Carson, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Galaxy is heading in the
wrong direction as the regular season enters its final month, but the club
will at least have a great chance to right the ship against rival Chivas USA
at the StubHub Center on Sunday.
The Galaxy is carrying a season-high four-game winless streak into the match,
and with Bruce Arena's team sitting level with Colorado and just one point
clear of San Jose for the final playoff spot, three points on Sunday is a
Los Angeles lost 1-0 at Portland last weekend to fall four points back of the
third-place Timbers despite having control of the match for long stretches.
And while a defeat like that can sometimes have a negative effect on a team,
forward Landon Donovan isn't too concerned about how his side will respond.
"We'll rebound easily. Games like this happen. There's not many teams that
come here and dominate possession, dominate chances, and dominate the game,"
Donovan said. "That being said, we still lost. They had one half-chance all
night and they scored a goal. We had a few OK chances and we didn't get the
goal. That's how soccer is, that's how the game is. Overall, I think we played
well and we're not overly worried about it."
One reason for the Galaxy to be confident ahead of Sunday's match is the fact
that the team has beaten Chivas nine of the last 11 times that the two sides
have gotten together.
The Galaxy will be without Arena for Sunday's game as he serves a one-match
ban for leaving his technical area and entering the field of play in the
closing minutes of last weekend's match in Portland.
Sunday's game also marks the first of three straight home matches for the
Galaxy, which must take advantage by picking up maximum points to ensure
themselves a place in the postseason.
Chivas has claimed one point from its last three games and will certainly be
pleased once the season comes to an end.
The Goats have three games remaining and each match is against a playoff
contender in the Western Conference, so there is not much time for head coach
Jose Luis Real to end the campaign on a positive note.
Chivas has managed just three goals in its last five matches and has no chance
of escaping the Western Conference cellar.
But Real is hopeful of at least ending the season with a few good performances
to take into next year.
"We have very little time for this season to end, but I'm not putting my hands
down, I'm not giving up and I hope I have the opportunity that they tell me
[before this season ends] that the team has a good combination of play in its
verticality, intensity, effort and fight with a more elaborated style of
play," the boss said.
The Sports Network