CARSON, Calif. – It has been three months since the LA Galaxy last met their Western Conference rivals, FC Dallas, which helps make Saturday’s showdown at The Home Depot Center (7:30 p.m.; tape delay on Prime Ticket at 8:30 p.m.) one of the most highly anticipated MLS encounters of the year.
But any discussion of the rematch between the West powers cannot be entertained without talk of their first meeting this season.
It was at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas on Sunday, May 1 when the teams last saw each other, and what transpired was unusual, to say the least. The chain of events included heavy rain, followed by thunder and lightning that forced a delay of more than an hour late in the second half. FC Dallas’ Brek Shea supplied an appropriate capper to a wild night when his 88th-minute cross somehow wound up in the back of the Galaxy net for a stunning 2-1 victory.
“Rain, more rain and some lightning,” the Galaxy’s Sean Franklin said when asked for his memories from that match. “The weather was a factor in the second half.
“It was a tough game, and it’s going to be a tough one tomorrow.”
The Galaxy’s David Beckham agreed it was a “weird” night.
“Hopefully it’s not going to be the case this time,” he added.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena still remains annoyed by the decision to restart the game after such a long delay. The Galaxy, in fact, already had been packing up its equipment, thinking the game would end in a 1-1 draw, when they got word it would resume.
“It was a pretty stupid exercise, I thought, that whole thing where we sat around for over an hour and then replayed it,” he said.
“Unfortunately they made a play in that mini-game we had and it turned out to be a big three points.
“It bothers me because I think the whole thing was handled poorly. But at the same time we should have walked out of there with a point. On the night, we played ok.”
The Galaxy’s Mike Magee said the result, which ended what at the time was a five-game unbeaten streak, didn’t even feel like a loss.
“It was more like, ‘What the hell happened?’ ” he said. “Dallas is a hard enough place to play as it is, and to lose a game in that fashion was hard.”
The Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, whose goal in the 51st minute that night forged a 1-1 tie, said any lingering after-effects from that unsettling loss will not provide any extra boost for Saturday’s rematch. A look at the standings in the West, where the Galaxy (12-3-9, 45 points) lead FC Dallas (12-5-6, 42 points) by only three points, is all the incentive that’s needed.
“They’ve been chasing us all year,” Donovan said. “They’re right at our tail now and we have to make sure we’re ready.
“It’s a team we know very well and have played a lot over the years, and we expect a good one tomorrow night.”
ALL-ACCESS PODCAST: Joe Tutino and FC Dallas' Bobby Rhine preview Sat. match vs FCD
WATCH: Highlights from LA's 2-1 loss at Dallas in May