Friday, June 26, 2009

Back to Basics

That's been the theme all week in training as the Galaxy look to snap their two-game losing streak and round out the month of June with a win. However, standing in the way of that endeavor is the Western Conference leading Houston Dynamo, who have an MLS-best 28 points from their 14 games this season.

In order to knock off the Dynamo, who have not lost in their last 11 league games, dating back to early April when they lost away to D.C. United, the Galaxy have talked about returning to the hard work, intestinal fortitude and spirit that became the club's MO during the 10-game unbeaten streak earlier this season.

That was evident this afternoon as the team went through a spirited training session that featured a fast-paced full field scrimmage with a prospective starting XI playing against a series of reserves.

Following the scrimmage, a larger than normal group of players got together in front of one of the goals for an extended finishing session, with Cobi firing balls into players from all sorts of angles. The shooting segment of training wrapped up with a game called "Knockout", which meant that if you scored, you advanced to the next round, but if you missed, and the guy behind you scored, you were out.

Needless to say, there were more than a few nervous faces after guys saw their shots flash wide of the goal or saved by whoever was in goal at the time, be it Ricketts, Saunders or Guppy. You could definitely see the guy's competitivness with every shot as nobody wanted to be knocked out, especially knowing that their fate was in a teammates hands.
In an impressive showing that saw them scoring goals from all sorts of angles, Bryan Jordan reached the final along with Kyle Patterson who eventually eliminated BJ to earn bragging rights for the day.

We talked to Gregg, Edson and Stefani after the session to get their thoughts on the Dynamo and getting back to their winning ways. Here's what they had to say...


Stefani... (in two parts)

In team news ahead of Sunday's game, Eddie Lewis returns from suspension for this game and is expected to feature, while Dema Kovalenko has been upgraded to questionable for Sunday's game after training for part of the week.

However, Yohance Marshall and Julian Valentin, the only two players on the Galaxy roster not to have played in a regular season game this year, will not be available for selection against the Dynamo. Following Thursday's training session, Marshall flew to Austin, Texas to begin a loan assignment with the Austin Aztex of the USL First Division. The Aztex will play in Cleveland on Saturday before returning to the Lone Star State for an Open Cup game against Houston on Tuesday.

Marshall would have been playing against Valentin (as well as Israel Sesay and Troy Roberts), but Valentin has returned to Los Angeles after suffering a right foot fracture in the City Stars recent loss to Miami. Valentin flew back to Southern California earlier this week and underwent surgery on Friday.

1 comment:

charlesj27 said...

Thanks for the training updates, as usual. Hope that Julian, Sean, and Yohance are all going to recover properly from their injuries and get more smarter/learned from the instructions and practice sessions. But, as many of us already know - nothing is a substitute for actually playing 60+ minutes in competitive games. The quick decisions, timing, and sharpness on the ball and on runs decreases quite a bit when players are not playing tough, competitive games.
Well, we shall see how the LA Galaxy will play on Sunday against one of the strongest, most toughest in mind & in spirit, and resilient team in MLS. I'm sure the coaches already know this - but, it would be detrimentally foolish to come into this game without having the plans, gut-check, and full-high-alertness in order. I really hope Dema is available to play; He may not be able to start; but, at least come into the game at the 65th minute or so - to give us that bite and compact shape in the middle of the pitch. But, Tudela, Miglioranzi, Kirovski, Patterson - all of them need serious playing time and contribution to games adn in games also.