Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The facts are these: San Jose has beaten every other top Western Conference team backwards and forwards and sideways. The Galaxy, after losing to Real Salt Lake last Saturday, don't control their destiny in the seeding race
The MLS Injury report didn't update yesterday, perhaps because of the FIFA international weekend up ahead. What we do know is Landon Donovan was ruled ineligible for the United States matches over the weekend, that A.J. DeLaGarza remains out, and that Christian Wilhelmsson and Robbie Keane will returning from international duty; Wilhelmsson still recovering from a knock.
That's plenty of fatigue for Bruce Arena to try and balance. The facts are these: San Jose has beaten every other top Western Conference team backwards and forwards and sideways. The Galaxy, after losing to Real Salt Lake last Saturday, don't control their destiny in the seeding race. If the Sounders pick up points in both their matches next week, the Galaxy can't catch them.
However, if the Sounders lose to Real Salt Lake next Wednesday, all bets are off. The Galaxy with a victory over San Jose would keep Seattle within passing distance for the season finale in three weeks. Still, a win in San Jose over the best team in MLS is a tall order.
So, it all comes down to what happens in Seattle on Wednesday. If Seattle Sounders defeat Real Salt Lake, then Bruce Arena is best off fielding close to a reserve squad in San Jose. Any player he can excuse as needing a rest shouldn't go; David Beckham and Juninho can go out and try to carry the day.
However, if RSL defeats Seattle, then Arena has to use every able body to try and get past San Jose. Better to go all out against San Jose with the season winding down, then to have to go all out against San Jose in an aggregate quarterfinal series.