MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Philadelphia (3-9-2) at Los Angeles (6-9-2), 10:30 p.m.
Carson, CA (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Galaxy learned over the weekend
they still have a long way to go to regain last year's MLS Cup form, but help
is on the way.
L.A. had its three-match winning streak ended with a 4-3 loss at the San Jose
Earthquakes, as it surrendered a 3-1 first-half lead against the top squad in
the Western Conference and the overall MLS leader.
The Galaxy have allowed 27 goals, the most in the Western Conference, with MLS
Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez sidelined with an ACL injury.
He was activated from the disabled list Tuesday, just before the Philadelphia
Union visit The Home Depot Center on Wednesday.
Gonzalez may not be ready to start against Philadelphia (3-9-2), but just his
presence is a boost for L.A. (6-9-2).
Los Angeles, which got goals from David Beckham and Landon Donovan last week,
is just two points out of fifth place and the final playoff spot in the West.
The Galaxy are also just six points off the bottom of the standings.
"It was a sloppy game, a lot of mishaps," L.A. coach Bruce Arena said after
the San Jose loss. "Kind of what we expected on a tight, short field. We did a
poor job (defensively).
"Our defense on set pieces wasn't good, and it cost us the game. We have no
one to blame. We should not lose that game."
Gonzalez, who suffered the injury in January, had made a fast recovery. But he
still faces a race for fitness, which will likely be a problem for at least a
few more weeks.
If L.A. can maintain recent form while Gonzalez regains fitness, it could be a
contender late in the year. But for that to happen, it must get better results
at home. The Galaxy are just 4-4-1 at home this season. They were undefeated
at home in 2011.
The Galaxy will be without Beckham against the Union, as he will serve a one-
game suspension for accumulated yellow cards.
Philadelphia has earned just four points from seven road games and is just two
points off the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
The Union lost 2-1 at the Houston Dynamo last weekend and are winless in their
last four on the road. Interim manager John Hackworth admitted the team still
has work to do to erase a poor start, and that showed against Houston.
"We lost a little bit of steam midway through the second half. We got away
from our possession game and we let them creep back into the game a little
bit," said Hackworth. "We have to manage it better. We have to be more
The Union have allowed just 17 goals this season, but have scored an East-low
13. Philadelphia recently signed ex-MLS Defender of the Year finalist Bakary
Soumare, but he is not expected to be available against L.A.
But with Gonzalez and Soumare in the picture, both clubs could use a win this
Fourth of July to spark a second-half turnaround.
07/03 20:21:23 ET