Schedule called into question after Galaxy loss to RSL

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. — Before the Los Angeles Galaxy suited up against Real Salt Lake, the looming question was, justwho would start in the home opener three days after a hard-fought CONCACAF Quarterfinals match against Toronto FC?  Against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, the Galaxy made just two substitutions from the squad that went the distance against Toronto. 

The stability paid off initially as the Galaxy took the lead off an Edson Buddle strike midway through the second half, but RSL struck back with three unanswered goals late en route to a 3-1 victory. Following the Galaxy's first loss at home since November 2010, Arena stated numerous times during his post game press conference that "fatigue" played a major role. 

Arena also took aim at MLS' schedule makers claiming that it was "very poor job on behalf of the league in terms of the scheduling" that the Galaxy were action while the league's two other participants in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, TFC and Seattle Sounders, were given the weekend off. 

At halftime of RSL's victory over Los Angeles, MLS commissioner Don Garber admitted to the media at the Home Depot Center, that "there was no way around" having the Galaxy sit out opening weekend. 

"It was just the way that the program schedule worked out," Garber told reporters. "Tim [Leiweke] wasn't happy about it, Bruce [Arena] wasn't happy about it, but there are just so many games that you can fit into the schedule the way that we needed to and its the way that the schedule played out. 

Although the question persisted about the match, Arena by no means used the game as an excuse. The Galaxy manager took responsibility — saying so five times in a five minute interview — for allowing nine of his starters to go 90 minutes just three days after going the distance in a rigorous CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal match in Toronto. 

"We probably could have changed half the team. We'll have to make changes against Toronto," said Arena. "I thought that we played alright, to be honest, we just hit the wall, I think that was my responsibility."

Arena found support from an unlikely source, as RSL head coach Jason Kreis offered his own thoughts on the scheduling after his side defeated the Galaxy. Kreis is keenly aware of Arena's issues having experienced a fair bit of fixture congestion last season while he navigated RSL to the CONCACAF Champions League Final in 2011. 

During the claret-and-cobalt's run to the final, the club twice dealt with a short schedule turnaround during their semifinal match-up against Deportivo Saprissa. But on Saturday when asked if he felt that it was fair that Los Angeles was playing on opening night after their CCL fixture, Kreis did not hold back.

"No, I don't," Kreis said after the match. "It doesn't make any sense to me why Toronto doesn't have game this weekend and the Galaxy does and Seattle has the weekend off. That's the way it should be, LA should have the weekend off. "

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Real Salt Lake. Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to Schedule called into question after Galaxy loss to RSL

  1. John says:

    LOL I think its pathetic that Arena can’t admit he was beat fair and square.

  2. 23k@yahoo.com says:

    he’s not pissed about the loss, he’s pissed he had to play an extra game in between two very important games when the opponent got the weekend off.

  3. Nick says:

    galaxy never get any breaks from the league, I smell a conspiracy ;)

  4. hogatroge says:

    +1

    Call Mulder & Scully.

  5. hogatroge says:

    Arena should have rested more starters against Toronto… at least after the Magee goal.

    Nobody’s fault but his own. Everyone has challenging weeks, and life ain’t always fair.

  6. He has a valid point. Why did we play while the other ccl participants get a day off? You put the team at a disadvantage not only for this game but more importantly for the league, the ccl match. He admits he mismanaged the game and he took the loss as good as I would have expected him to.

  7. beachbum says:

    “But on Saturday when asked if he felt that it was fair that Los Angeles was playing on opening night after their CCL fixture, Kreis did not hold back.

    “No, I don’t,” Kreis said after the match. “It doesn’t make any sense to me why Toronto doesn’t have game this weekend and the Galaxy does and Seattle has the weekend off. That’s the way it should be, LA should have the weekend off. “”

    your arguments are with Kries, not Arena. Bruce Arena did NOT use it as an excuse. Manned up, took responsibility for it, that’s what Arena did

  8. ld says:

    excuses, excuses…poor, poor galaxy, my heart bleeds for them…

  9. Kasey says:

    being the Champ shouldn’t you exclude you from doing the dishes

  10. Bob Dobalina says:

    RSL isn’t claret, Colorado is. RSL is dark red.

  11. Joamiq says:

    Fatigue. First game of the season. OOOOK.

