To say the LA Galaxy has
been on a roll could be the understatement of the season.
The Galaxy, Major League
Soccer's lone unbeaten team at 10-0-2 and 12 points ahead of Western Conference
rival Real Salt Lake,
Wednesday's opponent at Rio Tinto Stadium, haven't lost in their last 15 regular
season games dating back to late 2009 and have taken 39 of a possible 45 points
during that time.
They also have tied the club
record of 15 consecutive games without a loss and the MLS record they set in
1996 for the longest unbeaten streak to begin a season. The Galaxy have allowed
only three goals in 2010 and had a streak of 463 scoreless minutes snapped in
last Saturday's 4-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo.
But now comes a two-week,
World Cup break in the schedule. After Wednesday's match, the Galaxy do not
play again until June 26 in Toronto.
Some understandably might wonder if the inactivity might disrupt the club's
rhythm, but players and coaches say there is no real cause for alarm.
In fact, they welcome the
down time, but with a few reservations.
"Sometimes it can be
good, sometimes it can be bad," said goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who has
been the beneficiary of an almost impenetrable defense this season. "It's
good in the sense we get a chance to relax, but bad in the sense that it breaks
"Hopefully we'll keep
working hard and doing the job mentally."
After this week’s matches,
the Galaxy will be tied with Houston (5-7-1) and
with a game on Thursday) for the most games played in MLS, so head coach Bruce
Arena said he welcomes the break.
"I think we played a
fair number of games in a short period of time, and I think there's a need for
a little bit of a break," he said. "I think it's good. Perhaps teams
coming back from the break might be a little bit rusty, but I think it's good
Arena admitted he could use
a break himself.
"Yeah, I can use
one," he said with a grin.
Defender A.J. DeLaGarza said
he's confident the downtime will not have an adverse effect on the club.
"Hopefully it doesn't
affect us at all," he said. "I think the guys will make sure it
doesn't. I don't think we need the break, but I think it's a great thing the
league has done. We are the only league that would play, and to get a break
during the World Cup is great.
All the focus should be
there - everybody can watch it."
Added midfielder Chris
Klein, "I think it's a good time for the guys to rest and enjoy the start
of the World Cup. We definitely feel the rest will help us."
It also will afford coaches
and players to look back on what has been a brilliant season. Arena said it's
been surprising in a way.
"I think they've played
better than I could expect, given the circumstances," he said. "Not
so much with the departure of Landon (Donovan), which we knew of, and add Edson
(Buddle) to that, but the incredible number of injuries.
"I have no