The Houston Dynamo host the LA Galaxy at BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday afternoon in the home finale of the 2016 season. (4:15 p.m., TICKETS).
The Galaxy have already clinched a spot in the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs with an 11-6-15 record (48 points), but can finish no higher than their current third seed in the Western Conference. LA is winless in their last three matches, including two consecutive losses against Seattle Sounders FC and FC Dallas. The Galaxy have won both previous contests against the Dynamo in 2016, a 4-1 win in Houston in April and a 1-0 victory at home in July.
Giovani dos Santos has led the Galaxy attack this season with 14 goals and 12 assists, both team highs. The team's second-leading scorer, Robbie Keane (10 goals), and assist man, Steven Gerrard (11 assists), are listed as questionable with injuries for Sunday's matchup, though head coach Bruce Arena ruled Gerrard out earlier in the week. The team's 53 goals in 2016 is the most in the Western Conference this year.
"The thing about the Galaxy – they have players that come and go and yet the level really doesn’t seem to drop off, regardless of what change has been made," Dynamo interim head coach Wade Barrett said. "They’ve had players that constantly come in and step up in situations when they’re asked to. You have to deal with those players, but you have to be prepared for everything else they bring."
One of the players that can step in is MLS's all-time leading goalscorer Landon Donovan, who returned to the Galaxy in September after retiring in 2014. Donovan has appeared as a substitute in each of LA's last four games, and scored a goal against Sporting Kansas City on September 18.
“There’s not too many other teams that can run into something they see as a problem in the middle of the season and bring back a player of Landon (Donovan’s) quality," Barrett said. "It’s been exciting to see what’s happened with him and him coming back into the league. I think everybody is excited about the story, but it’s not just the story. Landon is a good player, so they also have a good weapon, someone that can come in and have an impact on the game. They’re a good, professional team. Regardless of who is out there, they always put in a good performance."