That extra day of rest afforded when FIFA began playing World Cup qualifiers over a Friday-Tuesday window (rather than the more traditional Saturday-Wednesday) was apparently just enough for some of the important, returning MLS men.
The LA Galaxy was affected as much as anyone, but it appears the damage was limited to last week’s match (which a very young version of the Galaxy lost to the visiting Colorado Rapids.)
The starting lineups are out for Saturday’s afternoon kickoff against D.C. United and Bruce Arena’s team has Landon Donovan (pictured), Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez all in the starting 11. Donovan and Gonzalez, of course, started and went the entire way on a warm, muggy evening in Columbus on Tuesday as the United States booked its spot for World Cup 2014 with a win over Mexico. (You probably heard a little about all that.)
Keane went the full 90 twice for Ireland in a pair of World Cup qualifiers abroad.
The schedule worked in LA’s favor here. Last night in Seattle, Sigi Schmid chose to leave fellow U.S. national team starters Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey on the bench to start its important league match with Real Salt Lake. Both players came on in the second half as Seattle turned back the visitors, 2-0.
Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman, by the way, did start in that one, even though he had been a busy man in the U.S. midfield against Mexico.