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