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Galaxy-FC Dallas Preview
By TOM CASTRO
(AP) -- With a role in the opening ceremony for the London Olympics on Friday night, David Beckham's presence on the field for the Los Angeles Galaxy when they visit FC Dallas the following evening seems all but impossible.
Not so, according to his coach.
Bruce Arena has refused to rule the superstar midfielder out for the contest as the Galaxy, who will definitely be without Landon Donovan, look to continue their surge when they face an improving Dallas club.
Beckham's almost unbelievable recent travel schedule could be seen as either the reason he wouldn't attempt to play Saturday, or why he just might. Grueling flights have proved to be little obstacle for Beckham of late, as he traveled from Los Angeles to London following the Galaxy's SuperClasico win over Chivas USA last Saturday for a promotional appearance in advance of the Olympics.
Turns out he was just getting started. Beckham then flew to Philadelphia and played 70-plus minutes in the MLS All-Star game Wednesday before jetting back to London for the opening ceremony.
Arena seems convinced that yet another cross-Atlantic jaunt isn't out of the question.
"This is a modern era," the coach told the league's official website. "It can be done real quick, with the technology and transportation options you have."
While Beckham hasn't commented on his schedule, he has said he plans to attend a few events in London. As he's serving in an ambassadorial role for the London organizing committee, it seems more likely that Arena's team will be another star short Saturday.
Beckham is in the midst of his best stretch of MLS play this season with four goals and four assists during a four-game point streak. Donovan, who scored twice in the 3-1 victory over Chivas and has three goals in his last two games, is suspended for this match due to yellow card accumulation. His nine goals are tied for the team lead with Robbie Keane.
Los Angeles (9-10-3) may have a much tougher time continuing its hot streak if both players aren't available. The Galaxy are finally playing well after stumbling for most of the first three months, going 3-0-1 in the past four and 6-2-1 in nine.
The Galaxy have scored three or more goals five times in the previous nine contests after hitting that mark twice in the first 13 games. They could push past fourth-place Seattle with a victory Saturday, but they'll have to beat a Dallas club that's also playing better after a rough stretch.
Dallas (5-10-7) has won two of its last three after its franchise-record 13-match winless streak. The club is coming off its most lopsided victory of the season, 5-0 over Portland last Saturday.
Jackson had a goal and two assists for Dallas, which posted its highest goal total of the season despite playing without midfielder Brek Shea, left off the roster after a verbal altercation with coach Schellas Hyndman during a 2-1 loss to San Jose on July 18.
Shea has returned to practice, and apparently there are no hard feelings from the coach.
"I had a conversation with him today just to let him know some of my concerns. He was very gracious and received my input," Hyndman told the team's official website.
Hyndman knows his team may need some production from Shea, who has three goals this year, if it wants to beat the Galaxy.
"They're a hard team to beat," Hyndman told the team's website. "They are the team we're aiming at right now to get that fifth (playoff) spot."
Updated July 27, 2012