The Los Angeles Galaxy will step onto the field at The Home Depot Center on Sunday with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Prior to last week's top of the table clash with FC Dallas, much of the attention in the Western Conference fell in favor of Dallas.
Even with the win last week, the Galaxy still sit in second place entering Sunday's home match against the Colorado Rapids, two points behind Dallas after their wild 3-3 draw with the Kansas City Wizards earlier in the weekend. As the only team in MLS to make the playoffs each year in the first nine seasons, the Galaxy had one goal in mind heading into last week's game: to show the league they were still amongst the elite.
"We wanted to make a statement that we're a team to be reckoned with this year," said Galaxy captain Pete Vagenas. "I think everyone knows at some point, the Western Conference is going to come through The Home Depot Center."
Confidence like that is why the Galaxy took it a little personally that they were actually considered to be a slight underdog against Dallas.
"We're taking it one game at a time," said Jovan Kirovski. "We don't believe what we hear or read in the papers."
If the Galaxy can keep their current run of form, it could well be a different story. But it's still early in the season, and while things are starting to sort themselves out, Galaxy head coach Steve Sampson knows there's a lot of soccer to play.
"It's still very early. We still have a lot to prove," said the Galaxy boss. "We haven't played a lot of good teams in this league yet."
For the Galaxy players, it doesn't matter who they play - they know their position in the league. "By no means do we ever step on the field and think we're the underdogs," said Vagenas.
The way the Galaxy have dominated in this current homestand, they've started to show why some people had rated them the team to beat before the season kicked off. The Mother's Day clash against Colorado will be a tough test for a Galaxy team that in some respects is still learning to play together.
"We're confident in ourselves. We know we're a good team," said Kirovski. "We were one game away from the finals last year."
Greg Daurio is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.