Retiring midfielders Eddie Lewis and Chris Klein will wrap up their careers in Australia; both are the 22-player travel roster for next week's season-ending friendly against the Newcastle Jets.
Will it also be the finale for Gregg Berhalter?
The 37-year-old defender, who played just twice during the season's final three months after contracting what was described as a mystery ailment, acknowledges he is considering retirement but promises he won't make a hasty decision.
“I'm gonna take some time and think about it …,” Berhalter said as the Galaxy prepared for Tuesday's trek to Australia, where they will face the Jets next Saturday 100 miles up the coast from Sydney. “I have to make a decision if I'm gonna play or not going to play, it's as simple as that. I'm gonna take some time to decide.”
Berhalter, who was on the 2002 and 2006 U.S. World Cup teams and played 15 seasons in Europe, is the Galaxy's backline leader, and his presence has been huge in the development of second-year center back Omar Gonzalez, last year's MLS Rookie of the Year and a Defender of the Year finalist this season. A.J. DeLaGarza, Gonzalez's former roommate and backline partner at the University of Maryland ably stepped in when Berhalter was forced to the sidelines.
Berhalter said after returning to training last month that his illness had caused him to think about retirement for the first time. He played just seven minutes during the playoffs, coming on for Lewis in the postseason opener at Seattle, but says he's feeling better and would like to play again.
“I kind of liked where I was getting at the end of the season …,” he said. “I felt I had a good season up until I got injured, and I feel like could build on that next year, and I could be around and could be healthy. It's just going to take time to decide that.”
Lewis, 36, who was terrific at left back during the playoffs, is a former Cerritos High School and UCLA product who played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and spent nearly a decade in England.
Klein, 34, is a winger from St. Louis and Indiana University who spent most of his career with the Kansas City Wizards.
The Jets are ninth in Australia's 11-team A-League with a 2-5-6 record. Fox Soccer Channel will telecast the game, which begins at 12:30 a.m. PT.
The only Galaxy players not traveling are forward Tristan Bowen and defender Yohance Marshall, who will be away on international duty. Bowen, (Van Nuys) is heading to Kennesaw, Ga., to join the U.S. under-20 national team for games against Mexico and Colombia; Marshall is with Trinidad & Tobago's national team for the Caribbean Cup, a qualifying tournament for next year's CONCACAF Gold Cup.