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Galaxy Finish Off Red Bulls; Face Real Salt Lake in Western Final Sunday

 Posted by on November 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm  Uncategorized
Nov 042011

If the verbal sparing matches with Landon Donovan and the rest of the Galaxy team weren’t enough to confirm Luke Rodgers villain role in the LA/NY rivalry, his first eight minutes of the Galaxy’s home leg with the Red Bulls in the Western Conference Semifinals would have sealed it.

Slipping between the center-back pairing of Omar Gonzalez and AJ De La Garza, Rodgers got on the end of a Thierry Henry through ball and in 1v1 on Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders. Sliding a low right footed shot past the onrushing Saunders, Rodgers leveled the aggregate score of the tie just four minutes into the match, silencing the sellout crowd of 20,000 at the Home Depot Center Thursday night.
It was early, but Rodgers wasn’t finished being a pest to the Galaxy and their supports. Off the ensuing kickoff, lunging into a reckless tackle in the center circle, Rodgers picked up a yellow card, as the match looked destined to pick up where the ugliness at the end of the match in New York left off. And four minutes later, Rodgers, frustrated he was unable to latch on to a ball at the touchline, fired the ball towards the crowd, nearly decapitating a Galaxy fan. Villain status secured, Rodgers wouldn’t touch the ball without “boos” reigning from around the HDC.
“Rodgers is dangerous getting behind us,” said Galaxy manager Bruce Arena after the match. “And he did that two or three times tonight, so it was difficult.”
But if Rodgers was the clear villain of the Galaxy’s two matches with NY, Mike Magee was there to rescue the Galaxy. The former Red Bull, and figure of almost mythical proportions for Galaxy supporters, was once again the unlikely hero and man on the spot for LA.
Off a David Beckham corner in the 42nd minute, Magee shook free of his marker to meet Beckham’s in-swinger at the near post and head into the roof of the NY net. Leveling the score on the night, the goal would have added significance as it put the Galaxy ahead for good in the tie, and into the Western Conference finals Sunday against Real Salt Lake.
“Anytime David has the ball, especially on corners, you just got to put yourself in a good spot because he is going to put it there,” said Magee of his goal. “I think Omar picked about five guys behind me, which obviously helped, but I just tried to get in the right spot.”
After sustaining a flurry of attacks prompted by the withdrawn role of Henry in the Red Bull attack, it appeared Magee’s goal finally settled the Galaxy into the match, and they looked much the better team in the second half once Henry’s passing lanes were cut off. And in the 74th minute, a penalty won by Beckham, as NY’s Roy Miller bundled him over in the area, led to a coolly finished kick from the spot by captain Landon Donovan.
“I was surprised because I was in the penalty area,” said Beckham of the foul that led to the goal. “I was surprised when I found his boot around my ear… it was a difficult game tonight, so overall, it helped.”
The 2 – 1 win keeps the Galaxy’s unbeaten run in all competitions at home this year intact, and more importantly gives the team another home game, with the opportunity to get back to the MLS Cup on the line. The Galaxy’s last trip to the finals was just two years ago, losing in penalties to Sunday’s Conference Finals opponent, Real Salt Lake.
For their part, the Galaxy are saying the upcoming match won’t be about revenge though.
“That was something that happened in the past, you know of course it is on our minds, but we can’t think about it as revenge, it’s a whole new year, a whole new team,” said Gonzalez after the match. “We’ve been working up since 2009, and we’ve been getting better and better. We’ve got some different players on the team, and everyone’s focused and ready to win.”
Sunday’s match will be the second of a doubleheader for the MLS, which features the Eastern Conference Final between Sporting KC and the Houston Dynamo, before the Galaxy take on RSL at 6pm. The winner’s of the matches will meet Nov. 20 at the Home Depot Center with the MLS Cup up for grabs.

Operation: Honduras; Mission Accomplished

 Posted by on October 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm  Uncategorized
Oct 212011

Juninho is a secret agent à la 007.

