Match Preview: LA aiming to stay hot when they face FC Dallas on Saturday
CARSON, Calif. – The forecast for Frisco, Texas, the site of Saturday’s Western Conference clash between the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas (5 p.m., NBC Sports Network, AM 1150, 1330 AM, LIVE CHAT) calls for temperatures of 102 degrees.
The conditions should pose little problem for Galaxy right back Sean Franklin, who often played in three-digit heat while growing up in Palmdale and even in college at Cal State Northridge.
WATCH: Galaxy discuss Dallas match
He also thinks back to his rookie year, when the Galaxy played at D.C. United in late June of 2008 in conditions he still calls the toughest he’s ever played in.
“It was about an 11 o’clock or noon game and our team was just gassed,” he said. “I think we lost 4-1.”
The Galaxy played in Houston on May 26 this year, and the heat proved to be a factor in a 2-1 loss. Franklin, however, said he is confident the Galaxy will be ready Saturday.
“You just have to prepare yourself,” he said. “We know it’s going to be hot there this weekend.”
The Galaxy (9-10-3, 30 points, fifth in the Western Conference) face an FC Dallas team (5-10-7, 22 points, tied for seventh in the West with Colorado) that is coming off a 5-0 rout of the Portland Timbers last weekend and is 2-1-2 in its last five games. There are those who say Saturday’s game has playoff implications, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena isn’t one of them.
“I don’t even look it that way; that we’re battling for the fifth spot in the West,” he said Thursday. “We’re still viewing ourselves as competing to keep moving up the ladder.
Mike Magee said he also thinks it could be premature to discuss postseason ramifications regarding this weekend’s game.
“It might be too early,” he said. “I think over the last six or seven games we’ve had a sense of urgency, knowing that we can’t fall too far behind. We’ve kind of had a good run of form, so we’re just trying to keep that going.”
One of the preseason favorites in the West, FC Dallas have struggled for much of the season and found themselves at the bottom of the Western Conference just a few weeks ago. However, they have taken nine points from their last six games, including wins in two of their last three to climb out of the cellar and begin to put pressure on the teams ahead of them. Former MLS MVP has been the catalyst for his team’s recent revival, appearing in each of the last five games while setting up a pair of goals. Fellow South Americans Jackson and Fabian Castillo have also played well for head coach Schellas Hyndman of late, as has former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who eclipsed 400 career games played earlier this month.
FC Dallas also expects to have available Brek Shea, who returned to training earlier this week. Shea was held out of the win over Portland after becoming involved in what was called a “verbal altercation” with Hyndman during a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on July 18.
Arena said he has been impressed with Dallas, especially of late.
“They’re a good team, and they basically have 100 percent of their team back,” he said. “They’re probably in a little bit more of a must-win situation than we are. So it’s a critically important game for them.”
The Galaxy will be without Landon Donovan, who will miss Saturday’s game because of yellow-card accumulation, and could also miss David Beckham, who returned to London after Wednesday’s MLS All-Star Game in order to take part in the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics. Arena said nothing has been finalized regarding the English international’s participation Saturday.