Frisco, TX – The Los Angeles Galaxy will lack some star power Saturday night against FC Dallas, but just how much is yet to be determined.
Landon Donovan will miss the fixture due to accumulated yellow cards and David Beckham is a question mark, as he will participate in the opening ceremony of the 2010 London Olympic Games on Friday.
Although Beckham was in London ahead of the MLS All-Star Game, he returned for the match and played as the MLS All-Stars defeated Chelsea, 3-2. He flew back across the Atlantic for the Olympics.
Even if L.A. is without the duo, there is also good news for the reigning MLS Cup champions.
Omar Gonzalez, the 2011 MLS Defender of the Year, has returned from surgery in January on a torn ACL to make two appearances this month. But on Wednesday, he made his longest appearance yet in a friendly against Tottenham.
Gonzalez played 63 minutes against the English club and said he is prepared to start at FC Dallas Stadium this weekend.
"The knee feel's great right now. There's no problems with it," Gonzalez said. "It's just a matter of getting 90-minute fit and I think that every time I step out on the field I get that much more confident with my knee and as more time passes I'm going to get more confident as well, so it's good."
Although Gonzalez is ready to go, coach Bruce Arena may decide to sit his star center back to avoid any potential problems.
"Our goal is to get him on the field in a full time basis, but we need to see how he reacts week to week," Arena said.
L.A. (9-10-3) tied Tottenham, 1-1, without Donovan and Beckham, so it will be ready for Dallas (5-10-7) as it tries to solidify its place in the top five in the Western Conference even if Beckham joins Donovan on the sideline.
Dallas sits just three points off the bottom of the West, but it picked up its biggest win since 2009 with a 5-0 win over the Portland Timbers last weekend.
With 2010 league MVP David Ferreira regaining fitness, recent addition Julian de Guzman settling into the team, and Brek Shea and coach Schellas Hyndman on the same page again, Dallas is capable of a strong second half.
Shea was involved in a verbal confrontation with Hyndman in a recent game and was not in the squad against Portland. Shea returned to practice Tuesday, and Hyndman said he has cleared up the issues with his winger.
"He understands what happened and he regrets it," Hyndman said on the club's website.
Hyndman was focused on L.A., a team that FC Dallas tied, 1-1, in April at the Home Depot Center.
"It seems like when we play them we really do show up," Hyndman said. "They're a hard team to beat."
They're also a team Dallas is trying to catch, as the top five qualify for the playoffs from each conference. FCD is just eight points behind the Galaxy for the final playoff berth.
"They are the team we're aiming at right now to get that fifth spot," Hyndman said.