FRISCO, Texas. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points to LA’s match against FC Dallas. The match will be the Galaxy’s first in MLS play since July 27 as they take on an FC Dallas side that is winless in their last nine league matches.
THE RETURN OF THE DYNAMIC DUO?
LA Galaxy forwards Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane teamed up together twice during the Guinness International Champions Cup, now with league play resuming for LA, they may be asked to pair up once again this Sunday.
Against Juventus, the two forwards showcased the skills that led LA to two consecutive MLS Cup titles as they combined for two goals and an assist in the victory over the Italian giants. In their two appearances together in the ICC, the attacking pair was dynamic as they repeatedly created dangerous chances for themselves and for others due to their movement on and off the ball. During training this week, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena noted that the duo was likely to partner up again in the near future, but stated that it may not happen against FC Dallas.
If they do earn the start together, they’ll test a Dallas defense that has conceded eight goals in their last four games—including a 2-0 defeat to LA last month. The task of stopping the Galaxy attackers will likely be given to the central defense tandem of Matt Hedges and George John. The pair of big and physical defenders will try to use their physicality to prevent Donovan and Keane from getting into dangerous positions in the final third.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM STRUGGLING DALLAS?
FC Dallas was riding high during the Galaxy’s last trip to Frisco back in April, but now they find themselves in a tailspin that has seen them go winless in their last nine league games, going 0-4-5 in that time and taking just five of a possible 27 points.
Central to Dallas’ struggles has been their inability to create a consistent offense as the club has been shutout in their last five matches or 450 minutes, which is a club record. Typically, FCD’s offense has stemmed from the wings, but as of late, Dallas’ fleet-footed tandem of Fabian Castillo and Jackson have struggled link up with target forward Blas Perez, who returned from the CONCACAF Gold Cup late last month. As they look to test the Galaxy defense, expect head coach Schellas Hyndman to continue to lean on his wide players as Dallas tries to break their recent funk.
Dallas should have some added reinforcements this week however, as new midfield signing Erick—a defensive midfielder—is expected to see time in a holding role on Sunday. Meanwhile, Dallas will gain some offensive depth as Eric Hassli returns from suspension.
HOW MUCH DOES THE RECENT TRAVEL WEAR ON LA?
The LA Galaxy head into their fifth match in five different states over a three-week period this Sunday against FC Dallas, but will this travel lead to tired legs for LA?
During the Guinness International Champions Cup, Arena closely monitored the minutes of his starters, with few players seeing more than 45 minutes in each of the three exhibition matches. Although the Galaxy boss has been prudent with the managing of his roster, the club has traveled 5,918 miles over the last three weeks, which may lead to some fatigue—particularly in the scorching Dallas heat.
The Galaxy will need to show improvement on the road, however, as they have just two wins away from StubHub Center this season. The Galaxy have enter Sunday’s game having lost each of their last three league games on the road and have not registered a win outside of Southern California in all competitions since May 15.
Success on the road has long been a hallmark of past Galaxy sides and LA must right the ship if they are to climb into the top half of the Western Conference standings.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com