Galaxy shifts focus to U.S. Open Cup in midst of difficult stretch – Orange County Register

The Galaxy can see the end of the tunnel, but it will still take a couple of more days to get there.

Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup round of 16 game against Sacramento Republic marks the team’s sixth game in June.

From the June 14 victory over Orange County SC to their upcoming MLS game against San Jose, Curt Onalfo’s team will have played six games in a span 17 days. If you add the July 4 game against Real Salt Lake, then those numbers are seven games in 20 days.

In normal circumstances, a team could survive this grueling stage, but so far, this has been anything but normal for the Galaxy.

“These are the difficult challenges of a season,” Onalfo said. “The good thing is, even though we are in a situation where we have quite a few guys out through injury and national team duty, we have a deep roster and everybody can step in and do a job.

“You just have to be intelligent how you look at all this and how you rotate your players.”

You can add Gyasi Zardes to the list of players unavailable for the foreseeable future. Zardes was recently selected to the 23-man roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

He’s added to a list that already includes Giovani dos Santos (Mexico) and the injured Baggio Husidic, Sebastian Lletget, Bradley Diallo, Jermaine Jones and Brian Rowe.

“Some of our younger guys are getting opportunities, but they’re ready,” Onalfo said.

Defender Daniel Steres (hamstring) is a likely candidate to return to action this week and Rowe is “ahead of schedule” according to Onalfo, as he recovers from a groin injury.

“I think we’ve done a good job utilizing our roster over the last four games,” Onalfo said. “Now, the stretch gets even harder because it’s the end of a difficult stretch for us.

“But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. After July 4, we get a little bit of a breather.”

After July 4, the Galaxy’s next match is a July 15 friendly against Manchester United. Their next MLS game is July 19.

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