Galaxy To Face Wizards, Johnson Could Be Back

When Eddie Johnson was called up to the U.S. national team last month, Kansas City Wizards coach Curt Onalfo promised his team would remain aggressive on offense.

Onalfo was right, but the team wasn't nearly as effective without Johnson.

With his U.S. national team obligation over, Johnson may be back on the field for the Wizards as they try to end a five-game winless streak when they face the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night.

Kansas City (6-5-3) has gone 0-3-2 since Johnson left for the Copa America tournament. The Wizards have taken 46 shots on goal in their last two matches, but found the back of the net only once.

The Wizards have scored two goals in their last four matches.

With Johnson, Kansas City was tied for the MLS lead with 19 goals in nine games. He was the league's hottest scorer in that span, tallying nine goals on 35 shots.

Johnson and defender Jimmy Conrad, who also was with the U.S. national team, are uncertain for Saturday's game.

It's unknown how long it might take for Johnson and Conrad to re-acclimate themselves with the Wizards, but the team is likely to push Johnson's return considering its woes on offense. Both players were named starters Thursday for the MLS All-Star Game.

"When you are without two of the best players in Major League Soccer it will affect your team," Onalfo said. "We are creating the same amount of chances -- we just can't find the back of the net."

Kansas City, tied for third in the Eastern Conference with 21 points, is coming off a 1-0 loss to D.C. United on Wednesday night. Another loss or tie would extend the Wizards' winless streak to six games for the first time since going 0-4-4 to conclude the 2005 season.

Los Angeles (3-5-3) moved out of last place in the West with a 2-0 victory over Chicago on Wednesday night.

Landon Donovan scored twice on penalty kicks for the Galaxy, who now try to win consecutive games for the first time all season.

Los Angeles forward Carlos Pavon, a member of Honduras' national team, made his MLS debut when he replaced Cobi Jones in the 56th minute. Pavon, who was signed on June 20, is expected to start once he becomes more familiar with the team.

"You can see he's energetic. You can see he knows how to play the game," Donovan said. "He's hungry and he wants to be out there and he wants to score. He's always in good spots. He's going to help us a lot."

Pavon won three league championships with Real Espana of Honduras and one with Mexico's Necaxa, and was named Honduras' player of the year in 2000.

This will be the first matchup of the season between Los Angeles and Kansas City. The Galaxy are 3-0-1 against the Wizards since 2005.


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