After his rescue mission for the LA Galaxy versus Morelia in stoppage time at the Home Depot Center, would you have expected anyone else to bring the Galaxy to the promised land that is the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League?
Let’s set the scene shall we.
After miraculously beating Morelia of Mexico in the penultimate CCL group stage match, the Galaxy still had a sliver of hope heading into their final group match Thursday. And while they were up against Motagua, the group’s bottom feeder with zero points to their name, the team would need to travel to Honduras, knowing anything less than a win end their CCL campaign.
Seemed simple enough, but then again this is the Galaxy traveling to a very hostile Central American venue, where they’ve a history of disappointment in the past.
Enter Juninho.
To be honest, the match really had little else to offer than Juninho. Making matters tough on the Galaxy, their captain, Landon Donovan, started the match on the bench due to injury, and while goalkeeper Josh Saunders was flawless, it was all about the Brazilian.
Picking up the ball somewhere near what could only be considered centerfield of a ballpark in Cuba, the diminutive midfielder loaded his canon of a right foot and unleashed a shot that dipped, swerved and seemed to halt time, leaving the beaten goalkeeper with little more to do than turn his head the moment the ball found a new home in his net.
The 40-yard stunner was enough for LA, which had little more to offer in the offensive third on the night, other than a neat run from Donovan, beating two defenders only to see his effort flash wide late in the match.
LA, top of their group via a complex algorithm of tiebreakers Eienstein would be proud of, has qualified for the quarterfinals of the CCL, which will take place in February of 2012. Whether or not David Beckham will be a part of those games or watching, baguette in hand remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, it’s goal #2 of the Galaxy season accomplished, with the MLS Cup now firmly in LA’s sights.
Well done, Agent Juninho.

CCL Quarterfinal Spot on the Line in Honduras

 Posted by on October 19, 2011 at 12:10 am  Uncategorized
Oct 192011

Coming into 2011, the LA Galaxy outlined three goals for their season. Simply put: Supporter’s Shield, CCL Quarterfinals and MLS Cup. After putting a checkmark next to the Supporter’s Shield a little over a week ago, LA will have a chance Thursday to make good on the next hurdle in their list of goals.

Following a dramatic win over Morelia a few short weeks ago, the Galaxy head to Honduras Thursday night for their final match of the CONCACAF Champions League Group Stages. Sitting third in their group (with the top two teams qualifying), LA knows a win Thursday means they’re through to the competition’s quarterfinals, taking place in February of 2012.
Their opponent Thursday will be Motagua. The Honduran champions sit bottom of the group with zero points in five matches, with no chance of qualifying for the next stage. And although LA slipped by Motagua at home in their first CCL match, the stakes leave no room for error Thursday. It’s win and you’re in.
LA will likely have Landon Donovan back for the trip, after the American star did not dress in Sunday’s Superclasico win with what was described as a minor “knock” from training. It’s likely his exclusion from Sunday’s match was purely a precaution, and it would be a big surprise to not see the midfielder play a major part in this match. Also available will be David Beckham, who had not played in the team’s last CCL match due to suspension. Beckham has been carrying a nagging back injury that has seen him miss games in both CCL and MLS play, but having made the trip to Honduras, he’s also likely to play a pivotal role.
One final note on Galaxy inclusions and exclusions, Robbie Keane will not be fit for this match after picking up a muscle injury while on national team duty. He has not taken part in any matches or training since returning to the team, and the Galaxy hope to have him fit before their first contest in the MLS playoff. However, Sean Franklin, sidelined for the better part of a month, is targeting a return for this pivotal CCL match, which could allow manager Bruce Arena to field the familiar back four of Franklin, AJ De La Garza, Omar Gonzalez and Todd Dunivant.
The match is being shown live from Tegucigalpa, Honduras on Fox Soccer Channel. Kickoff is 7 pm on the West Coast.

Prediction: Motagua 1 – LA 2

Sounders Hand Galaxy MLS’s Real Title

 Posted by on October 10, 2011 at 2:14 am  Uncategorized
Oct 102011

Without kicking one ball this weekend, the LA Galaxy claimed MLS’s top spot for the second season in a row.

Call it an Open Cup hangover, but when the Sounders fell 2 – 0 to the Union Saturday night, they lost more than just a game. They also ceded the league’s Supporter’s Shield to the LA Galaxy, even with the team inactive this weekend.
Of course, being an American-based league, the end of the season brings with it the mandatory end of the season tournament known as the MLS playoffs. But MLS Cup aside, with two games remaining, and the possibility of netting 70 points, LA has been the league’s clear-cut best team, no matter what happens in the playoffs.
Sparing you my arguments for a single-table system, free of the increasingly confusing playoff format currently in place in the MLS, LA’s said all year the Supporter’s Shield was just one of the team’s many goals, which includes the MLS Cup.
So, while the Galaxy’s impressive home unbeaten record, league-low goals against, and record-tying 18 wins all seems nice, LA would be the first to tell you anything less than a double including the MLS Cup would render the season a disappointment.
That being said, wrapping up the Supporter’s Shield early is great for a team swamped the past month with fixtures. With the team’s next match their last home game of the season and vs. their Home Depot Center roommates, Chivas USA, clearly, the team’s full efforts will now go into their final CONCACAF Champions League group match against Montagua. Heading in to the match, LA will be well aware it’s win and you’re in, through to the competition’s knockout stages.
A Supporter’s Shield clinching win Saturday against their LA rivals would have been ever so sweet, but the Galaxy won’t argue with picking up silverware a week earlier than expected.
Supporter’s Shield? Check. Next, survival in the CCL and an MLS Cup winning celebration in front of their home fans at the HDC? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Match Preview: The Champs Come to Town