  12. Turgid Jacobian says:

    I believe you are mistaken. RSL is very often referred to as the Claret and Cobalt.

  13. Hopper says:

    First game of the season, and Bruce Arena is already complaining.

  14. T says:

    Their nickname is the Claret and Cobalt.

  15. Neruda says:

    Why bring it up at all? and then say “but it’s not an excuse.”

    I get why it’s hard and RSL had the same problem last year. If LA is good enough then they’ll get to the championship game. In highndsight Arena should have rested starters and given away the game to RSL just to preserve his best chance to beat Toronto. In the end seattle will be this years MLS team to go far in CCL.

    Toronto in front of a small LA home crowd is going to be highly motivated.

  16. Polo says:

    First game of the season and complaining about being overworked?

    How about you got beat because your defense is as loose as Charlie Sheen.

  17. Javier says:

    You people that keep saying the Galaxy are making excuses, “being the Champ shouldn’t excuse you from doing the dishes”, and whining about the Galaxy making excuses or getting favors from the league are idiots. You’re also fricking haters. Bruce Arena never made any excuses. He took responsibility for the loss and not rotating his players. The Galaxy also played pretty decently for most of the game. They had some defensive lapses from some normally pretty solid players which cost them the game.

    But, Bruce Arena is right and Jason Kreis supports him saying if Toronto and Seattle had the weekend off then the Galaxy should have had the weekend off. The Galaxy had to turn around after three days of playing on artificial turf and traveling thousands of miles and play RSL. This is a match with even a rested team is going to prove difficult for any team not just the Galaxy. MLS doesn’t have the roster sizes or the salary cap to field teams deep enough to play such a packed schedule in such a short turn around time. In the end the schedule hurt the Galaxy.

    It’s not about making excuses or favoritism. If anything favoritism was given to Toronto and Seattle. They both get to play their next match on a weeks rest while the Galaxy will be playing their 3rd match in that same week. You probably need to think about things like that rather than making stupid comments.

  18. BamaMan says:

    In every other league in the world, teams in the CL are expected to suit up for a CL match at midweek, then suit up for a league match on the same weekend. That is not a valid excuse for losing.

  19. scott47a says:

    I think il Bruce was right about this. But what he should have done is just played a reserve team against RSL – leave the entire starting XI on the bench and mail in the opening game.
    It’s just one game and the result was the same as it would have been anyway.

  20. justin says:

    ehh, the galaxy will probably still in the championship. did anyone expect them to go undefeated the entire season?

  21. El Güero says:

    I agree that LAG shouldn’t have played this weekend after their first leg of the CCL. However I think the biggest issue may be their depth. Arena will need to manage his starting lineup and substitutes with more care.

  22. josh says:

    True, but were not like every league in the world. We have what is called a salary cap. Which, in the mls, does not allow for teams to have quality depth. This is not an excuse. I am just pointing out the fact that every other league is different.

  23. Scott says:

    Deeper pockets and deeper rosters. Try to be less ignorant.

  24. kb says:

    biggest payroll by how much? I have no tears for the attempted monarchs of MLS.

  25. Scott says:

    Not the 1st game. 2nd in 3 days, thousands of miles of travel and another in a few days against a team that got a rest. Lose the bias and you can appreciate the spot that LA was placed. Bruce should have prioritized and rested his starters. His fault an that is why he is mad, however, he shouldn’t have been placed in this position in the 1st place.

  26. ben says:

    Can we stop making a deal out of this? RSL was basically playing a B team. No Borchers, no Johnson, and only 30 min of Morales and Saborio. I mean, they started a completely unheard of rookie! Both teams were dealing with issues. RSL won. Please stop with this nonsense!

  27. NF says:

    It’s not really about how many games LA had to play in a week. The argument is that they should have been treated the same as their CCL opponent.

    MLS execs have absolutely no concept of fairness. It’s just like the unbalanced schedule that makes the Supporters’ Shield and regional cups meaningless. The Eastern Conference champion wouldn’t even make the playoffs in the Western Conference. I will always support MLS because it’s local, but I am amazed how poorly this league is run.

  28. VADCUfan says:

    You overestimate the gap between the two conferences. Last year every single playoff team in the east would have made it if the league operated under a single table. It was still somewhat unfair due to playoff seeding, but in the past the situation has been reversed 2008, 2007, 2005 with the east having more than its share of playoff teams. Over time things balance out and while I prefer a single table, I will not whine and complain if the playoff seeding system screws DCU in future seasons like it did in 2007.

