CONCACAF Champions League: LA Galaxy rule out Landon Donovan, AJ DeLaGarza for Metapan tilt
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy won't have Landon Donovan nor A.J. DeLaGarza when they take on Isidro Metapán in Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League clash at the StubHub Center (10 pm ET; Fox Sports 2), but neither was likely to play – or at least start – even if they were they healthy.
Donovan hasn't trained since he suffered a sprained ankle in Saturday's 2-2 draw at D.C. United, and DeLaGarza on Tuesday was limited to running and kicking the ball a bit while wearing a cast on his left arm after dislocating his elbow in Washington.
Head coach Bruce Arena said there is uncertainty about DeLaGarza's injury.
“I don't think they quite know [the severity] at this point,” Arena said following LA's training session Tuesday morning. “See in the next couple of days and he gets moving a little more. I don't think we know [how quickly he can return] at this point.”
DeLaGarza, a Maryland native who had 112 family members and friends at RFK Stadium, exited after he fell awkwardly trying to stop D.C.'s Chris Pontius on the left byline in the eighth minute Saturday. The Galaxy did not make him available to media.
Donovan left at halftime after he was hurt while battling Luis Silva battled for a ball near midfield.
“It was my fault. I gave away a bad ball in midfield and then won it back, but Silva and I got tangled up, he fell on my ankle and it rolled,” Donovan said after the game. “I couldn't run anymore. I was trying to run and I couldn't run. At that point, you're doing yourself more damage and the team damage.”
Arena confirmed the sprain Tuesday and said he was “confident he's going to be available very soon.”
Asked if it were possible he could play in Saturday's Western Conference showdown with Seattle, Arena replied: “You can interpret that any way you want.”
Arena is expected to field a largely “reserve” lineup for the Group B match, as he did in three of last year's group-stage games and, at least partially, in LA's 2-0 victory over Cartagines in their Aug. 20 tournament opener. They're in a five-games-in-16-days stretch, and with Seattle looming, games next week against Cartaginés and Portland, and signs of fatigue at D.C., it's unlikely more than a few first-teamers would be in uniform.
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The Galaxy started just two reserves in their CCL home meeting last year with Isidro Metapán, a 5-2 victory, but Marcelo Sarvas – coming off the bench – was the only true starter who played in the 3-2 victory two months later in El Salvador.
“We'll see what [Arena] does with the lineup tomorrow,” said midfielder Michael Stephens, who has started six and played in all nine CCL games since last year's competition began. “I think with the quick turnaround, we're not going to find out until tomorrow morning.
"If [he does start reserves], I mean, you look to last year, and we did the same thing. The guys that go in, if we do make changes, will be hungry and ready to go. All capable players, so we'll do well.”