The Los Angeles Galaxy hope a long layoff hasn't ruined any momentum Landon Donovan created in their season opener. A home meeting with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night might help.
The Galaxy (0-0-1) haven't played since Donovan netted a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes to rally them to a season-opening 2-2 tie against D.C. on March 22.
"I think we're prepared very well ... we're ready to go," Galaxy midfielder Chris Klein told the team's official Web site of the 12-day layoff. "We weren't entirely satisfied with the first game, but it wasn't the worst thing in the world."
The time off also meant Donovan, MLS' top scorer with a career-high 20 goals last year, wouldn't miss any games with Los Angeles, while playing two World Cup qualifiers with the United States.
Donovan assisted on each goal of Jozy Altidore's hat trick for the U.S. in Wednesday's 3-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago. That impressive performance came four days after the midfielder-forward played all 90 minutes in a 2-2 tie at El Salvador.
Donovan has seven goals and eight assists in 24 games against Colorado.
The Galaxy have dominated the Rapids (1-1-0) at home, going 19-4-2 after winning both meetings there last year to take the season series 2-1-0.
Los Angeles, which allowed a league-high 62 goals last season, addressed its defensive issues Friday by signing Gregg Berhalter. The 35-year-old veteran will be available Saturday after having his contract with Germany's 1860 Munich terminated Wednesday. The deal was set to expire on June 30.
"Gregg is an experienced and knowledgeable defender who will be an excellent addition to our club," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. "He is a good passer and organizer of the defense and I believe that he will help improve our team in the defensive end of the field."
Berhalter has spent the last 15 years playing in Europe and has 44 caps with the U.S. national team, playing in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.
The Rapids are opening a season-high stretch of three consecutive league games on the road. They'll also face the Galaxy at Carson, Calif. on Tuesday in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier. Colorado's next home game is also against Los Angeles on April 25.
Rapids coach Gary Smith might opt to start Terry Cooke, who scored on a 64th-minute freekick just seconds after being used as a substitute and contributed to Omar Cummings' game-winner in last Saturday's 2-1 win over Kansas City.
"We know what Terry is capable of," Smith said of the English midfielder. "He brings high energy and wonderful quality. Bringing him in was a big change in the game."
Smith, though, didn't even use Cooke, who finished third in the league with 12 assists a year ago, in a season-opening 2-1 loss to Chivas USA on March 21.
"I don't feel as though I have anything to prove," Cooke said. "I don't feel as though there are many people in this league that can do what I can do to the ball. All I can do in this league is work hard, show a good attitude and be a professional for this team and the league."
Cooke has a goal and six assists in nine games against Los Angeles.