Match Preview: LA Galaxy vs. Puerto Rico Islanders
Following the Islanders draw in Tampa Bay at the weekend, the club now prepare to visit the LA Galaxy ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League tie on Wednesday evening. Coach Adrian Whitbread took time out from training to speak to the club’s official website about his side’s preparation for the tie.
“We’re getting back to work after a long day traveling yesterday,” Whitbread explained.
“We had a recovery session this morning in the pool just getting all the players back together ready to work. It’s more about getting the legs back within training and getting ready for training tomorrow.”
“We’re having two sessions again tomorrow and just preparing for wednesday nights game.”
“I’m just trying to really treat it like any other game. Obviously the players will know its a big game playing LA Galaxy with the superstar players, but I’ve got to try and keep an even keel about it I’m not going to dress it up anymore than what everyone else is, in realizing it’s a very special game.
He went on to add: “We’re ready for it, the boys are very excited, they’ve obviously been looking at this fixture for a very long time.”
Whitbread also admitted the squad have been trying to keep their feet on the ground, but acknowledged that the players needed little reminding of just how important Wednesday’s game is.
“We’ve been trying to make sure we keep our feet on the ground with our bread and butter with the regular season in the NASL but these are the games you want to play in. These are the exciting times and the players are obviously very much looking forward to it,” He said.
“Tomorrow will be more geared towards the game on Wednesday . Team play, how we’re gonna set up, how we’re gonna play, those who are going to play in the team will probably be notified in the second session tomorrow evening.”
And with less than 24 hours till kick off, the coach was also keen to deliver a message to the fans back home:
“We know that your support is there, but watch it online or the watch party or keep updated via Facebook and Twitter. We’re going to go out there and do the supporters and the island very proud.”
The Galaxy currently sit fourth in the Western Conference, with 40 points from 27 games played. The weekend saw them record a 2-0 victory against FC Dallas, with goals from Juninho and Todd Dunivant.
Meanwhile former Islanders goalkeeper Josh Saunders played the full 90 minutes for LA at the weekend, meaning he will likely face his former club on Wednesday evening.
As for the Islanders, a difficult 0-0 draw in against the Tampa Bay Rowdies left the club on thirty six points, and second in the NASL standings- ahead of their opponents Tampa Bay on goal difference.
Brazilian midfielder Juninho leads the scoring charts for the Galaxy. The 23-year-old is on loan to the Galaxy from Sao Paulo, and helped the side to MLS Cup triumph last season as they beat the Houston Dynamo 1-0.
US international Landon Donovan captains the side, and his vast experience means the Islanders will need to be at their best to conduct a repeat of the last meeting at the Home Depot Centre.
For the Islanders Nicholas Addlery has the club’s only goal in this season’s CONCACAF Champions League, and will no doubt be hoping to add to the two goals he already has against LA