Carson, CA – The Los Angeles Galaxy returns to action at The Home Depot Center on Saturday to face the New England Revolution after a much- needed week off.
The Galaxy started slowly this season with a 3-1 defeat against Real Salt Lake and were eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League by Toronto FC.
But the club bounced back with a 3-1 win over D.C. United two weeks ago to steady the ship, and head coach Bruce Arena feels that a week off to rest and train will benefit his side.
"We never kind of caught a rhythm because of fatigue and all that kind of stuff," Arena said of the club's early-season struggles.
"No excuses. It's a little bit better now to have this where we get a little bit of training in and get to know each other a little better."
Galaxy striker Chad Barrett is one of those players who is just working himself back into the side after suffering a dislocated foot prior to the MLS Cup in November.
But in addition to Barrett, the Galaxy is also having to cope without its best defender in Omar Gonzalez, while striker Edson Buddle came back to the team after spending a season in Germany.
"It's been tough on us," said Barrett of the team getting settled with a number of new faces to work in. "We couldn't get our guys here to play as a unit. We had to figure out how to play without Omar. We had to figure out how Edson was going to pair up top with [Robbie] Keane. And me getting back from injury, tons of things."
Los Angeles certainly looked much better in its 3-1 win over United, and the club will have a good chance to add to that total against a New England side that struggled on the West Coast in recent seasons.
The Revs 1-0 defeat at the San Jose Earthquakes early this year dropped the club to 0-9-2 in its last 11 matches out West, but the team's first win last time out will boost its confidence.
After being blanked in its first two games of the season, both losses, Saer Sene scored 28 seconds into a 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers, a result that midfielder Ryan Guy feels will help the club in the confidence department.
"If anything it's a confidence booster," Guy said. "We know we can score, we know we can win. It doesn't matter who we're playing against. We played the (LA) Galaxy already and we did well against them. We just need to push on."
The win was also the first under new head coach Jay Heaps, who defender Chris Tierney believes has brought new life to the New England locker room.
"We wanted to get this first win for Jay (Heaps), that's for sure," Tierney said. "He's brought such a refreshing attitude in this locker room - this one's definitely for him. We are behind him as a team and we really like the changes that he's made. It's great for him to get his first win, for sure."
Whether or not the Revs can now build on that victory is another question.