LA enjoy rare break as league schedule turns in their favor
How taxing has the LA Galaxy’s schedule been?
Consider their most recent stretch: The Galaxy played Chivas USA on Sunday, a SuperClasico with an 8 pm local kickoff. Not even 12 hours later, the team was at the airport and after nearly an entire day of travel reached Columbus.
Less than 72 hours after the Chivas match ended, the Galaxy kicked off against the Crew.
“We need a break,” Galaxy manager Bruce Arena said after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw in Ohio. “We’ve had a really long stretch. We’ve played most of our games on the road now for the year. [Wednesday] was No. 15. We’ve had a long schedule.”
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The Galaxy have survived a difficult schedule and now can take some solace in that they will get a short-term break — LA are idle this weekend — as well as favorable calendar for the rest of the season. Their match in Columbus closed out a portion of the Galaxy’s schedule that saw them play 13 regular-season games in less than two months.
During that span, the club played away games at Real Salt Lake, San Jose, Chicago, Portland, Vancouver, FC Dallas, Seattle and Columbus. Only two road trips remain on their regular season schedule on September 30 in Colorado and on October 21 up the California coast in San Jose.
“We’ve been a circus act for the league all year, running us around,” Arena said. “it hasn’t been at opportune times for us. It’s been challenging on our team and I think we’ve come through alright.”
One player who said he was looking forward to at least one weekend of down time is striker Robbie Keane. The Irishman was gone for Euro 2012 and has essentially played non-stop all year, having spent the first part of the year on loan to Aston Villa.
“I haven’t had a break in such a long time,” Keane said. “It’ll be nice to have a few days off, recharge the batteries, relax and spend time with family. I seem to be all on the road lately that I haven’t been able to spend quality time with the family.”
The Galaxy’s calendar now sets them up nicely. The club’s next match is a CONCACAF Champions League group game against Isidro Metapán at the Home Depot Center on August 23.
“The guys have played a lot of games in a short span. We’ve had two games a week for quite a while now,” defender Todd Dunivant said. “It will be good for us to have a little time to catch our breath and watch a few games, put our feet up a little bit and get ready for Champions League next week.”
The Galaxy will have had a seven days off between games. Of LA's eight remaining games, six are at home. The two lone road matches are short trips to San Jose and Denver.
“It will be nice to play at home on a little bit more consistent basis," Dunivant said. "Seems like we’ve been traveling the whole year. That will be good. Hopefully we get our team continuing to move in a positive direction.”