  29. Rog says:

    Santos played yesterday and won 3:1… They also played midweek. The galaxy played like crap and were beat by a better team on that day. Period. Take the loss like a man and move on.

  30. DadRyan says:

    I’m sure the season ticket holders and random joe blows woulda appreciated that. Yeah that’s it… roll out the b team for the home opener and stick it to Garber… that’ll work.

  31. NF says:

    I’m a Columbus fan, so I’m not saying any of this out of bitterness. I understand the balance of power will shift again, but we should crown a champion as fairly as possible every year.

    Last year, the top 4 teams in a single table would have been from the Western Conference. My point was that you could move any team from the Eastern Conference, and they probably would not finish top 5 in the Western Conference this year. It might not change which teams make the playoffs, but the road to MLS Cup is so much easier for teams from the Eastern Conference. All you have to do then is win one match, and you’re the champion. How is that fair?

  32. Gnarls says:

    F*ck you, MLS. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about this loss to RSL. They played better than LA; the best team won. But the fact LA is forced to play a 4 games in 11 days is complete bullsh*t. I’d rather we lose 10 MLS games this season than lose this Wednesday to TFC due to exhaustion.

  33. Gnarls says:

    Not worth arguing, Scott. Polo is a hater, and haters gonna hate.

  34. Gnarls says:

    You’re an idiot. They just played Wednesday.

  35. Gnarls says:

    So does your vagina.

  36. Gnarls says:

    Scott, I would agree with you if it wasn’t opening day. Arena was put in a hard position, choosing between phoning it in to preserve the starting XI and putting in a solid effort against a good team during the first game of the season. Fact is, the timing of this whole situation just blows.

  37. mlser says:

    Every team has to deal with scheduling issues throughout the year, deal with it…it just so happens L.A’s comes first. Ya it sucks,but we will all complain at some point this season, example, Toronto plays five games in 14 days in June spanning from home to Texas.

  38. sammysounder74 says:

    because it’s bad to be a woman? Not cool.

  39. Gnarls says:

    Don’t be over-sensitive. It’s banter.

  40. Gon Darber says:

    I find it difficult to believe that LA couldn’t be given more schedule space. MLS should do all it can to enable CCL success.

    That said, you didn’t hear a lot of this before the game. Wednesday Saturday is something every other program will have to contend with as the season progresses.

    Arena gambled, and lost. If I were them I’d be more concerned about TFC being fresh on Wednesday than I would about making excuses for why they lost to RSL.

  41. Big Chil says:

    Colorado Rapids are burgundy.

  42. Goat Boy says:

    Teams with US Open Cup games don’t get a break during the season. Stuff like this happens in schedules. The leagure probably could have (and should have) kept TFC, Seattle and LA out of the first weekend, but really, don’t have much sympathy.

  43. angler23 says:

    In Arena’s own words: “I think this game is on me, it’s my fault. I think I should have used fresher bodies. We hit the wall and made mistakes attributed to fatigue. I think the travel and two games this week added up to being a pretty tired team over the last 20 minutes and it cost us the game. I take full responsibility for that.” Not exactly a denial that LA got beat, just him trying to answer the question of why LA got out hustled.

  44. Dantheblue says:

    Professional athletes do not get the privilege of whining about fatigue or too many games in an 11 day span. You are paid to play. NBA guys play 6 games in 6 cities in 6 days so get on with it. Come teach unmotivated teenagers about the industrial revolution 5 days a week and then whine… Hahaha perspective is everything isn’t it. I’d give my left nut to have that privilege…

  45. Chupacabra says:

    No, they’re Zinfandel.

  46. Poqui says:

    I follow La Liga and the SAME player suit up for mid-week game than for the weekend game. It’s not the money, it’s the conditioning. LAG is just not in the kind of shape they should be.

  47. Poqui says:

    RSL started 4 reserve players in, what I thought, an attempt to get out of town with 1 point. But those reserve players decided to make a statement. Maybe the GALs reserve would’ve done the same. Who knows…

  48. Joamiq says:

    Uh, yeah. I know that, buddy. It’s still the first game of the MLS season. I’ll refrain from returning the insult and simply point out that they’ll be playing midweek several times this season. If they’re experiencing “fatigue” in their first MLS matchday, they’re in trouble.

