By DAN KARELL
Bruce Arena will be hoping that a short turnaround is just what the Los Angeles Galaxy need after two straight sub-par performances.
After losing at home to the Colorado Rapids on September 7 without their three designated players (Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, and Omar Gonzalez) and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, the four players returned to the lineup last Saturday, only to draw with the worst team in Major League Soccer, 2-2.
Now, the Galaxy host another mid-week CONCACAF Champions League match against El Salvadorean side Isidro Metapan (10pm, Fox Sports 2/Univision Deportes), who have lost just twice in all competitions since their season began at the beginning of August. Due to injuries, the Galaxy will be without starters A.J. DeLaGarza or Donovan, making the challenge even tougher.
These two clubs know each other well, matching up in last year’s tournament, which saw the Galaxy win both at home (5-2) and away (3-2) against Isidro. In the Galaxy’s only Champions League match this fall, they defeated Cartagines, 2-0.
Cartagines, at the top of Group 8, have already played three matches and only sit one point above the Galaxy, meaning that Arena could sit his stars and save them for the massive game on Saturday at home against the first-placed Seattle Sounders. Considering their performance last Saturday at RFK Stadium though, Arena may want to give Keane at least 60 minutes in front of the home crowd to put the game away.
Isidro meanwhile has issues of their own, as defender Andres Flores is out due to an injury, while defender Alfredo Pacheco and midfielder Eliseo Quintanilla were both suspended by the El Salvadorean Football Federation along with 20 other players as the FESFUT investigates match-fixing allegations.
Also in CCL action on Wednesday, Caledonia AIA of Trinidad and Tobago take on Toluca of Mexico, and Costa Rican side Herediano faces Hatian club Valencia.
What do you think of this match? Do you see Arena playing his starters? Do you feel he should rest Keane for Saturday’s match?
Share your thoughts below.