CARSON, Calif. – The MLS schedule-makers would appear to have done the LA Galaxy a favor, with six of their remaining eight games at The Home Depot Center. Now it’s up to the defending MLS Cup champions to do something about it.
“It’s an advantage if you make it an advantage,” Landon Donovan said after training Friday as the Galaxy prepared to host FC Dallas on Sunday (4 p.m., NBC Sports Network, AM 1150, 1330 AM, LIVECHAT).
“Fortunately we’re a team that plays really well on the road, so it wouldn’t have been that big of an issue.
“We need to make sure that we take full advantage of this and heading into the playoffs, if we’re in the playoffs, we want to make sure that this is a place that teams don’t want to come to.
“This is a big game for us.”
The Galaxy (11-11-4, 37 points, tied with Vancouver for fourth in the Western Conference) will be facing an FC Dallas (8-11-8, 32 points, sixth in West) team that’s almost a mirror image of the Galaxy in that they also have rebounded from a poor start to the season. FC Dallas, in fact, earlier suffered through a 13-game winless streak before reinforcements arrived. STANDINGS
First it was Colombian David Ferreira getting healthy after a broken ankle that required surgery. He was just named MLS Player of the Week and FC Dallas is 5-2-3 since his return.
FC Dallas also just welcomed back Panamanian striker Blas Perez to training after he missed 11 weeks because of a foot injury, but it’s doubtful he will play this weekend.
“Clearly Ferreira makes a big difference in their team,” Donovan said. “He’s someone that’s playing as well as anybody in the league right now. He’s a danger man, somebody we’ve got to be aware of.
“They’re a team that’s playing very well, they’re very confident and they’ve gotten two good results on the road (wins at Vancouver and Real Salt Lake).
“I’m sure they’re going to come here thinking there’s no reason why they can’t win here.”
It used to be The Home Depot Center was an impenetrable fortress for the Galaxy. After all, they were unbeaten at home in all competitions last year.
This year, however, that hasn’t been the case, with the Galaxy just 5-5-1 at home in the regular season.
But now the Galaxy have an opportunity to rediscover their old home magic. Head coach Bruce Arena agreed the remaining regular season schedule can work to his team’s advantage.
“It’s supposed to be, it hasn’t been to date,” he said. “We’d like to believe the home field can be an advantage for our team. Last year we were very good at home, this year we haven’t been. But we have an opportunity to close our home schedule the right way.”