MLS- Real Salt Lake

Schedule called into question after Galaxy loss to RSL


Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com


CARSON, Calif. — Before the Los Angeles Galaxy suited up against Real Salt Lake, the looming question was, justwho would start in the home opener three days after a hard-fought CONCACAF Quarterfinals match against Toronto FC?  Against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, the Galaxy made just two substitutions from the squad that went the distance against Toronto. 

The stability paid off initially as the Galaxy took the lead off an Edson Buddle strike midway through the second half, but RSL struck back with three unanswered goals late en route to a 3-1 victory. Following the Galaxy's first loss at home since November 2010, Arena stated numerous times during his post game press conference that "fatigue" played a major role. 

Arena also took aim at MLS' schedule makers claiming that it was "very poor job on behalf of the league in terms of the scheduling" that the Galaxy were action while the league's two other participants in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, TFC and Seattle Sounders, were given the weekend off. 

At halftime of RSL's victory over Los Angeles, MLS commissioner Don Garber admitted to the media at the Home Depot Center, that "there was no way around" having the Galaxy sit out opening weekend. 

"It was just the way that the program schedule worked out," Garber told reporters. "Tim [Leiweke] wasn't happy about it, Bruce [Arena] wasn't happy about it, but there are just so many games that you can fit into the schedule the way that we needed to and its the way that the schedule played out. 

Although the question persisted about the match, Arena by no means used the game as an excuse. The Galaxy manager took responsibility — saying so five times in a five minute interview — for allowing nine of his starters to go 90 minutes just three days after going the distance in a rigorous CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal match in Toronto. 

"We probably could have changed half the team. We'll have to make changes against Toronto," said Arena. "I thought that we played alright, to be honest, we just hit the wall, I think that was my responsibility."

Arena found support from an unlikely source, as RSL head coach Jason Kreis offered his own thoughts on the scheduling after his side defeated the Galaxy. Kreis is keenly aware of Arena's issues having experienced a fair bit of fixture congestion last season while he navigated RSL to the CONCACAF Champions League Final in 2011. 

During the claret-and-cobalt's run to the final, the club twice dealt with a short schedule turnaround during their semifinal match-up against Deportivo Saprissa. But on Saturday when asked if he felt that it was fair that Los Angeles was playing on opening night after their CCL fixture, Kreis did not hold back.

"No, I don't," Kreis said after the match. "It doesn't make any sense to me why Toronto doesn't have game this weekend and the Galaxy does and Seattle has the weekend off. That's the way it should be, LA should have the weekend off. "

  • Neruda

    Too true.

    I also don’t remember a big deal being made out of this last year during RSLs CCL run. LA better quit worrying about the past, the refs (looking at you Becks) or their schedule and better start focusing on their game with TFC.


  • Matt Y

    Arena can piss on himself for all I care. What a wanker he’s become.

    And I’m a die hard DC fan…so I wasn’t always a hater….


  • PD

    call the wahmbulance. the most stacked team in MLS history at the beginning of the season with the entire pre season to prepare can handle it.


  • yankiboy

    When I read orf Arena’s griping about the scheduling, the first thing that came to my mind was “Too bad, so sad!”

    Arena and the Galaxy aren’t going to get any sympathy from me. They are the league SUPERCLUB. They are deeper than a lot of clubs because of the resources that they have and I don’t begrudge them that–theier ownership is forking out a lot of ca$h to put an quality product on the field.

    Second division clubs with a lot less resources like Puerto Rico Islanders and Montreal Impact had to play “grueling” CONCACAF Champions League matches and then turn around and play league matches on only two days rest, after flying from Central America or Mexico, from Puerto Rico, Canada or someplace in the US to do it. And in Islanders case, their ownership didn’t have the resources for them to be flying direct or in first class or to be using the Lakers’ jet. They had to take flights with long layovers and routes that normally would have made no sense, just because they were cheaper and their ownership couldn’t afford better.

    Montreal Impact was an ambitious club before Saputo decided to pony up the ca$h to move up to MLS. Puerto Rico Islanders are an ambitious club at second division level, knowing that MLS is not a realistic possibility. LA Galaxy is an ambitious club with a lot more resources than the two previously mentioned clubs.

    Mr. Arena’s emplyer has deep pockets and has provided him with what many beleive is the best warchest in the league in terms of player personnel.

    Which leads me to remember another cliche, that has a lot of truth to it. “Life’s not always fair…”


  • Vinz Clortho

    I agree with many posters above. Every team will have midweek games at some point this season, you gotta make it work.

    RSL had some scheduling help last year during their CCL run, but Kries also prioritized by resting starters for leauge games (see Revs game early last year)…


  • k

    LA are a bunch of f*cking whiners who think everything has to be done so they will always win; oh maybe because that’s the way this league has always been, change the rules so LA can win, hide the money so they can sign the top players ignoring the cap. Every team will have stretches of 4 and 5 games in 14 days, Seattle will have to play their first MLS game next week after flying to f*cking Mexico for a mid week game so don’t give me this they have it easier BS. Man up you bunch of over paid over hyped babies. Truth is they can’t win with special treatment and their own set of rules.


  • CMac

    Colorado is more of a why-oh-why-did-I-eat-panang-curry-last-night brownish red, not claret.
    Actually, that description works to describe the whole club, not just the color the rapids wear. :)


  • yosi

    Season ticket holder would have loved it since they are the ones that know that CCL is all that matters to the club. From fan response its mutual across the board


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