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Soccer

Streaking Galaxy expect Ibrahimovic back for showdown with FC Dallas

Sigi Schmid has won more regular-season games than any coach in MLS history, so the Galaxy manager isn’t too particular about how he gets his victories.

But even by that measure the last two wins, both 1-0 victories, were especially ugly, the first coming in a game the Galaxy finished with just 10 men and the second in a match in which the team was held to one shot on goal. And while neither won Schmid’s team style points, they did earn it six points in the standings, giving the Galaxy consecutive wins for the first time in a year and consecutive shutouts for the first time since 2016.

Those are two streaks Schmid hopes to continue Wednesday when the Galaxy play host to FC Dallas at the StubHub Center.

We’ve gutted out the last two games,” Schmid said. “Maybe luck is turning our direction a little bit.”

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The game will be the third in 10 days for a depleted team that will be without brothers Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos, who are away with Mexico’s World Cup team. However the Galaxy (5-6-1) expect to get back forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who missed the last game because of a red-card suspension.

Schmid was especially pleased with the back-to-back shutouts since they followed a period in which the Galaxy gave up 11 goals in four games, losing all four.

“Defensively over the last two games, you know we’ve bent a little bit, but we’ve been stronger,” he said. “We’re getting better.”

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Defensive improvements aside, the Galaxy’s up-and-down results were probably influenced by the schedule as well. Eight of the team’s first nine games came against 2017 playoff teams, with the Galaxy losing five of those. The two-game winning streak came against Montreal and San Jose, teams near the bottom of the conference standings..

That makes Wednesday’s game a measuring stick of sorts, as the Galaxy will take a step up in class again against a Dallas team that has lost only once this season, holding opponents to 11 goals in as many games. Dallas (5-1-5) has already beaten the Galaxy once this month, winning 3-2 in Dallas.

Midfielder Romain Alessandrini, who scored the only goal in the win over San Jose, said Dallas will see a different Galaxy on Wednesday.

“It’s a good feeling to get the win,” he said. “The team was frustrated. But we worked hard, we talked to each other and now we have to take it game by game and get back to the top.”

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

@kbaxter11

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