The LA Galaxy get yet another go at Real Salt Lake tomorrow – their third! – as they kick off a difficult stretch of games in July.

RSL are the very definition of ‘formidable.’ They sit just below first-place Seattle in the Western Conference standings, and haven’t lost to LA yet. The Galaxy, on the other hand, are a spot outside the cut-off for playoffs — and although they have games in hand, it’s time to start making those games count.

Coming off a feisty draw with the Portland Timbers, LA’s gameplan likely revolves around pressure. I loved Marcelo Sarvas’ brutally honest reaction to the Portland game:

“For moments you see the Galaxy that everyone expects: tight, pressing, biting. Then most of the time we were just jogging around, and we paid for that.”
—Marcelo Sarvas

And Sarvas’ kneejerk reaction was right in line with head coach Bruce Arena’s take:

“I think we were sloppy throughout the game; the effort was not consistent over the 90 minutes. For us to have that kind of energy in the last 15 minutes to get an equalizer and not have that energy for the entire game is a little disappointing.”
—Bruce Arena

If the Galaxy want to press, if they want to be biting, they’ll have to do it without the services of Omar Gonzalez and Samuel. Gonzalez is back from Brazil but nursing an injury he picked up in the World Cup. Samuel, meanwhile, is headed the opposite direction: his loan’s been terminated and the young striker is returning to Brazilian side Fluminense.

That means tomorrow’s lineup is likely to look very similar to last week. Corner of the Galaxy contributer Sean Steffen will be happy with the consistency — but if Arena shakes anything up, fingers crossed for Landon Donovan’s return to the striker role.

For their part, Real Salt Lake will be welcoming midfielder Kyle Beckerman back into the lineup. Beckerman has always been a key playmaker for RSL, and he’s riding high off a solid World Cup showing.

To win, the Galaxy have two tasks. First, shut down Beckerman’s options — neutralize the playmaker before he gets a chance to wreak too much havoc. And secondly, crucially, LA’s offense needs to get on the same page. I’ll be surprised if a week was enough time to work out those kinks.

But I’d love to be surprised.