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Houston Dynamo vs LA Galaxy, 2016 MLS: Match Preview

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Still seeking their first road win of the season, the LA Galaxy travel to the Lone Star State to take on the Houston Dynamo on Friday.

Inevitably, any build-up to the game has been dominated by talk of Nigel de Jong and his tackle on Darlington Nagbe over the weekend. A retroactive one-game ban will be imposed on the Dutch midfielder but the number of games that will be added to his suspension is still unknown at this time.

Of course, De Jong will be a big miss for Bruce Arena's side. He has been the player that typically sets things right in the midfield and at least one player the Galaxy could rely on to stand firm in the middle of the park.

The feeling now is that Bruce Arena will have Steven Gerrard or Jeff Larentowicz be charged with taking over one of the midfield spots. The latter hasn't played a single game this season after undergoing surgery for a hernia, while Gerrard has been out since mid-March.

Indeed, injuries continue to ravage the Galaxy locker room. Robbie Rogers is the latest player to pick up a knock after suffering a hip injury in this weekend's draw with the Portland Timbers.

On a positive note, however, Dan Kennedy, A.J. DeLaGarza, and Leonardo have all returned to training after missing the first few games of the season.

The Houston Dynamo, meanwhile, arrive to this game after a tough draw with the Seattle Sounders on Sunday. Owen Coyle's side is winless in their last three games, and their only victory of the season was a 5-0 thumping over rivals FC Dallas.

Given the situation, Bruce Arena will feel he has to come up with the right lineup, and an upturn in performance will by needed by the Galaxy's attackers against a side that has scored a combined nine goals in their first three home matches.

A win in Houston, though, would do wonders for the Galaxy's confidence. A road win, in fact, is overdue.

LAST MEETING

Houston Dynamo 3-0 LA Galaxy - July 25, 2015 - MLS

Will Bruin, Brad Davis, and Leonel Miranda all got on the scoresheet for the Dynamo as they cruised towards a 3-0 victory at home.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

LA Galaxy (4-4-2): Rowe; Garcia, Steres, Van Damme, Cole; Lletget, Husidic, Garcia, Zardes; Dos Santos, Magee

Houston Dynamo (4-2-3-1): Willis; Anibaba, Horst, Rodriguez, Beasley; Alex, Clark; Wenger, Maidana, Barnes; Bruin