Galaxy-Real Salt Lake Preview
While Landon Donovan came out with a vintage performance last weekend, it remains to be seen if he'll have any impact Saturday night.
Donovan and Robbie Keane are both banged up and uncertain to be available when the Los Angeles Galaxy visit Real Salt Lake.
Donovan, who took an extended leave after leading the Galaxy (3-1-2) to their second straight MLS Cup in December, did little his first two games back before stepping up last Saturday. The U.S. national team star recorded a goal and an assist as Los Angeles snapped Sporting Kansas City's 545-minute scoreless streak in a 2-0 win.
"Don't count the old guy out just yet," the 31-year-old Donovan said. "I've still got a little bit more to give. ... It's nice to hit the net again. It's been a while. While I feel like I've been working my way back, it's nice to make a tangible impact. That has to be the goal going forward."
Donovan's progress, though, could be slowed due to a strained right leg.
"We're definitely going to be cautious and always hopeful that I'll be ready Saturday, but we'll see," Donovan told the team's official website. "I did a lot of work last week in the gym and pushing myself on the field, because I really wanted to get fit and ready, so potentially it's a factor."
Keane, who has a goal and two assists in three games, could also sit out.
"(Keane has) been iffy for a long time now with the ankle, and he's played through it," Donovan said. "He's a tough guy. This is probably the same as any week, and hopefully he's OK to go."
Leading the league with 1.67 goals per game, Los Angeles is 3-0-1 at home compared to 0-1-1 on the road. The Galaxy had been outscored 12-7 during an 0-3-3 road skid versus RSL (3-3-2) before winning 3-2 in their last visit June 20.
Donovan, who scored twice and added an assist in that game, has nine goals and 10 assists in 18 career matchups in the series.
"We've had some really good games with them over the years and I guess you create rivalries by playing important games against teams that mean something and we've had a lot of that over the last few years," he said. "All that says to me is that we're two teams that are consistently very good and that comes down to the stability of the organizations, the stability of the coaches and having good players and leaders on the field, which I think both of our teams have."
RSL opened a three-game homestand with a 1-0 win over Chivas USA last Saturday. Javier Morales scored the game's lone goal and Nick Rimando made five saves to record his second clean sheet.
"We don't want to chase three points too much, especially at home," Rimando said. "We have to keep on going, though. This is only one game out of a three game stretch. The goal is nine points, but I don't think it's out of our reach if we continue to play like this."
Captain Kyle Beckerman sat out last weekend due to a dislocated rib but is likely to play Saturday.