Like most Western Conference teams, the Los Angeles Galaxy doesn’t have a lot of history against the Philadelphia Union.
There have been only five total matchups between the two clubs, and the Union did not get its first win against the defending MLS Cup Champions until last year’s upset at the Home Depot Center.
Philadelphia now holds a 1-3-1 record against Los Angeles.
Oddly enough, three of the five prior meetings between the two clubs have been held on weekdays. With this game being scheduled on a Wednesday, it will be the fourth Union-Galaxy matchup to be contested in the middle of the week. Only two previous games in this series have been played on Saturdays.
1. May 1, 2010 – Los Angeles 3, Philadelphia 1 (Home Depot Center)
Goals: Delagarza 1’, Buddle 27’, 44’, McInerney 84’
The only true positive from this game was Jack McInerney’s first goal for the Philadelphia Union.
He was 17 at the time. The rest of the match was entirely forgettable.
The Galaxy scored just 51 seconds into the game, when A.J. Delagarza was able to get on the end of an Edson Buddle pass after a great through ball from then-rookie Michael Stephens.
Buddle would add a first half brace before Stefani Miglioranzi’s 45th minute red card. The Union midfielder went feet-first into a rash tackle on Juninho and was promptly sent off.
2. October 7, 2010 – Los Angeles 1, Philadelphia 0 (PPL Park)
Goals: Buddle 27’
And go figure, Becks served up the corner kick that Buddle headed home for the game’s only goal.
Philadelphia had a great chance to go level in the 73rd minute, but Donovan Ricketts made a reflex save on Sebastien Le Toux after the Union forward tried a tricky back heel shot from Andrew Jacobson’s square pass. The Jamaican goalkeeper did well to deny Shea Salinas just 2 minutes later, and LA earned the shutout in Chester.
3. April 2, 2011 – Los Angeles 1, Philadelphia 0 (Home Depot Center)
Goals: Leonardo 33’
Philadelphia came into this game with a 2-0-0 record and the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
It was Beckham who again made the difference, this time delivering the dead ball that center back Leonardo headed past Faryd Mondragon in the 33rd minute. Just like last time, it would be the game’s only goal.
Things got interesting in the second half with a straight red card for Chris Birchall. The Galaxy midfielder had taken down Carlos Ruiz, then was sent off for a follow-up incident that wasn’t picked up by cameras.
The 10-man Galaxy held on to that slim lead until stoppage time. Frustrations finally boiled over, when Chad Barrett went in for a hard tackle on McInerney. The Union forward retaliated with a hand to the face, and received a red card of his own.
The match finished 10 vs. 10.
4. May 11, 2011 – Los Angeles 1, Philadelphia 1 (PPL Park)
Goals: Donovan 24’, Mwanga 84’
This match was played on a Wednesday night, but the atmosphere was absolutely wild inside PPL Park.
The Union had played four games since the April 2 matchup in Los Angeles, shutting out New York and San Jose, drawing with Seattle, and losing 1-0 at Portland.
Again, it was the Galaxy who struck first. Juan Pablo Angel was played into the box after a dummy and diagonal run from Landon Donovan. The Colombian striker snatched at a shot, but tight marking from the Union defense caused the ball to hold up at the top of the box. Donovan got there first and scuffed a slow roller that found the back of the net.
Philadelphia pushed for the equalizer and found it in the 84th minute. The lively Danny Mwanga pounced on a Sean Franklin back pass, rounded Ricketts, and fired home from a tight angle. The Union fought back for a 1-1 draw and earned the club’s first-ever point against the Galaxy.
5. July 4, 2012 – Philadelphia 2, Los Angeles 1 (Home Depot Center)
Goals: McInerney 45’, Barrett 73’, M. Farfan 90+’
Independence Day 2012 – fireworks at the HDC and Philadelphia’s first win against Los Angeles.
John Hackworth’s team stunned the MLS Cup Champions, pulling off the stoppage time upset through midfielder Michael Farfan.
It was his brother Gabriel who made the difference in the first half though, stopping Robbie Keane’s point-blank shot at the goal line in the 11th minute. On the 25th minute, he came up big again, throwing his body in front of a Mike Magee shot after Zac MacMath had stoned Keane on a 1v1 opportunity.
The Union got a goal before the half, with McInerney converting an audacious back heel shot. Michael Farfan provided the assist, beating David Junior Lopes to the endline and hitting a perfect low cross into the box.
Lopes almost redeemed himself in the second half, hitting the crossbar at close range before Barrett’s 73rd minute equalizer.
But the Union got three points, and the last laugh.
It was Farfan again, this time latching on to a pinpoint pass from Lionard Pajoy. The midfielder took on A.J. Delagarza and hit a low side-footed shot beyond Josh Saunders and into the ole’ onion bag.
Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at firstname.lastname@example.org