LA Galaxy schedule analysis: No rest for the weary

Mike Hewitt

The LA Galaxy have no byes in the next eleven rounds of MLS play. That stretch includes the US Open Cup match, but more importantly a FIFA international window that LA will have to play through without Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez.

If the LA Galaxy had anything of a CONCACAF Champions League recovery period, it is officially over. MLS has currently completed 12 rounds, during which the Galaxy have played eleven matches. The Galaxy were given two bye weeks to accommodate CCL, but over the next eleven rounds LA are the only MLS team without a bye week.

The Galaxy and Seattle Sounders, the two MLS sides to go the furthest in Champions League, certainly drew the short end of the stick in the US Open Cup as well. Throw into the wildcard bracket after losing coin flips, LA will have to fly to Carolina midweek in round 14 while the Sounders have to fly to Florida in-between two weekend matches in Los Angeles.

It's been reported that Robbie Keane is not being allowed to join his Ireland side for their upcoming friendlies as they come outside the FIFA international window, however as of now Omar Gonzalez is not being stopped from participating in friendlies with the US national team. Different situations entirely, Gonzalez has to meld with a backline before important World Cup qualifiers and as a recent addition to the starting XI his spot isn't guaranteed. Keane's spot will be there when he gets there.

As the Galaxy are unlikely to send a full squad to Carolina this doesn't affect the team directly there, but they will be without Gonzalez for their match in New England as Gonzalez takes on Germany with the US. It's likely Tommy Meyer could start with DeLaGarza on the back line.

Round 15 happens during the FIFA international window when the Galaxy will be without Gonzalez and Robbie Keane. While the US travels to Jamaica and Ireland hosts the Faroe Islands, the Galaxy will travel to Salt Lake for the second time this year. They'll still be without Jack McBean, so a Gyasi Zardes-Jose Villarreal pairing could be a possibility unless the Galaxy have signed a wide midfielder by then. Someone whose name rhymes with Bobbie Bogers.

Now MLS is calling Round 16 June 15-19, which for our purposes is fair because the main feature of round 16 is that it still falls within the FIFA window. The US will host Panama and Honduras, and the day after the Honduras tilt the LA Galaxy will host Portland who will be on their second match of the round hosting FC Dallas on Saturday. That's one more LA match that they'll be without Gonzalez. LA then have the junior classic with Chivas USA on Sunday.

That's five matches over the next five rounds, which is completely doable but it will have to be done with some key absences. In that regard it's to LA's benefit that Landon Donovan wasn't called up to the current group of World Cup Qualifiers. With nine teams on a bye round 15 and five on a bye in 16, this is when LA starts to catch up with the rest of the league. Only three points separate second and fourth, so it's a key part of the schedule.

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