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Galaxy's David Bingham eager to face former San Jose teammates

When goalkeeper David Bingham left the only MLS club he had ever known last winter, he wasn't really worried about the door hitting him on the behind as he walked out.

"It was definitely to the point where it just wasn't going to work anymore," Bingham said of leaving the San Jose Earthquakes after seven seasons to join the Galaxy. "I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible."

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On Friday at the StubHub Center he'll face his former team for the first time. And he admitted the game carries extra significance for him.

"The general answer you guys get is usually no, which is kind of cliché," he told a group of reporters after a training session this week. "But I think there always is a little something you want to prove.

"I love all the guys. Still talk to a lot of them. But when it's game time, I'm probably going to hate them all."

Bingham was one of the league's top keepers in 2015 and 2016, when he posted 20 shutouts and made 211 saves. But he says a drawn-out contract dispute led to his benching last summer, and his subsequent trade.

He has been inconsistent ' with the Galaxy. Plagued by a porous defense, Bingham gave up 11 goals over a recent four-game span but bookended the stretch with shutouts on both sides.

Against San Jose, which has a 2-6-3 record, the Galaxy (4-6-1) will welcome back captain Ashley Cole after a one-game suspension and expect to have midfielder Giovani dos Santos back after recovering from a hamstring strain. But they will be without striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who drew a red card in the first half of Monday's 1-0 win at Montreal.

In Ibrahimovic's absence, the Galaxy are likely to lean even more heavily on forward Ola Kamara, who has scored in four consecutive games.

Kamara's game-winning goal at Montreal ended a four-game losing streak for the Galaxy but San Jose is in an even deeper rut, with only one win since its season opener in March.

Friday's game, the second of three in a 10-day period for the Galaxy, could also be the last until July for Dos Santos and his brother Jonathan, who are expected to join the Mexican national team Sunday to begin preparations for the World Cup. Kamara will leave late next week for international duty with Norway but will be absent for only one MLS game.

Follow Kevin Baxter on Twitter @kbaxter11

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