Galaxy's Donovan: No Beckham vs. Union? No problem
David Beckham has been an influential member of the LA Galaxy in the first part of 2011 as he leads the team with five assists. But if the Galaxy are to find success in Wednesday’s match at PPL Park against the Union, the offense will have to come from somewhere else.
Beckham was left back in Southern California as the Galaxy travel to Philadelphia in LA’s second of three games they will play this week. Asking for Beckham to participate in the encounter — and the travel that went along with it — was perhaps asking too much.
“When you have to travel the way we do — cross-country for a game like this — you can’t expect someone his age to play three games in a week,” midfielder Landon Donovan said on Tuesday.
Donovan enters the match on a bit of a tear, having scored all four his goals this season in the last three games. The team will likely lean heavily on his offensive abilities against Philadelphia because of Beckham’s absence.
“David has been hurt some of the time he’s been here with us, too,” Donovan said. “It’s obviously going to hurt us. His qualities aren’t easily matched by other people. You can’t just throw someone in and expect them to play the same way David plays.”
For Donovan, the formula to generate scoring opportunities and put the ball in the back of the net remains the same.
“Being more aggressive, taking chances, getting in front of the goal — but then you need things to go right,” Donovan said. “I’ve actually had quite a few chances in these games and could have had more goals but sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t. If you’re doing the right things to put yourself in dangerous areas, more often than not you’re going to score some goals.”
One area where Donovan may also have to pick up the slack in is on set pieces. While Donovan is accomplished at serving in free kicks and corner kicks, Beckham is the Galaxy’s set-piece specialist.
Still, players must collectively make up for Beckham’s absence, which, if recent history is any indication, the Galaxy will be in a favorable position to do. LA beat Chicago 2-1 in their only game so far this season without Beckham.
“We’ve done a good job of filling voids when we needed to throughout the year, and we expect to do the same [on Wednesday],” Donovan said. “Some people will be disappointed, some will be happy that he’s not here. He obviously helps the team. [It’s] part of sports, especially in our country. It’s unfortunate for people who pay to see him, but it’s part of sports.”