Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy continue their 2013 Major League Soccer season when they host the Seattle Sounders at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. (Kickoff: 8 p.m. PT/11 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes). Earlier in the week, the team found out that they will have a shot at revenge against the Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. on May 29.
The Galaxy lost 2-1 to the RailHawks last year, one in a slew of subpar performances that hindered the consistency and effectiveness of the ball club in 2012 despite rebounding to win their second straight MLS Cup. Los Angeles will be intent to not let history repeat itself.
One player that is not expected to be in the mix next Wednesday is embattled goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, who claimed his innocence despite being the reason behind the Galaxy’s embarrassing 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls on the road at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
“Every time we lose a game there’s something we have to do,” Cudicini told LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “But seeing the games we play, especially in Philadelphia (a 4-1 victory) and New York, there’s nothing we have to do.
“I think the team played well, even though in New York we didn’t get any points. But the team did OK, especially being the third game on the road. Nothing to complain about, especially the last two performances.
“To be fair, I think this team is getting a lot of critique, a lot of comments about how we’re doing,” he said. “I think the defense is doing pretty well. Compare it to the previous two years and, for sure, we’ve improved. I don’t really get all this critique I read and I hear on TV about this defense, really. I’m sorry.”
What the veteran of many years in the Premier League must realize is that humble apologies simply will not be enough. Winning, and winning in long stretches as a result of consistent goalkeeping can only suffice. Arena will be wise to change course and bring in a goalkeeper who will be more convincing and using actions rather than words.
A bright spot in the Galaxy’s sorry display last week was the play of midfielder Rafael Garcia, who is expected to be available for the U.S. Open Cup third round match against Carolina.
“I thought I did well under the circumstances,” Garcia told LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “It’s never easy coming into a game like that. It probably wasn’t my sharpest game, but I thought that overall, I was happy with my performance.
“Every game that you step on the field, you’ve got to improve. [The New York match] was a learning experience for me. I’ve got to move forward and if the minutes keep coming then I’ll be more than happy to step on the field again.”
Meanwhile, forward Robbie Keane has been called up for a number of matches involving the Republic of Ireland. Keane and Ireland will take on England (May 29) and Georgia (Jun. 2) in friendlies, the Faroe Islands (Jun. 7) in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, and a friendly against World Champions Spain (Jun. 11) in New York.
“I would like to thank LA Galaxy for reconsidering their decision after further conversations between us which really means a lot to me,” Keane told Serrano. “We have reached an agreement that will enable me to make it to the games and I look forward to playing my part.”