The LA Galaxy (3-3-0, 9 points) take on FC Dallas (3-3-2, 11 points)on Saturday at 7:30 PST at The Home Depot Center in Carson. Facing a team two points ahead of them in the standings at home, the Galaxy have an opportunity to continue making up ground in the Western Conference race. It's also the start of a stretch where the Galaxy will play three games in eight days.
It's said that while the ref may make a mistake, the ball never lies. Controversial penalties are often met with redeeming saves, and that was the case on Saturday as Josh Saunders saved an Omar Cummings penalty to preserve at 2-1 Galaxy victory. Remarkably, it was Saunders' first penalty kick save in MLS.
Robbie Keane leads LA in the goal column with three, but each of the last two weeks he has logged an assist. Landon Donovan has scored in two straight matches, both on assists from Robbie Keane. Two weeks ago, Keane dribbled around his marker who had slipped, and found Donovan in the middle. In Colorado, Keane played the ball forward as Donovan was streaking from behind the play. While the pair have not been put up top together as forwards, perhaps they should be.
The Galaxy captain should be excited to meet up with this weekend's opponent. All time against FC Dallas (29 career regular season matches) Landon Donovan has 17 goals and 12 assists. This is his highest output against any MLS opponent.
Still, even though Dallas has yet to win on the road this year, they do have some cause to feel they can be in this match. The teams split the season series last year with Dallas winning 2-1 at home, and then the Galaxy winning 3-1 at the HDC. Dallas at that time had bragging rights due to their 3-0 victory over LA in the 2010 Western Conference final, though they could not beat Colorado in the MLS Cup. Galaxy's defense is certainly more porous than the one Dallas faced last year, and Brek Shea continues to grow into an MLS superstar.
For LA, there will be personnel decisions to make as they will play a midweek game in Seattle between their next two weekend matches. The midweek CONCACAF Champions League matches and the mismanagement of personnel through those matches was largely blamed for the Galaxy's slow start this season. However, the Galaxy have added a bit of depth to their roster since then.