Monday, July 11, 2011
GALAXY: DeLaGarza blanks on booting, ready to go
By Scott French
CARSON -- A.J. DeLaGarza can't remember Fredy Montero's boot connecting with his forehead, and the details of the next few minutes -- when he stayed on the field and made several defensive plays -- are a little fuzzy, too.
The third-year Galaxy defender was forced to leave the Fourth of July clash with the Seattle Sounders after collapsing on the field eight minutes after he was kicked in the head, but it's all behind him now, he says, and he hopes to be back on the field for Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal against the Sounders in suburban Seattle.
DeLaGarza underwent a battery of tests last week that determined he hadn't suffered a concussion, the team said, and he says he probably could have played in Saturday's victory over Chicago.
“Maybe. Probably,” he said after the Galaxy training session Monday at Home Depot Center. “I haven't headed a ball yet, so that's probably the next step to see how that is.”
DeLaGarza was hurt in the 13th minute of last week's 0-0 draw with the Sounders. He was just outside the Galaxy box when a cleared free kick was booted back in and leaned down to head it away. Montero, in front of DeLaGarza and to his left, lifted his foot to try to flick the ball and instead found the defender's head.
DeLaGarza collapsed immediately to the turf, but he was up after a minute or so and played on for another eight minutes, blocking a Roger Levesque shot, heading away a long ball into L.A.'s box and conceding a corner kick as he defended against Levesque on the right byline.
He fell to the turf near midfield during a stoppage as forward Chad Barrett was receiving treatment after Montero kicked him in the ankle, was stretchered off and then assisted to the trainer's room. His backline partner (and former college roommate) Omar Gonzalez described him as “dizzy” afterward.
What does DeLaGarza remember of it all?
“I don't,” he said. “I watched the replay probably 100 times. It's crazy. It's kind of funny, but it's pretty scary. ... I didn't have any [symptoms] the next day. I did some biking the next day, and I was fine. It was kind of immediately after walking off the field and coming in [that I felt odd].”
Head coach Bruce Arena says DeLaGarza “should be ready to play” in the Open Cup match. “Ready to be considered, at least.”