Preview: Galaxy at DC United

Galaxy seek return to form at retooling D.C. United

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Photo Credit: 
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The basics

Los
Angeles Galaxy
(11-2-3, first in Western Conference) vs. D.C. United
(16-3-10, 7th in Eastern Conference) at RFK Stadium.

The Galaxy lead the all-time regular-season series between these
teams with 15 wins, 13 losses and 6 draws.

TV Info

7:30 p.m. ET; Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports en Español

What's at stake?

The two founding members of the MLS aristocracy, United and the
Galaxy share winning traditions, but are experiencing vastly different
realities at the moment. Much as he did in Washington a
decade-and-a-half ago, coach Bruce Arena has brought clarity and
consistency to the underachieving California club and the result is a
six-point lead atop the league and Western Conference standings. After a
rare loss in New England last week, LA are seeking a return to form, while
desperate United need a run of victories to maintain hope for their
season.

Last meeting

Playoff-chasing United hosted the Galaxy at RFK on August 22, 2009,
and were held to a 0-0 draw. DC striker Luciano Emilio saw a goal waved
off by a questionable offside call and in the end Landon Donovan, David Beckham & Co. were happy to take a
road point.

Remember when?

From the inaugural MLS Cup championship game in 1996 to Beckham’s MLS
debut on August 9, 2007, meetings between United and the Galaxy have
often turned out to be momentous occasions. A week after LA lost to DC
at RFK in that first league appearance, Beckham used a rematch in the
SuperLiga semifinal to produce one of the only bright spots of his
inaugural season in the US, whipping a glorious free kick past Troy Perkins for his first stateside goal.

Heroes & villains

Landon Donovan vs. the United midfield: It may take
several bodies to get this job done for DC. The Galaxy No. 10 stayed
home to recuperate from World Cup duty while his team was put to the
sword by the Revolution, so Donovan should be motivated and ready to
make an impact at one of his favorite road venues.

Calling Doctors Boskovic and Hernandez: United
debuted their new signings against Seattle on Thursday, and while
Argentine Pablo Hernandez looked lively, designated player Branko
Boskovic still needs time and fitness work before he can make an impact.
But time is not on DC’s side, and Sunday would be a fine time for one
of them to step up.

Stat that makes you go "Hmm …"

If the current standings don’t drive home these teams’ differing
fortunes, the statistics certainly do. LA have scored the most goals,
allowed the fewest and own the best goal differential in MLS, while
United sit at the opposite end of all three categories.

He said it

“It's a great environment. When they have a good crowd in that
stadium, it rocks. Over the years it's gotten beat up a little bit and
it is getting on in years, but when you step on the field it's still a
special place for a game in MLS.” – Bruce Arena pays tribute to
atmospheric RFK