    IMO, the excuse is just a smoke screen. Arena is just trying to deflect pressure from his players. They’re not fatigued, and he knows it. They lost one game to a good team. Not a big deal. They’ll be fine.

  49. sciroccer says:

    Everyone should chill out! This is typical Bruce Arena! Just look back to his press conferences after the World Cup, and the stuff he said in NY. Always whinning! They got beat by a better coached team, and he knows it! RSL just has a coach that know’s how to deal with the tight scheduling. Arena’s predictable, watch what he says when they get knocked out of CCL “We never got a rest” etc, etc.

  50. sciroccer says:

    Also- Let’s not forget the chartered jet they used, and the fact that he could have started reserves in Toronto, starters against RSL (still would have lost it) then played the starters against Toronto at home this week. Again- horrible coaching.

  51. Neruda says:

    Too true.

    I also don’t remember a big deal being made out of this last year during RSLs CCL run. LA better quit worrying about the past, the refs (looking at you Becks) or their schedule and better start focusing on their game with TFC.

  52. Neruda says:

    Also people now know who Sebastian Velasquez is now. What a find out of a JC.

  53. Matt Y says:

    Arena can piss on himself for all I care. What a wanker he’s become.

    And I’m a die hard DC fan…so I wasn’t always a hater….

  54. SoundersFan says:

    #BeatSantos

  55. Rudy says:

    This is Bruce channeling his inner Arsene Wenger…

  56. PD says:

    call the wahmbulance. the most stacked team in MLS history at the beginning of the season with the entire pre season to prepare can handle it.

  57. yankiboy says:

    When I read orf Arena’s griping about the scheduling, the first thing that came to my mind was “Too bad, so sad!”

    Arena and the Galaxy aren’t going to get any sympathy from me. They are the league SUPERCLUB. They are deeper than a lot of clubs because of the resources that they have and I don’t begrudge them that–theier ownership is forking out a lot of ca$h to put an quality product on the field.

    Second division clubs with a lot less resources like Puerto Rico Islanders and Montreal Impact had to play “grueling” CONCACAF Champions League matches and then turn around and play league matches on only two days rest, after flying from Central America or Mexico, from Puerto Rico, Canada or someplace in the US to do it. And in Islanders case, their ownership didn’t have the resources for them to be flying direct or in first class or to be using the Lakers’ jet. They had to take flights with long layovers and routes that normally would have made no sense, just because they were cheaper and their ownership couldn’t afford better.

    Montreal Impact was an ambitious club before Saputo decided to pony up the ca$h to move up to MLS. Puerto Rico Islanders are an ambitious club at second division level, knowing that MLS is not a realistic possibility. LA Galaxy is an ambitious club with a lot more resources than the two previously mentioned clubs.

    Mr. Arena’s emplyer has deep pockets and has provided him with what many beleive is the best warchest in the league in terms of player personnel.

    Which leads me to remember another cliche, that has a lot of truth to it. “Life’s not always fair…”

  58. Vinz Clortho says:

    I agree with many posters above. Every team will have midweek games at some point this season, you gotta make it work.

    RSL had some scheduling help last year during their CCL run, but Kries also prioritized by resting starters for leauge games (see Revs game early last year)…

  59. SNIFFLE says:

    Oh,.. it’s a conspiracy against LA now.. We never get a break.

    shucks

  60. k says:

    LA are a bunch of f*cking whiners who think everything has to be done so they will always win; oh maybe because that’s the way this league has always been, change the rules so LA can win, hide the money so they can sign the top players ignoring the cap. Every team will have stretches of 4 and 5 games in 14 days, Seattle will have to play their first MLS game next week after flying to f*cking Mexico for a mid week game so don’t give me this they have it easier BS. Man up you bunch of over paid over hyped babies. Truth is they can’t win with special treatment and their own set of rules.

  61. CMac says:

    Colorado is more of a why-oh-why-did-I-eat-panang-curry-last-night brownish red, not claret.
    Actually, that description works to describe the whole club, not just the color the rapids wear. :)

  62. Kyle says:

    Even Kreis said they should not being playing this week.

  63. yosi says:

    Season ticket holder would have loved it since they are the ones that know that CCL is all that matters to the club. From fan response its mutual across the board