Pregame Notes: Philadelphia Union vs LA Galaxy
PHILADELPHIA UNION vs LA GALAXY
PPL PARK, Chester, Pa.
May 15, 2013 (WEEK 12, MLS Game #103)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-Phi; TWCSN-LA/TWCD, 1330 AM; LIVECHAT)
Philadelphia Union will be looking to win at home for the first time in nearly two months when they entertain an LA Galaxy side starting a two-game East Coast trip on Wednesday evening at PPL Park. Union are coming off a 1-0 win at Chicago that ended a three-game winless run; their last home win came March 16 vs. New England. The Galaxy are coming off back-to-back losses, starting this three-game road swing with a 3-1 loss at Vancouver last weekend.
REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. AR1 (bench): Craig Lowry; AR2 (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Chris Penso
MLS Career: 11 games; FC/gm: 24.2; Y/gm: 2.6; R: 4; pens: 6
DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: PHI: Conor Casey ... LA: Marcelo Sarvas
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (MLS) (5 meetings): Union 1 wins, 4 goals ... Galaxy 3 wins, 7 goals ... Ties 1
AT PHILADELPHIA (2 meetings): Union 0 wins, 1 goal ... Galaxy 1 win, 2 goals ... Ties 1
LAST YEAR (MLS):
7/4: LA 1, PHI 2 (Barrett 73 - McInerney 46+; M. Farfan 95+)
Union won the only meeting between the clubs a year ago, a 2-1 victory at The Home Depot Center behind a late, late goal from Michael Farfan. It was Union's first win against the Galaxy in five meetings all-time; LA had won the first three. Union have not defeated the Galaxy at PPL Park. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in Chester in their last meeting there in 2011; LA won at PPL Park in 2010. Coaches record: John Hackworth vs. LA: P1 W1 L0 D0 ... Bruce Arena vs. PHI: P5 W3 L1 D1
The LA Galaxy lost for a second game on the trot, dropping a 3-1 decision to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday afternoon at BC Place. The Galaxy are in a tie for fifth place in the Western Conference with 14 points from 9 matches.
Whitecaps FC opened the scoring on 63 minutes. After coming on as a substitute early in the contest, Russell Teibert opened the scoring, hitting a left-footed strike from outside the area past a fully outstretched Carlo Cudicini into the bottom left corner to finish off a long run out of midfield by Nigel Reo-Coker. Teibert hit for his second and doubled Vancouver's lead in the 76th minute, smashing home a ball teed up to him by Gershon Koffie in the box.
The Galaxy pulled a goal back in the 86th minute through Gyasi Zardes, who headed home a Jose Villarreal cross from the right flank for his first MLS goal.
But Whitecaps FC concluded the victory when Darren Mattocks pounced on a bouncing ball and prodded it home from close range in stoppage time. Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made one change to the team that lost 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo at The Home Depot Center. Hector Jimenez came into the team in place of Charlie Rugg. LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin (Colin Clark 85), Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Greg Cochrane - Hector Jimenez (Michael Stephens 72), Marcelo Sarvas (Gyasi Zardes 67), Juninho, Mike Magee - Landon Donovan, Jose Villarreal.
#PHIvLA: View from the Booth
The Galaxy have suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season, and allowed three or more goals in a game for the first time since a 4-0 defeat by Seattle last Aug. 5. READ: LA Galaxy hoping to get nasty in order to snap losing streak After playing as an attacking wide midfielder in his last couple of starts, Landon Donovan moved into a more out-and-out striker's role, alongside Jose Villarreal. "We don't have enough aggressive players on the ball in the last third of the field. It showed tonight ..." head coach Bruce Arena said. "Landon can be more aggressive on the ball. [Mike] Magee didn't have a particularly good game in the last part of the field, either. Those are guys we're counting on." "I felt like I played OK," Donovan said, "but Bruce and I spoke this week. I've got to get more chances on my own, and it's difficult. Teams do a good job on sort of keying in on a few of us. We got some sort of half-chances but no real chances, and I've got to do a better job of getting some better chances." The Galaxy were without striker Robbie Keane for a fourth time in five games, still suffering from a sprained ankle. Keane has said he is aiming for the Union match to return. "He can create chances on his own," Donovan said. "When Robbie's on the field, he takes some of that pressure [on specific attackers] off so that he's attracting attention, which sometimes leaves me with more space or Mike with more space or Juninho with more space, and then we get more chances." Said Magee: "We've got to learn. The last few games have been a similar pattern in terms of not having the killer instinct and letting games get away from us. We've got to put the majority behind us, but the mistakes we made are mental. We have the ability there and we've got the right guys, even with Robbie gone, we've still got the right guys to get a win." READ: Despite defensive breakdown in Vancouver, LA "doing a lot better than we were last year"
Home Grown Player Gyasi Zardes scored his first professional goal after coming on for the final quarter of the match, in place of Marcelo Sarvas. Zardes was making his third appearance in the first team.
