Work in Sports
L.A. in good spirits while training for Cup
Posted: Friday November 19, 1999 10:39 PM
By Jeff Green, CNN/SI
BOSTON, Mass. -- How did the Los Angeles Galaxy use its time on the team bus following practice Friday, just two days before the team's biggest game of the year?
"We listened to Bob Marley on the way in [from Babson College in Wellesley to Boston]," said Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid. "It's important we realize it's a game, and the guys have practiced in their normal routine, and they've had a good time with it.
"Practice has been good. I thought spirits were very good this morning. I think we had a lot of fun."
Don't get the idea, however, that it's all fun and games for the Western Conference champions, who face D.C. United on Sunday at Foxboro Stadium in the Major League Soccer championship game.
"Training has been good. The guys are intense coming in, but I think we'll pull back tomorrow because it's the day before the game," said Galaxy midfielder Clint Mathis. "As a team, we look real solid. Everybody's been working real hard.
"Since the last game against Dallas [in the Western Conference Finals], we've had a week-and-a-half to prepare. Coming into Boston, we were going to try to get used to the fact that the weather might be a little bit colder than we're used to, but the weather's been great."
At Friday's practice, Schmid says the team went over the fine points of its game plan, which centers on dominating ball possession.
"We focused on establishing our tactics for the game, how we're going to play, making sure that we get a little bit of shooting. We played some possession, some small-sided games, so everybody gets those opportunities -- making sure we're set with our corner kicks," said Schmid. "Normally, where we would work hard for an hour, today we worked hard for half an hour."
Galaxy seeks new home
After the Columbus Crew's success in building its own privately financed stadium, the Galaxy is among several MLS clubs considering similar steps. The idea has been under discussion since Denver billionaire Philip F. Anschutz took over as the team's investor-operator last year for $25 million.
Winning a title for Los Angeles, said team president Tim Leiweke, could help the club's efforts to get a stadium built.
"If we find the land, it's an automatic," Leiweke said this week in the Pasadena Star-News. "If we find the piece we're looking for, we're not afraid of stepping up, as we showed with the Staples Center. Doing a privately financed construction project of a soccer-only stadium doesn't scare us at all."
Leiweke, who is also president of the National Hockey League's Kings and the Staples Center, said the planned 35,000-seat Galaxy stadium would be superior to the Crew's 22,500-seat stadium so that it would be better suited to host international matches.
All starters are available for L.A.
Backup midfielder John Jones is out with a broken left leg, while second-string goalkeeper Matt Reis is out with an abdominal muscle tear. Journeyman David Winner occupies his spot on the roster.
Projected starting lineup
Kevin Hartman, Ezra Hendrickson, Paul Caligiuri, Robin Fraser, Greg Vanney, Roy Myers, Danny Pena, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Clint Mathis, Carlos Hermosillo, Cobi Jones.