TORONTO — Omar Gonzalez’s absence will force countless decisions on LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena this season, and the first one comes in Wednesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League match (8 pm ET/5 pm PT, Fox Soccer, concacaf.com, lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive). Either Andrew Boyens or Tommy Meyer will pair up with A.J. DeLaGarza in the center of the Galaxy defense against Toronto FC.
Meyer, the Galaxy’s first-round SuperDraft choice this year, saw a lot of time alongside DeLaGarza in preseason; however, his youth and green-ness would be a factor when Arena fills out his lineup sheet.
“I don’t have that much experience on the road especially in front of big crowds,” Meyer said on Tuesday. “I think [Arena] will definitely take that into consideration.”
The largest crowd Meyer has ever played in front of was around 15,000 for an Under-17 match, Meyer said. At the University of Indiana, the most support he played before was 10,000.
“You always prepare like [you will play],” he said. “Especially in preseason, you want to fight for it. Time comes [Wednesday], it just depends on what he wants and you just keep working hard after that, just whenever he needs you to be ready.”
The mysterious strikeforce
Presumed first-choice forwards Edson Buddle and Robbie Keane have spent scant few training sessions together. Logic suggests that this should be a major concern, that success of a striking partnership requires some sort of connection.
But that’s not necessarily true for Keane.
“When you get thrown in straight away, sometimes that's even better,” he said. “When you get too much preparation and too much work, sometimes you over-think situations.”
Buddle though is hopeful of creating an instant understanding with his new strike partner, one that will likely begin on Wednesday.
“Robbie has the same calmness as David [Beckham] with the experience he has on the ball,” Buddle said. “I’m sure he likes to play the ball on the ground and collectively link up with players. I’m looking forward to doing that because that’s kind of my game.”
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com.