CARSON, Calif. – AJ DeLaGarza did not want to be a bother to his teammates.
Days before the LA Galaxy’s match against Portland, DeLaGarza said he felt a twinge. And while it was nothing serious, it also meant he might not have been at full speed.
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And anything less than that was not good enough.
“It just got real tight a couple of days before the game and as a player I didn’t want to hurt my team and go out there half-assed,” said DeLaGarza, who missed the Galaxy’s 3-1 win over Portland. “I came out and got the treatment that I needed.”
Consequently, DeLaGarza was able to shake off his adductor issue and declare himself “100 percent” for Saturday’s game in Colorado.
“I’m feeling good. I’ve been practicing the last few days so it’s not an issue for me anymore,” DeLaGarza said. “If I’m called upon, I’ll be ready.”
Missing time was necessary to keep the injury from becoming more severe. Though he was forced to miss the team’s second victory of the year, it’s also something now that he feels will not linger. Nor will the missed weekend of action have hurt him.
“I’ve been playing pretty consistently since January so I’m pretty match fit,” he said. “I missed a few days but I’ve been in the gym getting workouts in. I’m not going to lose my match fitness in a couple of days.”
In his absence, newcomer David Junior Lopes filled in and helped keep the defensive clamps down on Portland’s potent attack. With Lopes having played well, Tommy Meyer’s ever-growing presence in the back and Andrew Boyens in the mix as well, DeLaGarza admitted the coaching staff now has some decisions to make heading into the Colorado match.
“Whatever way the coaches go – me, Tommy, Andy, David – we’ve got to have a good partnership and be ready for a very fast group and guys who are looking to get three points at home,” he said. “We’re all confident in our abilities. It’s just about going out there and showing it.”
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.