Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy looked to put it all together and fix the issues that plagued them last weekend against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday against John Hackworth’s Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
“I wouldn’t say [Vancouver's was] brilliant offense,” Arena told MLSSoccer.com’s Scott French, “but we got pushed around a bunch of plays in [our] penalty area that created goals. They just outworked us for a couple goals tonight. We didn’t have enough players that made the kind of plays that make a difference in a game like this.”
“We give up that first goal, that kind of deflates us and gives them a lot of momentum, and it really puts a dagger in us,” said defender Omar Gonzalez. “At that point, they started winning a lot of balls in midfield, and I thought before that we were playing a great game and we were getting tons of chances and we didn’t have that killer instinct in our final third.
“We have to be a little bit more aggressive, push our lines more and not let them get into our final third. I think we were a little bit tired and not pushing our lines the way they should.”
So the objective for the Galaxy? Match the Union’s energy and stride. But with home field advantage being a factor, that objective is easier said than done.
“We have to match their energy,” midfielder Mike Magee told reporters. “They’re a team with good energy and we tend to be too. We’re a team that tends to fight and battle and never lack effort but the last few games, for whatever reasons, we’ve let ourselves down in that aspect. If the rest of us pick it up and do our work off the ball and support each other, battle and fight, then the soccer is always pretty good.”
Robbie Keane is expected to start tomorrow against the Union after suffering an ankle injury.
“I’ve been out for a few weeks so it’s nice to be back,” Keane said. “I feel good. I’m not going to be match fit, I’ve missed three or four weeks, but I did fitness with the trainers so I feel good now and just ready to go. It’s been a frustrating few weeks for me but I’m back now.”
In addition to matching their energy, getting more physical and tough would also be a plus for the Galaxy on Wednesday.
“It’s something that we need to pull out from ourselves and, of course, we’re trying to get the aggressiveness out in the game. Even sometimes to foul, we don’t make a lot of fouls to be honest, we’re a nice and tidy team,” goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini told LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “Sometimes we need to be more nasty and that’s what happened against Houston and [Vancouver]. They played well, they were strong, they didn’t concede much and they were quick when they had to counter attack.
“I think that everyone has its own pros and cons and now we’re seeing these things and we need to improve. \We need to improve, and the good thing about soccer, is that we have a game straight away on Wednesday to get better and do better.”