It’s time for one of the final “Ask the Insider” segments of the season.
Today’s question comes from Dennyz Hernandez, who asks: “Since we’ll be 4th place regardless of the score on Sunday’s game…do you think it would be a good idea to sit and rest all the starters for the wild card game.
With the LA Galaxy’s playoff destiny set, the Galaxy coaching staff are expected to limit the minutes for their first team regulars in Sunday’s contest against the Seattle Sounders as they look ahead to next week’s First Knockout Round game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, but don’t expect the entire squad to rest.
In particular, Landon Donovan and David Beckham, who are still returning from injuries could use in-game minutes against Seattle as they look to improve their sharpness ahead of the unforgiving postseason schedule. Both players took part in training on Monday and are expected to be evaluated throughout the week by Associate Head Coach Dave Sarachan, who has stayed behind with half of LA's coaching staff. While getting minutes for the likes of Donovan and Beckham is important, so is providing time forward Edson Buddle and midfielder Christian Wilhelmsson, each in need additional minutes as they continue to round back into form.
But there is another wrinkle for the Galaxy to navigate in balancing the squads as head coach Bruce Arena has sent his Reserve squad to El Salvador for Thursday’s match against Isidro Metapán.This match will serve as a valuable learning experience for Arena’s youngsters, but could limit their availability for Sunday’s contest as even those that do not play 90 minutes, will return on short rest from El Salvador.
Taking all these factors into account, expect Arena to use a mix of first team players and reserves on Sunday.
Thanks Dennyz, you can get your tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For everyone else, remember to leave your questions on the LA Galaxy Facebook page following the club's next match against Isidro Metapán on Oct. 24 for the chance to have your question featured and win tickets to LA's regular season finale against the Seattle Sounders on Oct. 28.