The Los Angeles Galaxy head into Saturday’s match looking to build off a big win last week against the Columbus Crew and reestablish itself atop the top of MLS while DC United appears to be counting down week by week until the end of the season.
The Galaxy snapped out of a two-month long funk last Saturday with a 3-1 win over the Columbus Crew. In a matchup of MLS’ conference leaders that had Supporters Shield implications written all over it, the Galaxy let the Crew (and the rest of the league) know that it will not relinquish the top spot. LA got strikes from Edson Buddle, Dema Kovalenko and Jovan Kirovski as LA remained in front of Columbus and Real Salt Lake in the race for the Supporters Shield.
The Galaxy’s win last Saturday not only recharged the team’s mojo, but also marked the return of David Beckham to Los Angeles’ active roster. Beckham who spent the last seven months recovering from a Achilles tear, came on as a substitute for Juninho in the 70th minute, attempted a shot and picked up a yellow card four minutes in. Look for Beckham’s minutes to be continued to be monitored as the season goes along. Los Angeles also returned two more midfielders, Juninho and Kovalenko, to the fold last Saturday. Kovalenko had been out since April with a hamstring injury while Juninho missed the Galaxy’s last two matches for personal reasons.
While the Galaxy look reignite its quest for the Supporters Shield, to say that the season couldn’t end soon enough for DC United would be an understatement. The once proud franchise is currently mired in perhaps the worst season in franchise history. DC United is currently 5-16-3 and its 18 points leave them in last place in the MLS standings. Curt Onalfo, who took over as head coach in the offseason, was made the casualty for the team’s poor season, as he was fired on August 4 after limping to a 3-12-3 record at the time. Former DCU great Ben Olsen is currently serving as head coach on an interim basis.
Andy Najar has been the lone bright spot for DC United. The Honduran midfielder has been a steady and consistent performer for the Black and Red this season, and DCU heads into Saturday’s match with Los Angeles on a bit of a high, as then defeated Toronto FC 1-0 at BMO Field last Saturday. Julius James scored in the 81st minute and United made sure the goal held up.