LA Galaxy trying to shake off niggles ahead of Seattle second leg

Zac Lee Rigg
November 18, 2012
LA Galaxy trying to shake off knocks ahead of Seattle second leg

CARSON, Calif. -- After playing four games in 11 days, the LA Galaxy savored a week off between the two legs in the Western Conference finals, if only to give the dinged up members of the squad a chance to heal.

"It's nice to have a free week [instead of] traveling or constantly playing games," Robbie Keane said. "It gets everybody right for the game, the few little niggles that people had."

Vital components Landon Donovan and Juninho, in particular, needed the extra rest. Juninho made way at halftime of the first leg against Seattle Sounders FC with an Achilles complaint.

"He's moving along fine," coach Bruce Arena said of the Brazilian. "We think he'll be available Sunday."

Donovan came off with five games left in the first leg with tightness in his hamstring. The U.S. international took the first part of the week off and resumed training on Friday.

"I think if you had asked me on Sunday I would have said there's very little chance, but now I'm a lot more optimistic," he said. "We're going to take it day by day, see how it goes."

Edson Buddle also has a lingering injury, with his left foot not 100 percent. The striker sat out the first leg. Since then, David Beckham picked up a cold that ran through his family. "I think I'll be alright," he said with a Galaxy scarf tucked close around his neck. "Once I get on the field, I'm on medication, so I'll be fine."

Los Angeles carries a 3-0 lead into the second leg in CenturyLink Field. Even with the heavy advantage, Donovan warned against resting Galaxy's semi-fit stars.

"The season's over Sunday if we don't get through," he said. The 31-year-old pointed out that if LA takes it easy, "you might be out of it and the season's over. I'd much rather put myself on the line a little bit – make sure that we advance and we can worry about the rest later."

If the Galaxy manages to lose by fewer than three goals, they will advance to the MLS Cup final. But with knocks and a game still to play, Arena was in no mood to reveal his cards.

"We're not going to make any final decisions with our team until Sunday," Arena said.

Follow ZAC LEE RIGG on Twitter or shoot him an email