CARSON, Calif. – Turns out there is some rest for the weary after all.
On the heels of a seven-game winless skid, the LA Galaxy were able to use their early June break to lick their wounds, regroup and prepare for what promises to be a busy and potentially decisive summer.
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“The break came at a good time,” Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant told reporters on Thursday. “We got away for a little bit, took a deep breath and we’ve had a good couple of weeks of training.”
Off the practice field, many of the games that have capitvated audiences around the world have also fueled the Galaxy's desire to take the field again in a competitive match.
“Watching all the Euros and the World Cup qualifiers, myself and the rest of the team are anxious to get back to playing games,” Galaxy defender Sean Franklin said. “It’s nice to have a break but we’re ready to get rolling again.”
The Galaxy will play Portland on Sunday (7 pm ET/4 pm PT, KDOC, KWHY), then head to Salt Lake for a midweek match, and will return home to play Vancouver the following weekend. Three matches in a seven-day span suit the club well, particularly given the fact they are games that could have a vast impact on the table, where they currently sit at the foot of the Western Conference.
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“The one thing that kind of helps us in a way is the unbalanced schedule,” Dunivant said. “We get to play Western Conference teams three times which means we can make up ground. We’re going to be playing conference teams and, [if] we keep beating teams in our conference, that’s going to put us higher in the table.”
Portland are not much further along than the Galaxy, with two more points (and two more games played) and equally desperate for the wins that can send them up the table. Therefore, a win over the Timbers would not only take LA out of the Western Conference cellar, but damage a close competitor's hopes.
“It’s good that we’re going into a stretch of games where we play quite a few teams from our conference,” Franklin said. “Some of those games are a six-point swing and I think that’s big for our confidence as far as moving up the standings.”
Though some of the Galaxy's showings over their winless streak – with a three-game losing streak on top of it – moral victories count for nothing in the fight to move up the table.
“We’re looking at this game on Sunday against Portland as a huge opportunity to put things right,” Dunivant said. “You don’t change everything overnight but we need to start getting wins but we feel like we’ve been playing better the last couple of games. Now we need to start getting results.”
Starting Sunday the PA announcer will no longer announce last names of players. WE will be doing it for them. Spread the word & be loud! #jb— Angel City Brigade (@ACBrigade) June 12, 2012