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NY visits Galaxy in battle of first place sides

A massive top-of-the-table clash awaits on ESPN2 as the conference leaders collide with the LA Galaxy play host to the New York Red Bulls at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy saw their winning streak end last weekend in a bizarre 2-1 loss to FC Dallas on the road. The Red Bulls have won three in a row without having allowed a goal, their last victory a 1-0 home triumph against Sporting Kansas City.



REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. SAR (bench): Colin Arblaster; JAR (opposite): Mike Kampmeinert; 4th: Sorin Stoica MLS Career: 29 games; FC/gm: 21.7; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 3; pens: 4

INJURY REPORT: LA GALAXY – OUT: DF Gregg Berhalter (L knee MCL sprain); FW Adam Cristman (L knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee ACL/LCL tear); QUESTIONABLE: MF Miguel Lopez (L knee contusion) … NEW YORK RED BULLS – OUT: MF Austin Da Luz (R ankle sprain)



ALL-TIME (35 meetings): Galaxy 15 wins (1 shootout), 52 goals … Red Bulls 15 wins (1 shootout), 51 goals … Ties 5
AT LA (16 meetings): Galaxy 8 wins (0 shootout), 25 goals … Red Bulls 5 wins (0 shootout), 20 goals … Ties 3
RETURN MATCH: 8/6: LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m. PT

8/14: NY 0, LA 1 (Buddle 10)

9/24: LA 0, NY 2 (Richards 36; Angel 60)

- The visiting team has won each of the last three meetings in the all-time series. Last year, the Galaxy won 1-0 at Red Bull Arena in March, before the Red Bulls returned the favor with a 2-0 win at The Home Depot Center in July.

- The teams have had some memorable meetings over the past few years. In 2009, the second meeting was David Beckham’s first league match with the Galaxy after completing his loan with AC Milan. In 2007, the teams played a remarkable match at Giants Stadium in Beckham’s first appearance there, a 5-4 Red Bulls win before 66,237 fans.

- Coaches record: Bruce Arena v NY: P16 W10 L6 D0 … Hans Backe vs. LA: P2 W1 L1 D0

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The New York Red Bulls made it three shutout wins on the trot, defeating Sporting Kansas City 1-0 on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls have 14 points from 7 games, back in the lead in the Eastern Conference to start the week.


- The Red Bulls had a glorious chance to take an early lead in the 13th minute when Dwayne De Rosario was adjudged to have been held back in the area by Sporting midfielder Stephane Auvray by referee Andrew Chapin. But SKC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen dove to his left to parry Rafael Márquez’s attempt.

- But the Red Bulls made no mistake in the 22nd minute. Thierry Henry flicked a quickly taken free kick into the path of De Rosario on the right flank. The Canadian international struck a low cross into the 6-yard box, where Luke Rodgers turned it past Nielsen.

- Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made no changes to his team for a second consecutive week, keeping the group that defeated D.C. United 4-0 at RFK Stadium

- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Bouna Coundoul - Jan Gunnar Solli, Rafael Marquez, Tim Ream, Roy Miller - Teemu Tainio (Carl Robinson 46) - Dane Richards, Dwayne De Rosario (Mehdi Ballouchy 80), Joel Lindpere - Luke Rodgers (Juan Agudelo 46), Thierry Henry


- The Red Bulls have now gone 292 minutes without conceding a goal – the second-longest shutout streak in MLS this season – while having scored eight goals without reply in that time.

- “The good sign is that when you are under pressure, you can defend the way we did throughout the whole second half and have a clean sheet,” Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said.

- The Red Bulls’ strike force has provided all the firepower in their three-game winning streak. Luke Rodgers has scored three goals in the last three games (one goal in each); Thierry Henry also has three goals in that time (along with three assists), while Juan Agudelo has one.

- "Thierry’s on three, I’m on three, Agudelo’s on two. It’s good competition," said Rodgers. "If you have three strikers that always want to score and always want to do well, it only benefits a team. Hopefully, we’ll be where we want to be at the end of the season and that’s in the final winning the Cup.’’

- Rodgers was forced from the game at halftime because of a lingering right knee injury, while midfielder Teemu Tainio also was substituted because of a strained groin.

