After Robbie Keane‘s equalizer was called back against Portland Timbers for being offside, both Keane and Bruce Arena complained about the call to both the main official and assistant referee. While it is surprising that Keane wasn’t given a yellow card for dissent, the MLS disciplinary committee handed Arena a one-game suspension.
Arena clearly left the tactical area, which constitutes an automatic one-game suspension per league policy. As a result, Arena will miss Sunday’s match against Chivas USA. However, this should mean very little for the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy are clearly the better team, and even without Arena on the sidelines, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and company should easily defeat Chivas.
However, as shown by D.C. United‘s upset victory of Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup Final, games are played for a reason. Upsets occur and teams play spoilers.
For the Galaxy, they can’t afford another loss, especially against a team in the bottom of the standings like Chivas. Currently, L.A. Sits in fourth with 45 points, but a loss could see them fall as low as sixth place and out of the playoff picture.
With an experienced and veteran lineup, Arena’s one-game suspension should not alter their game plan. However, if Chivas can get set-piece opportunities, then the Galaxy’s defense might be heading for deja vu again.
With or without Arena on the sidelines, the Galaxy have zero excuses not to secure three points this weekend and keep themselves inside the playoff picture.