Q&A with Galaxy 'keeper Kevin Hartman
myself and Tony Meola and Zach Thornton - are guys that have played in the league eight to ten years. So, I don't necessarily see anybody coming along that's keeping it that consistent that low for long, long periods of time. I think you look at somebody, maybe, like Nicky Rimando, who's played with a great team in D.C. and is able to get wins and keep his goals against average low.
"I just feel like a lot of it has to do with, like I said, longevity and consistency and doing it for a long time. I think for myself and Zach, we'll keep plugging away, and I know Tony's back in the league now, so he wants to get back on track. You don't really see a lot of young goalkeepers stepping into the league right now and playing the number of games I feel like it's going to take. Earlier in the development of the league, you could have a goalkeeper who could come in and learn to be a professional, and now that's no longer the case. You have to have a player that comes in and beats out a professional, and that's not always the easiest of things to achieve. So, goalkeepers are really learned, and I think you're going to have players developing underneath goalkeepers, and then they're going to have to get 10 years-worth of play, and I don't necessarily feel that's going to happen anymore."
LAGalaxy.com: Finally, we want to ask a bit about the team's play. You've won two straight after a slow summer. Do you think the club is back on track now?
KH: "I think no matter what anybody tells you, it's always difficult to deal with the summer months, just because it's such a long season. No matter what, I feel like - I personally do - it's hard to pull over the team and say, 'You know, these games are very, very important,' when the reality is if you peak at the right point in the season, if you win 10 games straight, then you can easily win an MLS championship. I think it all has to do with making sure that you're finding your stride at the right time.
"For us, the amount of passion that we've brought to practice as of late and our ability to believe in one another, fight for one another on the road, has gotten us two straight results. We look forward to continuing that (Saturday) night. But at the same time, I think there has been a quality within our team and we've just really needed to make sure that we develop a consistent lineup, put it out there, and see which way we head.
"I have a feeling that we have an opportunity to really be a successful team within this league and to win championships. The fact that we're in the semifinals of the Open Cup, I think, speaks volumes towards that. I think when we need to step up, we'll step up, and I think as the weather starts to turn a little cooler, we'll start to feel it's playoff time, and you can hopefully see the results start to head in that direction. I think the fact that we beat a D.C. United team that's always been one of the hardest working teams and has a great work ethic and a lot of pride in themselves - it says a lot about us. And San Jose on their field in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, I also think says a lot about the things that we've done to right the ship and rectify what direction we're headed.
"So, I really have a lot of faith in these guys. I think the roster is good. I think that we have a good understanding of one another. I don't feel like a championship is out of reach. I think we're still in two, and we'd love to get those and really establish ourselves as a team that can win championships. I think with the championship of 2002, so many of those guys are gone that we're not necessarily the same team anymore."