CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy were back on the training ground on Wednesday for the first time since their 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC in the Western Conference Championship First Leg at The Home Depot Center on Sunday.
For the Galaxy, who have played seven games in the last 22 days, compiling a record of 5-1-1 over that time, the rest and a week-long period between games is a welcome change for the club.
“We needed it. We’ve been playing a lot of games,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “If we had to play in the middle of this week, it would have been tough. It’s good to have the time off and hopefully, we can slowly build our team back to Sunday.”
Building the team back up to full fitness remains the primary concern as Landon Donovan (R hamstring tightness), Edson Buddle (L plantar inflammation), and Juninho (R Achilles inflammation) are currently listed as questionable for Sunday's match. Donovan and Juninho both suffered their injuries that led to their substitution from the first leg, while Buddle’s issue stems from a knock received in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal against the San Jose Earthquakes.
While the team is upbeat that the trio can return, they’re confident that others can step in and contribute, if called upon.
“At this time of the year, everyone is battling a little something. It’s all about being smart, doing the right things to get healthy and if they can’t go and aren’t 100% then the next guy steps up,” said defender Sean Franklin. “It’s all about being smart and not putting players on the field in a position where they can get hurt worse so, as much as we want those guys to be healthy, if they’re not, we go onto the next player. Obviously though, we’d love to have those guys in our lineup this weekend.”