The pursuit of ultimate glamour may be fading a bit in L.A. Galaxy Valley – signing Omar Gonzalez to that DP deal rather than chasing the next marketing boon from abroad tells us so – but the Galaxy remains a club on the hunt for big things.
For instance, everyone around the organization would still love the one prize that has been quite elusive, a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup.
To get there Bruce Arena’s team needs to successfully navigate CONCACAF Champions League, and the club could take a big step in that direction tonight in Costa Rica. The Galaxy faces Cartaginés at Costa Rica’s Estadio Nacional, the country’s new national ground.
Landon Donovan’s status remains in question; the Galaxy’s and U.S. national team’s all-time leading scorer made the trip into Costa Rica, but his ankle injury is proving more bothersome than expected, apparently.
Fortunately for the Galaxy, wins in its two previous CCL group stage contests have Arena’s team well-positioned. A victory earlier over Cartaginés and another over El Salvador’s Isidro Metapán mean the Galaxy needs only a point tonight against the Costa Ricans. If the Galaxy secures a point, all that complaining done by Arena over scheduling and such can then be seen in a completely different light. Because, in that case, the schedule will actually be working for Arena’s team.
Clinching tonight would mean Arena could actually put himself in the lineup for the club’s CCL group play finale in El Salvador if he wanted to – because the result will be absolutely meaningless. And that means critical additional rest for his own team ahead of a potentially huge MLS date (at Seattle, thousands of miles away) just three nights later. (The Galaxy schedule us here.)
Truly, Arena might field the youngest Galaxy lineup ever down in El Salvador in late October if he gets the desired result tonight. But first things first; tonight’s match from Costa Rica kicks off at 10 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Plus.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]
Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.