CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy wrapped up their preparations for Sunday’s regular season opener against the Chicago Fire with a lively training session on Saturday morning.
After a successful preseason that saw the club go 5-1-1, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena believes that his club is itching for the season to start.
“We’re looking forward to the game,” said Arena. “We’ve certainly had enough of preseason at this point. We’ve been together five weeks so it’s time to play the games that count…We’re prepared. We have to deal with the ring ceremony beforehand so we have to be good and focused and have the right kind of concentration. We have to understand that it is part of the day, and rightfully so, and then get on with the business of getting ready for kick off.”
They’ll open the season against a Chicago side that is coming off a successful season in 2012 that saw the Fire get knocked out by the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Houston Dynamo in a Knockout Round match. If the Fire are to return to the postseason, it will be in large part due to an organized back four that is headlined by 2012 Rookie of the Year centerback Austin Berry.
“They’re a disciplined team with their block of six in defending,” said Galaxy forward Mike Magee. “You got to be patient. They’re not going to come out of their block of six so you have to be patient. We have to pass well and if we get a chance early then we have to finish it so we can make them lose their shape.”
Meanwhile, for centerback Omar Gonzalez, the focus will be on slowing their attack—particularly forward Sherjill MacDonald who scored four goals in 14 appearances for the Fire in 2012.
“He likes to sit on the line and threaten behind you so we have to be aware of where he is. If they bring Maicon Santos in then we have to be aware of his left foot,” said Gonzalez. “They’re going to be really confident and move the ball around, but like I’ve said in years past, it’s about how we start the game and our mentality because if all those things are right then it’s highly probable that we’ll win the game.”
A couple of notes...
*Tommy Meyer was back at training on Saturday and spoke to reporters to provide an update on his recovery. The second-year defender told reporters that he began running for the first time on Saturday as he concentrates on improving his fitness.
*Chandler Hoffman trained with the club for the first time on Saturday.
"The Galaxy formally announced the signings of SuperDraft selections Charlie Rugg and Greg Cochrane.
*The Galaxy will receive their championship rings prior to Sunday's game. More information on the rings can be found here.