CARSON, Calif. – Tommy Meyer appeared poised to regain his position in the LA Galaxy Starting XI this preseason before a left hamstring strain cut him down. Now finally fit and healthy, Meyer appears ready to become a contender for a starting spot yet again.
Meyer has made a pair of appearances over the last four days with a 24 minute shift as a second half substitute in LA’s 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas before going 90 minutes in LA’s 1-1 Reserve League draw with Seattle Sounders FC. The appearances are Meyer’s first since he started his third consecutive preseason fixture in LA’s 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake on Feb. 8.
The defender suffered the hamstring strain just prior to LA’s February 16 preseason match against Gangwon FC and did not return to the game day roster until their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal second leg against C.S. Herediano on March 13.
Following Monday’s Reserve League match, Meyer was pleased with his performance in his first start in more than two months.
“I felt good. It was my first 90 minutes in a while and it felt good to get through it so you want to build off it,” Meyer told LAGalaxy.com. “It was good to have this game and it was good to get minutes the other night. Every chance that you step on the field in a game that means something, you focus on your sharpness. If you’re able to do that then everything comes together.”
Meyer was sharp for large stretches of the game as he repeatedly snuffed out Sounders attacking forays. As he looks to regain the form that made him so effective in LA’s 2012 MLS Cup victory, the reserve league match was a good first step.
“[To go 90 minutes against Seattle is] important for him. He hasn’t played 90 minutes since preseason,” said Galaxy assistant coach and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo. “You can only replicate so much in training so him getting 90 minutes –and I thought he got better as the game wore on –I think will really help him towards the end of this week and as we get into the next couple weeks.”
This week in training will be an important one for Meyer as head coach Bruce Arena must replace center back Leonardo, who was ejected in LA’s defeat to FC Dallas and is suspended for Saturday’s match against Sporting Kansas City.
Arena will have a host of options as he may opt to place Meyer alongside Omar Gonzalez in central defense –a tandem that started all six MLS Cup Playoff games as well as the 2012 MLS Cup—or A.J. DeLaGarza who started 30 matches in 2012.
Ahead of a testing week, Meyer is hopeful that he can contend for that starting spot.
“You never know what Bruce will do, but we’ll see how the week comes out through training,” Meyer said. “I just want to have a good week in training.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com