"It is definitely a blessing. It felt great getting that goal. It was unfortunate that they scored, but it was definitely a blessing getting that goal," Zardes said. READ: Gyasi Zardes hopes first goal is the start of big things for LA Galaxy
Philadelphia Union won for the first time in three matches, getting the game's only goal for a 1-0 win against the Chicago Fire on Saturday afternoon at Toyota Park. Union sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 15 points from 10 matches.
The game's lone goal came in the 75th minute. Second-half substitute Sebastien Le Toux played a quick restart from midfield, lobbing a freekick over the Fire backline, and Jack McInerney raced onto it and poked it home past goalkeeper Sean Johnson from the second chance.
Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath made six saves for the shutout behind a makeshift Philadelphia back four.
Union team manager John Hackworth made two changes to the team that reached a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC at PPL Park. Bakary Soumare and Gabriel Farfan came into the back four for Jeff Parke and the suspended Sheanon Williams. PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-3-2): Zac MacMath - Raymon Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Bakary Soumare, Gabriel Farfan - Brian Carroll - Danny Cruz (Sebastien Le Toux 56), Keon Daniel, Michael Farfan - Jack McInerney, Conor Casey (Antoine Hoppenot 61).
Jack McInerney scored his seventh goal of the season to take over sole leadership of the MLS Golden Boot standings. It was his first goal since April 21 - Union's last victory - when he finished a run of four goals in a three-game span. McInerney has scored 15 goals in 30 appearances since John Hackworth took over for ex-manager Peter Nowak last June. "He's playing at a very high level right now and the thing that I'm most pleased with is that he continues to try to play the game the same way," Hackworth said. "He hasn't let anything affect him and he's had a lot of attention in the last month. Good for him that he's keeping his feet on the ground and continuing week in and week out to play well." Goalkeeper Zac MacMath recorded a season-high six saves in recording his second shutout of the season, his first since a 1-0 win vs. New England on March 16. "Zac was our man of the match for sure. He made a couple huge saves to keep us in that game. Otherwise we really would have been in a bad spot. ... By far and away, Zac was really good," said Hackworth. "Every game you go into the game knowing you're going to have to make a couple of saves to keep the team in it," MacMath said. "Especially on the road, you want to keep the shutout and you hope your team can find an opportunity to get a goal. Jack [McInerney] did that today." With Jeff Parke held out of the match with hamstring strain suffered in the first half of the Seattle match, Bakary Soumare made his 2013 season debut, coming into central defense.
"It's really not too different. Soumare is a big guy and he likes to win balls in the air, and he did a really good job saving some balls and getting in the way," said MacMath. "I think his veteran experience helped us today, winning balls and communicating to the back line."
With Sheanon Williams suspended, Gabriel Farfan made his first start since April 6, coming in at left back with Raymon Gaddis shifting flanks to the right side. "I need to give credit to Soumare and Farfan for coming in there. Both of those guys coming into our back line for the first time this year did a really good job. It was an all-around team effort. Coming here and getting a win on the road is always difficult." Sebastien Le Toux recorded his third assist of the season, his first since garnering back-to-back assists March 10-16. "That's usually how it is on the road in this league," McInerney said. "You've just got to battle, and if you can hold a zero in the back, anything can happen. Credit Zac [MacMath] and our back four. They did a great job today. I feel like we haven't really clicked offensively from the midfield to the strikers. But, if I get one, all I need is one or two chances a game and that will happen."
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