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FC Dallas-Galaxy Preview
By JEFF BARTL
(AP) -- The Los Angeles Galaxy have put a rough start behind them with back-to-back victories, but the defending MLS Cup champions aren't getting complacent.
They can't afford to let their guard down Saturday night against visiting FC Dallas, which welcomes back leading scorer Blas Perez from a one-game suspension.
Landon Donovan scored for the second straight game and goalkeeper Josh Saunders saved a penalty kick in stoppage time in the Galaxy's 2-1 victory over Colorado last Saturday.
Los Angeles (3-3-0) has earned consecutive victories following a disappointing 1-3-0 start.
"We've definitely turned the corner, there's no question. But that can go away quickly with a bad performance," Donovan told the team's official website. "It's just being consistent now, and that's what this team's been about the last few years, consistently doing things the right way.
"We're not always perfect or always pretty, but we do things in a way that makes it difficult to beat us. And if we keep doing that it's going to be hard to beat us."
FC Dallas has had a difficult time beating the Galaxy in Los Angeles, going 3-11-1 on the road in this series since The Home Depot Center opened in 2003. It comes into this matchup after a 1-all draw with Real Salt Lake on Wednesday despite missing Perez, who was suspended for throwing a deliberate elbow in a loss to Vancouver last Saturday.
Brek Shea scored on a penalty kick for Dallas (3-3-2).
"With the injuries and suspensions, it was good to get a tie," Shea said. "I thought we should've won, but it's good to get at least a point."
While coach Schellas Hyndman didn't dispute the suspension, he said Perez - who has three goals and three assists - should be more energized following a full week off.
"He got his rest," Hyndman said. "He should be much better against L.A. because he didn't have to play (Wednesday)."
Dallas welcomed back defender Jackson Goncalves against RSL after he was recalled from his loan to Brazilian team Cruzeiro. Donovan said Dallas is much more dangerous with Goncalves and Perez in the lineup.
"They're a dynamic team," Donovan said. "Having Jackson back in the fold is going to help them, and they'll have Perez rested and ready to go. They're a team that's got four or five guys that can cause you a lot of problems, so they're going to be a very difficult team to play."
Robbie Keane, who assisted on Donovan's goal against Colorado, said the Galaxy are more prepared to face a solid team like Dallas than they may have been at the beginning of the season.
"Football is about winning games and getting your confidence up," Keane said. "At the moment it's only a couple of games and you can't get too carried away, but you certainly can see the steeliness in the team that maybe we hadn't had at the start."
Donovan has 17 goals and 11 assists in 29 career games versus Dallas, though he has only one goal and one assist over the last five.
Updated April 27, 2012