Carson, Calif. — At the conclusion of Wednesday’s training session at The Home Depot Center, LA Galaxy players and coaches sat around in a circle on the field and talked.
And talked, and talked, and talked.
What was said will remain private, but safe to say a lot of soul searching has been going inside the Galaxy locker room since Saturday’s 4-1 loss in Salt Lake.
Getting Off To A Fast Start
Midfielder Chris Birchall says the team must stop giving away goals so early in the game.
“It’s been too many times this season… and to the end of last season, that we’re conceding (a goal) in the first 10 minutes. It’s crazy, really,” Birchall said. “We have to sort it out.”
Midfielder Bryan Jordan agreed.
“The last two games we’ve had a brain fart right at the start. We have to get that right and take it from there,” he said.
Jordan came off the bench late in the game last weekend, making his 2011 debut.
For his part, Head Coach Bruce Arena said he won’t let this week’s preparations against Easter Conference leader Philadelphia be derailed by the loss.
“It’s not going to linger— its over with now,” Arena said. “(The loss) is something you put past you and get on with the next game.”
Arena also said he hopes to get some players that were unavailable for the last game back — most notably Donovan Ricketts and Omar Gonzalez, neither of whom has played this season due to injury, and Landon Donovan, who was away on international duty.
“But if we can’t, we can’t,” Arena said.
When asked if Ricketts was close to returning to the lineup, Arena said the Jamaican was close.
“He’s training now,” Arena added. “When (will Ricketts return?) I can’t exactly promise you at this point.”
The same goes for Gonzalez.
Donovan, who played 180 minutes for the U.S. on Saturday and Tuesday, in a 1-1 draw against Argentina and a 1-0 loss to Paraguay, respectively, will be evaluated on Thursday once he is back with the club.
Arena, as opposed to when asked about Gonzalez and Ricketts, sounded optimistic that the club’s captain could be available for the game against the Union.
"He’ll be fine. He’s been through this plenty of times,” Arena said. “We’ll do what makes sense. We’re still at the beginning of the year. If we feel it’s been too much, then he won’t play.”
Who Starts On Saturday
Juan Pablo Angel opened his account on Saturday, and Miguel Lopez almost did the same after coming off the bench to make his MLS debut last weekend against Real Salt Lake. The Argentinean, who replaced Chad Barrett to start the second half at forward, came close five minutes into his MLS. Unfortunately for Lopez, his close range effort hit the post and the loose ball was gobbled up by goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
With Lopez getting some time alongside Juan Pablo Angel, the Galaxy have now used five different players up front this season, with Angel, Barrett and Lopez joined by Mike Magee, who started the first two games of the year alongside Barrett, and Landon Donovan, who partnered Angel for the final 30 minutes of the home opener against New England.
Needless to say, Bruce Arena has options up front for his club.
However, when asked if he had any thoughts about making any changes to his lineup for this weekend’s game against the Union, Arena refused to be drawn, saying it was too early to be talking about a potential starting lineup for Saturday’s game against the Union.