Carson, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of new Western Conference rivals will tangle on Friday as the Los Angeles Galaxy welcome the Houston Dynamo to the StubHub Center.
Houston enters the clash looking for its third straight victory in league play following triumphs over Toronto FC on May and the Portland Timbers last weekend at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Houston had the better of the play against Portland from the outset and needed just nine minutes to find the back of the net.
U.S. international Brad Davis lined up a free kick and swung a well-placed left-footed ball into the penalty area where Bruin found himself unmarked for a free header past Portland goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey.
But the Timbers pulled level just three minutes into the second half when Fanendo Adi got free for a run down the right side of the pitch. He collected a pass from Diego Valeri, held off his mark and fired it past Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric.
The hosts seized full control of the match in the second half as Giles Barnes gave the Dynamo the lead with 15 minutes to play after he smashed one into the top corner, and Bruin completed his brace with seven minutes to play via a fantastic chipped effort over the head of Kwarasey.
"For me the goals were the icing on the cake to his overall performance as a striker," said Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle. "When you play up there by yourself it's not easy to play against two big center halves in [Liam] Ridgewell and [Nat] Borchers. For me I think those are good players, but I think he dominated the game tonight."
Los Angeles, meanwhile, is in need of a rebound performance after getting shellacked by expansion side Orlando City SC, 4-0, last Sunday at the Citrus Bowl.
It took just 12 minutes for the Lions to open the scoring as Erik Avila nodded home a cross from Brek Shea and the hosts doubled the margin through rookie Cyle Larin, who collected a pass from Kaka and slotted it in behind Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
Kaka then made it 3-0 with a penalty kick in the 56th minute and Darwin Ceren put an exclamation point on the performance when he blasted one from outside the box that took a deflection past Penedo.
"We were awful on the day. I had 14 players that played and I thought about three of them played in an acceptable manner. We were outplayed all over the field," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "Really, there's not much you can say. In the second half, we needed to get the first goal. Certainly, what I thought was a poor call by the referee for the penalty that basically put us out of the game. Orlando played well, I give them credit. And we were pretty bad."
This will be the second meeting of the season between the sides, which played to a 1-1 draw on March 21.