By CARL SETTERLUND
As if navigating through the competitive Western Conference wasn’t already enough of a challenge, tonight the LA Galaxy will welcome in new Eastern Conference leader D.C. United (10:30pm, Direct Kick)
The game should provide a litmus test for DCU (13-7-4), which have gone 6-2 during July and August, but also lost their last two games against Western Conference playoff teams.
Both squads are coming in off impressive wins as United won 3-0 away to Sporting Kansas City last weekend and the Galaxy (11-5-7) fixed its defensive woes in a 2-0 shutout versus Vancouver.
Tonight’s match marks the only meeting of the season between the two, and will be D.C. United’s final regular season game against Landon Donovan.
Although Gyasi Zardes has been a catalyst for the Galaxy of late, it was Donovan’s fifth-minute winner that sparked the Galaxy against the Whitecaps.
Both teams appear as if they’ll be at full strength for the showdown, with zero players listed on the injury report or suspended.
The Galaxy have traditionally been strong at home against D.C. United, losing just once in 11 games, but the Galaxy have been up-and-down of late, allowing four goals apiece in recent matches against Columbus and Colorado.
With Bill Hamid between the pipes for DCU, the Galaxy will need their defense to come through, as Ben Olsen’s side has only allowed two goals in a game once since the World Cup break.
D.C. United have also been on a roll on the offensive end, with Fabian Espindola, Luis Silva and Chris Rolfe all tallying in recent weeks.