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Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo: Aiming for 3 Straight

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IMay 24, 2011

CARSON, CA - JUNE 05:  Chris Birchall #11 of the Los Angeles Galaxy contols the ball against the Houston Dynamo on June 5, 2010 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The Galaxy won 4-1.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

 Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy have another grueling week ahead of them as they take on Dominic Kinnear's Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, May 28.

The Galaxy currently sit first in the league with a record of 6-2-5 (23 points). As for the Dynamo, they are third in the MLS Eastern Conference with a record of 3-3-5 (14 points).

One of the players that will be looking to produce for the Galaxy is Chad Barrett, who scored the game-winner against Chivas USA on Saturday at the Home Depot Center.

“It was great to score the goal tonight,” Barrett told LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan, “but all in all the three points is what’s important.

“I did pretty much everything right [regarding the goal]. There are things I would have changed. I would have gone more to the middle of the goal and given myself two opportunities instead of just one.

“As a forward you’re always taught to overcorrect and I didn’t do that. Keep in mind your momentum and I didn’t do that. Luckily the team defense really shut them down and we got a 1-0 win.”

“He’s a good soccer player,” team captain Landon Donovan said. “We’ve got a number of guys on the field now who understand how to play the game the right way. If he doesn’t have an obvious shot or goal-scoring opportunity, he knows how to get people involved.”

“[Barrett's] working really hard for the team and I’m delighted for him," added forward Juan Pablo Angel. "At the end of the day all the hard work he’s putting in is getting rewarded.”

One player that will not be making the match on Saturday will be David Beckham, who has obligations to a Gary Neville testimonial match this week.

“I do think it’s important for David to be there, given their relationship and the years they had together, those fabled years,” Arena told MLSSoccer.com's Luis Bueno. “We thought it was important.”

“I played for Manchester United for over 10 years and Gary Neville was my best man and is one of my best friends,” Beckham said. “To be there for him and for his family is important because it was such an important era for us and for Manchester United, and if Sir Alex Ferguson hadn’t have given us a chance when we were all young, we wouldn’t have been able to create what we created.

"There’s no issue with our club. There’s no issue with our manager. There’s no issue with our players. The only issue will be from people who ask questions.”

Beckham leads the team with six assists this season.

The loss means that Donovan or Miguel Lopez could get a crack at the set pieces. Lopez had prior success with set pieces in a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire earlier this year.

Donovan leads the team in goals scored with seven.

Houston is led by Will Bruin, Cam Weaver and Brad Davis. Davis leads the team in assists with six and is one of the top providers in the league. Bruin leads the team in goals with four, while Weaver has recorded three so far this year.

The back line of Hunter Freeman, Andre Hainault, Corey Ashe and Boswell won't have to worry about Beckham on Wednesday, but Donovan and Angel still pose a threat. Watch for Davis, Geoff Cameron and Lovel Palmer to create chances for Bruin and Weaver.

Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall has a 3-3-5 record to go with 34 saves made, a 72.3 percent save percentage and a 1.09 goals against average.

Galaxy netminder Donovan Ricketts is one of the league's top shot stoppers, with a 4-1-4 record, a 80.6 percent save percentage and a 0.67 GAA. Ricketts has made 25 saves this season.

The back line of Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant was tenacious in the match against Chivas USA and will look to issue more of the same against the Houston attack.

Juninho was not much of a factor in Saturday's contest and is likely to play a larger role in the midfield in Beckham's absence, along with Michael Stephens or Chris Birchall. As always, the Galaxy will need to finish the chances they generate in order to put the pressure on the visitors.

Prediction:
There should be somebody in orange that will be the Chicken Thief on Wednesday. That will not chance the outcome of this game. This is where Landon Donovan needs to stamp his authority and set the tempo of the match. A winnable contest for LA.

Los Angeles Galaxy 2, Houston Dynamo 1
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Sports Prime Ticket. 

Ins and Outs
Landon Donovan called up for Gold Cup action

The Galaxy will be tested in terms of depth in the weeks ahead. Landon Donovan will be participating in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with the USA Men's National Team. The USA takes on Canada on June 7 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan; Panama at Raymond James Stadium on June 11 in Tampa, Florida; and Guadelope at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas on June 14.

Here is your roster for the USA Men:

U.S. Gold Cup Roster

Goalkeepers (3): Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).

Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne), Jonathan Bornstein (UANL Tigres), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Eric Lichaj (Leeds), Oguchi Onyewu (FC Twente), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United).

Midfielders (9): Freddy Adu (Rizespor), Michael Bradley (Aston Villa), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew).

Forwards (3): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).



Youth Academy Update

The Los Angeles Galaxy Youth Academy may have it tough to qualify for the playoffs after their matches with Chivas USA.

A wild goal festival for the Under-18s resulted in the Goats prevailing 3-2. Bryan de la Fuente scored a brace in the 15th and 68th minutes for Chivas, while Erick Corona opened the score in the second minute for the Goats.

Alex Padilla scored for L.A. in the 21st minute, while Cameron Souri took another back in the 83rd minute.

The Under-16s played to a 2-2 draw. Goal scorers were not available as the article went to press.

The Galaxy Academy continues the season with a couple of matches on the weekend for both the Under-16s and Under-18s.

On Saturday, May 28, the Young G's take on Arsenal FC at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. Kickoff for the Under-18s is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET. The Under-16s kickoff at 3:00 p.m. PT/6:00 p.m. ET.

The Galaxy Academy then takes on Real Salt Lake Arizona at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Arizona. Kickoff for the Under-18s is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. PT/1:00 p.m. ET. The Under-16s kickoff at 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET.

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