Rapids-Galaxy Preview

The Associated Press

A two-week break between matches doesn't appear to be a long enough period of time for David Beckham to be ready for the Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday night.

Captain Landon Donovan, though, may be able to contribute for the first time in a month.

Los Angeles hopes to have Beckham and Donovan on the field against the visiting Colorado Rapids as it looks to extend its unbeaten streak to five matches and move into a tie for third place in the Western Conference.

Beckham, third on the team with seven goals, is listed as questionable after spraining his left ankle in the Galaxy's last match, a 2-0 home win over Vancouver on Sept. 1 that improved the team to 3-0-1 in its last four games.

While coach Bruce Arena told MLS' official website that Beckham "might be" able to play, the prognosis for Donovan looks much better.

Donovan has sat out Los Angeles' last two matches due to a hamstring injury suffered while playing for the United States national team Aug. 15. He played in a Reserve League game Monday and had a goal and an assist in 33 minutes.

"I'm feeling all right. Not perfect yet, but feeling good, so hopefully Friday," Donovan, who is second on the team with nine goals, told MLS' official website. "We've waited this long, there's no need to rush it now. If I'm not ready, I can be used off the bench, but I'm hoping I can start the game."

Los Angeles (13-11-4) would certainly love to have Donovan, the team's assist leader with 11, on the pitch from the get-go as it tries to tie Real Salt Lake for third in the West and pull within one point of second-place Seattle.

It's been an incredible turnaround for the defending MLS Cup champion Galaxy after a 3-8-2 start.

"You always know the team that ends up winning the MLS Cup is the team that goes into the postseason hot," midfielder Mike Magee told the Galaxy's official website. "It doesn't matter what we did in the middle of the season, it doesn't matter what we did in the beginning of the season. All that matters is how we finish strong."

Colorado (9-17-2) needs a strong finish if it plans on reaching the postseason. The Rapids are eight points behind the Whitecaps for the fifth and final playoff spot in the West with six matches remaining.

They won for the second time in 12 games with a 3-0 home victory over Portland on Sept. 5. Colorado had scored four goals in going 0-3-1 in its previous four matches.

"We have a lot to do," coach Oscar Pareja said. "But tonight we finally found the net."

Colorado has lost three straight to Los Angeles, falling 2-1 at home April 21 in the first meeting this season. The Galaxy visit the Rapids again Sept. 30.

"We're not out of it till we're out of it," defender Drew Moor told the Rapids' official website. "We still believe we can continue to win games. ... Our belief right now is still the playoffs."

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