CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham did not travel with the rest of the LA Galaxy and the status of Landon Donovan is unclear for Saturday’s road game against Sporting Kansas City (1 p.m., ESPN, ESPN Deportes, espn3.com, lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive). The Galaxy, who are coming off an unsettling 3-1 loss to the New England Revolution, are about take on the lone unbeaten team in Major League Soccer and two of their key players are nursing injuries.
Not exactly a recipe for success, but stranger things have happened.
“They’re a good team and they’ve been a good team probably since the middle of last season,” Donovan said of Kansas City, who are a perfect 4-0-0 on the season. He also said he’s hopeful of playing Saturday despite a sore quadricep. “They’re going to be real excited for this game, they’re on a high, they’ve won their first four games and they’re playing at home.
“So for us it’s the perfect test now after a really bad result last week to see what we’re made of.”
MATCH PREVIEW: KC vs LA
The Galaxy (1-2-0) take on a Sporting Kansas City team that will be playing at sold-out LIVESTRONG Sporting Park and has been one of the early surprises in the 2012 MLS season. They are led by C.J. Sapong, who has three goals; Graham Zusi, who has a league-leading five assists and goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, who has three shutouts and has allowed just one goal on the year.
The Galaxy’s numbers, on the other hand, have been disturbing, especially from a defense that already has allowed seven goals in three games at home after conceding just eight goals at home all of last year. The loss to New England was particularly painful, with Robbie Keane squandering an early scoring chance and the Revolution responding with two goals in three minutes to take an early lead.
Donovan, looking on from a suite at The Home Depot Center that night (he was held out of the game with tightness in his quad), said it was difficult to watch.
“That’s not a performance that any of us are proud of, so we want to get back to doing the things that we do well,” he said. “It seems strange to say, but we’ve kind of got to get back to building blocks, almost starting over in some senses. Even though we’ve got a number of the same guys here, we’re not doing things that successful teams do.
Galaxy Training Update from KC
“There was just a number of plays that were not indicative of the type of players we are, the type of team we are, the type or organization we are. I think we’ve gotten back to good habits this week in realizing you can’t just step on the field and win games. You have to do things properly. There’s talented teams in this league that can beat you.”
The Galaxy’s slow start may be a surprise for most league viewers, but don’t count head coach Bruce Arena in that group.
“I’m never surprised at anything,” he said after training Thursday.
“I laugh when I hear the overreaction. There’s still 93 points in the league out there for us. If we were 3-0 it would be great. If we were 0-3 it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
“That’s the way it is. Obviously we want to start putting together some wins.”