The Los Angeles Galaxy would prefer to forget about the month of June as a whole, but they'd especially like to wipe their most recent result out of their minds.
After a stunning stoppage-time collapse, the Galaxy look to bounce back Thursday night when they host the Columbus Crew.
Los Angeles (7-7-3) had been outscored 8-2 while going 1-2-1 in its first four games in June, but it was well on its way to closing the month on a high note Saturday in San Jose. Robbie Keane assisted on goals by Marcelo Sarvas and Hector Jimenez, and the Galaxy led 2-0 midway through the second half.
The Earthquakes got one back in the 68th minute, but Los Angeles still led until stoppage time. Then, it conceded the equalizer in the 92nd minute and the winner a minute later, the finishing touches on a 3-2 defeat that has the Galaxy eager to get back on the pitch.
"Anytime for us in sports when something like that happens, you have to have a real short-term memory," midfielder Pablo Mastroeni told the team's official website. "I came in the locker room (Monday) morning, and everybody was ready to go. This game on Thursday can't come soon enough."
The Crew (5-7-5) have to feel the same way. Columbus has won just once in its last six games and lost its last two, the latest a 3-2 defeat at Kansas City on Saturday in which it was outshout 24-7.
"It's all about whoever we play next, that way you don't get ahead of yourself and fret upon what's happened," midfielder Danny O'Rourke told the team's official website. "Especially in this league, every game counts and you have to take it as such."
Both teams will be playing the middle match in a three-games-in-nine-days stretch, and in the Crew's case, they'll have logged 4,000 miles in less than a week by the time they host Portland on Sunday. One certain absence will be striker Jairo Arrieta, who will be playing with Costa Rica in the Gold Cup, but coach Robert Warzycha is confident his team can stay fresh.
"I don't think we plan to rotate a lot of guys, but there will be some changes," Warzycha said. "These are professional players, they know how to use this time to rest. They know that games are sometimes every few days, so I don't think there will be any issues."
Galaxy star Landon Donovan will also be gone on international duty, but as long as Keane is around, Los Angeles poses a serious offensive threat. The Irish striker has five goals and six assists, and the Galaxy are 5-2-2 and have averaged two goals with him in the lineup.
Without Keane, they're 2-5-1 and have totaled seven goals in eight games.
"You've always got to know where he's at on the field," Crew defender Chad Marshall said. "He's very good at the last second, getting in behind you or creating the space and checking into it. We've always got to know where he's at."
Keane netted the tying goal in the teams' 1-all draw in Columbus on Aug. 15 after Arrieta scored for the Crew.
The Galaxy haven't conceded a first-half goal at home this season.
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