FRISCO – It may not be one of the marquee matchups on the MLS calendar, but for pure entertainment value over the years, it doesn’t get much better than the meetings between FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy.
In the 55-game history between the Western Conference foes, the teams have averaged 3.2 goals per match, with just three scoreless draws and none in the last 33 games dating back to June 30, 2001.
“I think it’s two very competitive teams that try to play,” FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said of the history between Dallas and LA. “When you get out there, both teams are attack-minded and going at you with difference makers.”
Not only have there been goals, but wild score lines to the tune of 5-2 (1996), 8-1 (1998), 4-1 (2005), 4-0 (2008), 6-3 (2009) and the infamous 6-5 Galaxy win during the 2007 SuperLiga tournament.
“They have a lot of stars on their team, so I think a lot of that motivates us,” Daniel Hernandez said. “They play great soccer and I think we do too so those games are usually pretty attractive.”
Saturday night’s sold-out game (7 pm CT, NBC Sports Network) has added meaning for FC Dallas as, with a win, they could potentially come within five points of the Galaxy for the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. FCD have pulled themselves back into the discussion having won two of their last three, but a loss to LA would be devastating to their playoff hopes.
“We can’t lose any points at this point,” Hernandez said. “We have a lot of ground to make up and tomorrow against LA would be a great start for us.”
Dallas may have been handed a bit of a lucky card as Landon Donovan, the Galaxy’s all-time leading scorer against Dallas with nine career goals, will miss the game due to yellow-card accumulation, but thoughts of David Beckham missing the game despite currently being at the Olympics opening ceremonies may be premature.
“I think for us we will focus on him to be here and if he’s not here then maybe the ball’s bouncing right for us.” Hyndman said.
After their blowout victory last week, hopes are high around the Dallas camp that the ball will keep bouncing right in what could be a statement game for the resurgent team.
“Everyone kind of knows what’s at stake,” Andrew Jacobson said. “They’re in the fifth playoff spot where we want to be and the only way we’re going to catch them is by beating them.”