Cristman and Leonardo have something to prove in preseason

Pair look to overcome injuries and provide depth in 2011

cristman at training

Photo Credit: 
LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. - Adam Cristman and Leonardo. Adam
and Leo.

One spent
his offseason in Richmond, Va.,
the other in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Separated by more than 2,000
miles, they were united by a common driving force. Both were limited in minutes
and games due to injury in 2010 and both worked hard during the offseason to
rehab those injuries.

It should
have been no surprise that on Monday they posted some of the highest marks on
their endurance and strength tests.

Adam

Cristman, 26,
is a happy camper this week here in Carson,
his fourth MLS stop in as many seasons.

A five-year
MLS veteran, Cristman was a finalist for the Rookie of the Year award in 2007. He
opened a lot of eyes with his play his first two years in the league. He played
46 games, scored 10 goals and added five assists. New
England, his first club, was in the playoffs both seasons.

The next
two seasons were another story. No playoffs, less than half as many games in
the two seasons combined and only two goals during stops in Kansas City and with D.C. United.

“It’s been
a rough two years,” said Cristman, acquired two weeks ago in a trade with United.
“My first year and a half in the league were great. I was making great strides
in my professional career and I’ve hit a skid.”

Now he
wants to break out of that skid. He wants to get back on track, which is why he
put in the work this offseason. On Monday, it paid off as he tested well on
many of the club’s strength and endurance exams.

“For me, it
was positive reinforcement for all the work I’ve put in the last few weeks,” he
said. “I’m happy to put all of that behind me and it’s nice to be here and have
a fresh start.”

Leo

Like
Cristman, Leonardo was limited in minutes and game action in 2010. The
Brazilian-born defender started the first three games along side Omar Gonzalez at center back and was receiving rave
reviews, but then picked up a left quad
injury in training that sidelined him for three months.

When
Leonardo returned, he wasn’t the same. He found himself behind Gregg Berhalter
in the pecking order and even when the Sao Paulo
native did finally get back into the first team on a consistent basis, he picked
up a new injury on Sept. 24 against New
York and did not play a single minute the rest of the
season.

“I think
the first day was good,” said Leonardo in Spanish. “I’m going to take it day to
day, little by little, but I’m going to get better.”

After
working out by himself during the offseason, Leonardo was happy to see his
teammates.

“It was
exciting to see the guys, I’m happy to be back here,” he said. “It’s a new
year, a lot of new people as well and we want to win titles. That will take
time and a lot of hard work. But it all starts today.”

Much like
his road to recovery.

The Galaxy will open the 2011 MLS season on Tuesday, March 15 when they
head to Seattle to take on the Seattle Sounders FC at Qwest Field in MLS
First Kick 2011, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. That game, which
will kick off at 6:30 p.m., will be shown live on ESPN and ESPN
Deportes, as well as online at ESPN3.com. The Galaxy will then host the
New England Revolution in their home opener at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March
20 at The Home Depot Center. Tickets are available for that match
through the Galaxy Kickoff Pack, which includes four tickets and two
Galaxy blankets, starting at $96.  BUY NOW

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