Galaxy focus on rested Perez ahead of FCD matchup

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CARSON, Calif. – When FC Dallas visit The Home Depot Center on Saturday (10:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online), it will mark the visitors’ third match in a span of seven days.

Surely that has to play in the LA Galaxy’s favor, right? Not so, says Landon Donovan.

“We had a number of those games last year where we ended up winning the third game,” the Galaxy captain said Thursday. “It’s not necessarily an advantage unless you make it an advantage.”

Said manager Bruce Arena: “Whoever knows with that stuff? In all my experience with that stuff, it doesn’t mean a damn thing.”

More important than the visitors’ potential fatigue factor is the players they will bring into the mix and the challenges they pose. FCD recently reacquired do-it-all midfielder Jackson to help them through an early season rife with injuries, and striker Blas Pérez is fresh after missing the team’s midweek draw against Real Salt Lake while serving a one-game suspension.

“They’re a team that has four or five guys who can cause you a lot of problems,” Donovan said. “They’re a very experienced group in the back who has been together for a while.”

Pérez won’t exactly be a mystery to Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza, as the two played against one another when the US visited Panama in January.

“He’s a very big, strong forward up top and guys can make runs off him, so we’ve just got to get into him strong and definitely help contain Brek [Shea] whenever possible,” DeLaGarza said. “They have a lot of speed on their team, we know that just from the last few years alone.”

Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by email at buenodad@gmail.com.