Robert Mora

Welcome break

To say the LA Galaxy has been on a roll could be the understatement of the season.

The Galaxy, Major League Soccer's lone unbeaten team at 10-0-2 and 12 points ahead of Western Conference rival Real Salt Lake, Wednesday's opponent at Rio Tinto Stadium, haven't lost in their last 15 regular season games dating back to late 2009 and have taken 39 of a possible 45 points during that time.

They also have tied the club record of 15 consecutive games without a loss and the MLS record they set in 1996 for the longest unbeaten streak to begin a season. The Galaxy have allowed only three goals in 2010 and had a streak of 463 scoreless minutes snapped in last Saturday's 4-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo.

But now comes a two-week, World Cup break in the schedule. After Wednesday's match, the Galaxy do not play again until June 26 in Toronto. Some understandably might wonder if the inactivity might disrupt the club's rhythm, but players and coaches say there is no real cause for alarm.

In fact, they welcome the down time, but with a few reservations.

"Sometimes it can be good, sometimes it can be bad," said goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who has been the beneficiary of an almost impenetrable defense this season. "It's good in the sense we get a chance to relax, but bad in the sense that it breaks our momentum.

"Hopefully we'll keep working hard and doing the job mentally."

After this week’s matches, the Galaxy will be tied with Houston (5-7-1) and Seattle (4-5-3 with a game on Thursday) for the most games played in MLS, so head coach Bruce Arena said he welcomes the break.

"I think we played a fair number of games in a short period of time, and I think there's a need for a little bit of a break," he said. "I think it's good. Perhaps teams coming back from the break might be a little bit rusty, but I think it's good for us."

Arena admitted he could use a break himself.

"Yeah, I can use one," he said with a grin.

Defender A.J. DeLaGarza said he's confident the downtime will not have an adverse effect on the club.

"Hopefully it doesn't affect us at all," he said. "I think the guys will make sure it doesn't. I don't think we need the break, but I think it's a great thing the league has done. We are the only league that would play, and to get a break during the World Cup is great.

All the focus should be there - everybody can watch it."

Added midfielder Chris Klein, "I think it's a good time for the guys to rest and enjoy the start of the World Cup. We definitely feel the rest will help us."

It also will afford coaches and players to look back on what has been a brilliant season. Arena said it's been surprising in a way.

"I think they've played better than I could expect, given the circumstances," he said. "Not so much with the departure of Landon (Donovan), which we knew of, and add Edson (Buddle) to that, but the incredible number of injuries.

"I have no complaints."