The Los Angeles Galaxy will be attempting to bounce back from a loss when the club travels to RFK Stadium to take on struggling D.C. United on Saturday.
The Galaxy saw a three-game winning streak halted with a 1-0 home defeat against Colorado last weekend, but Bruce Arena's team will be pleased to see United lining up on the opposite side of the field on Saturday.
A 1-0 defeat at Chivas USA officially ended United's playoff hopes, making Ben Olsen's side the first to be bounced from playoff contention.
The loss to Chivas extended the team's road winless streak to 14 games, and it was only more of the same for United in what has been an incredibly disappointing campaign.
"It's not the result we wanted. It seems like we keep on repeating our mistakes and it's something we need to change," said D.C. midfielder Chris Pontius after the loss at Chivas. "We're going to keep on losing games if we keep on making the same mistakes."
At this point in the season United is basically playing to prepare for its U.S. Open Cup final with Real Salt Lake on Oct. 1, but the Galaxy is being careful not to overlook a team that has claimed only one point from its last five games.
"Without a doubt this is a good team," Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant said of United. "The results haven't shown it. They have good players who will hurt you if you give them a chance. There's no pressure on them, and they can come out free and easy and play aggressive.
"Anyone who's been in this league knows how difficult it is to win on any given day, no matter if you're playing the best team in the league or the team at the bottom of the table. We're not fooled by D.C.'s record. I think right away we're setting the tone this week that it's going to be a tough 90 minutes, and we have to be prepared for that."
The Galaxy enters the weekend three points back of second-place Seattle, and the team would love another three points on Saturday to keep the pressure on the Sounders.
But with just three points separating Los Angeles from sixth-place FC Dallas, it is three points the Galaxy must have in order to keep hold of its place in a tight conference race.