SANDY, Utah— For the first time since the start of the 2013 season, the LA Galaxy will go an entire week without an MLS regular season game or CONCACAF Champions League match. That’s 15 weeks straight with at least one league or cup match on the docket.
And following their 3-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake, their third consecutive loss in all competitions and their fourth in five games, LA believe that they'll need the time off to decompress and get their season right.
“I think that it’s good for us. We're all frustrated with the past couple games and maybe even the past five or six games as far as dropping points,” said defender Sean Franklin. “I think that it’s a good break not just physically, but mentally to get our heads right and ready for the 19th against Portland.”
However, Landon Donovan took the opposite approach.
“We need to play, and play better. When you win it’s a little bit nice to have a break, but when you lose it sits with you for a while,” said Donovan. “It’s going to be good to get a little bit of rest. Then we've got two really big two games against Portland and Chivas.”
That the Galaxy will play their next two matches at the newly-christened StubHub Center comes as a welcome respite after LA’s extensive travel as of late. Over the past month, the Galaxy have played seven matches across all competitions, with six taking place on the road just a single match at home—their 4-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC on April 26.
Not only has the club been traveling, but the Galaxy have also logged heavy miles with a pair of trips to the East Coast. The jet set life has not been kind to LA as they have gone a paltry 2-5-0 in that span.
“We've been travelling all over the country, so it'llbe good for our guys to get their legs back,” LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said following the defeat to RSL.
It won't be all time off, however, as the Galaxy will still host the USL PRO’s Los Angeles Blues on Saturday in an MLS Reserve League match in Carson. The reserve match will allow an opportunity for Arena to give minutes to players needing minutes as well as those coming back from injury like defender Todd Dunivant, who has missed the last two league games with a left quad strain.
The Reserve League match notwithstanding, the Galaxy have benefited from breaks from first team matches in the past as LA were able to start their rise up the Western Conference standings in 2012 after a 19-day international break between May 29 and June 17. Once play resumed, the Galaxy stormed up the standings, winning three straight and going on a 13-4-4 run to close out the regular season before going on to win their second straight MLS Cup.
This upcoming break from league and cup play won't be nearly as long, but after their loss to RSL, the Galaxy are hoping that it has a similar effect.
“Last year, we had a break and came back and changed the history of the team and won the championship. This is the same, it’s important,” said midfielder Marcelo Sarvas. “Everyone needs it to come back with a new energy and a new mentality. Then we'll see what happens.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com