 Posted by on September 8, 2011 at 5:26 am  Uncategorized
Sep 082011

Friday night the LA Galaxy will be back at home to take on MLS Cup holders Colorado. The match will be the team’s second of the week, and part of a Sept./Oct. stretch of nine games in 30 days.

After their disappointing draw at Sporting KC, the Galaxy get right back to work as they welcome the Rapids to the Home Depot Center. Atop the MLS standing with 52 points, a win makes the Galaxy MLS’s first to clinch a playoff spot this season.
The defending champs come to LA a team on the cusp. After an inconsistent start to the season, Colorado managed an unbeaten run of nine before LA took them down 3 – 1 in Colorado. Coming off a defeat in Chicago and a disappointing draw at home to Chivas USA, the Rapids, currently residing the the league’s final wildcard spot, are clinging desperately to the chance of defending their title in this year’s playoffs.
Heading into the match, the Galaxy will be happy to have Robbie Keane back at their disposal after being away on international duty. Against SKC, coach Bruce Arena handed Chad Barrett the start up top with Adam Cristman, but while Barrett scored in the Galaxy’s win in their CONCACAF Champions League match with Alajuelense, he final touch was disappointing at best, and the newly fit striker was substituted at the hour mark of the SKC match. Having Keane back, as well as Landon Donovan available without playing 90 minutes as he did two days before the SKC match, will allow Arena the opportunity to field the Galaxy’s best attacking options.
After the match Friday, LA will travel to Mexico for an important CCL showdown with Morelia Tuesday, in a match that will likely decide the winner of the group. A playoff clinching win the Friday before the match could ease much of the strain Arena’s squad will feel over the next month.
Kickoff is 8 p.m. and part of Fox’s Soccer Night in America.
Prediction LA 2 – Colorado 1

CCL Match Preview: Premier Acquisition Overshadows “Biggest Game of the Year”

 Posted by on August 16, 2011 at 3:25 am  Uncategorized
Aug 162011

You have to be an MLS conspiracy theorist to not like Robbie Keane. No, really, you do.

The Irish international and former Tottenham Hotspur striker is a well-respected and an all-around likable guy having played for nine different clubs around England and Europe, and considered an excellent presence in the dressing room. Not to mention, he’s tenth on the all-time Premier League scorer’s list. But unless you’re a fan of the Galaxy, you likely already hate him.
On Monday, the LA Galaxy announced the capture of Keane from Tottenham to bolster their anemic forward-play. Brought into the league as a Designated Player, Keane leaves the team one over the league’s allotted DP spots, and with conspiracies from non-Galaxy fans abound as to how the league helped the Galaxy circumvent said DP policy, over recent weeks it’s become abundantly clear the odd man out would be fellow DP Juan Pablo Angel. The Galaxy will now have until Keane receives his work visa to move Angel, thus getting in accordance with policies the rest of the league must follow league policy.
And while the rest of the league’s teams and fans bicker about the special status bestowed upon team’s like LA and NY, the Galaxy have more pressing matters at hand.
Tuesday night, LA will be in action at the Home Depot Center for it’s CONCACAF Champion’s League group-stage opener against CD Montagua of Honduras. In a match coach Bruce Arena calls LA’s “biggest match game of the year,” the Galaxy embark on a campaign that could land them a spot in FIFA’s prestigious Club World Cup.
While many fans may not be familiar with Montagua, they may see a few familiar faces in the side lining up opposite the Galaxy Tuesday. Former MLSers Amando Guevara and Ivan Guerrero feature for the team from Honduras, as well as former Galaxy and MLS Cup winning-goal scorer, Guillermo “Pando” Ramirez. Having only spent one season with LA, Ramirez’s game-winner in the 2005 MLS Cup, coincidentally the Galaxy’s last Cup win, continues to endear him to the Galaxy faithful. Expect a warm reception for the Guatemalan midfielder before the two teams get down to business.
As Arena said, this match is one of the most important of the season. With the team’s first two CCL matches at home, it’s important LA take maximum points against Montagua, and again against LD Alajuelense a little over a week later, to ease some of the pressure in a grueling group stage taking place throughout the team’s run for the league’s Supporter’s Shield.
So, while Keane grabs the headlines today, the team will have to be solely focused on the task at hand Tuesday. As mentioned, the Irish international will not be available while working out his work visa, with over a week off between now and their last match, Arena will have a well rested squad at his disposal. Arena seemed genuinely pleased with the speed exhibited by pushing Sean Franklin onto the wing opposite Landon Donovan in the Vancouver and Dallas matches, and it’s a formation he may look to use in league matches again this season. However, venturing into their first-ever CCL group stage match and knowing the generally reserved nature of Arena’s tactics, a formation featuring the back four of Franklin, AJ De La Garza, Omar Gonzalez and Todd Dunivant that brought the team so much success thus far is likely. Of course, David Beckham will be called upon to provide service through the midfield, while Donovan will assume his free role in attack.
Kick-off is 7pm at HDC with Fox Soccer Channel airing the game on tape-delay at 9:30 pm.

