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  • April 2, 2011
  • • 10:37 PM
  • • Stubhub Center, Carson, California
  • Referee: P. Ward
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Head to Head Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs Philadelphia Union

Head to Head Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs Philadelphia Union

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After two 1-0 wins to start their season, Philadelphia faces their biggest test yet at the Home Depot Center

On Form

LA Galaxy: Despite their loss to Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy have gotten their new star forward, Juan Pablo Angel, on the scoreboard. The Colombian striker has felt the pressure of joining a squad who lost a goalscoring phenom in Edson Buddle. Angel banging one home could be all that's needed to get the forward going.

Philadelphia Union: Rarely have Philadelphia sports fans embraced a player as quickly and wholeheartedly as the Union fans have taken to Faryd Mondragon. The Colombian shot-stopper and new club captain had the entire River End singing his name before the home opener, and for good reason. The Union are the only MLS team yet to concede a goal this season. He’s not the only stalwart in defense, however. Danny Califf has had an excellent start to his 2011 campaign following a lackluster 2010. Central midfielder Brian Carroll is another new signing to have made an immediate positive impact.

Off Target

LA Galaxy: Anytime a team gives up four goals, the entire squad is to blame, but especially the defense. The Galaxy backline will have to regroup and improve if they want to make a run for the Supporters' Shield, the trophy they claimed last season.

Philadelphia Union: It’s a good thing the Union have had such a good defense this season, since the offense has looked a bit toothless so far. New signing Carlos Ruiz may have opened his Union account with his winner against Vancouver, but he’s hardly looked dangerous at any other moments, and his amateur theatrics have not won him a huge amount of fans in the River End. Last season’s top scorers Sebastien Le Toux and Danny Mwanga are still looking for their first goals of the season.


Mwanga| Looking to open his 2011 account in Los Angeles Saturday

Tactics

LA Galaxy: The return of Landon Donovan from national team duty should bring much-needed punch to the Galaxy midfield, which was overrun by Real Salt Lake. Donovan adds guile to the midfield, creating more room for David Beckham and Juninho to be effective.

Philadelphia Union: Peter Nowak’s not going to change the fluid 4-4-2/4-3-3 that has earned his side maximum points so far. Mondragon will start, with Califf, Carlos Valdes, Jordan Harvey, and Sheanon Williams in front of him. Stefani Miglioranzi, Kyle Nakazawa, and Brian Carroll will man the midfield, while Le Toux acts as the main link between the midfield and Ruiz and Mwanga.

Intangibles

LA Galaxy: The Galaxy don't look invincible this season - they definitely have weapons, but in many areas, they're an aging squad, and other clubs in MLS aren't likely to be as intimidated as they once were. The Galaxy need a win badly to get their swagger back after the spanking Real Salt Lake gave them.

Philadelphia Union: The Union visit the Home Depot Center with a new sense of confidence, and look very different from the team that lost there 3-1 almost a year ago. It’s older, smarter, and far more solid at the back. It’s also no longer an expansion team content to show up and not soil their pants. These players want to win.

Outcome

LA Galaxy: The Galaxy are at home, and the surprising Philadelphia Union are probably outmatched. 2-0 to Los Angeles

Philadelphia Union: The Galaxy are in a dip of form at the moment, having just one point from their last two matches, a draw at home to New England and an away loss to Salt Lake. Meanwhile, the Union are the best they’ve ever been. I think a 1-1 draw would be acceptable to both sides.

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Last Five Matches

Head To Head

LA Galaxy

Philadelphia Union

Wins
3
1
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

LA Galaxy GAL
LA Galaxy LA Galaxy
Draw
Philadelphia Union PHI
Philadelphia Union Philadelphia Union
49%
38%

Top 3 Predictions

LA Galaxy GAL
1 - 2
Philadelphia Union PHI
LA Galaxy GAL
1 - 0
Philadelphia Union PHI
LA Galaxy GAL
3 - 1
Philadelphia Union PHI

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