Galaxy game day: L.A. tackles high altitude in Colorado

Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press

Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press


The Galaxy’s three new European signings, Jelle Van Damme, Nigel de Jong and Ashley Cole, will be in the spotlight Saturday as they play not only their first MLS road game, but their first MLS game in altitude at Colorado’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Altitude was one of the many MLS-specific difficulties Steven Gerrard struggled with last year after he joined the team in the middle of the season.

De Jong said he is comfortable in altitude, despite growing up in the Netherlands, as he played at high altitude during both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. He said hydrating well and mentally preparing for the physical rigors of the environment are key.

For more information on how high altitude affects the body, watch this ESPN Sport Science clip:

Many players they feel the effects of the thin air mostly in the first 30 minutes, but then they get a second wind. For the Galaxy that second wind has meant plenty of goals recently. In their past two games at Colorado, both victories, the Galaxy have scored six combined goals in the second half, winning 4-3 in 2014 and 3-1 in 2015.

L.A. is 5-2-2 in road matches against Colorado in the Bruce Arena era.


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