For the LA Galaxy, Saturday’s home game against the Philadelphia Union can't come soon enough.
The match won't only be played in a much more comfortable setting than last time, but it will help the team move forward after a scoreless draw in Kansas City, which was the Galaxy’s worst match of the young 2010 MLS season.
“Admittedly we played poorly on Saturday,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said after training on Tuesday. "Despite the fact that you can complain about the field and it was a little slick and everything else, we weren’t good. There’s no question about it. We have to get better this week like it is every week and be prepared to play a better game on Saturday.”
While the Galaxy were shut out for the first time on the season, and needed a stellar goalkeeping performance from Donovan Ricketts not to lose, the club still was able to pull out a point from the encounter.
Still, it’s a place Arena won’t be too disappointed not to have to visit anymore this year.
“You don’t ever want to play on that field in a game I think that means a lot because there is so much out of your control, it’s tough,” Arena said. “It’s a tough venue to play in. I’m happy it’s out of the way and we’re out of there fairly untarnished. We didn’t play well so we need to accept that fact and move on from there.”
This weekend’s match may be the exact opposite of the Wizards encounter. Instead of a team that had given up just one goal in three games and were tough to beat thus far this season, the Galaxy will welcome a squad of players still trying to sort themselves out as a team.
Philadelphia have only ever played four regular-season games, and have lost three of them. Worse, the Union’s defense is yielding a load of goals as the first-year team has allowed at least two goals in each game, the last of which was a 2-1 loss at New York on Saturday.
With the Galaxy coming off a shutout then, does Arena feel the offense must take advantage of a weakened opponent?
“I don’t think we look at it that way,” said Arena, who attributed the Union’s defensive woes on other things. “They’ve had some difficult situations in their first four games where they’ve had red cards, and they’ve played with 10 players for significant minutes in two games and therefore lost those players in the next game but it hasn’t been easy for them.”
And even though Philadelphia have won only one regular-season game ever, the Galaxy likely won’t go into the match overconfident.
“My observation with watching Philly play New York was that they outplayed them for 90 minutes and fell short,” Arena said. “They’re a good team. I was very impressed with what I saw out of Philly against Red Bull on Saturday.”