MARINA DEL REY, Calif. — If the LA Galaxy realized anything about last week’s match against Real Madrid, it was that time makes a huge difference.
The Galaxy had precious little of it in the run-up to the match against los Merengues, but will have had a bit more time to rest and adequately prepare by the time they take on Manchester City in the World Football Challenge on Sunday (4 pm ET, ESPN/Deportes).
“We look forward to the match,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “This time around for ourselves we get a few more days of rest. We’ll be a little bit better prepared to play this match on Sunday. “
Just like they did before Real Madrid, the Galaxy played a midweek match on Wednesday. However, the match before the Real Madrid meeting was in Seattle, while, whereas LA hosted the Crew on Wednesday. No travel was involved, which allows for additional rest, although Arena does not seem too concerned with the outcome regardless.
“The purpose of these exhibitions is to bring in these great teams and players and let both teams enjoy the match,” Arena said. “For me, the result is not that critical.”
While the Galaxy helped bring in the Spanish giants a week ago, this week’s opposition is trying to climb up the ranks, and stay there, as a world-renowned club. Manchester City took great steps towards accomplishing that in 2010-11 by finishing third in the Premiership and winning the FA Cup title.
“Manchester City is an outstanding team,” Arena said. “We’ve followed them through the course of the last couple of years. It will be an exciting match for our fans.”
How Arena tries to deal with Man. City remains to be seen, but he would like to give as many players as he can an opportunity to play against the Citizens. How that affects the lineups for either half and when players come in and out of the match is still undetermined, though.
“We’re going to try and play as many players for 45 minutes as we can,” Arena said. “We’ve been in a difficult schedule over the last three or four weeks. It’s important for us to keep our players healthy.”
One of the players Arena singled out was David Beckham, who has missed time recently with a back ailment. Beckham went the distance in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Columbus, serving in 16 corner kicks along the way. While Beckham’s back has caused problems for the player, Arena said it was well enough to allow for Beckham to play.
“David always plays,” Arena said. “He’ll be fine. He’s always ready to play.”