D.C. United (0-1-0) at Los Angeles (0-1-0), 7 p.m.
Carson, CA (Sports Network) - It was a disappointing opening weekend for D.C.
United and the Los Angeles Galaxy, but both clubs will look to get their first
wins of the season when they meet at The Home Depot Center on Sunday.
D.C. United fell at RFK Stadium to Sporting Kansas City as a result of a C.J.
Sapong header deep into second-half stoppage time, while the Galaxy were
bested, 3-1, at home by Real Salt Lake for its first loss in Carson, CA in
over a year.
According to Landon Donovan, Los Angeles was just a bit unlucky to lose at
home last weekend after a going a goal in front.
"To go on a run like the run we were on, unbeaten at home, you have to have
some breaks go your way," Landon Donovan said. "[Saturday] it seemed like
everything went against us."
Saturday's tilt against D.C. could prove to be an important match for L.A. as
the club will look to right its ship after a disappointing home loss in league
play followed by a midweek exit in the CONCACAF Champions League at the hands
of Toronto FC.
"We're kind of lacking a bite, which is something that won us a championship
last year," said Mike Magee. "If you don't have a bite as a team, you're not
going to beat anyone."
D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen might use Magee's assessment to describe his
own team after its loss to Sporting last weekend.
"I thought we were pretty one dimensional as a whole," the United boss said.
"We wanted to go big early, but we needed to find forwards' feet a little
more, and then come back and switch the point of attack."
It was a slightly new-look squad deployed by Olsen as Hamdi Salihi made his
debut for the club, and Branko Boskovic made his first appearance for United
since April of 2011. While D.C. has some talented individual pieces, Chris
Pontius believes that it could take some time for them to mesh together.
"[Chemistry] will take time," Pontius said. "It takes a lot of practice, in
getting to know players' runs, and where they want to get the ball. I don't
expect it to be clicking next game, but that's all a process of figuring
D.C. is expected to be without several key players for the next few weeks as
goalkeeper Bill Hamid, defender Perry Kitchen, and midfielder Andy Najar have
all been called up for international duty. Najar will be available to face the
Galaxy, but Hamid and Kitchen will not.