German Alegria / LA Galaxy

Galaxy keeping priorities straight ahead of Crew visit

CARSON, Calif. – The Real Madrid game is behind them and they welcome Manchester City of the Premier League to town for another high-profile friendly on Sunday at The Home Depot Center, but there never has been any question what matters most to the LA Galaxy.

Specifically, it’s Wednesday’s regular season home game against the Columbus Crew (7:30 p.m. PT, PRIME TICKET). Yes, players say they enjoy matches against some of the top teams in the world, but keeping their priorities in order never has been a problem.

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Major League Soccer comes first and foremost.

“The reality is all along we’ve said that Wednesday is the game that matters this week,” Landon Donovan said Monday. “It’s sandwiched between two kind of marquee games that maybe the fans and public think are more important, but the reality is this is the important game.

“We had to reorganize this morning and make sure mentally that we need to be prepared for Wednesday, and I think we’ll do a good job of that.”

Donovan also said he thinks the Galaxy already has taken the necessary steps in that direction.

“Today was good in training,” he said, “and I think we all understand we played against one of the best teams in the world Saturday. As much as sometimes losing hurts, you take it with a grain of salt and move on.”

In the Crew (7-5-7, third in the Eastern Conference), the Galaxy take on a team that historically has been tough on them. The Galaxy are just 11-15-8 all-time against the Crew, including 8-7-4 at home. However, the Crew have not beaten LA at The Home Depot Center since June 2007 and lost 3-1 there last September as the Galaxy put forward one of their most dominant performances of the second half of the season to complete the season sweep.

 “They’ve proven to be one of the better teams in the East over the years,” defender Sean Franklin said. “We just have to be ready. If we stick to our game plan, we’ll have a chance to win three points on Wednesday.”

Franklin, like Donovan, said there never has been any doubt where the club’s emphasis has been in a schedule that not only features much-anticipated friendlies but also U.S. Open Cup matches and the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League.

“We know our regular season comes first,” he said. “These friendlies are for us and the fans to enjoy. We want to win them, but we also want to win our regular season games.

“Last weekend we’ve put away. It was fun to play that game, but it’s time to focus on the regular season. I think the team is ready to move forward and get this one on Wednesday.”

Added goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who has been pressed into duty because of an injury to Donovan Ricketts, “You take those (friendlies) seriously … if you don’t, you obviously get punished, but the real importance is on the league game on Wednesday.

“I think our focus was always on Columbus.”

Come watch the Galaxy take on the Columbus Crew on Wednesday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m.! Tickets start at $25, and fans are invited to join us for a pregame Happy Hour in SoccerFest! Happy Hour food and drink specials include $2 Beer, $1 peanuts and $1 popcorn. Plus, the first 6,000 fans in the gates receive a free Galaxy soft lunch box, courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County! BUY NOW

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