The Galaxy control their own destiny when it comes to clinching a first-round bye in the MLS Playoffs. If they win at least one of their final two games, then they will avoid a knockout round. But after that, getting that second seed in the Western Conference gets complicated.
After a slew of injuries this season, the Galaxy are getting healthy at the right time.
Head coach Bruce Arena said Friday “this is as close to us getting healthy as it’s been the whole year,” with Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard echoing that sentiment.
Arena was coy about specifics concerning Giovani dos Santos (groin), Robbie Rogers (hip) and Baggio Husidic (hamstring), saying simply “we haven’t ruled anyone out” due to injury.
Dos Santos, who missed last week’s epic CONCACAF clash due to a groin injury, said Friday he felt fit after training for the past three days. He said it is the same injury that hampered him at the Gold Cup this summer. Initially, dos Santos was expected to miss two to three weeks with the injury.
The 26-year-old said he feels fit enough to go 90 minutes in Sunday’s game against Portland.
With the playoffs around the corner, dos Santos said it is also important to ensure his health for the stretch run of the season.
“If I don’t feel healthy enough I don’t want to put myself in a bad position,” dos Santos said. “I am smart with that, if I feel something tomorrow or during the game, I won’t risk my body.”
A snippet of shooting practice at training
Speaking of dos Santos, he was at the grand opening of a Nike store in East L.A. on Thursday and showed off some of his skills.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) October 16, 2015
The Galaxy are coming off a bye week with two more regular season games left. On Sunday, they host Portland at 4 p.m. and then end the season on the road at Kansas City on Oct. 25. In between their final regular season games, the Galaxy have a CONCACAF Champions League game in Guatemala on Oct. 21.
Some midweek links to get you prepared for the game:
- I join Josh Guesman and Adam Serrano on the Corner of the Galaxy podcast to discuss the Galaxy and the other teams in the race for the top two spots in the Western Conference.
- Todd Dunivant‘s retirement is inching ever closer, but before he leaves, he’s hoping to get on the field during Sunday’s match, which will be his last regular season game at home.
- Got vacation plans? Get to StubHub early and see how the Galaxy can help you save on your trip.
- Baggio Husidic and A.J. DeLaGarza are making strides in their injury recovery, Bruce Arena told Adam Serrano.
And because it’s cute:
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy_Es) October 14, 2015
Former Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid was a 10-year-old German immigrant when he arrived in Torrance; today the Seattle Sounders coach is regarded as one of the finest American coaches ever and a worthy addition to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame.
Read more here and check out Schmid’s speech below:
A stoppage-time goal from Chad Barrett buried the Galaxy’s chances at a crucial road victory on Sunday at Seattle, as the Sounders equalized in the 93rd minute to salvage a tie against the Galaxy.
Despite the 1-1 draw, the Galaxy still clinched a playoff spot with forward Robbie Keane’s 36th-minute goal. But as the captain said, it’s was “definitely two points dropped” instead of one won.
“I am disappointed we didn’t win the game,” Keane told reporters after the game. “It is as simple as that. Hard work that everyone put in to get a clean sheet. The effort we poured in to win that game.”
The point also puts the Galaxy back in the top spot for the Western Conference and in a tie with the New York Red Bulls for the lead for the Supporters’ Shield.
Hit the jump for more from Sunday’s game: Continue reading
The Galaxy can clinch a playoff berth with a win or a draw against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday at CenturyLink Field. There have been plenty of big games between the two Western Conference foes, including last year’s Western Conference Finals when Juninho sent the Galaxy to the MLS Cup with an amazing goal from distance.
Long-distance shots have become a trademark for the Brazilian midfielder, and he seems to be especially accurate against the Sounders. Hit the jump to see all of Juninho’s greatest hits against Seattle and for all other necessary pregame reading:
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena talked to the media Friday about Seattle Sounders defender Chad Marshall, who suffered a sprained neck earlier this week in practice, how his team ended its scoreless streak and Sunday’s big game against the Sounders.
The Galaxy have a chance to clinch a playoff berth this Sunday at CenturyLink Field against the Seattle Sounders (6:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1). On Wednesday, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and defender A.J. DeLaGarza both noted the difficulty of playing on CenturyLink Field’s artificial turf.
As the defending MLS Cup Champions prepare for their first trip to CenturyLink Field this season, understand the science of how turf changes the game in this ESPN Sports Science clip:
I’m pretty sure the guy next to Clint Dempsey won’t be in the starting XI for the 6:30 p.m. game on Fox Sports 1, however.
From the Sounders press release:
The initiative marks the first time an MLS club has altered its jerseys for any match mid-season, as well as the first time Sounders FC has worn anything other than Rave Green jerseys for an MLS regular season home fixture. The new Halo 5: Guardians-inspired jerseys utilize Sounders FC’s Pitch Black third kits. During warmups, Sounders FC players are also wearing limited edition pre-match training tops, custom-made with Sounders FC and Halo 5: Guardians branding. Sunday’s match is the only opportunity that fans have to buy this one-of-a-kind jersey, as a limited supply of 200 are available for purchase at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop.