By DAN KARELL
Bruce Arena will be hoping that a short turnaround is just what the Los Angeles Galaxy need after two straight sub-par performances.
After losing at home to the Colorado Rapids on September 7 without their three designated players (Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, and Omar Gonzalez) and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, the four players returned to the lineup last Saturday, only to draw with the worst team in Major League Soccer, 2-2.
Now, the Galaxy host another mid-week CONCACAF Champions League match against El Salvadorean side Isidro Metapan (10pm, Fox Sports 2/Univision Deportes), who have lost just twice in all competitions since their season began at the beginning of August. Due to injuries, the Galaxy will be without starters A.J. DeLaGarza or Donovan, making the challenge even tougher.
These two clubs know each other well, matching up in last year’s tournament, which saw the Galaxy win both at home (5-2) and away (3-2) against Isidro. In the Galaxy’s only Champions League match this fall, they defeated Cartagines, 2-0.
Cartagines, at the top of Group 8, have already played three matches and only sit one point above the Galaxy, meaning that Arena could sit his stars and save them for the massive game on Saturday at home against the first-placed Seattle Sounders. Considering their performance last Saturday at RFK Stadium though, Arena may want to give Keane at least 60 minutes in front of the home crowd to put the game away.
Isidro meanwhile has issues of their own, as defender Andres Flores is out due to an injury, while defender Alfredo Pacheco and midfielder Eliseo Quintanilla were both suspended by the El Salvadorean Football Federation along with 20 other players as the FESFUT investigates match-fixing allegations.
Also in CCL action on Wednesday, Caledonia AIA of Trinidad and Tobago take on Toluca of Mexico, and Costa Rican side Herediano faces Hatian club Valencia.
What do you think of this match? Do you see Arena playing his starters? Do you feel he should rest Keane for Saturday’s match?
Share your thoughts below.
My heart bleeds for LA, having to play without 3 designated players…It hardly seems fair that they have to compete without a stacked deck
Every team has the opportunity to get 3 DPs, not just LA so your pot shot rings hollow.
While I’m not a fan of LA,NY, or Seattle, I am happy that their owners the guts to spend their cash to bring in some big names to the league and raise the profile and level of competition of MLS.
I dont agree. The league has bent rules for NY and LA many times in the past, allowing them to sight people like Beckham, Donovan, Robbie K, Thierry H. …. Meanwhile, most of the other teams suffer along with few “names” and is some cases… no names.
How does it help the league to favor a few teams with bent rules and endless money for high profile players while other teams are basically college allstar teams?
The funny part is that no matter how much money they throw at NY, they can’t buy a winner
“Bent the rules.” Please elaborate.
Yes, I’d like to know about this “rule bending” as well.
The only thing that comes immediately to mind is Donovan being “grandfathered in” with LA.
In case Bruce Arena is eagerly listening in to what I have to say, I could care less about the CCL league. Just put in your scrubs and keep your key players fresh. The game against Seattle is about 100000000 times more important than this game.
I don’t really understand why MLS doesn’t put more focus in promoting the CCL matches. MLS doesn’t get many chances to show where it stacks up against the rest of the world. A team making it to the Club World Cup would be a very important step for the league.
LA seems to be in, “we can just wait and win when we need to” mode. Part of that was imposed by the schedule and Nat team games, but….
Eventually you need to win, and it is starting to get to that point.
Can’t wait for the Sounders to play em Saturday. LA loss and Dallas win, Dallas is one point back with 5 to play….and LA has to play Seattle in front of 50-68k in the last game.
LA’s late season schedule is pretty favorable. They have three consecutive home games against Chivas, Montreal and SJ, bookended by trips to Portland and Seattle, which will be difficult. Their chances of dropping out of the playoffs are still pretty slim.
LA has nine games left until playoffs, three away and two of those are out of the country.
RSL has six left and only two are away.
Seattle has seven left with four away.
I don’t think their schedule is all that favorable.