Team Set For Third Round Showdown With LA Galaxy Tonight
ST. LOUIS, MO (June 29, 2010) – AC St. Louis of the U.S.S.F. Division II Pro League will face the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer tonight in a third-round match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Kick-of is set for 9:30 p.m. CT from The Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Fans can follow the action on Match Commentary this evening at www.ac-stlouis.com and at www.lagalaxy.com.
AC St. Louis has advanced to tonight’s game by registering back-to-back 1-0 road wins over the Des Moines Menace and the NSC Minnesota Stars. Tonight will be the first game this season for the Galaxy in this competition. Major League Soccer teams enter the U.S. Open Cup in the third-round, just as English Premier League teams enter the FA Cup in the third round. Los Angeles has previously won the U.S. Open Cup in 2001 and 2005. The Galaxy have an all-time record of 4-1 in third-round matches.
Tonight’s matchup is one of polar opposites in the standings of professional soccer in the United States. The Los Angeles Galaxy enter tonight’s game with the best record in Major League Soccer, 10-1-3, plus the Galaxy have allowed only four goals throughout their MLS season. Meanwhile, AC St. Louis is at the foot of the U.S.S.F. Division II table with a mark of 2-7-2. However, AC St. Louis has turned their slow start around by recording a 4-3-2 record in all competitions since May 1. Furthermore, St. Louis is unbeaten and un-scored upon in their last four outings.
Galaxy head coach, and former United States manager, Bruce Arena stated to the Galaxy’s website that tonight’s match will afford him the chance to try some new player combinations, but added, “We’re not in this competition to lose.”
New AC St. Louis head coach Dale Schilly will be at the helm for his second game. Schilly replaced Claude Anelka, brother of France international Nicolas Anelka, last week. Schilly’s debut on Saturday night resulted in an impressive 0-0 draw against the league leading Vancouver Whitecaps. Tonight Schilly will lead a relatively healthy St. Louis squad onto the pitch. The only notable absence due to injury will be defender Zach Bauer, who is still recovering from a fractured foot. St. Louis will also be without holding midfielder Manuel Kante. Kante, as well as defender Christian Nzinga, mutually agreed to part ways with the club on Monday.
Dale Schilly is expected to field largely the same eleven that drew Vancouver 0-0 on Saturday night, and will probably use the same formation as he continues to evaluate the strength and weaknesses of his team.
“I am still looking at what we have and just getting a handle on everyone,” said Schilly. “I need to see who has what abilities and how best to use them. This will be a growing process, but Saturday night showed what this team can do.”
Schilly has already made a slight tactical change, one that helped establish more St. Louis ball possession during Saturday night’s match.
“We use to play a 4-5-1, and now we are more 4-4-2 with our wingers now in play. We stay a little higher and talk more, so when we win the ball we can utilize Gauchinho more, and set up Mike Ambersley better,” explained goalkeeper Alec Dufty. “Before Saturday night the other teams were in our half almost 60 minutes of every game. We were coming together, but against Vancouver we showed how organized and how good we can be defensively.”
Another good defensive performance will be needed tonight if AC St. Louis is to advance to the quarter-final round where they would meet either the Seattle Sounders or Portland Timbers on July 6.
Following their match in Los Angeles on Tuesday AC St. Louis returns home next Saturday night for a July 3 match against the Carolina Railhawks. Tickets are still available and can be obtained by calling 1-888-STL-GOAL, or by visiting www.ac-stlouis.com.
The Sixteen ACSTL players available for tonight’s game: Mike Ambersley,Dillon Barna, Chad Becker, Mark Bloom, Troy Cole, Jeff Cosgriff, Alec Dufty, Gauchinho, Elvir Kafedzic, Luke Kreamalmeyer, John Lesko, Ryan Moore, Chris Salvaggione, Brad Stisser, Jack Traynor, Tim Velten