Donovan, Beckham good to go vs. Seattle, but how long?
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan and David Beckham figure to play in the LA Galaxy's regular-season finale Sunday against Seattle (9 pm ET; ESPN, live chat on MLSsoccer.com), but whether they'll start and how long they'll be on the field isn't certain.
Both have trained all week, and they proclaimed Friday that they're ready to go – and badly want some minutes in advance of next week's Knockout Round game against Vancouver.
“I'm available. I'm ready to play,” said Donovan, who suffered a bruised left knee (and subsequently revealed a torn posterior cruciate ligament) three weeks ago against Real Salt Lake and missed last weekend's draw at San Jose. “Obviously, we're going to be smart about this weekend in general – with everybody, myself included.
“It's been a while for me, so I want to get some minutes for sure. It's a balance between being smart, staying sharp, hopefully avoiding injuries for anybody and being ready to go on Thursday [against Vancouver].”
Beckham missed last week's game with left ankle soreness, remnants from an injury initially sustained in a Sept. 1 victory over Vancouver.
“It's feeling a lot better now,” said the Englishman, who skipped two games in September after the injury but had started twice since before a flareup. “I've had another 10 days to train, get my fitness up and get the ankle swelling down.”
He said a mistimed tackle “rolled my ankle in a way it shouldn't be going. So it swelled up. I thought I'd be back after maybe I'd miss a game, but it just continued to swell, and every time I trained on it, it got bigger. It was too painful to even go [to San Jose] on it. But it's feeling better now.”
Associate head coach Dave Sarachan said the “purpose” of the week's training sessions was to “start ramping [Donovan and Beckham] up and seeing where they are, and they made good progress” since returning to the field Monday.
“Now it's the determination of how many minutes, what makes sense, because we know Thursday is the real target day,” Sarachan said. “My sense is when we sit down and talk it through, there's likely to be a Donovan and Beckham sighting on Sunday.”
Donovan and Beckham report that their fitness is good but could use some topping off.
“It will be good for myself to get a blow and, obviously, get my heart rate up,” Beckham noted.
“We just need some sharpness,” said Donovan, who acknowledged he continues to deal with pain in the knee. “And it's different training every day versus playing in a real game.
"I don't know how Seattle will approach the game, but my guess is it's going to be a real game. It certainly means something for them [in the fight with Real Salt Lake for the No. 2 seed in the West]. So it will be good for us to get some minutes.”