MLS Saturday Galaxy Gameday: Ruiz returns

i-493a22d6e5aaf89cd0a202d5a1b5db92-ruizreturns.jpgClap on, clap off? Will former Galaxy striker Carlos Ruiz, seen here saluting the crowd after scoring the lone goal in the Philadelphia Union’s win over the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend, get a round of applause when he returns to Home Depot Center tonight to face the Galaxy? (AP Photo).

*Reporter Phil Collin has the game preview.

*Are the Union ready for their closeup?

Three questions for the Galaxy

*Will David Beckham show up? Beckham has looked positively ordinary so far this season with even Coach Bruce Arena observing with calculated understatement that the team hasn’t seen the best of him yet. That’s the equivalent of harsh criticism coming from a Galaxy official given that the organization as a whole collectively genuflects when it comes to his Beckhamness.

*Will the defense show up? The Galaxy back four needs Omar Gonzalez in it the middle and Donovan Ricketts behind it, that much is obvious given the results so far. Arena was quoted before the first game of the season as saying that Ricketts’ absence was not due to anything particularly serious. So how many games does he have to miss before it becomes serious?

*Will the return of Landon Donovan give the Galaxy the offensive spark it needs? Landon Donovan’s absence against RSL had nothing to do with the ghastly defense, but just in case you needed confirmation that it’s Donovan, not Beckham, that is this team’s inspirational and creative heart you didn’t have to look any further than last week’s insipid loss.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer 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!