CARSON, Calif. - The LA Galaxy hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night in their third game in a week and came away with a tough 0-0 draw that saw two regular starters sub out with injuries and several close late chances go astray.
But those circumstances didn't mean Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was particularly unhappy on the night.
“It’s not frustrating,” Arena said. “A one-point game, and our guys gave a good effort. They played a good second half, I thought.”
Then, just as quickly, Arena listed a litany of complaints he had with his squad on the night.
"We’ve got to be a bit sharper and the final product has to be a little bit better," Arena said. "The crossing is not good, the timing of our runs. And when you’ve got a shot, you’ve got to take it. We don’t shoot enough, but we’ve got to get a little bit better there."
It wasn't all on the LA players, though, Arena suggested, adding how the league at this time of year becomes tighter as the push to the playoffs becomes more urgent.
"The league has become a league where, and rightfully so, every game is important," Arena said. "Teams are just trying to get a point. They tend to be very defensive in nature, very rarely do you see two teams going at it a little bit. Every point is sacred."
One of the most optimistic outcomes from the match was the return of defender Robbie Rogers from injury. Rogers started his first match since June coming off of an ankle injury. And although Rogers was not happy with the result -- “We need to get three points at home" -- his coach was happy to see him come through the full match.
“He’s a little bit rusty but it’s good to get him back,” Arena said. “I think he did a good job hanging in there.”
Rogers was forced to hang in there longer than expected. Arena said Rogers was scheduled to go only 70 minutes or so, but the first-half injuries to Steven Gerrard and Jelle van Damme forced Arena to change his substitution plan and leave Rogers on for the full 90.
Goalkeeper Brian Rowe, who also returned to the lineup from injury, didn't think that bothered Rogers all that much.
“He looked great,” said Rowe. “He said that he looked a little slow out there, but if that is slow, then I don’t know…”
“I thought I was a little bit rusty,” Rogers admitted. “But, I was happy with how much energy I had running forward and kind of combining with guys. From here moving forward, I just have to work on my sharpness, but I was happy to finish 90 minutes.”
The Galaxy completed their weeklong, 3-game stretch at 0-1-2, and will use this upcoming week to rest and recover, in addition to preparing for Columbus Crew SC, who visit StubHub Center on September 3rd.
“The best thing to do is have a couple of days off,” Arena noted. “It’s not the week of training, it’s the rest and recovery, really.”