Healthy Wilhelmsson hoping to play a major role in second leg in San Jose

07 November 9:38 am

Healthy Wilhelmsson hoping to play a major role in second leg in San Jose

By Adam Serrano

CARSON, Calif. – Christian Wilhelmsson is healthy once again and targeting a significant role in Wednesday’s Western Conference Semifinal Second Leg against the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Right quadriceps tightness caused Wilhelmsson to miss last Thursday’s Knockout Round match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC before he served as an unused substitute in Sunday’s loss to the Earthquakes. However, ahead of the second leg, Wilhelmsson has declared himself ready to participate.

“I’m good, unfortunately this injury was bad timing [coming] before Thursday’s game, but we made it through and now we’re looking forward to get out there. I’m okay again. It’s going to be nice to get out there again,” said Wilhelmsson. “It was frustrating. I felt good in the days after the game in Seattle [where Wilhelmsson started and went 90 minutes]. I felt I was in a good way and then it came.  At the same time, it was good that it was not serious so it didn’t take long to get back.”

Wilhelmsson could be a dangerous weapon for the Galaxy on Wednesday as he had a great degree of success in the two teams last regular season meeting in October. During his 79 minutes of action, Wilhelmsson was active from the start, forcing goalkeeper Jon Busch to make a save in the opening minutes before playing a role in both LA goals in the 2-2 draw.

If he takes the field on Wednesday, it will be the first time that the Swedish International has taken part in a playoff match in his career after spending considerable time in Europe and Asia. However, the Swede, who likens the MLS Cup Playoffs to a Cup tournament, has some wise words for his teammates.

“You have to focus on yourself. We know the basics of what they’re good at and what they’re going to do. But you have to focus on your thing, what you’re going to do, and how you’re going to go out there and perform,” said Wilhelmsson. “All the players involved have to do 100 percent of their job and focus on what we need to do to get the job done.”

“It is one goal [deficit] only,” Wilhelmsson added. “We are there to score goals and even if we were home and away, we can score more than one goal. That is not the pressure that is on our shoulders right now, we’re going to go out and do a job a 100 percent and we will get that goal.”