CARSON, Calif. - The LA Galaxy’s David Beckham remembers watching last season’s MLS Cup between Colorado and FC Dallas and found it a particularly frustrating experience, knowing he and his Galaxy teammates had designs of being in Toronto on that cold, November night and playing for the league title.
Now it is almost seven months later, and the Galaxy (8-2-7) are about to take on the defending champion Rapids (5-3-7) on Saturday in Commerce City, Colo., in the teams’ first meeting of the season. But if you’re looking for any extra incentive on the Galaxy’s part, you won’t find it.
Not a lot of it anyway.
“I don’t think it matters who you come up against. This is a new season,” Beckham said Thursday. “They deserved it last season, it’s a new season and we need to concentrate on what we do and what we can focus on.
“If you want to win things, you have to come up against the best teams and the best players.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena also downplayed any possibility of extra incentive in Saturday’s match.
“You can make that all you want it to be, but it’s over with,” he said. “That was last year, and this year is a different situation. We’re going to Colorado to play a good team and we want to try and get three points.
‘”I don’t think anyone’s even mentioned (incentive), to be honest with you. The way our league goes, you kind of forget real quick who won the championship the year before. You don’t have time to be thinking about it a whole lot.”
Defender Todd Dunivant was one of the few Galaxy players who said the air will be a little different on Saturday, and it had nothing to do with the high altitude at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“Yeah, there’s incentive,” he said, “because they did what we wanted to do last year. They got hot at the right time, went all the way and won the championship. There’s certainly more in it for us.
“These guys are the champs until somebody says otherwise.”
Added forward Mike Magee, “The thing I noticed last year when we played (2009 champion) Salt Lake was they got the crest on their jersey and had a target on their back.
“I remember watching the final last year and having a bitter taste in my mouth, thinking it should have been us. All those things definitely will be on my mind.”
But not the only thing, others players said. The regular season is at the halfway point, and the Galaxy simply are looking for a victory against a team that has been tough on them away from The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy are 8-15-4 all-time on the road against Colorado, although they did claim their first-ever win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park 1-0 last May 5.
“When you’re playing the prior champion you always want to play a little harder and give a little bit extra,” goalkeeper Josh Saunders said. “But we’re treating this game like we need three points.
“They are the reigning champions, but we need the three points. That’s more important than anything.”
Join fellow Galaxy fans this Saturday at OB's Pub & Grill in Manhattan Beach when the Galaxy travel to Colorado to face the Rapids at 6 p.m. PT. That game will be shown on tape delay at 8 p.m. PT on FOX Sports West, or fans can follow live at lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive with play-by-play by Joe Tutino and a live chat, or Twitter @LAGalaxy and Facebook.com/LAGalaxy.