LA Galaxy look to continue their pursuit of the Supporters’ Shield against FC Dallas

The Galaxy take on Dallas in Texas on Sunday on ESPN2 at 4p.m.

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy continue their hot pursuit of the Supporters’ Shield, with upcoming, back-to-back showdowns with the Seattle Sounders to end the regular season.

But first there’s the little matter of a match against FC Dallas on Sunday at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas (4 p.m., ESPN2). A victory would strengthen the Galaxy’s position in the neck-and-neck race with Seattle, which host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Friday. The Western Conference powers were tied with 60 points entering the weekend.

“We’re focused on the here and now,” said the Galaxy’s Alan Gordon, who has been sensational in 11 games since his trade from San Jose. He’s scored five goals, all of them coming off the bench. “We haven’t forgotten about Dallas.”

Nor have they forgotten the last meeting between the teams. It was on Sept. 20 at StubHub Center, where the Galaxy (17-5-9) battled back for a hard-earned, 2-1 victory that clinched a playoff berth. Gordon scored the winner in the 84th minute.

“They’re a really good team,” Gordon said. “They they gave us a really good game at home, where we had to fight to get three points.”

FC Dallas (14-11-6, 48 points) is fourth in the West, one point behind third-place Real Salt Lake, and would clinch a playoff berth with a win this weekend. But Dallas is trying to bounce back from a 2-0 loss at Vancouver and, like the Galaxy, could be short-handed Sunday.

Dallas could be without three players because of international duty. Forward Blas Perez, who has a team-leading 10 goals and 6 assists, is with Panama’s national team for a Sunday friendly against Mexico in Queretaro, Mexico. Goalkeeper Raul Fernandez was with Peru for a Saturday friendly against Chile in Valparaiso and midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson was called up for Friday’s match against Japan in Nagata, Japan.

The Galaxy will be missing Robbie Keane, now third in the league with 19 goals who is with Ireland for Euro2016 qualifying. Forward Landon Donovan, who just set the MLS career assist mark in last Saturday’s 3-0 win over Toronto FC and currently leads the league with 19 assists, was with the U.S. in Hartford, Conn., where he will his national team farewell in a friendly against Ecuador on Friday. He’s expected to play only 30 minutes and be available to play Sunday.

The Galaxy will also be without midfielder Marcelo Sarvas, who is suspended for Sunday’s match with yellow card accumulation. The Brazilian has been a key component to the LA side’s success this season, tallying two goals and 11 assists in 26 appearances.

The status of defender Omar Gonzalez, also with the U.S. team, was unclear, although Galaxy officials have asked for him to be released for the Dallas match.

In any event, the Galaxy expect a tough battle.

“Another good test,” defender A.J. DeLaGarza said. “It’s hard to win on the road in this league. Both teams are missing some quality players, but guys are going to have to step up on both teams to get a result.

“This game definitely matters. We need to keep pace (with Seattle). It’s good they play on Friday so we know what we need to do on Sunday.”

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