To get through the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinals, the Galaxy has to deal with their No. 1 nemesis.
Tim Howard? The Colorado defense? Sure, they’re both concerns, but for the Galaxy, how
it deals with the altitude will determine how things go Sunday afternoon.
“Right now, we have a 1-0 lead and we know it is going to be tough,” Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme said. “This is going to be my second time. I struggled (the first time) after 20-30 minutes, so we have to be prepared, rest our body and just deal with it.”
The Galaxy’s first trip to Colorado this season (Mar.12) was Van Damme’s first time playing at altitude. .
“They told me it was going to be tough,” he said of that first game. “I thought it was just a mental thing, but it came true.”
Colorado went undefeated during the regular season (11-0-6). One of those victories came against the Galaxy (1-0) on March 12.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena is no stranger to dealing with altitude, whether in Colorado or Mexico City with the U.S. national team.
Is there an easy way to prepare? The Galaxy is scheduled to arrive in Colorado Saturday, a day before the game, which has been reported could lessen the impact that the altitude could have on a team.
“There’s not a whole lot you can do,” Arena said. “Make sure your team is hydrated. If you’re fit, you can deal with it. The fitter you are, the better you’re able to cope with it.
“I’ve done this for years, talking to specialists on altitude, getting the U.S. team ready for Mexico City …nobody knows. The only way to acclimated to altitude is to live there and to live there for three weeks or so in Denver, three months in Mexico City …nobody knows.”