4 p.m. vs. Los Angeles Galaxy • ESPN, ESPN1500

Recovering from poor starts

Preview: The Los Angeles Galaxy made it to the Western Conference semifinals last year, but if this season were to end now, the team (3-5-2) wouldn't even make the playoffs, one spot out of contention. Neither would Minnesota United (3-6-2), which also has 11 points. Poor starts have plagued both squads, but United has won two of its past four matches while Los Angeles is unbeaten in its past three.

Players to watch: United midfielder Kevin Molino had just his second multi-goal match in his 47 regular-season MLS matches so far when he scored twice at Toronto last week. Former college teammates might face off as well; United F Abu Danladi and LA defender Nathan Smith played at UCLA together. Danladi and Galaxy midfielder Emmanuel Boateng are also both Ghana natives and graduates of the Right to Dream Academy.

Numbers: Both United F Christian Ramirez and LA M Romain Alessandrini have scored six goals this season. Alessandrini also is fourth in the league with 38 shots. United and Los Angeles have been offsides just 15 and 14 times, respectively, the third- and second-fewest in the league.

Injuries: M Bernardo Anor (leg) and D Thomas de Villardi (Achilles') are out for United. D Robbie Rogers (ankle), M Sebastian Lletget (foot), GK Clement Diop (hip) and M Jermaine Jones (MCL) are out for the Galaxy. Defender Bradley Diallo is suspended (red card).

Megan Ryan