CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are about to get a big boost just when they need it the most.
Beckham, Donovan, Arena
Midfielder David Beckham is likely to return to the Galaxy lineup at home against the Portland Timbers on Saturday (7:30 pm PT, listen live online), looking to help the team snap a rare two-game losing streak that has his teammates talking tough about what’s at stake.
Beckham skipped the team’s 1-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City last weekend with a hamstring injury, but he was optimistic this week about his return against the Timbers.
“I’m feeling a lot better than I was. It seems to have cleared up but it’s still a little bit tight. It shouldn’t be an issue for this weekend,” Beckham said. “It tightened up a couple of weeks ago and I just felt it… the morning after the [New England] game. I think it was wise to get the treatment that I got and it feels better.”
The back-to-back losses are certainly a rarity for Galaxy – they didn't lose consecutive league games during their Supporters' Shield campaign of 2011 – but they’re bumping up against some dubious history this time. They've never lost three straight since head coach Bruce Arena took the reins in August 2008.
“This game for us now – it’s weird to say this early in the season – is a game we have to have,” Galaxy captain Landon Donovan said.
Beckham should help with that, but he’s not the entire solution. The Galaxy have allowed 12 goals in six matches including their early exit from the CONCACAF Champions League, and they’ve given up seven goals in three regular season games at The Home Depot Center this year.
They allowed just eight goals in 17 regular-season home games last year.
“We’re not defending well, we’re not working, we’re not doing the simple things that then take you into a better position as a team,” Beckham said. “That’s the biggest thing at the moment, that’s what we’re not doing, the simple things.”
Said Donovan: “On the year we still don’t have a shutout, and that’s something that needs to start soon.”
Beckham, for his part, has two assists in three games this season. Donovan has one assist, but he’s still in search of his first goal of the regular season.
If either player plans to a light a fire under the team, now is good a time as any.
“It’s easy put to right,” Beckham said. “We work hard every day, we get through it and we get a good result on Saturday and then we start turning it around. We’re a good team still at the end of the day.”
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org