The “Three Points” heading into the LA Galaxy’s match against FC Dallas…
WHO STEPS UP FOR DONOVAN AND POTENTIALLY BECKHAM?
The LA Galaxy’s three designated players have been pivotal to the club’s recent resurgence but against FC Dallas, LA may be forced to play without two of their biggest stars. Galaxy captain Landon Donovan is suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation while David Beckham remains a question mark due to his participation in the Olympic opening ceremonies in London.
To fill the void created by Donovan’s absence up top, head coach Bruce Arena has a variety of players to choose from including Pat Noonan or Mike Magee, but the most intriguing option is rookie Jose Villarreal. Since making his professional debut earlier this month, Villarreal has appeared up to the challenge, scoring his first career goal while notching a pair of solid performances against the Vancouver Whitecaps and Tottenham Hotspur.
Meanwhile, with Beckham’s status up in the air, Arena appears set to place the Brazilian midfield tandem of Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho against the tenacious Dallas midfield. If Arena opts for the Brazilians in the heart of the midfield, Magee could regain his spot on the left flank after missing the last three league matches with right shin hematoma.
CAN THE GALAXY STOP A REVITALIZED FC DALLAS?
Few things have gone right for FC Dallas this season, but after a 5-0 pummeling of the Portland Timbers last weekend, Dallas appears to have regained their swagger.
After dealing with injuries to key players for much of the season, Dallas is on a roll of late, winning two of their last three matches. During their victory over the Timbers, their South American pair of Jackson Goncalves and David Ferreira shined as they combined for a one goal and four assists.
To stop Dallas’ revitalized attack, the Galaxy may shuffle their back four as center back Omar Gonzalez appears fit enough to go 90 minutes for the first time this season. If Gonzalez does return to the starting lineup, he will likely be paired with center back David Junior Lopes, which could see AJ DeLaGarza moved to right back and Sean Franklin pushed to the right side of midfield.
WILL LA BEAT THE HEAT?
Regardless of who steps on the field for either side, both teams will have to deal with the sweltering temperatures at FC Dallas Stadium, which could reach into the triple digits at game time. On Saturday, the forecasted high for Frisco, Texas is expected to reach 103 degrees before cooling to a mere 99 degrees by kick-off.
Dealing with scorching temperatures is nothing new for the Galaxy as they endured a heat index in the triple digits during their last trip to Texas, a 2-1 defeat to the Houston Dynamo in May.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider