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LA Galaxy - D.C. United match preview

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Can LA rebound from a frustrating draw without Keane and Zardes?

Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

Following a match described by Robbie Rogers as "a bummer", the Galaxy travel cross-country to battle D.C. United Saturday at 4:00 pm, live on Time Warner Cable Sportsnet & TWC Deportes.

The big story for LA this week is the departure of forwards Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes with international call ups. Who should the Galaxy replace the duo with?

You never know with Bruce, but an Alan Gordon - Edson Buddle pairing up top, or Jose Villarreal with either Gordon or Buddle are the most likely options. 

Gordon and Buddle are two strong, physical forwards who are skilled in the air, and with Villarreal and Stefan Ishiazki capable of providing quality service from the wings, they can cause problems. The problem is, Gordon and Buddle may be too similar as forwards to work together.

On the other hand, pairing Villarreal with Gordon or Buddle would create a more natural strike force up top, and allow Villarreal to play his natural position. Of course, this move requires someone else to shift to the left wing, probably Baggio Husidic. The question is, with a midfield that is already struggling to create chances and a makeshift attack, how effective will LA be vs. a D.C. United team that only gave up a league low 37 goals last season?

Could Saturday also mark the debut of 2015 SuperDraft pick Nacho Maganto? Bradford Jamieson IV is with the U-20s and will also miss the game, leaving the LA bench short of attacking options.

Brian Rowe will once again take over for Jaime Penedo in goal, who is away with the Panamanian national team.

D.C. United are a strange team to critique. Missing the attacking talent of Fabian Espindola, creative midfielder Luis Silva, Eddie Johnson and new signing Markus Halsti, the team plays a bit rudderless. Offseason pick up Jairo Arrieta has been serviceable in attack, but for the most part D.C. looks like a team waiting for their key pieces to come back.

However, their defense remains strong. Bill Hamid is a rock in net, while Steve Birnbaum continues to build on a successful rookie season that saw him earn a January USMNT call up.

Prepare for a disjointed game tomorrow. One more thing: The Galaxy could be facing poor weather conditions, in which case it might be best for LA to play direct with Buddle and Gordon.