FRISCO, Texas – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has pledged to make at least a couple of changes to his starting XI against FC Dallas after a midweek CONCACAF Champions League game and one place Arena may shuffle is at left back.
Todd Dunivant was forced to exit Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to C.F. Monterrey with what Arena described as “tightness” and the Galaxy boss said on Friday that a decision will be made regarding the left back’s status prior to Saturday’s road contest against FC Dallas.
One potential option to fill in for Dunivant is rookie Greg Cochrane, who has impressed his coaches during his first months as a professional. Cochrane, who has been used primarily on the left side of midfield since being drafted by LA, but played left back in college, has been a staple on the Galaxy’s game day roster’s this season and was on LA’s 18-man squad again in Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Monterrey.
“It was cool seeing their fans because they’re so passionate,” Cochrane said of the experience in Monterrey. “It was definitely a good atmosphere to be on the field and see it from there, so from that aspect it was good. It was a good learning experience to see the culture down there.”
Cochrane has received considerable praise from coaches and teammates for both his ability and poise throughout his rookie year. The rookie from Louisville attributes this praise to frequently asking questions to players like Dunivant and other Galaxy veterans as he looks to learn the ropes in the pro ranks. But if called upon to play against FC Dallas on Saturday or in Monday’s Reserve League opener against Seattle Sounders FC, he is ready.
“I feel good and I feel confident,” said Cochrane, who played most of his career at left back.” This week, I've been trying to play like me. I know my responsibilities defensively. Obviously that’s the most important thing as an outside back position is locking it down defensively and obviously helping in the attack if I’m ready.”
And as for any rookie jitters, Cochrane believes that they’ll be immediately shaken off.
“I’d be lying if I said that I wasn't, but you push those aside once the game starts,” said Cochrane. “This is the game that I've been playing my whole life and I feel like once I touch the ball, I’d be fine. I wouldn't say that I’d be too nervous, but I’m sure there would be still a few butterflies.”