CARSON, Calif. -- Sigi Schmid pronounced the LA Galaxy “pretty injury-free” on Thursday, which is a bit of a stretch, even as the team grows healthier, or seemingly so, with each passing week.
LA is beyond the hamstring crisis that forced four starters to the sideline in March, but neither Jonathan dos Santos nor Rolf Feltscher figure to be available Saturday night when the New York Red Bulls visit StubHub Center (10:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info).
Jonathan dos Santos was pulled from the starting lineup before last weekend's 2-0 loss to Atlanta United when he strained his right calf during pregame warmups. He wasn't upstairs as the Galaxy began preparations for the Red Bulls in earnest on Thursday, and Schmid said it “maybe looks not likely for him on the weekend.”
A few minutes later, LA's head coach went further. “Jonathan,” he said, “will be out for Saturday's game. ... We're hoping he'll be back for the Houston game” on May 5.
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Jonathan dos Santos, who has played the No. 8 to Perry Kitchen's No. 6 in the Galaxy midfield, missed two games last month with a hamstring injury and went down this time just as his brother returned from a five-game absence with a hamstring ailment.
Giovani dos Santos came off the bench with about 25 minutes to go in the Atlanta game, playing in the middle of a 4-4-2 alignment until LA, down a goal and seeking an equalizer, switched to a 3-5-2 with about 10 minutes remaining.
Schmid after the match was critical of Giovani dos Santos for playing “60 yards from goal” when he needs to be stationed, as a starting point, “30 yards from goal, 40 yards from goal.”
Schmid expanded on those thoughts following the Galaxy's in-stadium training session Thursday.
“It's Gio dropping deep, but I know why he's dropping deep. He'd dropping deep to find the ball,” Schmid said. “So if he finds the ball up front, he won't drop deep. So it's a matter of whatever you want to call it: feed the bear, don't starve him, let him get the ball in good positions and he won't go.
“All good players want to find the ball. If you look at [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] early in that game. Ibra dropped into midfield looking for the ball. We just need to do a better job of finding those guys in advanced positions.”
Feltscher, one of four players to start all seven games (with Kitchen, center back Jorgen Skjelvik and goalkeeper David Bingham), suffered a shoulder injury in a fall during Tuesday's training session, and Schmid confirmed that it was unlikely his first-choice right back will be available. LA isn't yet certain about the severity of Feltscher's injury nor the timeline of his return to the field.
Speedy winger Emmanuel Boateng, who was initially on LA's 18-man roster for the Atlanta game but pulled beforehand with an MCL strain, should be available against the Red Bulls, Schmid said.