LA Galaxy head to Sun Devil state for 'team building' training camp

Rapids, Whitecaps among opponents in Arizona

Dunivant vs SJ

Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora / LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are just three weeks
into training camp and are far from a finished product, which is why they have
high hopes for their upcoming trip to Arizona.

They left
Sunday for the start of a 10-day training camp in Scottsdale that will feature practice games
against the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps (Feb. 20 and 22) and reigning MLS cup
champion Colorado Rapids on Feb. 16.

READ: LA Galaxy Arrives in Arizona for 10-Day Training Camp

This marks
the third consecutive season the Galaxy have spent part of their preseason camp
in Arizona.
They played the Chicago Fire to a 1-1 tie in Tempe,
Ariz., in March of 2009 and last season spent
10 days in Arizona, where they went 2-0-1
against the likes of Colorado, Kansas City and Columbus.

Not only
does the trip afford the club a chance to continue to integrate its new players
– there are 11 new faces on the roster, 10 of whom will be with the club in Arizona – but also gives
players and coaches the opportunity for some invaluable team bonding.

“We’re
still lacking understanding on the field,” Landon Donovan said. “My belief has
always been the things you do off the field then cultivate themselves on the
field. Guys in groups hanging out after training, whether it’s sitting by the
pool, going to dinner, watching TV, playing cards … those kinds of things allow
for discussions about soccer to take place."

“You can
understand people and talk about things that are important. Trips like
this are crucial to that kind of team building.”

Veteran
defender Todd Dunivant said last year’s trip to Arizona proved beneficial, and he expects
this one to be helpful, too.

“It was
good for us last year,” he said. “It continued to push us forward and it was
really good training for us."

“I hope it
helps us continue to jell. We have a lot of new faces this year, and there’s a
lot of integration we have to deal with in the team. We’re just trying to get
things down by opening day (March 15 in Seattle).”

In head
coach Bruce Arena’s opinion, such preparation means busy practice days are
ahead.

“We need to
work on everything,” he said. “There’s not any one area we don’t need to get
better. We’ve been together only three weeks, and just two on the field. We’re
a long way from where we want to be.

“We just
want to continue to take a step forward. We want to be able to analyze all of
our players and have a feel for where they are.

“All of the
little things, and hopefully move forward in a positive manner to be ready come
March.”

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