A disputed goal was the first thing to slow down the LA Galaxy in 2010. The World Cup is the second.
After losing 1-0 to Real Salt Lake on June 9 and dropping their first match of the 2010 season, the Galaxy, along with the rest of the league, have been on a break as the first round of the World Cup plays out.
“I don’t think the break is bad to have. I think it helps us,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “We’ve had a lot of games as well. I think we’ve had the most games in the league…but just, in general, I think we can use the break.”
The only difference between the Galaxy and the rest of MLS is the club’s win-loss record. At 10-1-2, the Galaxy have steamrolled through the league, with only Kansas City, Toronto FC and RSL able to contain them for one evening.
Salt Lake’s win over the Galaxy came off a disputed goal as Javier Morales appeared to have been in an offside position before tucking a ball into the back of the goalkeeper Donovan Rickett’s net on June 9. Still, the Galaxy appeared dangerous and composed against RSL until the late goal hit.
With so much momentum, it might seem like a break would be the last thing the team, but the players disagree.
“It won’t hurt us,” defender Gregg Berhalter said. “We’ll get some guys back to full fitness. We’ll be able to kind of exhale a little and relax a bit. We have a tough schedule so far…so I think, physically, the break’s going to do us good.”
Several players, including Berhalter, have gone through ups and downs in terms of fitness or availability, with only Todd Dunivant and Omar Gonzalez playing every match of the season.
Still, despite the lineup’s fluidity, the team has done well this season on all facets of the game, and no break can slow them down.
“We don’t feel we’re riding any sort of luck or anything,” Galaxy midfielder Chris Klein said. “We feel that we’ve earned this. We definitely feel that rest will help us. Eventually getting Landon (Donovan) and Edson (Buddle) back will help us, so we’ll welcome the break.”
Another bonus from the break is having the chance to have consecutive weekends off.
The Galaxy had no activity for several days following the RSL match and will have this upcoming weekend off as well.
“It’s always nice to be able to live like a normal person for a while and have weekends [off],” Klein said, “so we’re definitely going to enjoy it.”
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