Match Preview: Top of the Table Clash Could Decide Supporter’s Shield

 Posted by on August 5, 2011 at 11:01 pm  Uncategorized
Aug 052011

The last time these two teams met it was dubbed “The Fiasco in Frisco,” referring to inclement weather marring a match that was the Galaxy’s last loss until the poor performance in Portland Wednesday night. Heading into that match against FC Dallas back on May 1st, the biggest story was David Beckham’s attendance at the Royal Wedding just days before; this time around, the focus will be squarely on the league’s top spot.

When the Galaxy meet FC Dallas Saturday night at the Home Depot Center, they will do so only three points clear of their rivals from Frisco. And with only nine games remaining after Saturday’s match (10 for FC Dallas, who have a game in hand), its no stretch of the imagination to think the winner of this contest will be the team atop the MLS standings at the end of the regular season.
For the Galaxy, the match is a chance at redemption. Not only did FCD hand the Galaxy one of their season’s three losses back on May 1, but after being shut out 3 – 0 in Portland midweek, and being soundly outplayed in all facets of the match, the team will be looking to regain the form that’s kept them top of the league for a vast majority of the season.
The three goals allowed against Portland aside, the Galaxy’s major concern will once again be goal scoring. Wednesday’s match was more of an anomaly than the norm for a back line that had only given up three goals or more once before the match. And while Landon Donovan sits tied for the league lead in goals with 11, the mystery that is Juan Pablo Angel is still very much a burning question for the Galaxy. For his part, coach Bruce Arena has stuck by his Colombian forward, whose three goals on the year hardly validates his Designated Player status, but fans have become more than restless with chants of “we want Buddle”(referring to recently recalled U.S. Men’s National Team striker Edson Buddle, who left the Galaxy last season for second division soccer in Germany) being heard at times in the team’s last match at home. It will be interesting to see if Arena continues to stick with the struggling forward in his starting XI or attempts to ease some of the pressure on Angel by bringing him off the bench. Either way, Angel’s salary is much to high for the Galaxy to make the high-profile signing many of the fans have clamored for.
FC Dallas is a team that is strong through the center of the pitch with pace and creativity up top and wide. Attacker Brek Shea and full back Zach Loyd were both recent call-ups to Jurgen Klinsmann’s National Team squad, and the team hasn’t missed a beat after losing last year’s league MVP, David Ferreira. While the Galaxy’s back line is more than adept at holding the FC Dallas attack at bay, they will need more help than was given to them by the midfield last match. If LA’s midfield can provide outlets to its back four and control the tempo of the match, dictating the midfield through possession, they’ll likely be much more successful come Saturday.
Arena should opt for Donovan to be a free runner through the midfield, where is willingness to start and finish dangerous counterattacks and late-breaking runs have been the Galaxy’s most effect weapons all season. But again it all depends on Angel. The striker’s inability to make his mark on matches through scoring, or even hold-up play, has forced Arena to push Donovan forward into a supporting role to assist the Galaxy’s dismal forward corps, and as shown last match, without Donovan’s influence in midfield the attack becomes isolated, while the midfield is overran.
Whichever way Arena decides to play it, this match is going to be a statement heading into the season’s homestretch. The Portland loss was shambolic, but if it served as a wake up call to the Galaxy, it can be forgiven. A win Saturday would likely galvanize the team, and as a confidence builder, could lead to the reeling off of quite a few wins to end the regular season. Historically, teams that are the hottest heading into the playoffs are routinely the most successful in the MLS Cup playoffs.
No doubt, Arena and his team will be well aware of this heading into Saturday.
Kickoff is 7:30 pm PST Saturday. See you at the HDC!
Jun 172011

Saturday the LA Galaxy will hit the road to take on defending MLS champions Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, who sit only two spots back in the Western Conference standings. They’ll be looking to end the Galaxy’s recent 8-game unbeaten streak.

