D.C. United (10-11-3) at the Galaxy (6-10-8)

First off, my thoughts are with Palos Verdes Peninsula resident Bill Mason this evening, a long-time AYSO referee and a score board operator for the Galaxy, who I discovered tonight had a stroke last Sunday and is in intensive care at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Bill has struggled with ill health for some time and certainly didn’t need this, so let’s hope he’s back in the press box soon.

Back to business: the mediocre meets the truly awful tonight in a game that could realistically spell the end of the Galaxy’s season without three points.

D.C. United come into the game occupying the eighth and final MLS playoff spot, although they are winless in their last five games and have just one win in their last five games.

The antidote may be the Galaxy, without a win in a dozen games now and counting, although they began the day just four points out of the third and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Western Conference.

David Beckham and Landon Donovan are playing together at Home Depot Center for the first time since July 10.

The Galaxy lineup: Wicks, Klein, Franklin, Roberts, Jazic, Beckham, Donovan, Vanney, Lewis, Buddle, Gordon.

Bryan Jordan drops to the bench after last week’s depressing loss to the Wizards.

United starts former Galaxy midfielder Santino Quaranta, while Luciano Emilio – fourth on the MLS goal-scoring charts with 11 goals – is up front.

The game is on Fox Soccer Channel.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!