MLS GAME PREVIEW

Los Angeles versus Dallas preview

May 22, 2009

In one respect, the Los Angeles Galaxy have to be pleased with a seven-match unbeaten streak. At some point, however, they'll need to start turning some of their draws into wins.

A game against struggling FC Dallas might be the perfect time for the Galaxy to pick up a victory, as they'll try to win for just the second time this season Saturday night at Pizza Hut Park.

Los Angeles (1-1-7) qualified for the postseason in the first 10 years of the league's existence, and won its second championship in four years in 2005.

The Galaxy haven't made the playoffs since. They compiled a franchise-worst 33 points last season while finishing tied for the worst record in the league.

Los Angeles has at least a point in eight of its first nine games this season, but the problem is that's generally where the line has been drawn. The Galaxy haven't lost since their second match, but they've only one once while settling for six draws.

"There's not many teams in the league that haven't lost in seven games, and I think that's still something to be proud of," defender Gregg Berhalter told the Galaxy's official Web site. "We just have to be happy with the fact we're not leaking a tremendous amount of goals and we're not losing games, and you build from there."

It looked like Los Angeles was about to suffer its first loss since April 4 on Sunday against Columbus, as the Crew took a 1-0 lead in the 70th minute. However, Eddie Lewis scored the equalizer in stoppage time to help the Galaxy escape with a third straight draw, then took his team to task for their approach.

"We don't play adventurous enough," Lewis said. "It takes a while, and then we go down a goal, and then we get ourselves back in the game. We have to somehow transform that mentality from the kickoff."

Perhaps Los Angeles can do that against FC Dallas (1-6-2), which is 0-3-1 in its last five games. The Galaxy will have Landon Donovan, second in the league with five goals, available, but they may not have forward Edson Buddle. Buddle scored four goals in three matches against Dallas last season -- including a hat trick in a 5-1 road win May 18.

Buddle is questionable with tightness in his left quad, but will be anxious to play considering he's scored 10 goals in his career against Dallas -- his most against any opponent.

Dallas has its own problems without having to worry about Buddle. It did put an end to a three-match losing skid in its latest game, however, getting a second-half goal from Andre Rocha to sew up a 1-all draw with Seattle on Saturday.

"Andre scored a great goal and we came in (to halftime) with some enthusiasm," coach Schellas Hyndman said. "It was a difficult first half, they came into our stadium and moved the ball around, scored one goal and could have had a couple others."

Dallas is 13-6-5 all-time at home against the Galaxy.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press