BLACKBURN – Having clinched a playoff spot, the Los Angeles Galaxy can turn their focus to earning the Supporters' Shield. They'll have a great opportunity to move closer Saturday night.
The Galaxy look to remain undefeated at home when they face a Vancouver Whitecaps team which is winless on the road.
Landon Donovan scored his team-best 12th goal as Los Angeles secured a postseason berth with a 1-0 win over Colorado last Friday, improving to 9-0-5 at home. The Galaxy (15-3-10) have a seven-point lead over Seattle for the league's best record while Real Salt Lake is 10 points back with two fewer games played.
"It would be nice to win the Supporters' Shield," coach Bruce Arena said. "That's the next objective for us."
It will be tough to catch the Galaxy, 3-0-1 in their last four games overall. They've won five straight home games and posted shutouts in the last two, not allowing a goal in their last 260 minutes at The Home Depot Center.
The defense may be even tougher with the return of Donovan Ricketts, who was out three months with a broken forearm. He returned against the Rapids and made two saves.
Arena said backup Josh Saunders will continue to get playing time despite the return of Ricketts. Saunders went 5-1-1 while Ricketts was out, giving up seven goals.
"We're not going to push (Ricketts) real hard," Arena told the Galaxy's official website. "We're still going to be using he and (Saunders), but I think it's a real good problem to have."
Saunders was in net for a 2-1 loss to Monarcas Morelia in a CONCACAF Champions League match on Tuesday.
"(Ricketts) is great to have as a teammate," Saunders said. "If he plays, I'll support him 100 percent, and if I play, then it'll be great to get back out there. Getting on the field is big ... but it's not going to be a massive difference for me."
Saunders started a 4-0 win over Vancouver on July 30. Donovan scored twice while David Beckham sat out due to a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation.
Beckham, whose 12 assists are second-most in the league, is questionable for Saturday with back spasms.
The Galaxy may choose to rest Beckham considering they are facing league-worst Vancouver (4-13-10), the only Western Conference team without a road win at 0-10-5.
The Whitecaps blew a chance for their first road victory last Saturday in a 1-all draw at New York last Saturday. David Chiumiento scored in the 23rd minute, but the team failed to protect the lead, giving up a goal in the 68th.
"It's tough. We're not ready mentally to win on the road," Chiumiento said. "We played a good first half and the second half we drew a blank. We didn't show enough courage to win the game."
The Whitecaps hadn't led in any of their previous five road games.