CARSON, CA - JUNE 03: Fred #27 of D.C. United tackles David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first half during the MLS match at The Home Depot Center on June 3, 2011 in Carson, California. Fred received a yellow card for the foul. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

D.C. United At L.A. Galaxy: Chances Abound, But United Settle For 0-0 Draw

Misses from Josh Wolff and Charlie Davies cost D.C. United three points, but a strong defensive performance helps the Black-and-Red run their unbeaten streak to 5 games.

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D.C. United at L.A. Galaxy: Black And Red Miss Chances, Settle For Goalless Draw

Despite having no less than three quality opportunities to snatch a winner in the second half, D.C. United had to settle for a 0-0 draw Friday night against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Having missed a golden chance to put the visitors ahead in the first half, United forward Josh Wolff fluffed his lines again in the 63rd minute. A throw-in from the left touchline by Chris Pontius managed to elude two Galaxy defenders in the penalty area before dropping at Wolff's feet. Unfortunately, the forward's shot off the outside of his right foot veered into the side netting.

Charlie Davies was subbed on in the 66th minute, earning his first game action since the May 14 game against Colorado, and he nearly became a hero in the 81st minute. With the Galaxy pressing for a winner of their own, Wolff received the initial pass of a counter-attack, and sent Davies away with a lovely through-ball from the halfway line. Davies had gotten inside Omar Gonzalez, and appeared to be in clear on Josh Saunders, but the Galaxy defender recovered enough to get in a brilliant challenge on Davies, which forced the forward to go wide of the charging Saunders. Unable to get his body square again, Davies screwed his right-footed attempt well wide of the net.

United had one more chance for a late winner when a loose ball fell to Andy Najar on the left side of the penalty area, but the Honduran's shot was parried by Saunders, who dove low and to the right to keep the game goalless.

D.C. United return home to host the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday, June 11 at RFK Stadium. Kick-off is at 7:30.

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D.C. United At L.A. Galaxy: United Holding Their Own After Scoreless First Half

Despite having the best chance of the first half, D.C. United have been unable to break through against the West-leading Los Angeles Galaxy, as the teams enter halftime tied 0-0.

United could have easily gone in front after 25 minutes as Andy Najar broke free down the right side and sent the ball across the mouth of Josh Saunders' goal toward a streaking Josh Wolff, but the former U.S. International couldn't reach his foot out to redirect home. The home side's best chance for a goal had come 12 minutes earlier, as a speculative shot from the right channel outside the area by Chris Birchall forced Bill Hamid to scramble to his left to knock the ball safely out of play.

Ben Olsen began the game with the same striking partnership that ended Sunday's win at Portland, as Josh Wolff played alongside Blake Brettschneider. Fred was a surprise starter in central midfield alongside Clyde Simms, as Dax McCarty suffered a setback while trying to recover from his groin injury and proved unable to even make the bench. Chris Korb got the start at right back for the first time since April 21, while Perry Kitchen partnered Ethan White at center-back. 

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena started a five-man midfield to compensate for the missing Landon Donovan, as Birchall and Miguel Lopez came into the team alongside David Beckham, Juninho, and Mike Magee, with Chad Barrett playing up top as the Galaxy's only true striker.

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D.C. United At L.A. Galaxy: Black And Red Hit Hollywood To Face White-Hot Galaxy

After a stirring 3-2 win at Portland over the holiday weekend, D.C. United conclude their brief West Coast swing with a Friday night special against the hottest team in MLS. In their last five matches, the Los Angeles Galaxy have taken 13 points of a possible 15, but the hosts will be without star midfielder Landon Donovan and first-choice goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts in this one.

D.C. United (4-4-3) at Los Angeles Galaxy (8-2-5)

Time: 11:00 p.m., Friday, June 3.

Place: Home Depot Center, Carson, California.

TV: Fox Soccer Channel

Team News and Tactics

D.C. United: As it turned out, United got off lightly when it came to Gold Cup losses, with only Dejan Jakovic being called away from club duty to join the Canadians (unfortunately, he seems to have done himself a fairly serious injury this week). However, the injury news is by and large positive for United. Charlie Davies' hamstring injury has been upgraded to probable during the week (he's likely to come off the bench as a substitute tonight), while Dax McCarty (groin) has also been upgraded to probable. Whether McCarty starts or comes on as a substitute, it will be at the expense of Stephen King, who went the full 90 in McCarty's place Sunday.

Ben Olsen will face a more interesting problem when deciding how to structure his defense in the absence of Jakovic, Marc Burch (hamstring), and Jed Zayner (hamstring). The obvious move would seem to be restoring Perry Kitchen to his customary center-back position alongside Ethan White and bringing Chris Korb back into the fold at right back, even though the rookie hasn't played since the 4-0 home loss to New York on April 21. Rodrigo Brasesco would be another option, but he hasn't seen action since the 4-1 road loss to Colorado April 3. 

L.A. Galaxy: As mentioned at the top, the two Donovans (Landon and Ricketts) have left to join their respective national teams (America and Jamaica, respectively). Coincidentally, Donovan also missed the first match-up of the season between these two teams, which ended in a 1-1 draw on April 9 (he was recovering from knee inflammation at the time). Josh Saunders will slide into the starting goalkeeper's spot in place of Ricketts, and it looks likely that either Michael Stephens or Chris Birchall will partner David Beckham, Juninho, and Mike Magee in midfield to replace Donovan. Up front, look for Chad Barrett to lead the line for the Galaxy along with either Paolo Cardozo  or Barrett. Sean Franklin will line up in defense in place of Leonardo, who played the full 90 minutes at RFK in April and is recovering from knee surgery.

Key to the Game

Be Patient--They may play in L.A. and have MLS' biggest star, but the Galaxy are hardly American soccer's version of Showtime. They've won three straight matches by 1-0 scorelines and have gone 321 minutes without conceding a goal. As against Portland, the onus will be on United to play their game and not get frustrated if things don't go their way early on against Los Angeles' stingy defense. 

Miscellaneous Bonus Facts

Todd Dunivant is the only Galaxy player to have played every minute of every game this season.

D.C. United has not defeated Los Angeles at the Home Depot Center since 2005.

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