5pm PST; Galavision, FS-W
On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Galaxy squeaked out a win over the Houston Dynamo, without midfielder David Beckham. After the match, manager Bruce Arena admitted Beckham could have provided a creative spark in the middle that the Galaxy seemed to be lacking. Now the Galaxy will get him back, as he will join the team after a flight from England. Not making the trip is Juan Pablo Angel, who was pulled in the 61' minute on Wednesday, due to fatigue.
Beckham's biggest contribution to the team this year has been dead ball assists, with five of his six assists coming from set pieces. As defenses improve, set pieces are becoming more and more important in MLS. The set piece assists are a bit of a departure for how Beckham has played in recent years. Just four of his sixteen assists in his four year MLS career, before this year, had come from restarts. The Galaxy keeping Houston off the board means Beckham is still tied with Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis for the assist lead, while Landon Donovan's penalty kick means he has a bit more cushion at the top of the Golden Boot pile with 8.
This match will end the season series with New England, unless the two teams meet in the MLS cup. New England were the opponent in the Galaxy home opener, a stormy affair which ended in a 1 - 1 draw. Sharlie Joseph got New England out to an early 0-1 lead in that match, but Juninho was able to equalize.
New England has been on a defensive tear as of late. Their 2-1 loss at San Jose last weekend saw the Revs give up their first goal since April 30th. The team had not allowed a goal in 284 minutes, the fifth longest streak in MLS this season.