Suddenly nothing can go wrong in placid L.A. Galaxy Valley, where the sun is shining, birds are singing in tuneful melody and angelic cherubs are presumably dropping rose pedals on and around the Home Depot Center.
Perhaps this David Beckham matter isn’t wonderful news for the man who meant so much to England’s Olympic efforts, but even that is falling in favor of Galaxy competitive pursuits. He may make a run to England to participate in the Summer Games ceremonies, but the veteran L.A. midfielder won’t miss much time on the field as Bruce Arena rebuilds the Galaxy’s playoff case.
So, there really is a bounty of good news and good feeling in and around the team, which has won three in a row in MLS.
And now this: Omar Gonzalez is making wonderful progress in his comeback bid.
We all wondered if the 2011 MLS Defender of the Year could get on the field at all this year? Now, not only is this clearly a “when not if” matter, the “when” seems well ahead of even the most optimistic projections.
The Galaxy defense has looked sharper lately; Josh Saunders’ return to goal has something to say about that. So does identifying David Júnior Lopes as the best central partner for A.J. DeLaGarza (the best fit from among a list of underwhelming candidates, it must be said, which was always a big part of the problem).
Still, there’s no doubt that a healthy Gonzalez would significantly fortify the Galaxy back line.
The Galaxy arrives at the halfway pole tonight, game No. 17 of 34. It’s probably too late to seriously threaten the Western Conference leaders. Probably.
But if the Galaxy can somehow arrange a run at top spot (and the potential ability to host 2012 MLS Cup by becoming the highest possible playoff seed), a great place to start would be tonight’s marquee match on the MLS card, the 10 p.m. ET contest at current Western leader San Jose. The match is on ESPN2.