CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy defender Andrew Boyens was watching Sunday’s 1-1 tie with the Colorado Rapids when the television feed went out. When it came back on, he was surprised to see a change in the lineup.
He noticed rookie central defender Tommy Meyer had replaced A.J. DeLaGarza in the back line, and he didn’t learn until later that DeLaGarza had suffered a left knee injury in a 30th minute collision with the Rapids’ Omar Cummings.
DeLaGarza, who underwent a series of tests on Monday with club doctors, was on crutches at that evening’s launch event for Time Warner Cable Sports in El Segundo. On Tuesday afternoon, he was listed as “Out” on the club’s official injury report ahead of Saturday’s Western Conference showdown with Real Salt Lake.
With DeLaGarza sidelined, Boyens is one of at least three candidates ready to step in. The loss of DeLaGarza is a potentially costly blow to the defending MLS Cup champions’ postseason hopes.
Including Sunday’s draw in Commerce City, Colo., they are 5-0-2 in their last seven league games, have allowed just four goals during that span and haven’t lost an MLS match since a 4-0 defeat in Seattle on Aug. 5.
If Boyens does get the nod to go into the starting lineup, he’s more than ready. He’s fully recovered from sports hernia surgery performed earlier this year and is anxious to get out on the field.
“I feel very comfortable out there,” he said. “Myself and Tommy and David (Junior Lopes). The three of us have played a lot of games this season, either with the first ream, the reserves or in the (CONCACAF) Champions League.
“That’s why we play those games. If it does happen we can step right in.”
Boyens, taken in Phase 2 of the 2011 MLS Re-Entry Process and signed on Jan. 30, hasn’t played an MLS match since a 3-1 loss to New England on March 31. Lopes, who was acquired in an April 10 trade with Chivas USA for midfielder Paolo Cardozo, hasn’t seen any MLS action since a 4-0 loss in Seattle on Aug. 5. Meyer’s appearance Sunday was his first in MLS since a 1-0 loss to New York on May 5.
WATCH: Rookie Rundown - Tommy Meyer
Lopes has been slow to return from a left ankle injury, but he also pronounced himself fit and grateful if given the opportunity to play.
“Anytime the manager points to you, you’re happy,” he said through an interpreter on Monday. “You want to do more than you can and play well. I’ve been out of it for a little bit. I had an issue with my ankle, but I’m back in form.
Meyer, a first-round draft choice (19th overall) in this year’s MLS SuperDraft who has played in five league games, including four starts, also said he’s ready to go if he gets the nod like he did Sunday night.
“I feel really comfortable,” he said. “This is what I’ve been working toward the whole season. I feel like I’ve gotten better and I’ve gained some experience.
“I’m definitely ready if I need to be called upon.”