Saturday, April 30, 2011
Galaxy's stars visit limping FC Dallas
By ESPN.com news services
There's a possibility the Los Angeles Galaxy could have all of their star players available for their next game. Their opponent won't be as fortunate.
After attending the royal wedding in his native England, David Beckham might play in Sunday night's Western Conference finals rematch with host FC Dallas, which has lost reigning MVP David Ferreira to injury.
Ferreira had a goal and an assist to lift his team into its first MLS championship game with a 3-0 victory over Los Angeles on Nov. 14. The midfielder, though, won't play in this meeting after suffering a double fracture of his right ankle against Vancouver last Saturday.
His replacement, Eric Avila, scored the tiebreaking goal in a 2-1 comeback victory.
"Players are going to have to step up," coach Schellas Hyndman told the team's official website. "This is a great opportunity for other players to play, for them to show their value, and for us to show our depth. If we want to find the success that we all want, we are going to have to raise our level."
Ferreira had eight goals and 13 assists in 2010 and a team-best three goals this season.
The Galaxy (4-1-3) showed what they could do with all of their players on the field last week, winning 3-0 over Portland to extend their unbeaten streak to five.
Beckham returned after serving a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation and recorded his team-best fourth assist on the opening goal. Another Galaxy star, though, had an even better return to action.
After missing three straight games with an ailing knee, Landon Donovan scored his first two goals of the season and added an assist.
"It's good to get him on the board here," coach Bruce Arena said. "Hopefully there is more to come."
Beckham might not play Sunday after traveling to Westminster Abbey for Friday's ceremony. He planned to arrive in Dallas before his teammates and see how he felt.
"(Arena) said to me if I wanted to not go to the game (that's fine), but it's important that I'm there," Beckham told the team's official website. "I'll speak to the manager, just to see how I feel on the day of the game. I'll do everything right and do what's best for the team."
The Galaxy won both regular-season matchups in 2010, snapping Dallas' 12-game home unbeaten streak with a 1-0 victory May 20. That win was part of Los Angeles' 12-game unbeaten run to start the season, which tied an MLS record.
Beckham and Juninho, who is tied for the team lead with two goals in 2011, both scored in a 2-1 home win over Dallas on Oct. 24.
Los Angeles is 2-5-1 in MLS play at Pizza Hut Park.