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Earthquakes-Galaxy Preview

By JEFF BARTL

STATS Writer

(AP) -- The Los Angeles Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes have been two of the biggest surprises in MLS in the early going, though for very different reasons. Both clubs will now have to cope without their leading scorers due to international commitments.

Los Angeles will be missing Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan as it looks to end a five-game winless streak in a matchup with San Jose, which will try to move atop the Western Conference without Chris Wondolowski in the California Clasico on Wednesday night.

Keane, the Galaxy's leader with three goals, will be competing for Ireland in the European championships, while Donovan (two goals) enters camp for the U.S. national team to prepare for World Cup qualifying.

Wondolowski leads the league with 11 goals and will join Donovan with the U.S. squad. It remains to be seen which of their MLS teams will be hit harder by the loss of those top players.

Defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles (3-6-2) is in last place in the West and on the verge of its first six-match winless streak since going 0-6-6 from June 21-Sept. 13, 2008.

The Galaxy are 0-3-2 in their last five and were shut out for the third time in that stretch Saturday, 1-0 by Chivas USA.

"I think on the season, our record probably is not real precise in terms of how we've played," coach Bruce Arena said. "I think we've played a little bit better than our record indicates."

Forward Pat Noonan is glad Los Angeles won't have to wait a week for its next contest.

"Sometimes I think it helps when results aren't going your way to have that quick turnaround so you can't sit and pout," Noonan told the team's official website. "We need to keep our heads up and get focused quickly.

"We're playing a very good team and we're not getting the results right now. We need to turn it around quickly. Hopefully Wednesday is the start of it."

Wondolowski has been held scoreless for two straight games for the first time this season, but San Jose (7-2-3) managed 1-all draws in both games thanks to Alan Gordon. He scored in the 88th minute against Chivas on May 13 and found the back of the net in the fourth minute of stoppage time versus Columbus on Saturday.

"It's exciting because it happens at the end of the game, so you feel like you stole a point," Gordon said of scoring late in those matches. "In reality, these are points that we will look back on and feel that these are games we let get away."

San Jose, 8-12-14 in 2011, can move past Real Salt Lake into first in the West with a victory that would end a three-match winless streak.

Keane scored in the Galaxy's 2-0 win Aug. 20 in the most recent meeting after the teams played to a scoreless draw June 25. Wondolowski scored in San Jose's last victory in the series, a 1-0 win Aug. 21, 2010. That came at home, however, and the Earthquakes have gone 1-11-2 in their last 14 at Los Angeles.

Updated May 22, 2012

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