The reigning MLS Cup champion Rapids have had a tepid season so far in their attempt to repeat as champs. After roaring into the start of the season with three straight wins by large margins, they had lost three straight before embarking on their own 9-game unbeaten streak. However, over that nine game span they have only managed two wins to go with seven draws, including needing a late winner in their last match against Portland.
The Galaxy will once again be without star midfielder Landon Donovan and starting keeper Donovan Ricketts, both will be at RFK Stadium Sunday representing their respective countries in a Gold Cup quarterfinal match-up. They are likely to welcome back central midfielder Juninho though. He had missed last game while getting married in his native Brazil.
For coach Bruce Arena’s starting 11, we are likely to see Juninho slot back into his partnership with David Beckham in the center of the Galaxy’s midfield, sending Michael Stephens back to the bench. Up front, Juan Pablo Angel, after his goal against Toronto FC, should again partner Chad Barrett.
Besides the reintroduction of Juninho, the only other major change may come in how Arena deploys midfielder Miguel Lopez. Against TFC, Lopez was called upon to fill Donovan’s roll as the creative player with freedom to roam the Galaxy midfield. The change was effective early on with Lopez setting up the opening score, but as the game continued, the Galaxy played through the creative midfielder less and less while resorting to bypassing Lopez with long balls up to the forwards. The change in tactics left the creative Argentine ineffective and anonymous for long spells, and it will be interesting to see if Arena opts to use him in a similar role or as an out-and-out winger.
Colorado will counter the Galaxy with the big pairing of Caleb Folan and Conor Casey. Central defenders Omar Gonzalez and AJ De La Garza will have to be alert and play a physical brand of football against the Rapids two bruisers up top. If the Galaxy are not careful, their tendency to switch of for periods of the match could lead them to being punished quickly and often by the attack of the defending champs. Arena will hope his team can go back the stout defending they exhibited during a recent lengthy shut out streak.
Saturday’s match is at 6pm PST.
This Week’s Toe Pokes:

-The Galaxy start Open Cup play on June 28th at Cal State Fullerton. They will take on the winner of the LA Blues and the Ventura Fusion. The Open Cup is the oldest tournament in the U.S., and the Galaxy will begin their campaign in the 3rd round of play having won the tournament in 2001 and 2005. Tickets are on sale now. Call 877-3GALAXY to get yours.
-As mentioned before, two members of the Galaxy will be facing off this Sunday in the Gold Cup. Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts will lead his Jamaica squad against Landon Donovan and the US Men’s National Team in the quarterfinals of the tournament at RFK Stadium. One way or another the Galaxy will be getting a star player back in their line-up. That being said, GO USA!!!

A review, preview and some “toe pokes” – This blog has it ALL!

 Posted by on May 13, 2011 at 4:59 pm  Uncategorized
May 132011

So much to talk about! Let’s jump right in with a review of the Philadephia Union vs LA Galaxy Match:

Even with Landon Donovan scoring his fifth straight goal, the Galaxy were unable to hold off the Philadelphia Union, settling for yet another draw.

Playing without midfielder David Beckham, the Galaxy started brightly with Donovan playing a central attacking midfield role. Forward Miguel Lopez got the nod over the struggling Chad Barrett, and looked up to the task early on. Showing good movement, and the a willingness to become available to receive the ball and link up with teammates, Lopez had a hand in the Galaxy’s opener in the 24th minute.

Lopez laid off a ball to right-back Sean Franklin after dropping into the midfield to receive an outlet pass from the Galaxy defense. Franklin raced up the touchline, angling a ball towards the box and Donovan, who would help the ball along to an onrushing Juan Pablo Angel. When Angel’s attempt was blocked Union defender Danny Califf, Donovan, being in the right place at the right time, nipped in to finish with the outside of his right from about 10 yards out. The match would remain 1 – 0 into the half, with the Galaxy looking to be in control.

