LA Galaxy return to MLS action against San Jose Earthquakes

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy play their first league match in almost three weeks on Saturday at Stanford Stadium against the San Jose Earthquakes (7:30 p.m., NBCSN), but head coach Bruce Arena’s concerns haven’t changed. The Galaxy continue to struggle to score goals and have a record (4-3-5, 17 points, seventh in the West) Arena feels is not a true reflection of their effort.

“I think we’ve played much better than our record indicates,” he said. “We need to reward ourselves and get three points in games.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous that in our league we have three losses and five ties. It’s ridiculous. We should be doing better.”

Landon Donovan agrees.

“I look at every game we played and outside of the Tijuana game away and maybe the Chicago game away, we’ve played well in every game,” he said. “Honestly look at lot of those games and it can be said we should have won that game. But should have doesn’t get you anything.

“We’ve dropped a lot of points along the way.”

The Galaxy, whose last league game was a 1-1 tie with Chivas USA on June 8, are coming off a 1-0 loss to the Carolina RailHawks on Tuesday in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup. The Earthquakes also dropped out of the ‘Cup competition on Tuesday with a 1-1 loss (4-1 in penalty kicks) to the Seattle Sounders.

But now it’s back to the rigors of MLS and this season’s first edition of the California Clasico. The Galaxy lead the series 26-18-10 all-time but are 9-13-6 on the road against the Earthquakes.

Arena hasn’t given a close look yet at the Galaxy’s long-time conference rival, but he doesn’t expect any surprises this weekend

“We generally see the same kind of team,” he said. “A good team, hard to play. It will be a physical team and it won’t be easy at Stanford, where the field is going to be small.”

Added Robbie Rogers, “It will be such a battle. It’s going to be physically a really, really tough game. They played a game on Tuesday as well, so there’s no excuses how guys are feeling. It’s just going to be a battle.

“We have to be ready.”

Donovan said he had no doubt the Galaxy will be prepared for this weekend, but his one concern about the team has yet to be alleviated.

“If we’re being fair, we’ve missed Omar (Gonzalez, with the U.S. men’s national team) now for a significant part of the season,” he said. “He would certainly help us. But other than that we’ve played well and defended well and we certainly need to do a better job scoring goals. We can’t rely on Robbie (Keane) all the time.

“We need to do a better job of other guys stepping up.”