Earlier this week we looked at the upcoming LA Galaxy schedule, pointing out that over the next eleven rounds LA will be the only MLS club without a bye week. That's significant as it'll be over this stretch that LA spends their matches in hand, and also because over this stretch every MLS side will have to deal with international absences.
If MLS has a dog days of summer, this is it. Now that international call-ups are fairly locked in, we can see what personnel will be available week to week.
Next week, round 14, and the following week the LA Galaxy will be without Omar Gonzalez and Robbie Keane. Round fourteen will see the Galaxy deal with a US Open Cup match in Carolina, and then the New England Revolution on the weekend. The Revs will be without Jerry Bengtson who's called up for Honduras. The forward has made nine appearances for New England this year, netting one goal in 716 minutes. LA draws the shorter straw on that one.
Round 15 see the LA Galaxy at Real Salt Lake once again. RSL will likely be without Alvaro Saborio and Abdoulie Mansally. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando was named as one of the six goalkeepers on Jurgen Klinsmann's US squad, but the purpose of such a big call-up was to allow MLS keepers to remain with this clubs unless needed. Barring injury to Tim Howard or Brad Guzan, Rimando should be in uniform for Salt Lake.
Round 16 sees LA get the weekend off but then take on the Portland Timbers at home on Wednesday. Should the Galaxy get a victory in Carolina they'll have a US Open Cup match the previous Wednesday, which they'll have to win without Jose Villarreal and Oscar Sorto. Sorto is actually gone now for a prep tournament, but then Villarreal will join up with the U-20 squad before the U-20 FIFA World Cup.
Villarreal will then miss round 16, 17 and 18. That's a long time, but Gyasi Zardes should be ninety minutes ready at that point. Certainly he'll at least be recovered from his left ankle sprain. Where Jack McBean will be on his recovery from a fractured left clavicle is less clear, but he probably won't be anywhere near ready.
Keane will have been back for a week when LA hosts the Portland Timbers, but Omar Gonzalez will just be returning. The Timbers will have had Donovan Ricketts and Ryan Johnson back from Jamaica duty for a week, but Rodney Wallace like Gonzalez will have a match the day before. Wallace has twelve appearances, three goals, and two assists for the Timbers this season.
Come the Junior Classic the following Sunday, the only absences will be injury related.