The LA Galaxy were the third best team in the Western Conference during the 2016 MLS season, anchored by an impressive bounce back year from Giovani dos Santos and MLS Defender of the Year runner up, Jelle Van Damme.
Expectations were high for Los Angeles coming into the new campaign with head coach Curt Onalfo and Van Damme as the team captain. Unfortunately, a rash of injuries plagued the season early on, which forced the club to rely on their inexperienced youth.
The Galaxy dropped another home match to the Vancouver Whitecaps, pushing the club down to ninth place in the standings. Van Damme spoke to Adam Serrano of LA Galaxy about his outlook on this season:
“It’s been a funny season, a strange season. We’ve had ups and downs, but a few too many ups and downs so I just want to focus on the things we need to focus on. Players are coming back fit again,” Van Damme said. “A few weeks ago we only had 15 players to go on the road game, so it’s a good thing. The experienced guys are coming back and being fit again.
“We’re bringing them in, and now we just have to move on. It’s a good thing that there’s another game Saturday so we can move on to the next game. We’ll put out heads together and get out of this situation.”
The two-time All-Star is being optimistic as the Galaxy recover more healthy bodies. Against Manchester United, Jermaine Jones and Daniel Steres returned to the pitch and both players also saw minutes in the loss to Vancouver.
The Galaxy have been without Sebastian Lletget, Robbie Rogers and Baggio Husidic for the majority of the season. Jones and Steres were unavailable for over a month until they recently rejoined the team.
The Galaxy will face the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Fortunately for Los Angeles, being on the road has been positive for the club as evidenced by their league-best 5-3-1 record away from StubHub Center.