With a resounding win in their most recent game, it appears the Los Angeles Galaxy are ready to shake off an uncharacteristic start.
They might have to continue that work without their captain.
An injured quad has Landon Donovan's status unknown for Saturday night's visit from the New England Revolution, who are seeking to build on their first win under new coach Jay Heaps.
Los Angeles opened the defense of its MLS title with a 3-1 home defeat to Real Salt Lake on March 10 and suffered a surprising elimination from the Champions League quarterfinals by Toronto FC.
Before getting a week off, the Galaxy bounced back from those results with a 3-1 victory over D.C. United on March 18. Robbie Keane scored two goals and Marcelo Sarvas added a late tally.
Donovan assisted on the second of Keane's goals for his first point of the MLS campaign, but the star midfielder has continued to deal with adversity.
He missed nearly two weeks of training because of a bout with pneumonia earlier this month but played in the two Champions League games and the season opener. Donovan sat out Thursday's practice, but the Galaxy (1-1-0) are hoping he can continue his trend of playing in spite of his ailments.
"I've spoke to him a couple of times, and it's just a precaution," midfielder David Beckham told the team's official website about Donovan missing practice. "If he's not all right, we've got players who will step in and do the job. His health is the most important part."
Los Angeles earned a 1-all draw and a 1-0 road win over New England last season with Donovan in the lineup for both games.
The Galaxy are 4-1-1 in their last six against the Revolution and 2-0-1 in the last three at home.
New England (1-2-0) is coming off a 1-0 victory over Portland last Saturday. In his second MLS game, Saer Sene scored the Revs' first goal of the season in the opening minute.
Matt Reis helped that hold up while recording his 65th shutout and becoming the sixth MLS goalkeeper with at least 1,000 saves. New England also got a solid performance from Shalrie Joseph as he moved from the midfield to help his team's defensive unit, which was dealing with injuries and a red-card suspension to Stephen McCarthy.
"With Shalrie, he's just such a good player that he can go anywhere," defender A.J. Soares told the league's official website. "We all went in as a unit and did a good job."
Joseph might move back to the midfield if recently signed German defender Florian Lechner is ready to play and with Darrius Barnes set to return from a calf injury. Fellow defender John Lozano is doubtful because of a strained hip flexor, and midfielder Benny Feilhaber is out with a leg injury.
Colombian forward Jose Moreno could make his debut for the Revolution, 3-20-9 on the road over the last two seasons, during their two-game trip. New England signed Swedish striker Bjorn Runstrom this week, but he's still awaiting his international transfer certificate.