UNBEATEN LA, EXPANSION PHILLY MEET

The basics

Los Angeles Galaxy (4-0-1) vs. Philadelphia Union (1-3-0). This is the first-ever meeting between these two clubs.

What's at stake?

Philadelphia could notch another first in a year of firsts. If the Union beat the Galaxy, it will be their first road win ever. Even a draw would give the Union their first-ever points on the road. That’s easier said than done, though, as the Galaxy are undefeated at home, having taken all 9 points up for grabs from their three home games. The Galaxy are looking to maintain their home edge but also hope to bounce back from their mediocre performance at Kansas City a week ago, a match that ended 0-0.

Remember when…

Alejandro Moreno and Danny Califf played for the Galaxy? Only LA fans from the pre-Donovan days likely do. Moreno and Califf were both starters for the Galaxy in MLS Cup 2002, the club’s first championship win. Both players were dealt away in separate trades to San Jose in 2005. Moreno has started all four games for Philadelphia while Califf has played three and missed the fourth due to a red-card suspension.

Heroes & Villains

Edson Buddle vs. Chris Seitz — Buddle and Seitz know each other well, as they spent part of the offseason in the in Southern California, keeping sharp while playing in a local league. Seitz, however, has not had nearly the amount of success that Buddle has. While the Galaxy’s striker leads the league in goals, Seitz is third from the bottom in goals allowed. Buddle might get some shots off as well, as Seitz has faced 21 shots—fourth-most in the league.

Alejandro Moreno vs. Gregg Berhalter — Sebastien Le Toux is out of the game, having injured his knee in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match. The Galaxy have Andrew Boyens to thank for that, as the clumsy New Zealander knocked Le Toux out of the match with a bad tackle. Thus, the onus for scoring falls on Moreno’s shoulder. The bruising Moreno has yet to score a goal with the Union but has three assists. Berhalter, meanwhile, is back in the starting lineup for the Galaxy and will likely remain there. The veteran must nullify Moreno’s play with some physical play of his own.

Stat that makes you go “Hmm…”

The Galaxy have a 3-2-2 all-time record in their first meeting with an expansion team. The Galaxy lost to Chicago and Miami (by shootout) in their first-ever meetings in 1998, beat Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA (both in 2005) and San Jose (in 2008) and tied Toronto (2007) and Seattle (2009) the first time they ever played all those clubs.

He said it

"There are some real dedicated soccer fans there. Look at the response to their first home game. It was unbelievable." — Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter on MLS in Philadelphia. Berhalter grew up one state over, in New Jersey.