In a rematch of the past two MLS Cup finals, the Los Angeles Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo on Sunday at the Home Depot Center.
The last time the clubs met in last season's MLS Cup final, Los Angeles rallied from a goal down to claim a 3-1 victory and its second consecutive championship.
Following the season, Landon Donovan left the club in favor of an extended break away from the game, while David Beckham also left the club and signed a five-month contract with French side Paris Saint-Germain in January of 2013.
But the loss of two of the league's most prominent names gave other players the chance to excel early in the season.
Donovan has since returned from his sabbatical, but it has been forward Mike Magee that is the driving force behind the Galaxy's offensive output thus far this campaign.
Last time out, Donovan as well as fellow Designated Player Robbie Keane missed the match against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium, but it didn't matter much as Magee scored his sixth goal of the season just six minutes into the match and Charlie Rugg found the net seven minutes later as Los Angeles secured a 2-0 win over their Western Conference rivals.
"I don't think we dominated, but we played well enough to win," Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said of knocking off RSL on the road. "We won the last time we were here last year. We really came in today prepared to win the game -- no question about that. Our guys held together for 90 minutes."
Houston, meanwhile, is coming off a 1-1 draw at home with Colorado which extended its impressive home unbeaten streak to 36 consecutive matches.
But when the Dynamo are on the road, it's a completely different story as they have only claimed one point from their first four road contests this season.
Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall and his defenders will have to be on their toes for 90 minutes to defend LA's vaunted counter-attack.
"They break out with an organized fury of movement," Hall said. "The combination play is something to admire. How they attack. It's not just that they combine well, it's the effectiveness that when they combine they put themselves in such great spots.
"You would never call them solely a counter-attacking team, they have too many good players just to be labeled as such, but when they counter-attack their runs are deadly," Hall continued.