Friday, February 25, 2011
GALAXY: Berhalter's knee 'knocked' in Arizona
By Scott French
A lot went right during the Galaxy's trek to Arizona, but not everything. Backline leader Gregg Berhalter sustained what the team believes is a minor injury in Tempe and is day-to-day because of strained knee ligaments.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said Berhalter, who wasn't on the field when L.A. returned Thursday to training at Home Depot Center, was hurt in one of the team's four games during a nine-day camp at Arizona State University; Berhalter played in three of the games, missing Tuesday's victory over Vancouver. It appears he was injured during Monday's game against the Whitecaps, when Arena used primarily a first-choice lineup. Arena and the club did not identify which knee was ailing.
"He took a knock and is out right now, but we expect to get him back soon ..." Arena said. "I think he'll be back in the near future. But we'll just have to see. Those are things that are day by day."
Berhalter, 37, missed most of the last three months of last season with what was called a mysterious ailment, but he's expected to team again with MLS Best XI defender Omar Gonzalez in the middle of the Galaxy backline this season. He's also an assistant coach for the team.
The trip otherwise went as desired.
"It was a good trip," Arena said. "Where the team's at right now is not good enough to win many games in the league. We know in the next 2˝ weeks we have to get better as a team. I think what we've accomplished in the early going of preseason is identifying perhaps how we have to play, identifying the quality of our new players -- which is important -- and how we've got to organize our team around some of them. But I think it's been good. We've moved it along slowly on purpose because it's a long preseason and I think we don't need to be at our best in February, we need to be at our best beginning in March, and we're slowly moving toward that."
IMPRESSED: Arena said he's really high on Juninho. The 22-year-old midfielder, who started 25 regular-season and all three playoff games last year, "has been terrific in our preseason, and he's a much-improved player in his second year. I think getting acclimated to [the league's prevailing physical style of play] is a real plus."
SIMPLE GOALS: Every Galaxy player's goal, of course, is to win MLS Cup, right? Here's what Galaxy captain Landon Donovan said when asked about his goals for 2011: "My goals are very simple. It's to be the best player on the field every day, training and playing, no matter where I am. That seems simple, but that's a big ask, and that's what I ask of myself. ... The rest of the stuff will come."
WORTH NOTING: Rookie midfielder Dan Keat, who has been slowed by a minor injury and not yet played for the Galaxy in a preseason scrimmage, was running Thursday and is expected to be fully training shortly. ... David Beckham says it's "wait and see" whether he'll attend the royal wedding in London in late April. Beckham and his wife, Victoria, have been invited to Prince William's nuptials with Kate Middleton, but the April 29 ceremony is two days before the Galaxy's game at FC Dallas. "I'm a big royal-family fan, always have been," Beckham said. "I was brought up by my grandparents, by my parents, to love the royal family, and [the wedding] is a huge thing for our country." ... Beckham also said he and Victoria knew whether their fourth child, due in June, will be a son (their fourth) or daughter (their first). "It's going to remain private for a while, so when we're ready to say, we'll let you know." ... Arena said he has "an idea" of what might be his starting XI might be -- "It's certainly not a finalized XI" -- and said he could identify three certain starters: Beckham, Donovan and forward Juan Pablo Angel. ... The Galaxy's June 4 game against D.C. United at Home Depot Center has been moved forward to June 3, a Friday, for Fox Soccer Channel. Kickoff is 8 p.m.