CARSON, Calif. -- A red card suspension will prevent LA Galaxy center back Leonardo from suiting up in this Saturday’s match against Sporting Kansas City, but the Brazilian defender remains in high spirits despite being forced to the sidelines.
Leonardo picked up a costly red card for a foul on FC Dallas forward Blas Perez in the 60th minute of LA’s 1-0 defeat to FCD last Saturday. The suspension will cost Leonardo his unblemished streak of appearances in all nine games this season across all competitions and allow either A.J. DeLaGarza or Tommy Meyer to slide into central defense.
The Brazilian may have lost his starting role for one match, but he’s simply targeting regaining that spot against Real Salt Lake on April 27.
“I’m taking this week very calm. I can’t be worrying about things like that,” Leonardo told reporters. “[Galaxy head coach] Bruce [Arena] is the one who has to worry about things like that. He has the options and he knows the players that he has and he’ll make the call as to who plays and he who doesn’t. I can’t go into the week worrying about it, I just have to be respectful and work in training.”
During the first nine games this season, LA has developed a nasty habit of conceding goals late as seven of the club’s eight goals that they’ve conceded in 2013 have come in the last 12 minutes of matches. For Leonardo, solving this problem comes down to concentration.
“We need to keep our concentration for 90 minutes to make sure those things that doesn’t happen. We also need to work at training and as games go on,” said Leonardo. “Right now, we’re only on our fifth game of the [regular] season and while it’s never okay to lose points, it is okay to drop points early in the season, but as the season continues, we need to sharpen those things and not lose points.”