Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Western Conference heavyweights will square off at the StubHub Center on Saturday as the Los Angeles Galaxy prepare to host Sporting Kansas City.
Both sides are perennial powers in America's top domestic league, combining for a total of seven MLS Cup titles, including each of the last four years.
The Galaxy, who won the postseason title last season, have gotten off to a somewhat rocky start in their bid to retain the crown.
After opening the campaign with a convincing 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire, Bruce Arena's men went four matches without a win.
Fortunately, the Galaxy brought that streak to a halt last time out as Alan Gordon netted the lone goal in a 1-0 defeat of Seattle Sounders FC.
Gordon was deputizing for Gyasi Zardes, who missed the match due to U.S. national team duty, and the veteran striker made the most of his rare starting opportunity by putting an end to the Galaxy's 290-minute streak without a goal.
"I was excited, I knew that this was a big game for us and I was excited to be a part of it," Gordon said. "I wanted to have a good performance and help the team get a win. I feel like that's why I'm here, that's why Bruce brought me. When guys are out and I'm called upon, it's my job to step in and do a good job."
While the defeat of Seattle seems to have helped L.A. end its disappointing run of form, Sporting has been steadily improving through its six matches of the campaign.
After opening the season with a home draw against Red Bull New York and a loss at FC Dallas, Kansas City rattled off a run of eight points from four games, conceding just two goals over that stretch.
Sporting most recently claimed a point from a scoreless draw with rival Real Salt Lake, but defender Matt Besler was disappointed to not collect all three points.
"It's a weird feeling not to get all three points," Besler said. "That's always our goal when we come and play at home. It's a funny game sometimes. Last week, we didn't play our best, and we get the three points. We've got to move on, got to continue to get better and the results will hopefully take care of themselves."