The Los Angeles Galaxy are going to have to begin compensating
for the absences of Landon Donovan and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
D.C. United will be getting back a player who is chasing Donovan
for the MLS lead in goals.
The Galaxy will be seeking a fifth straight victory Friday night
when they host United, who are expected to have top scorer Charlie
Los Angeles’ last three wins have come by 1-0 scores, the most
recent at New England on Saturday. David Beckham assisted on a goal
by Miguel Lopez as the league-leading Galaxy capped a busy stretch
of three matches in eight days.
“We’ve had nine points in three games so we can’t ask for much
more than that,” Beckham said.
The Galaxy (8-2-5) will have to ask for more from other players,
as Donovan has joined the United States national team and Ricketts
is with Jamaica with the CONCACAF Gold Cup about to begin. Josh
Saunders will start in goal for Los Angeles while coach Bruce Arena
is considering his options for replacing Donovan, who has eight
“We’ve had three weeks of three games in a week so that’s been
difficult but hopefully some guys will step up and step in for
Landon Donovan and Saunders is going to have the responsibility in
Ricketts’ position,” Arena said.
Ricketts posted all three shutouts since Saunders started a 4-1
victory over Sporting Kansas City on May 14.
Davies is expected to return for D.C. (4-4-3) after he missed a
3-2 victory at Portland on Sunday with a hamstring injury. His
team-best total of six goals includes a controversial 90th-minute
equalizer in a 1-all tie with Los Angeles on April 9.
The Galaxy moved to 3-0-3 in their last six meetings with D.C.
with that result.
Captain Dax McCarty also should be back in the lineup after
sitting out Sunday with a groin injury.
United are brimming with confidence after becoming the first
opponent to win in Portland. The club finished May with two
victories and two draws.
“Being the first team to come here (and win), after five games
unbeaten for them – that’s an accomplishment we’re definitely going
put in our pockets and use as confidence,” goalkeeper Bill Hamid
Coach Ben Olsen opted to keep his team on the West Coast rather
than fly home and travel back again. D.C. had lost three of four
road games before Sunday.
“It’s a big step for us,” Olsen said. “I don’t want to blow it
out of proportion too much because in this league on any given day,
you can beat a team.”
Chris Pontius converted a penalty kick for the second straight
game and Perry Kitchen and Josh Wolff also scored Sunday for
D.C. can move into a tie with New York for second place in the
Eastern Conference with a victory Friday.