Know Your Enemy: Los Angeles Galaxy

FCD looks for return to win column vs. defending champs

Enemy: LA

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USA Today Sports Images

The month of July rolls on for FC Dallas as the team faces a quick turnaround after Thursday’s 0-0 draw against Chivas USA and must travel to Southern California on Sunday to face the LA Galaxy.

The two teams have already met once this season, a 1-0 win for Dallas back in April. The two sides traded penalty kick misses before George John headed home a game-winner in the late stages of the match.

LA enters this game on a winning note after downing the Columbus Crew on Thursday, 2-1. Robbie Keane got two late penalty kick goals in the come-from-behind win over the Crew.

The Galaxy are 2-3-1 in its last six matches.

Injury Watch

The Galaxy enter this match with no injuries to report.

International duty

Landon Donovan will be out of Sunday’s game, as he'll be playing with the U.S. National Team in San Diego on Friday in a Gold Cup warm-up match against Guatemala.

Key Matchups

Marcelo Sarvas vs David Ferreira – One thing you can expect on Sunday is a few fouls from Sarvas on Ferreira. Sarvas is currently leading the league with 48 fouls committed this season. In their last meeting against one another, Sarvas had a couple rough challenges on the former MLS MVP that led to a yellow card midway through the second half. Anytime Ferreira touches the ball on Sunday, Sarvas will likely be the first player to put a body on the Colombian.

Blas Perez vs Omar Gonzalez – This was a battle some USMNT fans hoped to see last month in Seattle when the U.S. hosted Panama in World Cup Qualifying, but Perez’s stomach bug got in the way of that. Expect these two to go head-to-head plenty of times on Sunday.

Key Player for Los Angeles

Robbie Keane – The Irishman leads the Galaxy in scoring on the season with seven goals and is tied with Landon Donovan for the club’s lead in assists with six. He scored two in the late stages on Thursday against the Columbus Crew, both from the penalty spot. What Keane does well is put himself in positions to score and he does an incredible job at forcing defenders to foul him in dangerous spots.

Projected Lineup

Arena typically uses a traditional 4-4-2 formation that uses two box-to-box type midfielders in the center of the park.

Goalkeeper: Carlo Cudicini; RB: Sean Franklin, CB: Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, LB: Todd Dunivant; RM: Hector Jimenez; CM: Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho; LM: Robbie Rogers FW: Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes.

Keys to three points

Tired legs will play a factor in this one as both teams were involved in tough matches on Thursday.

LA loves to play a direct game that could help Dallas out. Both teams love to possess the ball in the midfield and in the back and find ways to go directly over the top to the forwards or flank players. Dallas has the speed advantage on the wings that they will want to use in this game. Both Jackson and Fabian Castillo are dangerous options for Schellas Hyndman as the Galaxy have always struggled with speed on the wings.

Defensively, Dallas will need to keep Keane in check and also find ways to stop rookie Homegrown forward Gyasi Zardes from slipping free in behind them. Both are quality attackers who can create goals out of nothing.

This is a game that could also end up being won on a counter attack. LA is a team that loves to break away and win balls off corner kicks or set pieces and then break out in their attack. Dallas will need to make sure they don’t commit too many numbers forward on their set pieces.

In the end, Dallas just needs to get back to their basics here and play a complete game. The last month or so hasn’t gone their way, which means someone will need to step up and break the team out of its current funk.