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LA Galaxy vs. Colombus Crew, 2016 MLS: Match Preview

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MLS: LA Galaxy at Columbus Crew SC Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

No international break here for the LA Galaxy as they host the Columbus Crew at StubHub Center on Saturday night.

It’s been a rough couple of few days for the Galaxy. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise anymore but injuries are once again taking a toll on Bruce Arena’s squad. Earlier in the week it was reported that Gyasi Zardes suffered a broken fifth matersal and could possibly be out for the rest of the season.

Zardes, though, is just one of three Galaxy players who will miss games due to injury in the coming weeks. Jelle Van Damme will also be out with an MCL sprain, while Steven Gerrard is set to miss the next two weeks with a hamstring injury.

It gets slightly worse for the Galaxy. Robbie Keane is out on international duty playing his last international game for the Republic of Ireland and will also be unavailable. On the other hand, Nigel de Jong, who was becoming an integral part to the Galaxy’s midfield, just recently signed for Turkish side Galatasaray.

As manager Bruce Arena put it on Tuesday, “Sh*t happens.” Arena then told reporters, “We build a roster to deal with adversity and injuries. That’s what we’re doing.”

There is some admiration for Arena here. The belief that this team has enough depth to push beyond these next few weeks certainly has its value. Given the standard of Major League Soccer’s scheduling, you can understand why Arena spent all of the off-season signing players like Jeff Larentowicz and Mike Magee. This is where depth means something for a team.

All things considered, the Galaxy are still winless in their last six games. Against the Columbus Crew, however, comes another genuine opportunity to right the ship. Last season’s MLS Cup finalist is having a less-than-stellar season. Gregg Berhalter’s side are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference standings and six points away from the last playoff spot. Their last victory over the Galaxy in Southern California came nine years ago when they won 3-2.

Given that, Bruce Arena and Co. have no intention of having injuries derail their season. With eight games still to play in this campaign, a victory over the Colombus Crew could be a much-needed reminder that this team has the depth to get far this season.

LAST MEETING

Colombus Crew 1-1 LA Galaxy - June 13, 2015 - MLS

Sebastian Lletget powered the Galaxy to a 1-0 lead at Mapfre Stadium before Federico Higuain leveled in the second half to earn the Crew a valuable point at home.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

LA Galaxy (4-2-3-1): Rowe; Rogers, Steres, Leonardo, Cole; Husidic, Larentowicz,; Boateng, dos Santos, Lletget; Gordon

Crew (4-2-3-1): Clark; Afful, Parkhurst, Naess, Ashe; Trapp, Saeid; Findlay, Tchani, Meram; Jahn