CARSON, Calif. – After a bruising encounter with Vancouver, the LA Galaxy will have to complete a quick turnaround with a different look ahead of the first leg of their Western Conference Semifinal against San Jose (Sunday, 9 pm ET, ESPN, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
Midfield dynamo Juninho says he expects to be ready to go for, and the team hopes Sean Franklin and Christian Wilhelmsson are ready to return, too.
No matter who is available, LA's lineup figures to look different than it did for Thursday's Knockout Round win over Vancouver.
“You know regardless, I think we're going to make changes to our lineup whether those guys are in or out,” head coach Bruce Arena said as he headed into the Galaxy's training session Friday morning at the Home Depot Center.
Franklin took part in the sessions but declined to talk to media afterward, but Arena said there was “a chance” that he would be available against the Earthquakes.
The coach said during his postgame news conference Thursday that the tightness in the fifth-year right back's left hamstring, which surfaced during last weekend's regular-season finale against Seattle, was still a problem but that “We expect him to be back. We thought if we played him tonight, we could miss him for the rest of the playoffs.”
Swedish winger Wilhelmsson, who has tight right quadriceps, did not train Friday, and Arena said a decision on his availability would be made after seeing how far he has progressed Saturday.
Juninho received treatment on a sore Achilles' tendon that he said he twisted late in Thursday's night victory.
“When I turn over, and my feet [stayed] on the ground,” explained Juninho, whose passes led to both Galaxy goals. “But it's alright. It's normal. It happens.”
He was walking without a limp, acknowledged there was some pain but that he was receiving treatment and resting.
'I'll be alright Sunday,” he said.
Becks gets cheated
The Galaxy's best chance on Thursday before Mike Magee's equalizing volley came courtesy of a David Beckham free kick, naturally. It was in first-half stoppage time from about 22 yards, about midway from the semicircle to the left edge of the box, curled toward the upper-left corner.
Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton leapt in to knock it away.
“I think he just cheated [toward the near post],” Beckham said. “Because I hit it well, and normally when I hit it like that – I'm sure if you watch the video back, I'm probably running off celebrating almost. I thought it was going in. I think he kind of read me and he cheated a couple of yards, and maybe I should have put it in the other side.”