The Galaxy welcome their in-state rival for the first California Clasico of the year Saturday at 7:30 p.m. as they try to shake off a last-second loss to Colorado last weekend. The Earthquakes are one of three MLS teams to start the season with two straight wins, but you can throw out the records for a rivalry as heated as this one.
Forward Giovani dos Santos is likely out for Saturday’s game, head coach Bruce Arena said on Thursday. Additionally, Gordon (neck) and left back Ashley Cole (back) are healthy. Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy will be out with a partially torn groin for up to a month. Defender Leonardo is still recovering from knee surgery and will be out a few more weeks. Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz is still working back from offseason hernia surgery, while forward Jose Villarreal is listed on the MLS injury report with a leg injury.
Since San Jose returned to the league in 2008, the overall series is almost even, with the Earthquakes owning a 10-9-7 advantage.
Suave former Galaxy star David Beckham has landed on the cover of the latest GQ magazine, which hits Los Angeles newsstands on Tuesday.
“I miss soccer everyday,” Beckham said. “I don’t know whether it’s the athlete in me, or the passion I have for the game: I always think that I can step back on the field and play.
“You know, maybe I could play another year in the U.S,” he dded. “If I was still living in L.A., I’d probably really seriously think about coming back for a year. But we’re living in London, and the kids are happy in the school.”
Bruce Arena said Thursday it is unlikely that forward Giovani dos Santos will play in Saturday’s home game against San Jose.
Dos Santos suffered a muscle strain in the season opener against D.C. United, missed the second half of that game and sat out against Colorado on the road last week. The 26-year-old trained on the field on Thursday, but it did not look as if he trained fully.
Arena said Ashley Cole, who was a late scratch from the lineup against Colorado due to slight back tightness, is healthy for Saturday, but added that the 35-year-old left back “looked a little cold” during training.
Forward Alan Gordon had a bulged disc in his neck, but said he is ready for Saturday if he is called upon. Gordon sustained the injury in practice before the Galaxy’s 4-0 loss to Santos Laguna in Mexico and did not dress for either of the team’s MLS games.
“As long as the inflammation is down, I’m good to go,” Gordon said. “There’s no set backs for me and there’s nothing holding me back. I’m good to go. It’ll just be something that’ll be hurting when I’m 50.”
Oldies, but goodies: Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said the signings of veterans like Ashley Cole and Jelle Van Damme should help, not hinder, the development of young American players at the club (Photo courtesy LA Galaxy).
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena Tuesday criticized a lack of a “policy” for adding stoppage time to MLS games in the wake of last weekend’s 1-0 loss to Colorado that saw the Rapids’ winner come deep into the five added minutes at the end of the second half.
“The game going five extra minutes was a glaring mistake by the referee and assistant referee,” he said Tuesday after Galaxy practice. “They don’t have a (stoppage time) policy, so there’s no consistency with that. What’s going to be required is they establish a policy so everyone is aware of what it is.
“I thought it was going to be two extra minutes, possibly three, then it got to five — it was way off,” he added. “Minutes at the end of the game can not be a freelance thing. There has to be an established criteria how you do that.”
Arena criticized the fourth official in particular for not paying enough attention to the game and being more concerned with players standing in the technical area than watching the clock.
But, he conceded, the Galaxy had to take a measure of blame for the road loss at altitude that came in just the second game of the season when conditioning remains an issue.
“We weren’t good, they weren’t good, it wasn’t a good game,” Arena said. “No one deserved to win that game to be honest with you. … We’ve got to take responsibility for conceding the goal and responsibility for how we played — we didn’t play well.”
With a swift left-footed volley, Colorado’s Marco Pappa yanked one point away from the L.A. Galaxy in the final 30 seconds of Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Rapids.
The Galaxy looked primed to escape the high-altitude of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park with a draw until Daniel Steres missed a clearance in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Pappa capitalized on the error and buried the shot into the back of the net.
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. Continue reading →