Apr 6, 2012, 10:15 AM EST
The weekend biggie in Major League Soccer matches the best team in MLS (at the moment) against the best team in MLS (or so everyone thought).
Livestrong Sporting Park is the venue as undefeated, untied Sporting Kansas City hosts the reeling Los Angeles Galaxy (4 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The Galaxy struggles have topped MLS storylines this year. So L.A. manager Bruce Arena addressed some of the questions springing up around the Home Depot Center on Thursday. He told Extra Time Radio that his team certainly didn’t play well in last week’s 3-1 loss at home to New England.
He didn’t have solutions, exactly, but wasn’t tossing out excuses either. The heavy physical burden of those early, important Champions League matches? No longer a factor, he said.
“I don’t know that you ever chalk up losses to,” Arena told Extra Time. “If we knew why, it wouldn’t have happened. It wasn’t a good day I think need to give New England credit. They played well, they were opportunistic. They worked harder than we did.”
He also addressed the team’s defensive woes, having seen the Galaxy concede 11 goals in five matches (in all competitions). Four of those five matches were at home.
“The mistakes we made can be fixed,” he said of the beleaguered back line. “Some of them are pretty basic. We’ve probably given up one or two goals that may have been good goals, but they are all correctable mistakes, and hopefully over time they will be corrected.”
Arena talked about breaking in A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez back in 2009, about some of the elementary booboos his first-year pros made back then. But here’s the difference:
That team had Gregg Berhalter, whose mentoring presence was a major boon to Gonzalez’s development. (Gonzalez, in fact, won MLS Rookie of the Year, surely due in some part to Berhalter’s tutelage.)
This team doesn’t have a Berhalter. DeLaGarza worked last year as a reliable central partner alongside the dominant Gonzalez, but he’s not a cornerstone figure.
Some of the mistakes might be correctable, but there’s only so much certain individuals can do. Bottom line here: the Galaxy must address its hole at center back, or get a whole lot more work and help out of the midfield.
Saturday is the next big test; if Arena’s men aren’t up for it, Sporting Kansas City has enough ability to take things from bad to worse in a big hurry.
Dec 8, 2013, 9:14 AM EST
Fulham are well on their way to ending a run of six consecutive defeats.
Dec 8, 2013, 8:36 AM EST
It’s slowly coming out that David Moyes has been keeping an eye on summer target Kevin Strootman of Roma.
Dec 8, 2013, 7:50 AM EST
Can Rene Meulensteen breathe life into Dimitar Berbatov and a weary Fulham squad, or will it be Villa’s away day magic that continues to shine bright at Craven Cottage?
Dec 7, 2013, 11:05 PM EST
We’ll know in the next few days:
Dec 7, 2013, 11:00 PM EST
Can the Gunners stretch their lead at the summit? Will Fulham stop the rot? Both games live on NBCSN:
Dec 7, 2013, 10:00 PM EST
Experience was key early, set pieces came back to haunt them, and nobody will remember how you lost.
Dec 7, 2013, 9:28 PM EST
A few take-aways from Sporting Kansas City’s side on the clubs’ MLS Cup triumph Saturday over Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park:
Dec 7, 2013, 9:01 PM EST
Both coaches said so after Saturday’s exciting match:
Dec 7, 2013, 8:35 PM EST
Sporting Kansas City’s center back scored a goal in the run of play and then nailed a beauty of a penalty kick:
Dec 7, 2013, 7:45 PM EST
Round-by-round as Sporting Kansas City wins MLS Cup 2013 in a 10-round penalty kick tiebreaker.
Dec 7, 2013, 7:35 PM EST
KANSAS CITY – After 10 rounds of penalty kicks, Major League Soccer has a 2013 champion.
Dec 7, 2013, 6:22 PM EST
NBC’s Arlo White and Graeme Le Saux break down Manchester City’s tie with Southampton on Saturday:
Dec 7, 2013, 5:19 PM EST
What a huge days for the Potters; hear what the club’s U.S. international right back has to say about it:
Dec 7, 2013, 4:20 PM EST
Obviously, this is also the coldest kickoff for an MLS championship match … by a long, long way, in fact:
Dec 7, 2013, 3:40 PM EST
RSL’s two injury doubts are ready, while Sporting rolls with the XI that got them to MLS Cup 2013.
Dec 7, 2013, 3:05 PM EST
Looking at how today’s match might play out from the visitors side:
Dec 7, 2013, 3:05 PM EST
Bayern stay four points above Bayern Leverkusen, who are now six above Dortmund in the Bundesliga table.
MLS Cup preview: Real Salt Lake meets Sporting Kansas City to decide Major League Soccer’s 18th championship
Dec 7, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
Two well-regarded American coaches, two super defenses and record cold temperatures are the dominant sub-plots:
Dec 7, 2013, 2:47 PM EST
Shocks results steal the limelight but there’s also big wins for Palace, Spurs and Liverpool in a busy day of action:
Dec 7, 2013, 2:27 PM EST
Spurs put in dominant display as AVB’s men continue their resurgence by slaying bottom club Sunderland:
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