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Galaxy-Rapids Preview

By JEFF BARTL

STATS Writer

(AP) -- With Landon Donovan and David Beckham healthy, the Los Angeles Galaxy returned to the form that helped them win last season's MLS Cup.

The Colorado Rapids hope to overcome some early struggles of their own.

Los Angeles seeks its third consecutive win over the Rapids when the teams meet Saturday night in Colorado.

The Galaxy (2-3-0) lost three of their first four games after capturing the franchise's third MLS championship last season as Donovan (quadriceps) and Beckham (hamstring) battled nagging injuries.

Donovan missed a 3-1 loss to New England on March 31, and Beckham was limited to a combined 45 minutes in that game and a loss to Kansas City on April 7.

Neither showed any effects of their injuries in last Saturday's 3-1 win over Portland, as Donovan scored and later assisted on Beckham's goal in extra time.

Donovan said the Galaxy need to have similar performances moving forward if they are to fully recover from their poor start.

"It's important, because you can't sit on the bottom for too long, so it was good to get ourselves out of the cellar," Donovan told the league's official website. "We played better last week. Today was, I think, our best performance all-around of the season. We've got to keep carrying it to the coming weeks."

Beckham played the entire game, scoring his first goal of the season.

"He hung in there for 90 minutes; was obviously a great goal and sealed the win tonight, three points," coach Bruce Arena said. "It was big for the team and big for (Beckham)."

Los Angeles will look to carry over the momentum against struggling Colorado (3-3-0).

Donovan scored in the Galaxy's 1-0 win over the Rapids on Sept. 9 in the most recent meeting, and he has 11 goals and 12 assists in 28 career games versus Colorado.

The Rapids have dropped three of four and are coming off consecutive shutout losses, 1-0 to Seattle last Saturday and 2-0 at Real Salt Lake a week earlier. They have outscored opponents 6-1 in their victories but have been routed by a combined 7-1 in their defeats.

Defender Drew Moor, who scored an own goal in a 3-1 loss to the Galaxy on June 18, feels the Rapids must play at a higher level more consistently.

"Going forward we need to beat L.A.," Moor said. "I saw a lot of intensity and courage in the first half (last Saturday). We need to be more dangerous and create options to score. At the end of the day that's going to give you points."

Los Angeles is 2-0-1 in the last three meetings in Colorado after the Rapids won the previous five there.

Updated April 20, 2012

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