CARSON, Calif. – Thanks to a kink in the MLS regular season schedule and a rescheduled match due to the team’s CONCACAF Champions League participation, LA Galaxy will face Real Salt Lake for the second time in two weeks on Saturday. And that prospect does not bring joy to the face of LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
The match at Rio Tinto Stadium comes after LA’s emotional CCL series against Club Tijuana and is the third such time that LA will play back-to-back league games against the same opponent. Following LA training session on Thursday, Arena voiced his displeasure about LA’s odd schedule.
“We've tried to make it clear to the league that we thought this was not the way to do it, but they have their own minds,” Arena said following LA's training session Thursday morning at StubHub Center. “We're going to be the only team in the league doing this on three occasions this year. I don't think it's good.
“I think that it’s not a good way to end the year,” added Arena in reference to LA’s back-to-back end of the year matchup against Seattle Sounders FC. “They tend to think that we create the television ratings that haven’t been there that we’re going to create them. I don’t know how we’re going to create them at the end of the year. As much as possible, we should space the games out in-conference and out-of-conference as much as we can.”
The RSL “series” is one of three back-to-back matches that LA will play as they play a home-at-home series against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on April 12 and April 19 before ending the season with two games against Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 19 and Oct. 25.
While Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan admitted that the schedule of back-to-back league games against RSL bracketing a CCL series with Tijuana wasn’t ideal, it was beneficial for planning purposes.
“In my opinion, [the schedule] helps. You don’t have to do that much preparation. We know exactly what Salt Lake is going to bring,” said Donovan. “It’s a very easy scouting report because we know that they’re a very good team and it’s going to be difficult, but we know exactly what to expect.”
Agree with Arena? Disagree?
Share thoughts below.