Surging FC Dallas could get a boost if one of its top scorers can return to the field this weekend. The Los Angeles Galaxy are hoping to have one of theirs available for the start of a lengthy homestand.
Landon Donovan's status, though, is unknown for the first of Los Angeles' four straight MLS home games Sunday against Dallas, which could get some help from forward Blas Perez during its quest for a fourth straight win.
FC Dallas (8-11-8) has dealt with injuries for much of its lackluster campaign but has started to get some momentum thanks in part to a healthier lineup. The club would have nearly its full complement of players if Perez returns from a foot injury, suffered during a World Cup qualifier for Panama in June.
"They say that I'm the missing link, but it's the coach's decision so we'll see what he says," he told the team's official website.
The forward, who has missed Dallas' past 12 MLS contests, has five goals and three assists in 13 games for the club during his first MLS season. Dallas also signed Argentine striker Matias Jara on Tuesday but it isn't clear when he'll play.
Perez's return may only bolster an offense that has already totaled seven goals during Dallas' three consecutive victories. David Ferreira scored in stoppage time last Saturday in a 2-1 win at Real Salt Lake.
That result has FC Dallas on the verge of tying its longest road win streak in club history. It last won three straight away from home May 22-June 4, 2005, and is seeking its first four-game overall win streak since Sept. 26-Oct. 17, 2009.
FC Dallas will try to achieve those feats against the potentially short-handed Galaxy (11-11-4).
Forward Edson Buddle is still recovering from knee surgery and is not expected to play Sunday. Los Angeles might also be without Donovan, who missed a CONCACAF Champions League win Thursday due to a strained left hamstring.
"There's a chance that he'll play," coach Bruce Arena told the Galaxy's official website. "We have to have lineup by 3 p.m. on Sunday so we'll try to take advantage of that time as best we can."
The Galaxy are playing their first league match since an up-and-down stretch that followed a 1-0 win at Dallas on July 28.
Los Angeles fell 4-0 at Seattle in its first game this month, but then beat rival Chivas USA 4-0 a week later. In their most recent MLS match Aug. 15, the Galaxy played to a 1-all draw at Columbus as Robbie Keane scored the tying goal in the 64th minute.
The Galaxy also played to a 1-all tie with FC Dallas at the Home Depot Center on April 28. Dallas recorded its most recent road win over Los Angeles in the 2010 Western Conference finals.
FC Dallas is in sixth place in the West, five points behind Los Angeles as it chases one of the final playoff spots.