On Saturday, the LA Galaxy ran their impressive record to 5-0-1 after beating Philadelphia 3-1 at the Home Depot Center.
The win helped the Galaxy maintain their spot atop the Western Conference and reaffirmed their contender status.
Now, instead of recovering at the start of a new week and focusing on a Saturday match, the Galaxy will have another challenge – perhaps the toughest of the young season – ahead. LA will play two away games this week, and will play both games in a four-day span.
On Wednesday, the Galaxy visit the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and then travel Qwest Field and the Seattle Sounders on Saturday. How the club handles the early part of the week could determine whether the team come back with a handful of points, or no points at all, head coach Bruce Arena said.
“We do have two tough games now on the road and we’ve got to recover properly from [Philadelphia], get everything sorted out the right way and have the understanding of how we need to approach the first game in Colorado,” Arena said.
Both the Galaxy and Colorado played games on the West Coast on Saturday, as Colorado lost 1-0 at San Jose. But the Rapids have the comforts of playing at home and travel won’t be a concern. The Galaxy will travel to Denver on Tuesday afternoon and will have to modify their weekly training routine because of it.
The Wester Conference frontrunners have never won at DSG Park. A year ago, the two teams tied 1-1 in April while the Galaxy suffered tough losses there in 2008 (a season-opening 4-0 defeat) and 2007 (3-0).
The club’s goal is simple enough but seeing it through will be the true test.
“Try to go there and get a result,” Arena said about the team’s hopes for Wednesday. “It’s never easy but that’s the challenge that’s ahead of us.”
After the Rapids match, the Galaxy will face the difficult task of playing on Qwest Field’s artificial surface. While that alone is challenging, facing a strong and determined Seattle side adds to it.
The Galaxy will face a tougher scenario then, if only because of fatigue. The LA-Colorado match is one of four games that will be played on Wednesday, but Seattle isn't involved in any of the other three. Thus, Seattle will be well-rested and will have had a regular week to prepare for the Galaxy.
While the club’s focus is on Colorado, Arena said the turnaround from game to game will be fairly quick due to necessity.
“After the Colorado game, we’ll deal with the kind of thinking we need to have to get ready for Seattle,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy. We know that. We’ve prepared ourselves for this and we’ll see how the team reacts to this challenge.”