3:00 pm PDT, TV: FSC, Radio: AM 1150, 1330 Esp.
Harrison, NJ - Tonight, in front of a sold out crowd, the Los Angeles Galaxy (12-3-4, 6-2-2 road, 40 pts.) will attempt to return to their winning ways against the New York Red Bulls (9-6-4, 6-2-1 home, 31 pts.). The two teams have split the all time series at 14 wins a piece, with 5 ties, although last year the Galaxy swept the Season series (1-0, 3-1) with star Landon Donovan scoring a goal in each game. The big news out of New York is the recent acquisition of former French national team star Thierry Henry. New York has also shored up its backfield with Mexican defender Rafael Marquez. Defender Omar Gonzalez of the Galaxy has stayed in the headlines this week with great showing against Real Madrid and in his first cap for the US national team against Brazil. So even without David Beckham, who was added back on the roster this week, albeit on the disabled list, there will be a wealth of international level talent on the pitch.
Most important for the Galaxy is to come out strong in the first minutes. The last few weeks have seen the Galaxy allowing early goals and playing from behind almost all game. Not since the July 4th game against the Seattle Sounders have the Galaxy scored the first goal, a scenario in which the Galaxy are undefeated this season (12-0-0). Not surprisingly, the Galaxy have yet to win a game in which they've given up the first goal (0-3-1). New York hasn't fared much better with only one win after giving up the first goal (1-6-1) but show the same ability to close games in which they chalk one up first (8-0-1). Both teams play a version of the 4-1-3-2, and will likely be pressing from the opening kickoff.
New York Red Bulls Notes:
- Earlier this week the Red Bulls broke a five game winless slide with a 1-0 win over Toronto F.C. They currently hold second place in the Eastern Conference, 6 points behind Columbus.
- Thierry Henry has only played the first 45' in each of the last two games. He's nursing a strained groin, "It would be stupid to lose him for a month," said Head Coach Hans Bache.
- Henry has yet to score in an MLS game, but has racked up 3 assists, having a hand in each NY goal scored since his arrival.
- "I'm still in preseason so it's kind of weird for me to go out there and compete with people who are already fit." Henry told socceramerica.
- After surrendering just 4 goals in their first 14 league games (10-1-3) , the Galaxy have given up 9 in their last five (2-2-1)
- "It's not planned that way but, obviously, players can get a little comfortable when they look at the league standings and see we're out in front, and I think that's been the case with a number of players," said coach Bruce Arena.
- "I'm sick giving up goals, I'm sick of not winning at home and we have to get better," said Landon Donovan.
New York and Los Angeles both had four players each on international duty Mid-week, but all are expect to be available for the match tonight. Alpine Village in Torrance is the site of the viewing party, where yours truly will be catching the game.