CARSON, Calif. – A congested schedule with commitments in two competitions has taken its toll on the LA Galaxy ahead of this weekend’s clash against Sporting Kansas City.
Head coach Bruce Arena rested Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin and Robbie Keane in their 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas due to knocks suffered in their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey.
Following the club’s 1-1 Reserve League draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Monday, Dunivant told reporters that he has been battling a left thigh strain that first occurred prior to LA’s CCL semifinal series. Dunivant pushed through the injury in the first leg, but exited the second leg defeat in Mexico midway through the second half before sitting out against FCD.
The club also provided an update on Keane, who is currently suffering a left ankle injury and Jose Villarreal, who took a knock on his left shoulder during the Reserve League match and was forced to exit during the 40th minute.
The injury list may seem numerous at the moment, but Dunivant is quick to preach caution by saying that it is simply a part of the season’s grind.
“It’s a never ending thing,” said Dunivant. “Especially with so many games, we've had through preseason and these first few weeks, there’s been a lot so it’s not too surprising that there are a couple of guys nicked up here or there, but we’ll deal with it.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy opened their Reserve League slate on Monday with a 1-1 draw with the Seattle Sounders FC reserves.
Eriq Zavaleta opened the scoring for Seattle with a header from a corner kick in the seventh minute of play, but LA equalized in the 29th minute with a penalty kick goal by Hector Jimenez. The penalty was set up by rookie Charlie Rugg, who was brought down in the 18-yard box by Seattle defender Zach Scott.
After starting off the game slowly, LA controlled the run of play for a majority of the match and created several dangerous opportunties. Although LA was unable to find the go-ahead goal, the mood was by and large a positive one after the draw.
"I thought as I looked at this game, my concern going into it was that I thought that we would lack sharpness and physically get tired because we haven't played in so long. Most of these guys haven't played 90 minutes since preseason because of our congested schedule and that's how it's gone. We started out not sharp at all, I thought we had a very slow start," Assistant coach and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo told reporters. "We talked about not giving away unnecessary free kicks and corner kicks away and we give away a corner kick that we didn't need to give away. [On the goal], they had more height than we did and they took advantage of it early. Having said that, we found our feet and we started moving the ball how we like to play. I thought we were really good for the rest of the first half and created chances, but too bad we didn't get more than one goal because I thought we deserved to.
"The second half was kind of choppy, [Seattle] did better job to find their shape and the field was no longer slick and the ball kind of caught up on us and we weren't sharp in the final third where we needed to be. The guys plugged away and fought through it," Onalfo added. "Overall, for the first reserve game with the fact that we haven't played a reserve game in quite while, I'm fairly pleased. We just need to take some things away from it so that we're that much better."
LA resume their Reserve League slate on Sunday April 28 against Real Salt Lake at America First Field in Sandy, UT.
One of the lone bright spots in the LA Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas was the play of rookie Greg Cochrane.
I spoke to Cochrane about his peformance in the piece below....
Could the LA Galaxy be closing in on a third Designated Player?
During Saturday’s broadcast of the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas, NBC Sports Network play-by-play man Arlo White publicized details of a conversation that he had with Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena on the subject of Designated Players.
“Really interesting talking to Bruce Arena yesterday," White revealed at the beginning of the second half. "We asked him about the possibility and timeframe of a Designated Player ... and he said it should be finalized in the next couple of weeks. Perhaps early May.
"We couldn't get any more information out of him. … He said it's down to one. And I asked him have both parties agreed and he said, 'I know one of us has.' So they're waiting for the word."
The Galaxy have been linked to a number of players for their third Designated Player slot including Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard and Real Madrid attacker Kaka.
FRISCO, Texas - The LA Galaxy suffered their first defeat of their MLS schedule on Saturday as they fell 1-0 to FC Dallas on Saturday at FC Dallas Stadium.
My Three Points to the match, which includes my analysis on a stellar night for rookie Greg Cochrane can be found below.
Now for some more notes on the match....
*Greg Cochrane made his first start of his professional career.
*On the other end of the spectrum, A.J. DeLaGarza made his 100th career MLS start of his career.
*Landon Donovan made his first start of the 2013 MLS regular season.
*The Galaxy have now conceded eight goals in all competitions in 2013 and seven have come in the final 10 minutes of games.
*The match was LA's first defeat to FC Dallas since May 1, 2011.
The LA Galaxy will hold Landon Donovan bobblehead night on May 5 when 10,000 fans will receive bobbleheads as LA take on the Houston Dynamo in an MLS Cup rematch.
Check out the design of the bobblehead below...
Like the design? Dislike it?
Share your thoughts below.
FRISCO, Texas -- The LA Galaxy wrapped up a difficult six-day, two country road trip that saw them lose two matches.
The latest defeat came on an 87th minute goal by George John to give FC Dallas a 1-0 win over the Galaxy. The two defeats were difficult to stomach for the club, but LA will return to Southern California on Sunday morning.
After the defeat to Dallas, defender A.J. DeLaGarza said that he and the rest of the club are eager to return home.
"I think we’ve lost the last three games now [two against Monterrey] and now here," said DeLaGarza. "If we could have gotten out of here, 0-0, down a man for quite a while, I think we could have been really happy with the point. To go out like this after the guys fought for 90 minutes, giving up a goal, is frustrating."
FRISCO, Texas -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena discussed the club's 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas.
Arena's quotes are below...
(On whether he thought the team was tired due to their midweek match…)
(On what he thought about the red card for Leonardo…)
ARENA: “Well if I didn’t think it was a great call, I probably didn’t think it was a great card right?”
(On how Donovan played…)
ARENA: “Okay. It’s going to take him a couple of months to get going. He’s behind the group, but he’s done remarkably well. Having him back with very little preparation, he’s doing alright. He’s obviously got to play better and he’ll get fitter. As he gets fitter, he’ll play better.”
(On whether he was happy about the end result…)
ARENA: “Obviously not, we lost the game, right? I’m not happy losing a game. A game is a possibility of us getting three points, let alone zero points. I’m not at all pleased with the end result. “
(On the overall effort of the team…)
ARENA: “I think the effort was pretty good, but I think that we need some players that can think a little bit better during the last 10 minutes of the game.”
FRISCO, Texas -- The LA Galaxy went down to 10-men in 60th minute of their eventual 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas when center back Leonardo was ruled to have brought down FCD forward Blas Perez for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity. The moment caused LA to switch into a defensive posture, and although LA had several opportunities at goal -- including a penalty of their own -- a Dallas goal in the 87th minute by George John put FCD ahead for good.
Following the match, I caught up with Leonardo and asked him about the play.
LEONARDO: "It was an error on my part. The guy got behind me and then I kind of don't know what happened because he just went down. I don't think it was a penalty. The referee might have felt a little bit of pressure to call it, but I can't be thinking about it right now. I just have to move on. The play obviously cost us potentially three points. I just have to move on and then be a little bit sharper and better."
Video of the foul is below...
Was it a foul?
Share your thoughts below.
Highlights from the LA Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas below...