Galaxy-FC Dallas Preview
After three Champions Cup matches in seven days, the Los Angeles Galaxy return to MLS play for the first time in two weeks looking to avoid their worst road losing streak in nearly five years.
FC Dallas is a loss or draw away from tying the franchise's second-longest winless skid as it hosts the Galaxy on Sunday night.
A 2-0 loss at Colorado on July 27 marked the last league match for the Galaxy (10-9-3), who have since lost two of three matches in the first International Champions Cup to finish in third place. They wrapped up the exhibition tournament with a 2-0 defeat to AC Milan on Wednesday in Miami Gardens, Fla.
"We can learn from these three games, it's going to help improve our team for the remaining games in Major League Soccer," coach Bruce Arena said. "That's what's important."
Los Angeles, one point ahead of Dallas in the Western Conference playoff race, now tries to end its second three-game road slide of the year. The Galaxy haven't lost four in a row away from home in MLS play since Sept. 13-Oct. 18, 2008.
Landon Donovan is expected to play in his first MLS match since June 29 when he registered two assists in a loss to San Jose. He recorded five goals and seven assists in six matches as the United States won the Gold Cup last month and also notched the go-ahead goal against Juventus on Aug. 3, Los Angeles' only win in the Champions Cup.
Donovan has totaled 17 goals and 10 assists in 32 career matches against Dallas, though he missed a penalty kick in a 1-0 loss at Dallas on April 13.
His contract is set to expire at the end of the season, though Arena told the team's website the club has started to discuss a new deal with the 31-year-old star.
"I'm open to anything," Donovan said. "I want to keep enjoying myself and I think things will fall into place."
Nothing is falling into place for FC Dallas (8-6-8), which will try to end a nine-match winless stretch which dates to a 1-0 victory over San Jose on May 25. Dallas went a franchise-record 13 straight without a victory last season, and the only other time it had a winless streak reach double digits was a 10-game drought in 2005.
Coach Schellas Hyndman's club was shut out for a franchise-record fifth consecutive match with a 3-0 defeat at Seattle last Sunday, failing to record a shot on goal for the first time since May 6, 2012.
"I just don't think we're in good form," Hyndman said. "I don't think we created enough opportunities. It seems like we're very content with keeping the ball, but not really going anywhere with it."
Los Angeles, which claimed a 2-0 home win over Dallas on July 7, leads the all-time series 33-23-10.