Los Angeles Galaxy Can't Wait for Business to Begin Ahead of Season Opener

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IMarch 8, 2011

At the Los Angeles Galaxy training camp, Bruce Arena's men were itching for the fight, even though the team has a week to go before its season opener with the Seattle Sounders.

“The anticipation is building. You could really tell that today,” said Galaxy forward Chad Barrett. “He was yelling at us right from the get-go, from the very first pass.

“It really woke me up and I know it woke a couple of other guys up and got training going. I like that. It just shows you straight from the top it’s time to go.”

For Barrett, he embraced the opportunity to challenge Juan Pablo Angel for one of the starting forward positions.

“The competition is great,” said Barrett, who scored seven goals with Toronto FC in 2010. “In Toronto, we didn’t have much of an issue because we were so thin up front, but here? Maybe two starting spots up top and spots all over the field? That competition means the team is going to be that much better.”

No pity is needed for Barrett, who understands that self-criticism will need to be cast aside for the good of his new team.

“I’m still very hard on myself, but it’s gotten better,” Barrett said. “I still do it in practice, but you won’t see that in a game anymore. I wait until after the game to have my own pity party now.

“You have to earn your spot, day-in and day-out. I know that.”

“I think it’s time to get on and just play,” Arena said Monday after training. “There’s only so much of this (training) you could be doing. I think we’ve had enough; we might as well get on to league matters and win some games.”

The manager, overall, was pleased with the progress of his team, but much work needed to be done.

“I think we’re moving along,” Arena said. “I think we’re not any different than a lot of teams in the league that have a lot of unknowns at this point. We’re starting a little bit earlier than most of the teams, and it’s pushed us a little quicker to be ready.

“I think we’re moving along OK, but we’re going to find out, right?”

Team captain Landon Donovan took some positives from its 2-2 draw to Club Tijuana last week which ended in a 4-3 defeat on penalties.

“It was a really good test for us,” Donovan said. “We found out for about 65 or 70 minutes we were pretty good, then we got tired. We’re in our final stretches of getting fitness down, and I think by Tuesday we’ll be ready.”

The enthusiasm from the No. 10 was apparent on Donovan's face.

“It was fun to play under the lights again and put the real jersey on,” Donovan said. “Thinking about it, it’s been over three months since we last did that, and I don’t think I’ve ever had that long a stretch without playing a real game.

“We’re close. If we can get closer to 90 minutes fit by Tuesday, I think we’ll be in a good shape.”


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.