Galaxy know what it takes to win on the road

Bruce Arena hopes to carry momentum from 2009 in road matches

Nearly everything has gone
according to plan for the Los Angeles Galaxy thus far in 2010.

New England and Chivas USA were
no match for the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center as the defending Western Conference
champions held serve at home with a pair of shutout victories to open the
season.

But now the Galaxy must try and
replicate that success away from home. Arena’s squad will open its road
calendar at Houston on Saturday, and the hope within the club is that everything
will continue to go according to plan.

“We just build off of last year,”
Galaxy defender Sean Franklin said. “In our games on the road, we were really
focused and really prepared and I thought at times the team did as well or
better than we did at home.”

En route to the top spot in the
regular-season standings out west in 2009, the Galaxy notched just as many
points away from home as the club collected at the HDC. The
Galaxy finished with a 5-3-8 road record, and the 23 total points were two less
than the 25 accumulated at home.

A repeat performance of last
year’s road totals -- three losses, 23 points -- would suit the club well.

“Ideally I think over 15 road
games if you can get 20 points you’re doing alright,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena
said. “I don’t know how that compares to other teams around the league but I
would think that’s an excellent number of points to get on the road.”

Still, Arena isn’t setting a
target for road points versus home points.

“We don’t look at it that way, we
look at it as trying to get results when you’re away from home but more
importantly trying to get results when you’re at home,” he said.

The Galaxy sit atop the
conference with six points, but that doesn’t really mean a great deal this
early in the season. Some teams have played just one game thus far, and others
will open their home calendars this weekend.

While Saturday’s game may not
have much meaning in terms of the table now, it could carry some significance
down the road.

“It’s early to be looking at the
standings but [Houston is] always one of the teams at the top and if we’re
going to win this conference again this year we’re going to have to go through
them,” defender Todd Dunivant said. “This is our only time going there so we
have to take full advantage of it.”

And if the club is to do well and
carry over their home form to Robertson Stadium, the team’s mindset must
reflect the change in venue.

“It’s just kind of a different
mentality, just more focused and less distractions than [at home] I would
say,” Franklin said. “On the road, it’s strictly soccer, so I think if we just
stick with coming in sharp this weekend, we’ll be fine.”