When Bruce Arena withheld A.J. DeLaGarza from the LA Galaxy's Western Conference final match against the Seattle Sounders, it raised questions about how serious was the injury he sustained in the first leg. Talking to reporters today DeLaGarza said the move was precautionary, much like Robbie Keane being held from the season finale on that same surface. The combination of the turf and weather were enough to make Arena think twice about risking DeLaGarza's health.
"Ozzie Alonso had two weeks to prepare for that," said DeLaGarza, "and he was still struggling with his hamstring."
With DeLaGarza out the Galaxy started Dan Gargan, with Leonardo at center back. Gargan was a fixture at right back during the regular season after James Riley went down with injury and DeLaGarza was moved to center back. Arena has gone with DeLaGarza at fullback in the playoffs to increase pace down the right wing, so it'll be interesting to see if he sticks with Leonardo in the final.
For now it's clear that DeLaGarza will be a part of the eleven on Sunday, which is a good thing for LA as he's been the best defender on the back line all year.