Los Angeles Galaxy: Ins and Outs, March 22, 2012

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IMarch 22, 2012

CARSON, CA - MARCH 18:  Fans of the Los Angeles Galaxy hold up a banner for Head Coach Bruce Arena of the Los Angeles Galaxy after the MLS match between D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on March 18, 2012 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated United 3-1.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Retooling time for Galaxy

With a two-week break in between matches, the Los Angeles Galaxy decided to make the most of their break by getting some much-needed rest.

"It's tough way to start the year, now we get a little reprieve to catch our breath a little," Galaxy captain Landon Donovan told MLSSoccer.com's Luis Bueno.

Los Angeles's next match is on Saturday, Mar. 31 against the New England Revolution.

"The two-week break that we have now is big for the whole team, to be honest," Galaxy midfielder David Beckham added. "It's been a tough 10 days, two weeks and the last few games that we've had, so it'll be good to be a break."

Game on between Spurs and Galaxy

Meanwhile, the Galaxy's first major international club friendly was announced today.

Los Angeles will take on Harry Redknapp's Tottenham Hotspur on July 24 at the Home Depot Center. Kickoff is scheduled for July 24 at 7:30 p.m. Television coverage is to be announced.

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Tottenham Hotspur are currently enjoying one of their finest seasons in recent history, sitting in fourth place in the Premier League with a 16-7-6 record for 54 points.

If Spurs can hold onto that position through the end of the season or move up into the top three, they would qualify for the UEFA Champions League for just the second time in club history after reaching the quarterfinals of the competition in 2010-11.

"Tottenham Hotspur are one of the top clubs in the world and are enjoying a fantastic season in the Premier League," said Galaxy Chief Operating Officer Chris McGowan. "This is sure to be one of the biggest sporting events of the summer here in Southern California and we are excited to be able to share this with Pechanga as our presenting sponsor and soccer fans everywhere."

Now these boys can finish

Back at the Victoria Street proving grounds, Galaxy manager Bruce Arena had rave reviews about the club rediscovering its ability to do one essential thing, and that is to finish their chances.

"I think we’ve played well this year," Arena told the press. "We’ve just missed a couple of key plays. It’s a fine line, but we generated a lot of chances in the four official games we have played this year."

The inability for the Galaxy to finish against Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC proved costly. It took them their third home match of the year against D.C. United to finally put the pieces together.

Michael Stephens, the budding Olympian

As for Michael Stephens, there is one thing on his mind this year, and that is Olympic gold. Stephens sacrioficed playing time with the Los Angeles Galaxy to help the USA qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

“It is tough, obviously,” Stephens recently told Luis Bueno. “It hurts my standing here a little bit. But I think it’s just overall a great honor and something that I don't think that anyone will ever pass up. It’s really exciting for me and a big time for me.”

Key players on the USA Under-23s include Freddy Adu, Brek Shea, Joe Benny Corona and Mix Diskerud.

“Throughout the camps, most of the time I've been used as a sub,” Stephens said, "but obviously, I'll be ready for any minutes that come my way and I'll be ready to go for them."

The USA takes on Cuba this Thursday, Canada on Saturday and El Salvador on Monday in CONCACAF action.


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