Frisco, TX – Two of the top three teams in the Western Conference will square off at FC Dallas Stadium on Saturday as the Los Angeles Galaxy visits one of the surprises packages of the early season, FC Dallas.
The defending champions are unbeaten in four games so far this season with two wins and two draws, leaving them five points back of leaders Dallas, which sits atop the conference having won four of its first six games.
Los Angeles last played a league game on March 30, which ended in a 2-2 draw against Toronto FC, but the club will be trying to move forward after being knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday by Mexican side Monterrey.
And while L.A. will be disappointed not to reach the final of the competition, there are still positives to be taken from the experience.
Chief among them is the fact that forwards Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal played significant minutes in the tournament, netting four and two goals respectively.
And head coach Bruce Arena feels that the experience will only serve to help the duo as they figure to play a bigger role in the team's success this season.
"They are good experiences and hopefully it aspires them to become better players and want to play in big games and be big players in big games," Arena said of McBean and Villarreal. "They've had a great taste of the CONCACAF Champions League in their last two years so it's an invaluable experience for them."
Despite its place atop the conference, one of the biggest issues for Dallas has been closing out games, a problem that showed up again in the team's most recent outing.
The club took a 2-0 lead into the final five minutes of its match at Toronto FC, but allowed goals to Justin Braun and Darel Russell before the final whistle, forcing the team to settle for a 2-2 draw.
In the last four games for Dallas, head coach Schellas Hyndman has seen his team give up four goals in the final 15 minutes, something that must stop against a Galaxy side known for playing the full 90 minutes.