- Backe said the Red Bulls “struggled to get a hold of the ball” without Tainio. The Finnish international was not able to participate in full training during the week, and is considered a question mark to make the trip to LA.

- “He’s a very important piece of the team,” Rafael Márquez said. “He is the one that balances the entire squad on the field so when he is not around, we always miss him."

- The Red Bulls missed a penalty kick for a second time this season when Jimmy Nielsen parried Marquez’s effort. Thierry Henry saw a spot kick saved March 19 by Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

- “I took a few steps toward the ball, and the goalkeeper usually moves, and I was waiting for that to happen,” Márquez said. “I put it as far into the corner as possible but the goalkeeper didn’t move, and actually made a good save.”

- The Red Bulls have allowed just one goal since Dwayne De Rosario made his first start, and while he said he is adapting to the club’s style, Backe has used just 12 starters over the past four games.

- “Top teams from across the world pressure all over the field, this is the modern game,” De Rosario said. “When we plays teams like this, like the one we played tonight, we have to have high pressure to kill the other team’s offense. I think we did that well tonight, and it created a few good chances for us.”

The LA Galaxy saw their winning streak snapped at two games in dramatic fashion, falling 2-1 to FC Dallas on Sunday evening at Pizza Hut Park. The Galaxy have 15 points from 9 games on the season, still leading the Western
Conference to start the week.


- FCD took the lead two minutes after the second-half restart. Andrew Jacobson flicked a Jackson throw-in to Fabian Castillo on the second attempt and the Colombian forward scooped his effort over LA 'keeper Donovan Ricketts and inside the far post for his first MLS goal.

- Landon Donovan replied five minutes later to draw the Galaxy level. Juninho played a cutting ball toward the back post, and both Donovan and Zach Loyd crashed toward the goalframe, but Donovan looked to get in the final touch as he slid behind Loyd before banging into the woodwork.

- The match was delayed for a hour with just a few minutes of regulation time remaining after lightning rolled in.

- But FCD struck quickly after the game restarted. Brek Shea sent a curling cross from the left that floated over Ricketts and into the far side of the net for the 88th-minute winner.

- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made one change to the team that defeated the Portland Timbers 3-0 at The Home Depot Center. Juan Pablo Angel returned to the lineup, in place of Miguel Lopez.

- LA GALAXY (4-1-3-2): Donovan Ricketts - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Juninho, Mike Magee (Paolo Cardozo 72), David Beckham (Chris Birchall 83), Landon Donovan - Chad Barrett, Juan Pablo Angel (Jovan Kirovski 83)


- The loss was the first for the Galaxy after an undefeated April. They had last lost March 26, a 4-1 defeat at Real Salt Lake, winning three games and drawing two for the month.

- “Honestly we didn’t feel like we deserved to lose the match. I thought the initiative to make the game and come out and play was very good,” Galaxy associate head coach Dave Sarachan said. “The goals we conceded, the first [goal] you could argue was a foul on Dunivant – the last was a fitting end to a weird night.”

- Landon Donovan has scored three goals in the last two games for the Galaxy after netting early in the second half.

- “Obviously it was a weird game. It’s not something either team is used to playing in, that weather and then having a lengthy delay,” Donovan said. “We’re all disappointed and upset, but not really sure what to be upset about.”

- David Beckham attended the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London on Friday morning, then arrived in Dallas ahead of the team on Saturday. He was in the starting lineup and played the entire match until the hour-long weather delay.

- “I thought he [Beckham] had a great shift of 82 minutes,” said Sarachan. “With the delay it just didn’t make sense to throw him back out there.”

- Forward Miguel Lopez did not make the trip to Dallas after suffering a bruised knee in the victory against Portland. He had started four of the previous five games.

- Juan Pablo Angel will be facing his former teammates for the first time in the game. In four seasons with the Ed Bulls, Angel scored 58 league goals (the most of any player in MLS from 2007-10), hit for double-digits in each season and led the Red Bulls to their first MLS Cup appearance in 2008.

- Mike Magee was a member of the Red Bulls when Angel arrived from Aston Villa in England before the start of the 2007 MLS season.

- “That day in practice, he was the hardest-working guy and his goal-scoring rate speaks for itself,” Magee said. “It was definitely a great thing because we were literally getting player after player who was supposed to be the next best player in the world … [but] a lot of guys didn’t pan out. He definitely changed that.”