Galaxy training before Toronto FC match. Photo credit: LAGConfidential.com
CARSON, Calif -- The LA Galaxy trained inside Home Depot Center today, in preparation for their CONCACAF Champions League match against Toronto FC. While after Saturday's match Bruce Arena said Wednesday's match will require wholesale changeover, after practice today, his tone seemed to have change. It seems the extra day of rest may have meant the world to those asked to go 90 minutes every match they start.
"We'll see how everyone's feeling," Arena said. "We have an extra days rest this time. There's a big difference between two days off and three. The extra day means a lot to us."
Arena was careful with those who have gone 180 minutes already this season. After an off day Sunday, Monday was a light practice, and then tomorrow there's the game. While there are still likely to be changes in the normal starting XI, this is still a far cry from where Bruce Arena was at after Saturday's game.
"We were obviously a tired team tonight. I thought we still could have won this game, and I think this game is on me. It's my fault, I think I should have used fresher bodies. We hit the wall and made mistakes attributed to fatigue. The travel, the two games, this added up to being a pretty tired team over the last 20 minutes and I take full responsibility for that."
At that press conference, Arena said he'd look for fresh bodies over an ideal starting XI. However, it's hard to reverse the circumstances of the games. If anything, Saturday should have been the game to use fresher bodies, since Wednesday's game is so important. Not starting David Beckham, Landon Donovan, or Robbie Keane isn't really an option, which means the only real substitutions to make from Saturday's lineup are Juninho in for Marcelo Sarvas and perhaps Andrew Boyens in for Tommy Meyer.
Mike Magee has been so important to the team, but if he is showing signs of fatigue look for Michael Stephens to step in. Stephens just learned that he'll be joining the U-23 squad for Olympic qualifying, which is a great honor for him as he works up the ladder of the United States system.
MLS is guaranteed at least one team in the Semi-Finals. After coming back to draw 2-2 in Toronto, it's clear the club wants it to be them. A win would do it. 0-0, 1-1 would also see the Galaxy through. 2-2 and extra time will be needed. But ideally, a win will do it.