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Galaxy-Earthquakes Preview

Jun 19, 2009 - 3:02 PM By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer

Los Angeles (2-2-9) at San Jose (2-8-3), 4:30 p.m. EDT

After seeing their long unbeaten streak halted, the Los Angeles Galaxy will try to capitalize on a meeting with the last-place team in the Western Conference in order to rebound in strong fashion.

The Galaxy look to start a new streak Saturday when they visit the struggling San Jose Earthquakes at the Oakland Coliseum.

Los Angeles (2-2-9) capped a 10-game unbeaten (2-0-8) run, which included an MLS record five ties in a row, with a 2-1 win at Toronto on June 6. The streak ended last Saturday when the Galaxy fell 2-0 at home to Real Salt Lake for their first defeat since a 3-2 loss to Colorado on April 4.

"First half they really dominated us," Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez told the team's official Web site. "A lot of our players didn't come out the way we usually do. ... I just don't think we came out with that fire, you know. The past six games we've been coming out strong and possessing the game. We let them move the ball around and didn't put any kind of pressure on them."

The Galaxy, though, will have to endure a third consecutive game without forward Landon Donovan, who has team highs of six goals and four assists, but is with the United States national team at the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

With Donovan out again, the scoring onus will likely fall on forwards Alan Gordon and Edson Buddle. The duo started together against Real Salt Lake, coming up empty on five combined shots after both of them scored against Toronto.

Gordon is second to Donovan with three goals, while Buddle has two after finding the back of the net a career-high 15 times last season.

Los Angeles will also be without veteran midfielder Eddie Lewis, who was issued a controversial red card in the 65th minute against Salt Lake for throwing the ball at midfielder Javier Morales.

The Galaxy are 2-1-1 against the Earthquakes (2-8-3) since San Jose's return to MLS last year. They hold a 1-1-1 mark in matches played at Oakland, including a 1-all tie on April 18.

San Jose has won only once in the last 11 games (1-7-3), and is tied with New York with a league-low nine points. The Earthquakes lost again last Saturday, falling 2-1 at Seattle while producing just two shots on goal.

"Right now with the guys we have the stats aren't doing us any justice, we have some individual errors," said Quakes goalkeeper Joe Cannon, who had four saves against the Sounders. "We went down one nothing at halftime and we were disappointed. If your team is down in a place like this it is hard."

Darren Huckerby scored his first goal of the season in the 68th minute at Seattle. The midfielder also played the entire game for the first time since suffering a quadriceps injury in a 3-all tie with Chicago on April 11.

Huckerby won the MLS Newcomer of the Year Award last season, netting six goals and four assists in 14 games after joining the Earthquakes from Norwich City of England.

"When Huckerby is on the field he is dangerous," San Jose coach Frank Yallop said. "For us to be a good team he needs to be on the field."