CARSON, Calif. – With a full six days in between games, the LA Galaxy should have had an uninterrupted and normal lead-in to Saturday’s rivalry match against Chivas USA.
It may have been, had it not been for a brief detour the club took to the nation’s capital.
Despite an early-week trip to the White House, where the MLS Cup 2011 winners were honored by President Barack Obama, the Galaxy returned to The Home Depot Center in high spirits and are confident the club will do all that is necessary to hit the ground running come Saturday (10:30 pm ET, ESPN2, LIVE CHAT on MLSsoccer.com).
WATCH: Galaxy honored at White House
“In normal circumstances with most teams, I think that would be a bit of an issue,” Galaxy captain Landon Donovan told reporters on Thursday, “but as you know, this team has dealt with a lot in all different ways over the past however many years. We’ll be fine.”
The Galaxy played at Montreal last Saturday and spent an extra day in Canada after the match before traveling to Washington, where they met the President and the First Lady on Tuesday. It may not have been the best timing, but then again, it was never going to be perfect.
“You don’t get your choices on those things,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said on Thursday. “You take the date you’re given.”
While the timing may have thrown a challenge in the Galaxy’s way, the entire trip served a great purpose aside from having the chance to spend time at the White House.
“Being on the road was really good for us,” Donovan said. “We had a full day in Montreal for guys to just hang out and walk around and then we had some really good bonding time in the White House, an experience not a lot of people get to do and we shared it together, so I think it actually helped us a lot.”
Having time to bond and build camaraderie during a road trip is not a chance teams often get in the middle of the season but it’s one the Galaxy hope will help come the weekend.
“The five days has actually been quite good for us, to be honest,” forward Robbie Keane said. “It brought the guys closer together.
"These trips are always can work one way or the other and I think it’s been really good because it’s our first real opportunity we’ve had to be with each other and comfortably in each other’s faces every day. It’s had a good effect and hopefully it will help the team.”
Luis Bueno covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.