Wed, 01 Dec 2021

FC Dallas, L.A. Galaxy reunite with fortunes reversed

Field Level Media
23 Oct 2021, 11:19 GMT+10

What a difference three months can make as the Los Angeles Galaxy get set to face FC Dallas at home Saturday after one of the most lopsided results in the all-time series between the clubs.

On July 24, FC Dallas ambushed the Galaxy 4-0 at Frisco, Texas, when Ricardo Pepi delivered a hat trick andall but cemented an invite to the United States Men's National Team. The 18-year-old became the youngest player in MLS history to have three goals in one game.

One month after the impressive performance, he was invited to join the USMNT roster and less than two weeks after that, Pepi scored his first goal with the senior national team. Since then, he has cemented his spot on the U.S. team.

It has not been so promising for FC Dallas (6-14-10, 28 points). Head coach Luchi Gonzalez was fired Sept. 19 and the club currently is on an eight-game winless streak (0-5-3), tied for the longest active skid in MLS with FC Cincinnati. The only longer winless streak in club history was a 10-game run in 2017.

After a 3-2 loss to Los Angeles FC on Wednesday, FC Dallas was eliminated from playoff contention.

"Obviously, we're out of the playoffs, which is unfortunate, but we still have four games," forward Ema Twumasi said. "We're professionals so we have to go there and execute and play the game like it's our last. We're playing for our jobs, our futures, so we can't take anything for granted."

After a three-game losing streak and eight-game winless streak (0-5-3) to close September, the Galaxy (13-11-6, 45 points) are on a three-game unbeaten run and two-game winning streak. Los Angeles is coming off a 3-0 road victory over the Houston Dynamo and has four games remaining.

Galaxy veteran Sacha Kljestan has scored the go-ahead goal in each of the last two games on penalty kicks to give him five goals for the season. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez leads the club with 13 goals, and has two goals with two assists over his last four games.

"We changed something four or five games ago. We just weren't getting the results the performances deserved," Galaxy first-year goalkeeper Jonathan Bond said on Spectrum SportsNet. "We just kept what we were doing since (late September), when we were answering questions about why we weren't winning, why we weren't playing well."

While the fifth-place Galaxy are just one point behind the fourth-place Portland Timbers, they are also just three points ahead of Real Salt Lake, who are one spot below the playoff line in eighth place.

--Field Level Media

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