The news of David Beckham’s additional one-game suspension for his behavior in last week’s 4-3 loss to San Jose bounced through the Twitter-verse and into the mainstream media like wildfire Thursday afternoon.
Locally, Fire fans chided the former England international for conspiratorially continuing to find a way to avoid the LA Galaxy’s annual fixture at Toyota Park (Sunday will mark the fourth-straight year he’s been absent in Chicago).
“We have a disciplinary committee and they deal with all those matters,” midfielder Logan Pause told Chicago-Fire.com Friday. “As players you just move on with it. I’m sure fans are going to be disappointed that he won’t be here but they’re still a dangerous team without him on the field.”
PREVIEW: Fire vs. Galaxy
Sans Becks, the Galaxy will still be bringing Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, Juninho and the main cast that contributed to the club’s MLS Cup and Supporters Shield double-winning side in 2011 as they look to bounce back from two consecutive losses and turn around their current 6-10-2 record.
“They’re still the champions,” defender Gonzalo Segares told Chicago-Fire.com Friday. “They didn’t really change much – they’re still the same team. When things are tough that’s when you show your true colors. They’re in a tough situation but at the same time, they’re a dangerous team – at any moment they can flip the switch and be on the same level as last year.”
One player in the Galaxy’s supporting cast is former Fire forward Chad Barrett.
The club’s first round selection in 2005 was shipped to Toronto FC in summer 2008 in order to make way for returning American striker Brian McBride.
Both in his time with TFC and now the Galaxy, Barrett has done well to exact a bit of revenge against his former club, having tallied four goals in his last three appearances against the Fire. Playing almost exclusively as a substitute for Bruce Arena’s side this year, Barrett tallied his first goal of the season in LA’s 2-1 loss to Philadelphia at midweek.
“Chad’s a great, hardworking player that will leave everything on the field,” continued Segares. “That was his mentality when he was with us and that’s been his mentality with LA. He causes trouble up front and every time he plays against us now he seems to have a chip on his shoulder. We know he’s someone to watch out for whenever he’s in the match.”
When Segares and Co. take to the field Sunday, they’ll have the chance to equal their nine-game win totals achieved over 34 matches the past two seasons in the span of just 18 this year. The Costa Rican international claims that’s not what’s on the team’s mind.
“We talked about goals at the beginning of the year to have a certain amount of points and wins that were going to give us the best opportunity to get in the playoffs. The only time we talk about last year is when we say we don’t want to be in that same situation. We’re starting to blend and keep with the same mentality – playing tough defense and try to take our chances that we get up front. When we do that, we’re successful and give ourselves the chance to have many more than nine wins."