Donovan a doubt for Galaxy, United

BY foxsports • April 8, 2011

The Los Angeles Galaxy rebounded from a lopsided defeat last week during Landon Donovan's return from international duty.

That game, however, was part of a busy stretch for Donovan and his status is unknown heading into the opener of a three-game road trip Saturday night against D.C. United.

Following a 1-0-1 start, Los Angeles suffered a 4-1 defeat at Real Salt Lake on March 26 as Donovan was away with the U.S. national team.

In their captain's return last Saturday, the Galaxy scored a 1-0 home victory over Philadelphia. Los Angeles (2-1-1) also got Donovan Ricketts, the reigning MLS goalkeeper of the year, back from a hamstring injury and All-Star defender Omar Gonzalez back from a sprained shoulder.

While Ricketts and Gonzalez are expected to start again Saturday, Donovan's role is uncertain.

He sat out two practices this week, but coach Bruce Arena insisted that was for rest. The midfielder played 90 minutes in a pair of games for the U.S. national team then went the duration during last week's victory.

Arena wouldn't confirm his plans for Donovan this weekend, but assistant coach Dave Sarachan said the team was hopeful he would be ready.

"We're kind of seeing where that all plays out, but we hope he is (in the lineup)," Sarachan told the team's official website.

The Galaxy could use Donovan's help, as he has 14 goals and three assists in 18 career regular-season games against D.C. (1-2-0). He scored three times during a pair of 2-1 victories last season.

Los Angeles is 3-0-2 in its last five games in the series and 4-2-2 in its last eight trips to the nation's capital.

D.C. United, meanwhile, is hoping that a return home will help it avoid a third straight defeat.

The team opened its season with a 3-1 victory at RFK Stadium against Columbus on March 19 before dropping consecutive road games to New England and Colorado.

In Sunday's 4-1 defeat to the defending MLS champion Rapids, United's depleted defense held up for 70 minutes before giving up three unanswered goals.

Central defender Perry Kitchen is expected to return after playing for the U.S. under-20 national team last week and D.C. should get Dejan Jakovic back from a red-card suspension.

Defender Jed Zayner's status, however, is unknown because of a strained hamstring. Forward Charlie Davies, who has a team-best three goals, is questionable with a strained groin, while midfielder Clyde Simms is probable to return from an ailing calf.

"With the amount of guys we have out at the back line, it's a learning experience," goalkeeper Pat Onstad said. "We just have to learn and get better as a team. That's all you can do."

D.C. United might have a little momentum after winning on penalty kicks in U.S. Open Cup play against Philadelphia on Wednesday.

The club will hope for a boost from Andy Najar. Last season's rookie of the year scored two of his five MLS goals in 2010 against the Galaxy, but he's yet to score this season.

 


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