By KAYLA KNAPP
The Los Angeles Galaxy saw their five-game unbeaten streak snapped on Sunday in a crushing 4-0 defeat to the Seattle Sounders, and not only did L.A. fail to score, but their defensive performance left a lot to be desired.
While the club continued to be without Todd Dunivant at left back, who has been sidelined with a calf injury since July 19, that was no excuse for how poorly they played against Seattle.
“When you give up four goals to a division team — against any team really — and have a performance like that, it is very disappointing,” Dunivant said. “Defensively we want to continue to push for shutouts. We’ve had better success lately, but that was a big let down and we certainly have to come back stronger now.”
One way to strengthen the Galaxy backline would be Dunivant’s return to the starting lineup for Sunday’s match against Chivas USA. He saw his first action since the injury during Tuesday’s reserve league game against Chivas on a very hot day in Carson, Calif., and the left back was positive about his outing.
“It was great to be out here today and to play and get 90,” Dunivant said. “Obviously difficult conditions, but good still to get running up and down and get used to the game again.”
Galaxy reserve league head coach Curt Onalfo was also encouraged by what he saw from the experienced defender during Tuesday's 1-0 reserve game win.
“He had a real good approach, that’s half the battle with the veteran players. As long as they have the right approach and they take it seriously, it’s good and Todd did,” Onalfo said. “I thought he represented the team well, being the captain in this game, and he performed well.”
After playing the entire game, his return on Sunday in is a definite possibility.
“It’s obviously up to Bruce, and we’ll see how training goes, but felt good today in the 90 and try to keep pushing this week,” Dunivant said.
Here are a couple of more notes from the Galaxy:
BUDDLE WITHHELD FROM RESERVE MATCH
Edson Buddle was supposed to return to the field for the Galaxy in Tuesday's reserve game, originally listed as a sub for the match. The forward was a late scratch from the game day roster, though, pushing his scheduled return back a bit.
“He just had a little bit of swellness and we just wanted to be on the safe side,” Onalfo said. “No reason to cause issues there.”
Even when Buddle does eventually make his return to the field, it is unclear where the striker will fit into the Galaxy’s attack. Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane have been playing very well together up front, a tactical move that has made all the difference during the club's resurgence, so it is difficult to see how Buddle will crack the starting lineup.
KEAT RETURNS TO ACTION
Utility man Dan Keat has been on the mend since undergoing right knee surgery to repair damage to his meniscus on May 31. The midfielder finally returned to action during Tuesday’s reserve match against Chivas USA, more than two months after being sidelined.
“It’s just been a long, frustrating couple of months,” Keat said. “We keep working at making my knee stronger, and I think it’s getting to where I can get back and compete for a spot. I’m happy with the way it’s going finally.”
While he wasn’t thrilled with his 10-minute performance, it was a step in the right direction.
“I made a couple of passes that I probably wouldn’t usually make, but I guess that’s all the excitement of not playing in two months,” he said.
While Keat’s time on the field was brief, it wasn’t because he lacked fitness. Onalfo would have likely given him more minutes if L.A. had scored earlier in the match.
“It was a game where we needed a goal, so I wanted to utilize some players that could help us do that,” Onalfo said. “Once we scored the goal, Dan’s job was to go in there and kind of secure the game, and that’s what he did.”
It has been a tough recovery for Keat, but he credits the Galaxy staff for their work during the difficult process to get him back to full strength.
“We’ve got a great training staff and great doctors,” Keat said. “They’ve been working very hard with me, and Edson as well, to just try and make sure we’re in a right place where we can compete and be back to where we don’t have to worry about it again.”