KANSAS CITY – Wins this week for San Jose and Vancouver have added yet more pressure on the two-time defending MLS Cup champs, who have a little work ahead to hold off the pursuers for a playoff spot.
Obviously, Bruce Arena and the Galaxy could use all hands on deck … especially the “hands” with the really great feet. We’re speaking, of course, about the team’s trio of Designated Players, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez and Robbie Keane.
As of today, Keane and Donovan appear unavailable for Wednesday’s match at home next week against Montreal; both will be traveling back that day from internationals, Keane from Europe and Donovan from Panama.
Arena attempted to get Keane released early … but the Irish FA politely said that’s not going to happen.
Arena has also requested Donovan’s services, but the U.S. national team’s all-time leading scorer told reporters Thursday that he still expects to be with the national team for Tuesday’s contest in Panama.
“We haven’t spoken about it,” Donovan said, referring to U.S. coaches. “My expectation is that I go to Panama, unless I hear otherwise. We’ll see what happens. I understand very clearly that every opportunity here is a good chance.”
What adds a degree of complexity here is Donovan’s previous estrangement from the national team. He has mended the fences with teammates and coaches (in as much as it needed mending) and can’t afford to forfeit ground he has already gained.
Gonzalez, at least seems to be on the mend and should be available for next week’s match.