The Los Angeles Galaxy will try to return to the win column on Saturday at The Home Depot Center when the club welcomes the Colorado Rapids.
After opening the campaign with a 4-0 win over the Chicago Fire, the Galaxy was held to a 1-1 draw by Chivas USA, which scored the equalizing goal in the 89th minute despite playing the final 50 minutes of the match with 10 men.
The performance certainly left a bad taste in the mouths of the Galaxy players, and they will be eager for a chance to erase that result with a positive one on Saturday.
Recent history indicates that the Galaxy should feel confident ahead of the game with Colorado since L.A. has posted a 4-0-1 mark against the Rapids in the last five meetings between the two sides.
However, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena will be without two key players for Saturday's game as Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez will both be away on international duty.
Keane's absence could present an opportunity for young forward Jack McBean, who scored the lone goal for the Galaxy in the draw with Chivas, while a number of players are available to take the place of Gonzalez.
"We're going to miss Omar's presence back there, his ball-winning capabilities, and being big in the center and an important role in our defense, but we knew that he was going to be leaving for national team duty," said defender Sean Franklin. "All the best to him, but I think we'll be fine with people coming in and playing."
Arena recently talked about how he has rotated players in defense anyway, so with Gonzalez out, he will simply choose between A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo, and Tommy Meyer as a replacement for Gonzalez.
The Rapids collected their first point of the season last weekend against Real Salt Lake after back-to-back defeats to start the campaign, and defender Drew Moor likes the attitude his team is bringing into this game.
"Everyone is disappointed here that we didn't win the game, which is a good sign," Moor said of the RSL result. "I think last year, maybe we lose this game, but this team has some strong characters, and some good leaders, and a good core group, and we build off of the little victories like this. We are disappointed that we didn't win, which is a good sign, and if we can play as solid as we did this weekend in L.A. next weekend, and as the season progresses, I think our prospects are good."
The result against Salt Lake was positive, but it came at a cost as the Rapids lost goalkeeper Matt Pickens for the next 3-4 months due to a broken arm.
Clint Irwin came on in place of Pickens and made two saves to help Colorado earn a point, while Steward Ceus started the first game of the season in goal for the Rapids.