SEATTLE- The day is finally here: LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders FC for a berth in the MLS Cup.
In the latest edition of the LA Galaxy TV Insider Breakdown, I take a look at three facets of the Western Conference Championship second leg.
Check it out above.
SEATTLE— Bruce Arena often tells reporters that he is unaware what to expect from a match, but the LA Galaxy head coach offered a little insight to the team’s mindset heading into their decisive match in Seattle.
LA will play for a spot in MLS Cup on Sunday in their Western Conference Championship second leg match with Seattle Sounders FC and just hours out from the Galaxy’s potential final match of 2014, Arena insists that his squad has what it takes to knock off Seattle.
“At this point of the game, we just have to stick to our game plan. we've been together for 10 whole months, we know what we're about,” said Arena. “We just know the adjustments that we have to make and we know the circumstances in this series. We’ll be prepared for whatever they throw at us.
And no matter what Seattle brings, Arena insists that his team’s focus is singular: “Just Win Baby.”
“If we win the game [then] that’s the key. You don’t know how the game is going to play out,” said Arena. “Conditions are an issue, but I don’t think it is huge. We know each other and we’ll go out and play. Hopefully we move forward and we’re the better team and we move onto MLS Cup.”
Alonso missed out on the Galaxy’s 1-0 first leg win in Southern California last week with a hamstring injury, but has trained with Seattle throughout the week including their session at StarFire Sports Complex on Saturday.
The Galaxy boss was asked about Seattle’s optimism about their star midfielder’s status on Sunday and was quick to provide a terse response on Alonso’s availability.
“I wouldn't think so, but if he does [play] then good for him,” Arena quipped.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena not surprised by snow covered pitch in final training session at CenturyLink Field
SEATTLE -- When the LA Galaxy arrived at CenturyLink Field for their final training session ahead of their Western Conference Championship second leg match against Seattle Sounders FC, the pristine practice surface that they were expecting was covered in a dusting of snow that blanketed large swatches of the pitch.
The snow which was the remnants of a light snow fall that descended on Seattle in the early morning hours was soon made playable by the grounds crew, but the fact the Sounders might have provided LA with a little gamesmanship did not surprise Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
Rather, Arena insisted, “we always see gamesmanship. It doesn’t change.”
"I don't know the protocol [for the field being cleared],” Arena said in the team’s downtown hotel ahead of Sunday’s conference final deciding leg. “We ran a little bit so it was fine. We don't expect to get any favors when we visit here anyway.”
But when the game kicks off on Sunday, Arena doesn’t expect that the same types of conditions that they faced in training.
“We will adjust and play however. We don’t know what the conditions will be like, but they’ll probably be better than they were at training,” said Arena. “It’s going to be sunny tomorrow so you would anticipate that the ice would melt off the field.
“They weren’t able to clear the field and I know that it was a major blizzard last night so we dealt with those conditions today, but hopefully the sun will allow for the ice to disappear.”
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) November 29, 2014
By the Numbers: LA Galaxy looking to clinch berth in MLS Cup in second leg against Seattle Sounders FC
SEATTLE -- One more day.
The LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC will face on Sunday night with a spot in MLS Cup on the line. In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's By the Numbers, we look at the Galaxy's record in Seattle in MLS competition over the years.
Check it out below.
LA Galaxy feeling healthy ahead of Western Conference Championship second leg with Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy trained for the final time at StubHub Center on Friday morning and in the final session, head coach Bruce Arena continued to reiterate that team is expected to be fully ready which includes A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas who are expected to be available for selection for Sunday's Western Conference Championship second leg at CenturyLink Field.
"We think that we're good," said Arena. "Seattle has to come out in pretty aggressive and get a goal early. There's no surprises, it's the same game that you've seen for the last month."
A.J. DelaGarza (left hamstring) and Marcelo Sarvas (left leg injury) who both suffered injuries in last week's 1-0 Galaxy victory spoke on Friday and told reporters that they believe that they'll be ready come Sunday.
"If I’m called upon like every weekend I’ll go out there," said DeLaGarza who noted that he trained "a lot' this week. "I’m ready to go."
Added Sarvas, " I trained yesterday (full) and I’m feeling good. Today we just had an easy day, I feel normal...I can play, of course...This was a bruised muscle, it goes away with days, every day is better and better. Sunday will be 100 percent for sure."
Photo Gallery: LA Galaxy train ahead of Western Conference Championship second leg with Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy trained at StubHub Center on Tuesday ahead of the Western Conference Championship second leg.
After the session, Bruce Arena provided an update on the injured A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas.
Check it out below.
Bruce Arena thinks A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas will "be fine" Sunday's second leg with Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is confident that A.J. DeLaGarza (left hamstring strain) and Marcelo Sarvas (apparent hip injury) will be fit and available for selection in Sunday's Western Conference Championsip second leg against Seattle Sounders FC.
Both players -- who helped create the Galaxy's lone goal in the first leg -- left in the first leg with various injuries. After the match, Arena and the players seemed optimistic that both would be available in time for Sunday's match.
On Tuesday, both players were in the gym according to Arena. The team have the day-off on Wendesday before returning to training on Thanksgiving.
"I think they're going to be fine," said Arena. "They've been active the last two days so we think that they're going to be fine.
"Everyone is fine and we should have a full team on Sunday."
Everyone knows about Landon Donovan's famous habit of kissing his wrists before each penalty, but there is another ritual that the LA Galaxy and U.S. National Team star is infamous for that takes place before each and every game.
Since joining the Galaxy, Donovan has preformed the ritual -- which he claims isn't necessary, but has been performed in every game since 2005 -- which involves him taking a drink of water from a Gatorade bottle before spraying both head athletic trainer Ivan Pierra and assistant athletic trainer Kurt Andrews in the face.
"It kind of gets the training staff a little bit fired up and prepared for the game and hopefully makes them feel a little bit part of what's going on," Donovan told the Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter. "They're a part of what we do, and we want to make them feel involved."
Added Andrews, " "It's a bond, We as a staff spend a lot of time with him. I could see it as an honor, for sure."
The complete story on Landon Donovan's pregame ritual can be found here on the Los Angeles Times website.