LA Galaxy vs Toronto FC
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Home Depot Center
Kick-off: 7:30 p.m
On Saturday the LA Galaxy and Toronto FC meet for the first time this season. The Galaxy and Toronto faced each other earlier this year in the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals, in which Toronto eliminated the Galaxy from the competition. A draw in Toronto and a defeat for LA at the Home Depot Center were the results from that home-and-away series.
Both the Galaxy and Toronto had a rough start to the season. The defending champions started off on the wrong foot, ending the first half of the season with a very disappointing 3-8-2 record, leaving them in 9th place in the Western Conference with only 11 out of 39 points. Toronto, despite eliminating the Galaxy from CCL, was doing worse in MLS play. TFC had nine straight defeats to start off their season, setting a club record.
Things have definitely turned around for LA. The Galaxy is now third place in the Western Conference, and unbeaten in the last eight games in both MLS and CCL action. More importantly, though, the defense has seen major improvements. The absence of Omar Gonzalez really hurt the Galaxy earlier in the season, but since the return of the “championship” back-four consisting of Dunivant, DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, and Franklin, results have been nothing but positive for LA. The return of LA’s first choice backline and the Galaxy’s momentum has given confidence to the full squad. Even when younger defenders have had to step in, results have been the same. The Galaxy have maintained clean sheets the past four games, only allowing three goals in the last eight games.
The Galaxy are on their unbeaten streak and getting results using a rotation of players. The last defeat came the day LA’s three Designated Players played together for the last time. Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, and David Beckham have all missed games for various reasons, yet the team has found a way to get the results. Christian Wilhelmsson, the Galaxy’s newest addition, scored on his debut last week. It seems everything is starting to click at the right time for LA, with players putting on some of their best performances at this stage of the season. Juninho could’ve been named the team’s player of the month in August, and fellow Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas is looking like he’ll be the leading candidate for September. The Brazilian duo has been tremendous for the Galaxy, providing goals, assists, and even saves for the team.
Robbie Keane currently leads the club with 12 goals, the same number of assists Landon Donovan has so far this season. AJ DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas are both a yellow card away from having to serve a one-game suspension. The Galaxy has not defeated Toronto FC since September 2009, when LA defeated TFC 2-0 at the Home Depot Center. With a victory over TFC on Saturday the LA Galaxy would clinch a playoff spot.
This Saturday is Alumni Night at the Home Depot Center in celebration of the Galaxy’s first MLS Cup victory 10 years ago. Be there to see Galaxy legends such as Cobi Jones, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Alexi Lalas, Peter Vagenas, Simon Elliot, Gavin Glinton, Dema Kovalenko, Chris Klein, Eddie Lewis, Clint Mathis and many more take on the U-18 LA Galaxy Academy team. That game starts at 5:30 and will take place on the main field. Also taking place this Saturday is the Town Hall meeting with Head Coach/General Manager Bruce Arena, Vice President Chris Klein, and COO Chris McGowan. If you’re planning to attend make sure you RSVP here.
46 points, 50 GF, 40 GA
14-11-4, 3rd in Western Conference
Home Record: 8-5-1
Away Record: 6-6-3
22 points, 32 GF, 51 GA
5-17-7, 10th in Eastern Conference
Home Record: 3-8-4
Away Record: 2-9-3
THIS IS LA!