CARSON, Calif. – When the LA Galaxy were going through their busy schedule in the latter part of 2011, manager Bruce Arena was adamant that star midfielder David Beckham was not in condition to play three games in one week.
The Galaxy’s schedule has lightened and Beckham’s condition is improved, but has Arena’s stance changed?
“We’re going to decide that today,” Arena said Tuesday when asked whether Beckham would travel to Seattle for Wednesday’s game (10 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
Beckham has already played three games in one week this year, but those circumstances were different. The Galaxy opened the year with a CONCACAF Champions League match in Toronto on a Wednesday in March, hosted Real Salt Lake the following Saturday and then played host to Toronto four days later.
The Toronto matches, though, were life and death in a tournament setting. As significant as the Sounders match is in the table, the Galaxy won’t advance to a following round of a tournament regardless of what happens at CenturyLink Field.
Arena was understandably coy earlier this week about how he’ll play his hand, saying the determining factors to the decision are “how he’s feeling and how we think the group’s doing and how to best utilize all our players for these games.”
The Galaxy have had a relatively light schedule, at least compared to last season when the club had at one point nine games in a 30-day stretch. The club will play another Wednesday match in May (on the 23rd against San Jose at home) and one in June (on the 20th at Real Salt Lake). Still, whether or not Beckham plays in Seattle, the decision on his status for midweek games has not been set.
“We’re taking it one game at a time this year with everything,” Arena said. “We haven’t made any decisions [with] what’s going to happen over the season. We don’t know whether David will be selected for Great Britain’s Olympic team, so we don’t know a lot of those things that will play a role in how much he plays during the year and especially in the week where we have three games.”
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.