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Letter from America

Simon Dawkins is preparing for a Californian derby in the MLS tonight.

The attacking midfielder is on loan at our club partners San Jose Earthquakes and ready to line-up against LA Galaxy, the reigning champions and home of David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane.

Galaxy - who we face on our pre-season tour of the States in July - won the MLS last year but have struggled this time around.

Indeed, the match played out in the early hours of Thursday morning, UK time, will see Earthquakes flying high in second in the Western Conference while Galaxy are currently bottom.

After taking time to re-acclimatise to MLS football after a successful loan spell last season, Simon is starting to make his mark again this season.

He scored in a recent win against Real Salt Lake, grabbed an assist against DC United and has played 90 minutes in four of the last six matches.

"It took me a little time to get back into the starting line-up but that was no surprise as the team started the season so well," said Simon from San Jose, ahead of travelling to LA.

"I've started the last six games and things are going really well.

"The team has pushed on again this season and we're competing at the top of the division. The players are confident and the team is playing well.

"Wednesday night will be a big game against Galaxy. Of course, they are the team that everyone has heard of, with the big-name players, but as I said, we're confident."

The only pity is that Simon will miss a match-up against Robbie Keane, who has joined up with the Republic of Ireland squad.

"He really helped me when I was a youngster coming through at Spurs," added Simon, who joined our Academy in July, 2004.

"Obviously he's a fantastic player, a legend at Spurs and he was always there with advice for me and I'll always be thankful for that."