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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  1. The Philly Soccer Page » Ruiz promises improvement, more news Says:

    […] match preview, you can read more previews from MLSsoccer.com, JP Dellacamera, The Brotherly Game, ASN Philly and The Union Dues. In the head-to-head preview at Goal.com, the Philly guy predicts a 2–1 win […]

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