LA senses danger around the corner
Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy are aware that there may be danger up ahead in the form of Chivas USA on Saturday at the Home Depot Center.
“They’re probably full of confidence,” Galaxy midfielder Chris Birchall told LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan. “We see them every day and speak to a couple of their players, and from what (Chivas defender Ante) Jazic said to me is they’re feeling more of a team every weekend.
“That’s good. We want to play any team when they’re at their best. At the moment Chivas is playing really well and it should be a great game and hopefully a lot of fans will turn out.
“They have a lot of confidence right now, they have a new direction and they’re buying into it. That makes for a dangerous team.”
Arena has a lot of respect for Chivas's new manager, Robin Fraser, a former Los Angeles Galaxy standout during the club's early years.
“What always impressed me about Robin was the kind of character he had,” Arena said. “He wasn’t one of those players where you had to measure every word when you spoke to him. He wasn’t a guy with a major ego or attitude about him.
“I think because the way he always conducted himself you would expect that he could become a good coach. The biggest mistake people make is saying a former player could be a good coach. Most people don’t realize they’re players, not coaches, and to be a coach is a whole different mindset.
“I think he was one of the few that you would say if he wanted to be a coach that he would do a good job."
Forward Mike Magee is aware that the Goats' progress makes them a team not to be taken lightly.
“They’re definitely good. Even when they weren’t getting results, they were playing really well,” Magee told Morgan. “Things just weren’t going their way, but they’re one of the hottest teams in the west.
“It’s a tough time to be playing them right now.”
High hopes for the Galaxy
As for the Galaxy, they look to build on their own wave of confidence after what they hope was a breakthrough victory on Saturday against Sporting Kansas City.
“I’ll tell you, I can’t be more proud of our team,” Arena told MLSSoccer.com's Luis Bueno. “It was a real challenging week…A lot of teams could use that as an excuse and our guys performed great. We had a chance of winning all three games as well but came up a little short.”
Team captain Landon Donovan was impressed by goalkeeper Josh Saunders filling in for the ill Donovan Ricketts.
“We come in [Saturday] and our goalkeeper—who we think is the best goalie in the league—can’t go and we have a guy waiting to step in that, when Bruce tells us he has to play, nobody bats an eye,” Donovan said. “Josh has been great for the last few years.”
Defender Omar Gonzalez agrees.
“Every single time Saunders comes in he has a great game,” Gonzalez said. “We have full confidence bringing him in. The team doesn’t change. It’s just a sign of how deep we are.”
Midfielder David Beckham was confident the Galaxy would get another result.
“For confidence, it was a big thing,” Beckham said. “We needed to get back to our winning ways and finishing off teams. I think we did that. The goals that we scored, the possession that we had in the second half set it up right for us, but it’s just another three points and we move on to the next game.”
Finally, says Juan Pablo
For forward Juan Pablo Angel, he couldn't be any more relieved to get his scoring touch back.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” Ángel told MLSSoccer.com's Luis Bueno. “I wish I could have gotten off to a better start in the first eight to 10 games, but I wasn’t concerned at all. It takes a little bit of time to adjust, for people to get to know you, for you to get the rhythm going and it’s a long season.”
Angel's goal in the 64th minute was the just the second of the season for the Colombian international.
“I’ve been feeling really well, the last couple of games in particular, against New York and against Philadelphia I’ve been feeling really, really well,” Angel said. “I knew it was just a matter of time.”
“He’s a guy who has a made a living off scoring goals so it helps confidence wise,” Donovan added. “He’s been playing really well the last few games and he’s done a good job of getting all his teammates involved.
“We’re all happy to see him score. You can tell the last couple of weeks you’re seeing the Juan Pablo of old, that we’re used to and I think he’s about to hit his stride.”
Landon Donovan...off to AS Roma?!
Donovan has been linked with a possible move to Italian Serie A outfit AS Roma thanks to new ownership under Thomas DiBenedetto of Boston, Massachusetts.
"We are obviously scouting players everywhere and we are obviously interested in the American products, both in MLS and abroad," DiBenedetto told MLSsoccer.com's Greg Seltzer. "I obviously can't tell you any names, but we want only the best for our team."
DiBenedetto has connections with Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Revolution.
"We observe with a lot of interest the MLS business model," stated DiBenedetto, a friend of New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft. "Especially with regard to marketing in the local communities, the new soccer-specific stadiums and the league structure with a commissioner with real powers. And anyway, in MLS, there are some of the best businessmen in the world of sport."
LA senses danger around the corner