LA Galaxy youngsters ready to turn the page after Open Cup loss

Cochrane and Meyer seek to put lessons learned in Open Cup defeat to work against Revs

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. –The LA Galaxy’s U.S. Open Cup dream was extinguished for a second straight year by the Carolina RailHawks on Wednesday at WakeMed Soccer Park. Now what?

The Galaxy are itching to get back onto the field, that’s what.

They’ll have the chance to do just that on Sunday when they travel to Gillette Stadium to face the red-hot New England Revolution. The team that fell in Open Cup won’t have to go it alone against the Revs as they will be joined in Boston by several first team reinforcements like Landon Donovan, A.J. DeLaGarza and Carlo Cudicini.

But that doesn’t mean that the young charges are not eager to get back at it.

“It always makes you more antsy when you lose. You want to play like the next day and get that bitter taste out of your mouth,” LA Galaxy left back Greg Cochrane told LA Galaxy Insider. “Sunday can’t come soon enough.”

Cochrane is likely to play his third game in eight days on Sunday, filling in for Todd Dunivant, who missed last week’s 4-0 victory Seattle Sounders FC with a quad strain. If the 22-year-old left back starts, his speed will be an asset for LA as he looks to slow down New England’s Diego Fagundez, who currently leads the Revs with four goals on the season.

The slippery Fagundez isn’t the only player, who will test Cochrane as crafty midfielders Lee Nguyen and Juan Toja often drift wide to spark the Revolution’s attack. Despite the significant challenge, Cochrane believes that his speed will give him the edge on Sunday.

“Any time that you have speed that can help neutralize their quick guys I’ll try to use it my advantage,” said Cochrane. “Sometimes when I’m playing outside back and I make the overlapping run, it makes them defend, tires them out and takes them off their game. So I’m just trying to do anything that I can to take them off their game.”

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Cochrane isn’t the only player who went the distance in the defeat to Carolina, who is likely to be back in the starting lineup on Sunday, as Tommy Meyer could get the call in center defense against the Revs with Omar Gonzalez away on international duty. Meyer was LA head coach Bruce Arena’s first option the last time he broke up the central defensive pairing of Omar Gonzalez and DeLaGarza in LA’s 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on May 15.

Meyer enjoyed the stronger night of LA’s two center backs on Wednesday, but he’ll need to be better on Sunday as he’ll be tasked with stopping New England’s talented forward Jerry Bengston.

“They’ve been playing well lately and they have a pretty dynamic attack up top so we’ll have to be organized in the back four,” Meyer told LAGalaxy.com. “Hopefully I’ll get a chance to play, but that’s something that we’ll work on in the next couple of days. But I’m sure that everyone will be fired up and ready to go on Sunday.”

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The loss to Carolina may be in the rearview mirror, but one thing is certain, the Galaxy will be out to prove themselves when they lineup against the Revolution on Sunday.

“It’s another chance to prove yourself especially after the way that game went,” said Meyer. “You never want to let it affect you, but you want to move on and prove to yourself that you can still do it.”

Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com