Bruce Arena and Landon Donovan Are Not Savoring Sunday’s SuperClaisco Victory

After beating Chivas USA, coach and captain turn attention and focus to next opponent: Philadel

Landon Donovan vs Philadelphia Union

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria

CARSON,
Calif. – The LA Galaxy understandably were satisfied with their 2-1 victory
over Chivas USA on Sunday at The Home Depot Center and regarded it as another
important step in their drive to the Supporters' Shield and home-field advantage
throughout the upcoming MLS playoffs.

The
celebration, however, may have been tempered a bit because of a quick
turnaround highlighted by Thursday’s game in Philadelphia
against the expansion Union.

If the
Galaxy had been considering savoring another SuperClasico victory, there is no
time for that.

“It’ll be
tough,” head coach Bruce Arena said
about preparations that included Monday’s light session and then heading to Philadelphia on Tuesday.
“It’s probably not a well-planned schedule in that sense, having a team play
Sunday night then travel cross-country for a Thursday game, but it is what it
is.

“The light
at the end of the tunnel is we have about eight, nine days off until our next
game.”

The
Galaxy’s Landon Donovan said the coaches and players actually had been
preparing for this short week several days ago.

“I think we
had all in mind last week that these were two games that were going to come
fast,” he said. “We wanted to sort of prepare for both. The first one is now
out of the way, and we’re in today to get a little treatment, then we travel
tomorrow.

“So it’s
going to come fast.”

Donovan
said there are two main challenges in playing games so closely together.

“Obviously
physically you have to get yourself back quickly, and with travel that makes it
difficult,” he said. “And especially after an emotional game, an exciting game
against Chivas, it’s how you get yourself going. But fortunately we’re playing
in Philly that has a great stadium and a great fan base from what we hear.

“I think
we’ll be up for it.”

Donovan
said the Galaxy must avoid falling into the trap it barely avoided just under a
month ago, when they played an emotional game against the Columbus Crew— a 3-1
victory— on Sept. 11 and seven days later faced cellar-dwelling D.C. United,
who gave the Galaxy all kinds of problems before Los Angeles rallied behind two
late Donovan goals for a 2-1 victory.

Donovan
said he thinks the Galaxy will be ready to go for the Union,
especially with the race for the Supporters' Shield heading down to the final
three games of the season. The Galaxy (16-6-5) have 53 points and are followed
by Real Salt
Lake (14-4-9) with 51, FC Dallas
(12-2-13) with 49 and New York
(14-8-5) with 47.

“I think we
realize now with how close Salt
Lake are that we have to
keep going,” Donovan said. “There’s only three games left, so we know Salt Lake
have a difficult schedule. We’ve got three very good games coming up. If we can
continue to build an advantage, that’s what we’re hoping for.

“Everybody
feels good about what happened (Sunday).”

Thursday’s
game will be the Galaxy’s first game outside of The Home Depot Center since
Sept. 4 at Chicago,
a 1-1 tie, and Donovan is looking forward to the trip.

“It’s good
to get on the road again,” he said. “We’ve been home for a month now … it’s
kind of exciting to get out on the road, hang out with the guys in the airport
and on the plane. That’ll be fun.

“It’s good
to go a new environment and play an exciting game. It’s always fun to play in a
new place and a new facility. It’s exciting for us because the league is
growing and getting better and better.

“Everybody
has said the stadium in Philly is great. The stadium in New York was fantastic, and hopefully it’s
another good night for us.”

Related
Preview: LA at Philadelphia
Training Update: Galaxy Pick up the Pace

 

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