As the second half began, the match remained much of the same, and was a bit disjointed at times as neither team appeared likely to score. However, a defensive error late in the match would gift the Union a point at home.

Having entered the match to start the second half, Union forward Danny Mwanga took advantage of a weak back pass by Franklin to go one-on-one with goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. Mwanga would get the better of Ricketts, notching his first goal of the season, and securing a draw for the home side.

Looking Ahead (and back just a little bit):

The Galaxy will play their next match at home to Sporting KC just three days after their draw with Philadelphia. And while Sporting is saddled with one of the league’s worst records, there has to be concern stemming from the Galaxy’s recent winless run.

The first area of concern for coach Bruce Arena and his Galaxy team has to be the scoring. Notching only one goal against the Union is nothing to be ashamed of amid the fact no team has scored more than one goal against the team all year, but the fact that Donovan has been the scorer of the last five Galaxy goals with the likes of Angel leading the forward line has to raise some eyebrows. The secret is out, Angel is struggling, and while he looked better working with Lopez than Barrett in the Union game, only goals cure what ails a slumping striker. Problem is, as the minutes and games pass without Angel on the score sheet, the pressure to score will mount. Arena has shown his faith in Angel by continuing to pen him into the starting line-up, but with the way Angel looks to already be pressing, maybe a night off against Sporting or a cameo off the bench would kick start Angel.

The next area of concern is one the Galaxy will need to have fixed with the likes of Sporting forward Teal Bunbury coming to town. Even with Franklin’s error in the last game aside, the Galaxy defense has looked disorganized at times. Using non-traditional wingers in his midfield, Arena has been trusting his fullbacks to get forward and wide to provide the Galaxy with some attacking width. The problem with this occurs when the Galaxy are caught out by a quick, counter-attacking side, forcing the Galaxy’s center-back pairing to separate wider across the field to cover for the retreating full backs. Perfect example of this was much of the first half against the Red Bulls. As Franklin pushed forward on the right, Thierry Henry settled nicely into the space he vacated, linking up well with the speedy Dane Richards coming from the other side of the pitch, forcing the heart of the Galaxy defense to re-organize and trade off assignments. That night the Red Bulls only managed one goal, but it easily could have been more. The Galaxy will need to be better at breaking up play while retreating into their defensive-third, allowing their center backs the chance to stick closer together and keep on-rushing attackers from taking advantage of the space left between them. With Bunbury potentially lurking in the upcoming Sporting match, this will be a key component to keeping a clean sheet for the Galaxy’s defense.

Looking closer at Sporting KC, not much can be said for them other than BUN-BU-RY. Teal Bunbury, along with Juan Agudelo of the Red Bulls, is one of the most exciting young forwards in the MLS and the U.S. Men’s National Team pool. He’s quick, possesses a killer instinct, and the bit of arrogance; all of which are the necessary components of a great striker.

Bunbury may be the lone bright-spot for Sporting, but the Galaxy, going into their third game in a week’s span, will also need to contend with a team that is well rested. Sporting haven’t played since April 30, so look for them to be well rested. LA will welcome back David Beckham after not traveling with the team to Philadelphia. The Galaxy will be looking to put a weak Sporting team to the sword and end their recent winless ways in front of the home crowd. They’ll need the points and confidence heading into the Honda SuperClasico against fellow Home Depot Center tenants Chivas USA.

And Finally…. A Few Quick Toe Pokes:

NY Red Bulls’ Luke Rodgers thinks Landon Donovan talks too much: After their match with the Galaxy at Home Depot Center, Rodgers had some choice words for Donovan over what he thought was disrespectful on-field conduct by the Galaxy captain. For his part, Donovan didn’t seemed to mind responding via Twitter to Rodgers accusations and scoring his fifth yesterday in Philly.

Beckham in Car Accident?: Old news really. It came out just after the game with the Red Bulls that Beckham was in a collision last Friday. He was obviously uninjured and played probably his best match in a Galaxy uniform the following night. Maybe a round of bumper cars at the Santa Monica Pier, as a safer re-creation of his traffic antics, before the next match would do Becks some good before the Sporting match.

MLS Cup and Manchester City: What do both have in common? They are coming to the Home Depot Center. While the Galaxy is confirmed to be the opponent in the Manchester City game, we’ll have to wait and see if they’ll be there to contend the MLS Cup.

Alright, there you go. A review, preview and some fun stuff all in one! What more could you ask for? See you at the HDC Saturday.