Galaxy-Impact Preview

While the Los Angeles Galaxy have been insisting they aren’t

concerned about their slow start, David Beckham may no longer feel

that’s the case.

Having been shut out in their last two games and with their

starting goalkeeper still sidelined, the Galaxy try to avoid losing

three straight for the first time in more than four years when they

visit the Montreal Impact on Saturday.

Los Angeles (3-5-1) is struggling to find the back of the net

despite its star-laden lineup. The Galaxy, winless in its last

three with one goal in that span, haven’t lost three MLS games in a

row since a six-game skid Aug. 9-Sept. 1, 2007.

That season was also the last time they failed to score in three

straight contests. Los Angeles matched its loss total from last

season with a 1-0 defeat to New York last Saturday.

“We keep saying we’re not worried about it,” said Beckham, who

has two assists in 2012 after tying for the league lead with 18

last year. “But there’s going to be a point where we need to be

worried about it and we’re close to that now.”

Los Angeles scored 48 goals in 2011, second most in the Western

Conference, but ranks fifth in the West with 11 in 2012. Landon

Donovan, who had 15 goals last season, has two this year and has

gone three games without scoring.

“We’re by no means going to give up and by no means going to

hang our heads,” defender Todd Dunivant told the Galaxy’s official

website. “We’ve got a big game at Montreal … and that’s what

we’re going to focus on.”

While Los Angeles’ high-priced talent is feeling the pressure to

produce, it won’t be easy to score against former Galaxy goalkeeper

Donovan Ricketts, who hasn’t given up a goal in 202 minutes.

Ricketts helped lead Los Angeles to the MLS Cup final in 2009

and was the league’s goaltender of the year in 2010, but he lost

his starting job to Josh Saunders last season after suffering a

broken arm and made only three starts upon returning.

The Galaxy traded him to Montreal (3-5-2) in the expansion draft

and he has keyed the Impact’s respectable start. He made four saves

in each of the last two games, the most recent a 2-0 win over

Sporting Kansas City last Saturday.

“He’d certainly like to get a shutout against us,” Dunivant

said. “Knowing Donovan, he’s going to come to play.”

Los Angeles may be regretting the decision to move Ricketts as

Saunders has missed the last three matches due to a personal matter

and is out indefinitely. Bill Gaudette has filled in during his

absence and has allowed four goals.

The Impact are looking to become the first team to win three in

a row in their expansion season since Seattle in 2009, with the

league having added four teams since. Felipe Martins and Patrice

Bernier backed Ricketts with goals last weekend.

Montreal is coming off a 2-0 defeat to Toronto in the Canadian

Championship semifinals Wednesday.

“We lost, but now that we’re out of the Cup, we have to move

on,” Bernier said. “We have to concentrate on our next game and

we’re lucky it’s coming fast. We can switch things around right

away.”