LA Galaxy put New York in the rearview mirror and turn focus to Chivas USA

Players and coaching staff more concerned with finishing the season on a good note, not so much

Buddle vs Chivas

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy
have moved on from last Friday’s 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls, and the
less said about it the better. Head coach Bruce Arena said he and the players
haven’t even discussed it, although some apparently took a little longer than
others to get over it.

“Sunday
night wasn’t easy,” said Edson Buddle, who continues to lead MLS in goals
scored with 14. “I’ve learned over the years just to let it go and learn from
the loss.”

Short
memories notwithstanding, the Galaxy now can concentrate on this Sunday’s clash
against none other than Chivas USA
in the season’s second meeting of the SuperClasico. The Galaxy won the earlier
matchup, 2-0, on April 1 and will try to win their third consecutive
SuperClasico and fifth in the six-year history of the competition. The Galaxy
are 11-3-5 all-time against their Home
Depot Center
co-tenants, including 4-1-3 when playing as the road team, which they will be
Sunday.

There isn’t
much at stake this weekend, other than the fact that the Galaxy already have
clinched a playoff berth – they recently became the first MLS club to do so –
and Chivas USA’s postseason chances are slim, if not improbable. The Galaxy, in
fact, can officially end Chivas’ playoff hopes with a win or draw.

Galaxy
midfielder Eddie Lewis said the dynamics of the latest meeting between the
rivals have changed, and he also said potentially knocking Chivas out of the
postseason picture doesn’t really matter that much. He’s more concerned with
the Galaxy’s fortunes as the regular season enters its final weeks.

“In all
honesty,” he said, “we’re probably viewing the game more on our own terms, in
terms of the fact we want to be able to finish the regular season in strong
form. I think Chivas’ destiny has sort of been in their own hands all season,
and I think that will take care of itself."

“But I do
envision it to be a chippy affair, probably at times borderline hostile. Given
the natural history and rivalry that exists, I think the fact that both teams
are at kind of opposite ends of the spectrum at the moment is going to make it
a difficult match on the field, but with quite a bit going off the ball.”

Lewis said
last Friday’s loss to the Red Bulls doesn’t make this Sunday’s game any more
important, although the defeat remains unsettling. “Any way you look at it last
weekend is going to be difficult to swallow,” he pointed out.

He also
said the New York
game was a difficult one for a number of reasons. “We were looking at some
things as well as dealing with a few other issues,” he said. “There were kind
of tough circumstances for us and it kind of played out that way, which was unfortunate.
Regardless, this is a different setup and everybody’s available."

“I think
you’ll see a much-improved team this weekend.”

Arena said
he still enjoys the annual meetings with Chivas USA, although he doesn’t care about
the potential playoff impact of Sunday’s clash from a Chivas standpoint, which
he called “immaterial.”

“I don’t
even know that’s a fact,” he said about potentially knocking their Western
Conference rival out of the playoffs. “I don’t even care.”

Arena did
say the showdown is especially attractive from the fans’ standpoint.

“I think
this game is a big game for the supporters of both teams,” he said. “They like
these games. I’m not saying that the players don’t, so it makes for a good
competition and certainly a game we feel we need to win.”

 

Bookmark and Share