Giovani dos Santos celebrates his goal against NYCFC. Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff photographer
LA Galaxy forward Giovani dos Santos trained fully with the team Thursday after leaving last Saturday’s game at halftime. The Mexican international did not talk to the media following the training session, but head coach Bruce Arena assured dos Santos is “fine” and that dos Santos will be in the lineup this Saturday at Real Salt Lake.
Dos Santos was subbed off at halftime during last week’s scoreless tie against Montreal with groin soreness, according to the club. Baggio Husidic, who was returning from a long-term calf injury, came on in dos Santos’ place in the midfield.
During the second half against Montreal, the Galaxy didn’t have a single shot on goal en route to the team’s first home shutout since June.
“His creativity,” Galaxy captain Robbie Keane said of what the team misses when dos Santos is off the field. “His cleverness around the box to step people up, he’s very, very good at that.”
Dos Santos’ impact on the Galaxy has been almost immediate since he joined the club in August. He has scored three goals and notched five assists in seven matches for the Galaxy.
On the road to Rio Tinto
After getting shut out for two straight games, the Galaxy will try to rebound this Saturday. But if history is any indication, getting the offense going this weekend at Rio Tinto Stadium won’t be an easy task.
Galaxy players and Arena said the altitude and also the pitch itself make for difficult scoring conditions.
“It’s a field that’s not easy to play,” Arena said Thursday after training. “On the combination of the altitude and it’s a hard field, so the ball’s out of play a lot.”
The team leaves Friday for the Saturday evening game which is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff. So far this year in two games at Rio Tinto Stadium, which sits at 4,500 feet above sea level, the Galaxy have been shut out twice, finishing with a scoreless tie on May 6 and then losing 1-0 in an Open Cup match on July 14.
The Galaxy have won two of their past three games on the road after snapping a 15-game winless streak away from StubHub Center. In its most recent contest on the road, the team lost a rivalry match with San Jose in Avaya Stadium. Of the Galaxy’s league-leading 49 goals, only 13 have come on the road.