MIAMI— A week in Miami sounds like the vacation of a lifetime for some, but for the LA Galaxy, it’s strictly a business trip.
The Galaxy traveled to South Florida on Sunday for the Guinness International Champions Cup, which concluded on Wednesday with a 2-0 loss to Italian giants AC Milan in the tournament’s third place game. Despite the conclusion of their commitments in the ICC, the Galaxy intend to remain in Miami until they depart for Sunday’s match against FC Dallas later in the week.
Throughout the ICC, the Galaxy have stressed that the chance to face some of Europe’s greatest teams is a welcome mental break from the grueling MLS schedule. But with the ICC wrapped up, LA are ready to return to league play.
“We have 12 games left in our season and the biggest one on the horizon is Sunday in Dallas so this is almost perfect preparation for that,” said forward Landon Donovan after the club’s training session at Florida International University earlier in the week. “It’s nice to get out with the guys on the road for a week just to have some camaraderie and hang out. We’re looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Not only has the team had the chance to bond over the week, but they’ll also have an opportunity to acclimate to the sweltering temperatures that they’ll likely endure in Dallas on Sunday. Throughout the week, LA have trained in muggy and humid conditions at FIU, which are far different than any normal day at Stubhub Center.
When LA kicked off against AC Milan on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. local time, the temperatures reached well into the 90s. The conditions will be very much the same –if not worse –on Sunday as the forecast for their 7 p.m. local start time in Dallas calls for heat in the near triple-digits. However as the Galaxy look forward to their third and final meeting of the season against FCD, they believe that acclimating to the South Florida heat may pay huge dividends come Sunday.
“We’re going to have to be smart in Dallas,” said Donovan. “It’s not the type of game where the conditions allow you to really press and be aggressive for 90 minutes, so you have to be careful. We can learn a little bit from [what we experienced against AC Milan]. I think that we’re confident.”
“Miami weather is quite hot and we’ve gotten used to it,” said goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini. “Dallas is going to be very much the same.”
Even though South Florida offers a beautiful locale to the Galaxy to train and bond ahead of the most arduous part of the season, the players understand that they’re not in Miami for fun and games, they’re there to prepare.
“It doesn’t get any easier going to Dallas,” said defender Sean Franklin. “It’s going to be hot, it’s going to be humid, and we’re going to need to get three points.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com