CARSON, Calif. – With Todd Dunivant unlikely to play in Saturday's match against FC Dallas as the veteran defender deals with a right calf injury, rookie Bryan Gaul is poised to step up once again on the left side of the LA Galaxy defense.
After training on Thursday, head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that while Dunivant's injury is "day to day" and could play against Dallas, it was unlikely that he would. The left back is currently listed as questionable with right calf hematoma.
Since Dunivant's injury against Vancouver Whitecaps, Gaul has stepped up and performed well in appearances against Vancouver, Chivas USA and Tottenham Hotspur. Gaul will likely be forced to step up again against Dallas as he is tasked with stopping a motivated Dallas team fresh off a 5-0 thumping of the Portland Timbers.
Gaul's thoughts below...
(On his new starting role…)
GAUL: “It’s great, it’s great to be in the first XI and the guys have given me good support and I’m just glad to be in a left back position.”
(On holding the position for Dunivant…)
GAUL: “Yeah, Todd’s a great player so I’m just playing [left back] until he gets back and it’s been great. It’s been a fun two games.”
(On filling in for Dunivant again Dallas…)
GAUL: “I’m really excited. I think that they play three up top and I know it’s going to be different than when we played Chivas, who play one up top. It’s going to be different and with the humidity and the heat, it’s going to be kind of training, but I’m excited for it.”
(On the help his fellow defenders have provided…)
GAUL: “They take pressure by helping me defend especially against the quick guys that I’ve been playing against lately. It has been easier…You get advice from all the other defenders on when to step and when to drop and when to get on certain guys."
(On how much different the position is than he may have thought…)
GAUL: “It’s a lot different. It’s a lot more mentally draining because you have to be able to think about where you’re supposed to be at all times. And the players that I’ve been facing are much better than those I played against back in college.”
(On his teammates commenting on his 6-foot-5 height…)
GAUL: “Yeah, It’s funny was watching the game against Chivas on TV and the [commentators] were saying ‘Six-five left back, are you serious?’ It doesn’t bug me, but it’s funny that they think that."