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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting LA Galaxy

FC Dallas plays LA Galaxy Saturday in a challenging battle of the West.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas travels to Carson, California to try to close in on Western Conference's current second place team, LA Galaxy.

Dallas is 20-30-11 all-time against the Galaxy and have already lost the lone meeting this season previous to Saturday's contest.

Injury Report

LA is currently healthy, but will be without defender Todd Dunivant, who is dealing with a season-long left groin tear.

Probable Lineup

It will almost look like a new squad for the Galaxy in comparison to when the two teams last met. LA will be with their USMNT defender Omar Gonzalez and their almost USMNT forward Landon Donovan (forever bitter).

GK: Jaime Penedo; RB: Dan Gargan; CB: Gonzalez, Leonardo; LB: Robbie Rogers; RM: Stefan Ishikazi; CM: Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas; LM: Donovan; RF: Robbie Keane; LF: Gyasi Zardes.

Key Matchup

Blas Perez vs. Gonzalez. Perez heads to StubHub Center after one of - if not, his best - performance of the season, notching two goals against Vancouver Whitecaps to snap FCD's two-game losing streak. If he can carry that momentum to Saturday, things can be dangerous for Galaxy. However, Perez will be matched up against a rowdy, aggressive Gonzalez.

Keys to Three Points

Make good use of free kicks. Two weeks ago Michel scored off a free kick for the lone goal against Real Salt Lake. Then last week he was able to pick up the trash of another free kick that became the eventual game winner. The Hoops need to put the pressure on attack and be able to capitalize on opportunities in and around the box.

Tighten defense. The Hoops will have their hands full with the plenty of attack Galaxy bring. The Irish forward, Keane, is an absolute threat with 14 goals, but LA's homegrown Zardes has been the star of the season. In his second season of the league, Zardes has already tripled the amount of goals for his club since his rookie year. He has 15 goals on just 51 shots. Zach Loyd and Matt Hedges will need to hold the backline and not give up any space.

Utilize speed. FCD has some of the best speed in the league. With Fabian Castillo and Andres Escobar on the wings, this gives Dallas a huge advantage on offense. Castillo and Escobar haven't seen the back of the net since August 22. That has to be fixed to get back in that offensive groove, especially for Castillo. He made a promise of 12 goals for the season and still needs three more to fulfill it. Time is running out.