The Los Angeles Galaxy can clinch a fourth consecutive playoff berth if they can get past a team that's set to miss the postseason yet again.
The defending champions will try to secure their return to the playoffs with a season-high fourth consecutive victory Saturday night against Toronto FC, though they could be without Landon Donovan and David Beckham.
Another trip to the postseason seemed like anything but a certainty for Los Angeles during a 3-8-2 start to the season, but the Galaxy (14-11-4) have turned it around by going 11-3-2 in their last 16 games. They've outscored opponents 11-1 during a 4-0-1 stretch and 9-1 in four consecutive victories at home.
The Galaxy's three straight wins have come by 2-0 scores, the most recent last Friday over Colorado. Josh Saunders has been in net for all three contests.
The run has pulled Los Angeles into a tie for third in the Western Conference with Real Salt Lake, two points behind second-place Seattle.
"We're greedy. We want more," said Donovan, who has a strained hamstring and is listed as questionable but played most of the Rapids game. "If we're going to pass Seattle, pass Salt Lake and get near San Jose we're going to need a little bit of help, but we also play those three teams, all of them, so we want to keep pushing and we'll see where the chips lie at the end.
"But we're going to keep going and keep putting pressure on teams."
The Galaxy will be trying to extend a six-game unbeaten streak over Toronto (5-17-7). The clubs have played to draws in the last four matchups.
Beckham's sprained left ankle, suffered Sept. 1, kept him out of the last game and he's also listed as questionable for Saturday.
It's possible that Los Angeles won't need either star against Toronto, 0-6-3 in its last nine and 0-3-1 in its past four on the road.
"L.A. has a lot of superstars and big names in the league. It's a team you want to show you deserve to be in the ranks with them and show what you can do," forward Quincy Amarikwa told the league's website.
Toronto appeared to be on its to ending its skid last Saturday against Philadelphia but gave up a goal in the 85th minute of a 1-all home draw.
Eric Hassli scored his third goal in six games with Toronto but suffered an ankle injury that's expected to keep him out of this contest.
- Los Angeles Galaxy
- Los Angeles
- Toronto FC
- Landon Donovan