CARSON, Calif. – It was back to the old grind for the LA Galaxy, with the team returning to the training field for the first time in almost a week on Monday.
The Galaxy had been off since last Wednesday, a day after a 2-0 loss to the Red Bulls in New York, and players said they welcomed the break from a busy period that featured a staggering nine matches in 30 days.
Some, like central defender Omar Gonzalez, actually left town. Gonzalez spent a few days in Lake Arrowhead to “recharge the batteries.” Others like Josh Saunders caught up on lost sleep and watched television, specifically Saturday’s Seattle-Philadelphia match, a 2-0 Sounders loss that clinched the Galaxy’s second Supporters’ Shield in a row. He said that the key to the time off was simply to “step away from the field and enjoy yourself.”
Defender A.J. DeLaGarza agreed with those sentiments and relaxed as much as he could, but he didn’t get completely away from the game. He spent a good deal of time trying to hone his talents with the new FIFA 2012 video game from EA Sports. Unfortunately, he still needs plenty of practice.
“I’m not very good,” he admitted. “It’s actually a lot harder than the last one.”
Midfielder Dan Keat spent his time off staying fit to be in top shape for his appearance in Monday’s Reserve League match against Chivas USA, a 2-1 loss.
“I just tried to stay in the best shape I possibly could,” he said.
Defender Sean Franklin also stayed busy rehabbing an inflamed patella in his right knee. Out since early September, Franklin did some jogging Sunday and Monday and is pleased with the improvement in his leg. He said there’s an outside chance he can return for the Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League match at Honduran side Motagua on Thursday, Oct. 20, but he’s looking farther down the road.
“I want to be back before the playoffs,” he said. “It would be nice to get a game with the guys, show I’m on the same page come the playoffs.”
Before then, the Galaxy host Chivas USA on Sunday in the second and final leg of the SuperClasico, followed by the game in Honduras and then the regular season finale in Houston against the Dynamo on Oct. 23.
“I’m pretty close,” he said Monday.
Franklin, like his teammates, also was appreciative of the extended break from game action, although his time off was not exactly the same.
“It’s nice to have a break,” he said, “but then again my break’s a little different from other guys that have been playing. Me, I’m trying to get back on the field.”
Gonzalez, on the other hand, said he was happy to get away from it.
“It was getting bad. I was getting tired of these guys,” he said with a grin. “My legs were tired. Logging so many miles going to different countries, flying to the east coast, it was definitely tough, but I think everyone did a great job.”
The Galaxy are back in action on Sunday against in-stadium rivals Chivas USA. Support the team as they look to retain the SuperClasico trophy and an unbeaten record at home this season. Tickets are still available as low as $30 at lagalaxy.com/tickets. BUY NOW