Ahead of the Regular Season Opener, LA Galaxy Focused on Starting Out Season Right
CARSON, Calif. - There has been a popular topic of discussion among LA Galaxy coaches and players during the preseason, but it may not be the obvious one.
The subject matter surprisingly has not been about winning a historic third consecutive MLS Cup.
"No, never," striker Robbie Keane said after training Monday when asked how often talk of a third straight championship had arisen. "You can't do that."
Instead, what they have talked about ahead of Sunday's regular season opener against the Chicago Fire at The Home Depot Center (2 p.m. PT, Time Warner Cable SportsNet, UniMas, LIVE CHAT) is avoiding a repeat of their disastrous start to the 2012 season.
The Galaxy, coming off their third of four MLS championships in 2011, started poorly, to say the least, a year ago. They were 3-8-2 and last in the Western Conference before launching their stunning drive to the title.
"We were a mess last year for whatever reason," head coach Bruce Arena said.
Said veteran defender Sean Franklin, "We talked about last year and how we came out and we don't want to start like that. Everyone was pretty positive this preseason. It's all about starting off on the right foot this year."
Arena said he was generally pleased with the progress of the club, which went 5-1-1 in the preseason. The team, aside from foot surgeries to rookie forward Gyasi Zardes and second-year midfielder Kenney Walker, was pretty much free of serious injuries.
"I think they've had a good camp," Arena said. "We've limited the injuries. For the most part the camp has been real good, and guys have moved along at the right pace.
"We're getting a little better each week."
Left back Todd Dunivant, about to start his 11th MLS season, said the mood of the team is different from a year ago at this time.
"Just the vibe of the group wasn't good," he said, referring to the start of the 2012 season. "We didn't really get much of a break, and I think 2011 took a lot out of us. It took a while to get over that.
"I think we've had more time off, a shorter preseason and I think that helps."
Keane said he is confident in this year's squad, despite it no longer includes David Beckham and still is awaiting the return of Landon Donovan, who remains on an extended break from the game and isn't expected back until next month.
"You always have to be confident. As long as we don't have the start that we did last season," he said with a laugh. "Then we'll be OK.
"Last season wasn't good enough at the start, but the end obviously was very good."
• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...
Major League Soccer Stories from February 27, 2013
- Ahead of the Regular Season Opener, LA Galaxy Focused on Starting Out Season Right - Los Angeles Galaxy
- Montreal Impact Launches 20th Season and Unveils Third Jersey - Montreal Impact
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC Launch MLS Primary Kit - Vancouver Whitecaps FC
- Sounders FC Reveal New Kits for 2013 Season - Seattle Sounders FC
- Left-Sided Speedster Smith Is a Rare Breed - New England Revolution
- Sporting Kansas City Unveils New Primary Jersey - Sporting Kansas City
- Real Salt Lake to Train Thursday at 2:30 MT at America First Field - Real Salt Lake
- Chivas USA Adds Two Mexican-American Midfielders - Club Deportivo Chivas USA
- Star of TNT's Dallas, Jesse Metcalfe, Joins FC Dallas Opening Day Festivities on March 2 - FC Dallas
- For US U-20 Stars Gil, Villarreal Team Ethic Trumps All on Path to World Cup - Los Angeles Galaxy
- Sporting KC Weekly Update - Sporting Kansas City
- Dynamo President Chris Canetti Signs Contract Extension - Houston Dynamo
- D.C. United Taps White+Partners as Agency of Record - D.C. United
- LA Galaxy Season Opener to be Shown Live on Time Warner Cable - Los Angeles Galaxy
- Sounders FC Announce First Kick and Match Day Activities - Seattle Sounders FC
- Red Bulls 2013 Matches to be Aired Live on ESPN Deportes Radio Nueva York - New York Red Bulls
- Revs Sign Draft Picks Smith, Soffner - New England Revolution
- D.C. United Officially Parts Ways with Two - D.C. United
- Timbers Waive Midfielder Franck Songo'O, Defender Chris Taylor - Portland Timbers
- Toronto FC Add Hogan Ephraim on Loan - Toronto FC
- Toronto FC Acquire Supplemental Draft Pick for Amarikwa - Toronto FC
- Chicago Fire Acquire Forward Quincy Amarikwa from Toronto FC - Chicago Fire
- 2013 MLS Direct Kick Package Unveiled - MLS
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.