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L.A. aiming to continue strong start at TFC

3:09 PM, Mar 29, 2013   |    comments
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Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Galaxy are unbeaten through three games this season, a far cry from the club's slow start last term.

But even with the solid beginning, there is reason to believe that the Galaxy could go on an even more impressive run.

Los Angeles heads to BMO Field to take on Toronto FC on Saturday, and the defending MLS Cup champions will welcome Omar Gonzalez back to the fold following his superb tour with the United States national team for its two World Cup qualifiers.

Gonzalez anchored the American defense in its clean sheets against Costa Rica and Mexico, and his performances have garnered rave reviews from the Galaxy camp.

"I thought he played well in a game that they certainly needed to be solid defensively because they weren't going to be able to generate much going the other way," Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told the club's official website regarding the match in Mexico. "The focus and concentration by Omar and the U.S. team was excellent."

A.J. DeLaGarza, Gonzalez's partner in the center of defense for Los Angeles, echoed Arena sentiments.

"I thought he did well," DeLaGarza told LAGalaxy.com. "I think that he was maybe Man of the Match, but I thought that the defense all preformed pretty well, even though there was question marks going into it. It was a different lineup than it was [when the U.S. defeated Costa Rica 1-0 last Friday], but they're all experienced and good players and it showed."

While the Galaxy will be hoping that Gonzalez can translate that type of form into MLS play, the club will be hoping that Landon Donovan can get going as soon as possible.

After a short sabbatical to acquire some extra rest ahead of the season, Donovan rejoined his teammates this week to begin preparations for the new season. While it is unclear how quickly he will be integrated into Arena's plans, the fact that the club's talisman is back with the squad certainly bodes well for its chances of an unprecedented three-peat.

The Galaxy must first face a Toronto side that has managed some impressive play under first-year head coach Ryan Nelsen. Toronto has taken three points from its opening three games, the lone win coming in the form of a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City at Rogers Centre.

Saturday's tilt with Los Angeles will mark Toronto's first match at BMO Field this season, and Nelsen is looking to make the venue a true fortress.

"It's very important [to protect you home field and win games at home]," Nelsen told MLSSoccer.com. "It is one of our goals for this year - to make our home ground a horrible place for opposition teams to come to and such that no team can come in and expect an easy three points.

"We will do whatever it takes to defend our home patch and make our fans proud. That is one of our main goals."

The Sports Network

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