It's been more than three months since the Los Angeles Galaxy last tasted victory. Amazingly, despite that record, the club is only four points out of a playoff position, and will be looking to climb back into the race Saturday night when D.C. United come to The Home Depot Center.
Los Angeles isn't getting too caught up in their opponent. Right now, the Galaxy feel as though they need to sort things out internally before they can focus on any one opponent.
"What we're preparing for is our team and trying to get our team better," said head coach Bruce Arena. "We can't worry about D.C. United. Really, our preparations for this week is to try and move our team forward."
One thing that should help our Arena and the Galaxy is a sense of continuity that has finally been achieved in training. For the first time since his arrival, Arena will have his full complement of players two weeks in a row.
"Usually that makes a difference. Everyone has a full week of training. I think the international break was a bit unfortunate for us after our good game against New England," said Ante Jazic, who flew straight from Mexico City to Kansas City for last week's game. "We lost four players and lost that continuity. Hopefully with everyone in training this week we can start to win some games."
Last weekend at Arrowhead Stadium, in addition to Jazic, Eddie Lewis, Landon Donovan and David Beckham all joined the team from international duty without having trained with the team. It led to a somewhat lethargic performance that resulted in a 2-0 loss.
"In all honesty, probably the best thing to have done in K.C. was to not start Beckham and Donovan," said Arena.
The Galaxy are also counting on United suffering a bit of a similar fate this week. D.C. played a CONCACAF Champions League match on Tuesday against Costa Rica's CD Saprissa, and they are hoping that the midweek match coupled with the cross-country travel will take a toll.
"It's not so much of an advantage to us, but it's certainly a challenge to them," said Lewis. "We'll hope that it's a tough game for them."
This week in LA, the players are rested, and have been training together all week. The last time that happened, and the only time that's happened under Arena, the Galaxy went into New England and earned a 2-2 draw in one of their best performances in some time. LA will be trying to match that effort and translate it into a home win this weekend. A result like that would certainly go a long way towards relieving a lot of pressure.
"I'd be lying if I said the (winless streak) hasn't been weighing on people," said Lewis. "We want to get a win under our belt and see if we can start some sort of momentum."
Lewis was quick to put things back into perspective though, looking at the crowded playoff picture and LA's place in it.
"It's amazing. It will probably come down to the wire like it always does," he said. "For us, the quicker we can get our act together and put some points on the board, the better."
Greg Daurio is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.