LA Galaxy know they need energy in their matchup with Philadelphia
CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA (BDCi) – The LA Galaxy have a two game losing streak as they head into their matchup with the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday and a win would cure their current state.
Back-to-back wins over Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake last month put the Galaxy on a high, only for the team to struggle in consecutive defeats to Houston and Vancouver to open the month of May. As a result of the losses, the Galaxy have fallen 10 points behind first place FC Dallas in the Western Conference and are in danger of losing three in a row for the first time in a year. To reverse that trend, the Galaxy will need to get back to old fashioned hard work.
“We have to match their energy,” Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee said. “They’re a team with good energy and we tend to be too. We’re a team that tends to fight and battle and never lack effort but the last few games, for whatever reasons, we’ve let ourselves down in that aspect. If the rest of us pick it up and do our work off the ball and support each other, battle and fight, then the soccer is always pretty good.”
While Magee and Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney may find themselves at the top of the MLS goal scoring charts with six and seven respectively, it is another star striker whose return could provide the boost the defending champions need. Robbie Keane trained with the club at the end of last week but did not dress for the loss to the Whitecaps. He rejoined his teammates in Philadelphia on Sunday and has declared himself fit, ready and excited to get back on the field.
“I’ve been out for a few weeks, so it’s nice to be back,” said Keane who has missed five of his team’s last six league games after injuring his ankle in late March while playing with the Irish national team. “I feel good. I’m not going to be match fit, I’ve missed three or four weeks, but I di fitness with the trainers so I feel good now and just ready to go. It’s been a frustrating few weeks for me but I’m back now.”
The return of Keane gives head coach Bruce Arena yet another option up front to go along with Landon Donovan, Magee, Charlie Rugg, Jose Villarreal and Gyasi Zardes. Those six forwards have combined for 13 of LA’s 18 goals in all competitions this season.
Also nearing a return to the field is left back Todd Dunivant, who like Keane, was held out of the loss to Vancouver before training fully with the team this week. While Greg Cochrane has, in large, shown well over the past three games while filling in for Dunivant, the rookie was consistently targeted on Saturday night by the Whitecaps, who got each of their first two goals from right winger Russell Teibert. Now as he gets closer to full fitness, Dunivant is eager to return to the lineup and do his par to help the Galaxy return to their winning ways.
“We’ve had two losses in a row and we want to right the ship a little bit,” Dunivant said after training on Tuesday. “It’s an important game. We’ve got a three-game roadstand that we didn’t start off well. I think defensively we’ve played pretty well but we’ve broken down in important moments. That’s stuff that we did too much last year and it’s a sign of a team that is a little too lax and we need to be mentally strong for 90 minutes and make sure that throughout the entire game we’re clued in.”