LA hope to have Donovan, Beckham back for season finale
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan and David Beckham are back in training for the LA Galaxy, and the desire is that both will be ready to play in this weekend's regular-season finale against Seattle.
The star attackers, both absent from Sunday's 2-2 tie at San Jose, were back on the field Monday and trained again Tuesday with the group that did not travel to El Salvador for Thursday's CONCACAF Champions League game against Isidro Metapán.
“The hope is that they will be available for Sunday's game against Seattle,” said associate head coach Dave Sarachan, who is running the Home Depot Center sessions featuring most of the first-choice players while head coach Bruce Arena is in Central America with a reserve group.
“Obviously, we've got the time now to go it at a tempo that makes sense for them, in terms of their return. If we can continue to ramp them up this week and get them minutes Sunday, we think that they will be in a position to now perform [in the playoffs] at a high level for 90 minutes.”
The Galaxy have secured fourth place in the Western Conference and will open the postseason in the Knockout Round on Nov. 1 against visiting Vancouver. Sunday's game against the Sounders will have no bearing on them, but it could be the difference between Seattle finishing second or third.
Donovan is coming back from a bruised left knee suffered in the Oct. 6 loss to Real Salt Lake. He also has a torn posterior cruciate ligament, but that apparently won't prevent him from playing. He last week said his status for the Seattle game was “TBD” and that he was aiming to be back for the playoffs.
Beckham missed Friday's and Saturday's training sessions because of what Arena called “nothing in particular. He's dealing with 30 years of football.” He was listed on the MLS injury report with a sprained ankle.
Neither Donovan nor Beckham were made available to the media. Both are officially listed as “questionable.”
The Galaxy are without defenders A.J. DeLaGarza (knee), Leonardo (knee) and David Júnior Lopes (suffered a facial fracture in training last week), and midfielder Kyle Nakazawa (back).
LA believe it is important to get Donovan and Beckham on the field this week.
“Depending on how things shake out on Thursday and what numbers we have, I think for David and Landon to start getting some minutes is important before the real work starts the following week,” Sarachan said. “We're hopeful they'll be able to get a taste of some things on Sunday to be ready for the next couple of weeks.”