LA aims to overcome memory of 6-3 defeat

Galaxy try to learn lessons from and avoid comparisons to 6-3 loss to FC Dallas last September

Omar Gonzalez 5/1

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria

The LA
Galaxy takes unbeaten road (3-0-1) and MLS (7-0-2) records into Thursday's game
in Frisco, Texas against FC Dallas. It is the first
meeting between the Western Conference powers since last Sept. 12, a game the
Galaxy would just as soon like to forget.

Dallas' Jeff Cunningham had two goals and an assist and Dallas scored four goals
during a 15-minute span late in the second half en route to a stunning 6-3
victory that night. Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was in the Los Angeles net that
night and saw his goals against average balloon a quarter of a goal from 0.93,
which was fourth-best in MLS at the time, to 1.18, which left him in ninth
place in the league. The Jamaican international said he moved on from that
embarrassment a long time ago. He hasn't even watched a replay.

"I had
that part of my memory erased," he said with a grin. "I moved on as
soon as that game was over. In anything you do, you have setbacks and that was
a major setback for the team. But I think we reacted pretty well and went all
the way to the (MLS Cup) final.

"That
was last season."

Galaxy head
coach Bruce Arena couldn't understand why someone would bring up that game. He
said he has not looked at a replay and doesn't even know where the tape is.

"I
don't know why anyone would waste any time thinking about a game last
year," he said. "It's really not relevant to anything at this point
in time."

Some
members of the Galaxy, however, remember it well.

"Of
course you think about it," defender Gregg Berhalter said. "It's out
of the front part of your mind, but obviously there's a little spot in the back
where we think about it, and that's definitely going to be a motivating point
for us.

"As a
team we've grown tremendously since then, and it's something that's a good
learning point. If you look at the history of our team, that wasn't our team
last year. We were hard to score against, we were a gritty team and we defended
well, and obviously that wasn't a good indication of who we were.

"I
think we redeemed ourselves after that game."

The Galaxy
takes on a Dallas
team that has lost just once (2-1-5) this season and is led by Cunningham
(team-leading four goals), Atiba Harris (two goals), David Ferreira (team-high
three assists) and now features former Galaxy standout Kevin Hartman in goal.

The Galaxy,
however, aren't so much worried about Dallas as they are about themselves,
particularly with Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan in training camp with the
U.S. National Team. How the Galaxy can adjust to their absences could have a
pronounced impact on what has been an impressive season to this point.

"Look
at the scoresheet," Chris Klein said, referring to Buddle (MLS-high nine
goals and two assists) and Donovan (one goal and a league-leading nine
assists). “I think they've been involved in every goal. We're going to have to
get production from different guys. We're going to have to do it by committee
and keep defending the way we have been. We do that, we have a good chance of
being successful while they're gone."