The LA Galaxy, coming off a 0-0 tie with Toronto FC last Saturday, play their first home match since June 5 on Tuesday with a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round match against AC St. Louis at The Home Depot Center.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said the game, the first-ever meeting between the clubs, will afford him a chance to try some new combinations. Anything, he said, to help ease the disappointment of last weekend's result.
"I think the result in Toronto was bad," he said. "Our guys will be on the field prepared to play tomorrow. We need guys ready to step on the field ready to play hard for 90 minutes, 120 minutes or even penalty kicks.
"We're not in this competition to lose."
AC St. Louis are in their inaugural season of play in the USSF Division 2 Pro League. Led by former FC Dallas SuperDraft pick Mike Ambersley, who has scored both of his club’s Open Cup goals this season, AC St. Louis are currently in last place of their league with a 2-7-2 record, though they have not lost in their last four games in all competitions. On Thursday, two days after reaching the Open Cup Third Round, St. Louis replaced head coach Claude Anelka -- the older brother of French international striker Nicolas Anelka -- with Dale Schilly, who made his debut in a 0-0 draw with Vancouver at home on Saturday.
St. Louis reached this stage of the Open Cup with 1-0 victories over the Des Moines Menace and NSC Minnesota Stars. Tuesday's match marks the Galaxy's first Third Round Cup game since 2007. Los Angeles won the competition in 2001 and 2005 and have an all-time record of 4-1 in third-round matches. From 2003-2006, the Galaxy entered the Cup in the fourth round.
The Galaxy's Alan Gordon said Tuesday's game is important not just because it's the Open Cup, but because the club wants to maintain its impressive 2010 success. The Galaxy have the best record in MLS at
10-1-3 and have allowed only four goals.
"We know we have a good team and we want to keep the roll going," he said. "It doesn't matter what competition we're in ... we want to win."
If the Galaxy do win Tuesday, they would face the winner of the Seattle Sounders-Portland Timbers match. A Sounders victory would mean the Galaxy would play in Seattle on July 7 while the Galaxy would host Portland if the Timbers win, with that game also being played on July 7.
"It's important to us," Gordon said. "In years past you'd kind of get the feeling of the Open Cup just being more games, but this year it's different.
"We are a really solid team and we want to win every single competition. We don't want to just give it away. Winning is contagious and you don't want to give that up. We want to keep that winning mentality."
Arena said the game gives the Galaxy an advance look at what will be a heavy schedule later in the summer, especially once the CONCACAF Champions League gets underway late next month.
"It's a chance to start preparing our team playing three games a week," he said. "That's going to be the case for the month of August and September for sure. I think this is a good opportunity to start looking at some other players as well."