CARSON, Calif. – Fresh off a week removed from league play, the LA Galaxy are heading into the hectic summer schedule and, it appears, they might be rounding into fitness just in time.
Three of the club’s most valuable assets—left back Todd Dunivant, forward Jack McBean, and midfielder Robbie Rogers each received valuable minutes in the club’s 1-1 Reserve League draw with the USL Pro’s Los Angeles Blues on Saturday. All three players have dealt with various aliments in recent weeks, whether it is Dunivant’s nagging left leg strain, McBean’s recovery from a fractured left clavicle or Rogers’ continued pursuit of full fitness after an extended time away from the game.
Against the Blues, Dunivant and Rogers each earned the start going 58 and 72 minutes respectively. Meanwhile, McBean was able to receive a 15 minute run out less than a week after returning to full training.
“It was good for Todd to get some minutes, it was good Jack McBean to get back in the mix, it was good for Robbie Rogers to get some minutes, but it was good minutes for a lot of guys,” said Galaxy assistant and reserve team head coach Curt Onalfo after the match. “It was a decent game against a good opponent, so we’ll see the silver lining in that for sure.”
While McBean is still in the early days of his recovery, the appearances for Dunivant and Rogers may signal a possible starting role for the veteran pair in this Wednesday’s match against the Portland Timbers.
Dunivant, in particular, was effective on both sides of the ball as locked down the Blues attack while also playing a role in creating LA’s lone goal of the evening when he fired in a low cross to rookie forward Charlie Rugg, who scored on his second effort. The 32-year-old has missed the club’s last three league matches, but after a start on Saturday with the reserves, he’s hopeful of regaining his position in LA’s starting lineup.
“It felt great. This is exactly what I needed, I got a good [58 minutes] and it felt great. It was good to get back on the field,” Dunivant told LAGalaxy.com. “I’ll get back at it on Monday, Tuesday and hopefully be ready on Wednesday. I’m hoping to start, but I’m pushing for whatever I can. I’ll definitely be pushing for a start.”
In Rogers’ case, the winger was blunt with his assessment of his performance admitting that he did “really well” at times, but “sloppy” at others. In his longest shift in a Galaxy uniform—longer than his three MLS regular season appearances combined—Rogers was, at times, dynamic going forward, but struggled at times to find a rhythm in the attack.
“I thought it felt great to get some proper minutes, it was my first start in five or six months,” Rogers told LAGalaxy.com. “I’m starting to find my touch in running with the ball, but I still have a ways to go. [I need to] continue to work hard and get as many minutes as possible.”
If LA can return to full fitness and receive contributions from their recovering trio then the wins may just follow.
“Everyone here needs minutes so [the Reserve League game] is great for fitness,” said Rogers. ‘We just want to do whatever we can to help this team win. We need to get some wins now that is what is most important.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com