LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane struggling with fitness as MLS play resumes
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan said 120 minutes, or even 90, was too much to ask of him in the LA Galaxy's recent US Open Cup loss, but he expects he can go all out when they return to MLS action with Saturday night's California Clasico against the San Jose Earthquakes (10:30 pm ET, NBCSN, Free stream at NBCSports.com).
Donovan, who came off the bench in the second half of Tuesday's 1-0 extra-time loss in North Carolina to the NASL's Carolina RailHawks, acknowledged he has been dealing with a couple of minor injuries and the resulting fitness concerns.
"I'm not fit; I haven't played for a few weeks," Donovan said after LA's training session Thursday at StubHub Center. "It was important for me to get minutes [against the RailHawks]. I think the goal was, hopefully, 30, but as the game went, we needed 60 out of me, and I feel a lot better now. It's good to get a rhythm."
Robbie Keane looked rusty in the Open Cup match, and associate head coach Dave Sarachan said afterward he wasn't "fit enough." Head coach Bruce Arena said Keane and Donovan needed to improve on their fitness.
"They've been behind our group for a long time, in terms of that," Arena said. "They've got a little catching up to do."
Keane did not train Thursday and was not available to speak to the media. Donovan said he sprained an ankle in the June 1 draw at Chicago and has dealt with tendinitis in his knee.
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"We just needed some days to back off," he said. "I didn't train as much over the last few weeks, so I wasn't ready for that yet. ... [Now] I feel good, and I'll be ready for San Jose. As always, it's Bruce's decision what he wants to do, but I feel good."
Arena did not say how he planned to use Donovan, nor how many minutes he thought he could get from him.
"Whatever I think, you think that's something I would make public? No," Arena said. "Don't worry about it. It's not a question I'm going to answer."