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MLS Preview: Gerrard set for league bow

All eyes will be on Steven Gerrard, when reigning MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy host San Jose Earthquakes in the California Clasico on Friday.

Gerrard has made two appearances for the Galaxy following his arrival from boyhood club Liverpool, playing the first half of a 2-1 win over America in the International Champions Cup on Saturday, before coming off the bench in the 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake in Open Cup action on Tuesday.

The former Anfield skipper, however, will make his much-anticipated MLS debut for the fifth-placed Galaxy against Western Conference rivals the Earthquakes, who emerged 3-1 victors when the sides met late last month.

“We had some good chances to at least take the game to extra-time. I’m guilty of missing one, so I take responsibility for that, but the big game this week was always going to be Friday,” Gerrard told Galaxy TV after the loss to RSL.

“We move on, we can’t change the past. We will try to get back to winning ways on Friday.

“It’s been a whirlwind change over the last week or two. I’m still searching for 100 per cent fitness but I can feel it coming.

“I’d be very frustrated and disappointed if I wasn’t getting chances whilst the chances are there and I have full belief in myself that those chances will sooner rather than later go in the back of the net.”

The Galaxy will be out to close the gap on Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps and FC Dallas, who are all level on 32 points atop the West as they prepare for action on Saturday.

The Sounders are at home to basement side Colorado Rapids, the Whitecaps can end a run of back-to-back defeats against Portland Timbers, while Dallas entertain Eastern Conference leaders DC United.

United are eight points clear in the East, well ahead of Columbus Crew, who resume hostilities with Chicago Fire on Sunday after extinguishing the strugglers 1-0 in the first leg of their double-header midweek.

In other fixtures scheduled on Saturday, Toronto FC tackle Philadelphia Union, while Orlando City and New York Red Bulls square-off in a blockbuster clash in the East.

Free-falling New England Revolution – in the midst of a five-match losing streak – welcome New York City FC to Gillette Stadium, Montreal Impact are on the road against Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo can register back-to-back wins with victory at RSL.

Thu 16 Jul, 2015
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