CHESTER, PA - MAY 11: Landon Donovan #10 of the Los Angeles Galaxy is swarmed by teammates after scoring a goal in the first half during the game against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on May 11, 2011 in Chester, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
1 Total Update since May 11, 2011
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Landon Donovan scored his fifth goal in four matches, but the Galaxy were only able to walk away with one point as the Los Angeles Galaxy ended up level with the Philadelphia Union, 1-1. Donovan squeezed a through ball through the center of Philadelphia's defense to Juan Pablo Angel in the 24'. Angel wasn't able to turn on it, but laid it back to Donovan who smashed it into the back of the net. Donovan had a chance to score the put away goal, but saw it roll off the foot wrong and end up wide right. Juan Pablo Angel had a solid chance on goal, but Fayrd Mondragon was able to block it with the side of his body.
Philadelphia's equalizer came off the bench, off the foot of Danny Mwanga who came in for Keon Daniel at half time. Sean Franklin tried to play the ball back to Donovan Ricketts in the 84' but the ball slowed down on him. Mwanga was able to run the ball down before it reached Ricketts, dribble around Ricketts, and put the ball in the net. Sloppy play in the back has cost the Galaxy a few victories this year, especially late on the road. Franklin's mental mistake called to mind Gonzalez' blunder in DC, which lead to the equalizing penalty kick. Mwanga ripped his shirt off after the goal, an automatic yellow, but the Philadelphia fans didn't seem to mind. The crowd was loud from start to finish in this match.
This year MLS has started recording a few more of the stats commonly seen in Europe. The possession was almost 50/50, not much in it, and that's reflected in the scoreline. Los Angeles was unable to get a put away goal after their first half opener, and they were unable to keep the ball away from Philadelphia for very long.
The Galaxy now fly back to Los Angeles, to take on Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
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In between two Saturday home matches, the 1-1 draw against New York Red Bulls last Saturday and a match against Sporting Kansas City coming up this Saturday, MLS thought it'd be fun for the Los Angeles Galaxy to travel to Philly for a midweek match against the Philadelphia Union. The club will be without David Beckham, who manager Bruce Arena decided could use a rest. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports West at 4pm.
This is the second meeting between Philadelphia and Los Angeles this year, with Philly losing 1-0 at Home Depot Center on April 2nd. With Tuesday and Thursday used for travel this week, the Galaxy will only practice once before each other their matches. Last season it took until June 5th for the Galaxy to complete a season series. It's likely this match lands where it dose because of the Galaxy's participation in CONCACAF Champions League starting in July.
The Galaxy swept the season series last year, Philadelphia's first season in MLS. A victory in Philadelphia tonight would mean back to back sweeps of the new franchise. If the Galaxy are able to do so, this would be the first time in club history that the Galaxy won the season series against another club two years in a row.
Both David Beckham and Juninho made the MLS.com Starting XI of the week for their performance against Chicago. Beckham's play in central midfield has directly contributed to Landon Donovan's sudden emergence as the Galaxy's goal scorer. In the last four matches, Landon has scored four goals in the last three matches. He currently is leading the Galaxy in goals for the season. Juninho and Chad Barrett are tied for second with two goals a piece. Juan Pablo Angel has yet to fill the void that Edson Buddle left, having only scored a garbage goal in the Galaxy's 4-1 loss to Real Salt Lake.