Fully rested, Galaxy await New England challenge
CARSON, Calif. – The refreshed and refocused LA Galaxy return to the field Saturday for their first game in nearly two weeks when they host the New England Revolution at The Home Depot Center (8 p.m., NBC Sports Network, live chat on lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive) and not a moment too soon.
Outside of a few days off for rest, the Galaxy have been on the training field throughout the 13 days break, which followed on the heels of a 3-1 victory over D.C. United on March 18. With all of that training now behind them, the Galaxy are anxious to get back into a game mode.
But they also are thankful for the break after a brutal early season schedule which featured four games (including two CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matches against Toronto FC) in just 12 days.
“It was tough for us,” the Galaxy’s David Beckham said Thursday after training. “It was good to get some good training in these last 10 days. We needed it, but we need to be ready for Saturday.
“We haven’t had the chance over the last month to have everyone back out there and everyone in full training. That’s been the best part of it.”
Galaxy preview New England clash
The Galaxy will be taking on a Revolution side that is 1-2-0 on the season, with its lone victory coming courtesy of an early Saer Sene goal in last Saturday’s a 1-0 triumph at home over the Portland Timbers. They started the year with a pair road losses to San Jose (1-0) and Sporting Kansas City (3-0) under new head coach Jay Heaps.
Heaps, who once was recruited in high school by then-University of Virginia head coach and current Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena – “But he went to Duke, so we haven’t been the best of friends because of that,” Arena joked – and the Revs are led by veteran goalkeeper Matt Reis, who turned 37 on Thursday, and the always dangerous Shalrie Joseph. Annually one of the best two-way midfielders in MLS, Joseph was called upon to play in central defense last weekend and helped the Revs earn their first clean sheet of the season.
The Galaxy aren’t worried about the Revolution so much as they are about themselves, and they frankly like what they’ve seen on the training field lately.
Saturday’s game couldn’t come at a better time, Beckham said.
“You obviously want to play games,” he said. “We needed this little bit of a break, that was the big thing. We need to be ready because New England is a good team with good players. We saw that in the preseason (when the teams met twice during the Desert Diamond Cup).
“It’s a tough game for us, but the break’s definitely helped us.”
As far as the Galaxy’s Robbie Keane is concerned, they’re all tough.
“It’s a tough league, very competitive,” said Keane, who joined the team last summer from Tottenham. “I’m sure that will be the case on Saturday.”
Added Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant, “The Revs are a scrappy team, just like their coach. They work hard, and they’re not going to make it easy on us, that’s for sure.”