Berhalter's "freak" injury requires Galaxy D to step up
CARSON, Calif. — One of the players expected to help carry the LA Galaxy's workload has spent nearly one week in a walking cast.
Gregg Berhalter left in the first half of last Thursday's CONCACAF Champions League match against Alajuelense with an injured foot. On Tuesday, Berhalter said he had been diagnosed with a sprained midfoot on his right foot, but did not say how long he would be out.
"We're going to work closely with the medical staff to try and get a gauge on it," Berhalter said. "We'll take it week by week."
Berhalter said he feels "a little bit" of pain in his foot even with it in the walking cast, which he wears around the clock.
"This was just a freak thing," he said. "I just stepped down. No one was near me."
Perhaps because of how it happened or because of his previous ordeals in overcoming injury, Berhalter said he was not about to look back and examine much of anything regarding his most recent injury.
"You can't control those things and I won't spend too much time worrying about the past," he said. "I just look forward, look to the future and do as much as I can to get back as soon as possible."
Berhalter has already dealt with injuries this season, as a knee ailment kept him out of a large chunk of the preseason and well into the regular season. Berhalter, though, quickly re-inserted himself into the rotation in June and logged key minutes in MLS and Champions League play. He had totaled 613 minutes while playing 90 minutes in six of the eight matches he'd played in during league play.
His return gave Galaxy coach Bruce Arena some much needed options for rotating his central defense. Beginning with Monday's match at Sporting Kansas City, LA will play nine games in both MLS and CCL over a 30-day stretch, making defensive depth that much more important.
"We set it up that we planned to rotate players anyway," Berhalter said. "We'll have guys step in that will be ready for sure. That's what we've been building on all season. We have enough combinations this season that we can definitely find one that can be effective."
Well before Berhalter even returned, the Galaxy suffered a blow to their central defense depth when Leonardo and Sean Alvarado were lost for the season with knee injuries. Sean Franklin can play central defense, while Kyle Davies played alongside Berhalter against Manchester City in July.
"Those are definitely options that we have," Berhalter said. "We've been working at playing different guys in different positions. We can definitely get some people to fill in at spots that we need."