View Original Notice ? Douglas Costa on his way back to the Galaxy lineup
Douglas Costa’s first season in Major League Soccer hasn’t gone according to plan. Not for him, not for the Galaxy.
Costa has appeared in 12 games, playing 733 minutes with just two goals, and hasn’t been on the field since May 22.
Now, as the club returns to action Wednesday night against Minnesota United FC, the Galaxy is hopeful the Brazilian midfielder is ready to restart his season.
“We need him to get fit and impacting the game and impacting the team, that would almost be like a new signing,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “We haven’t had him on a consistent basis.”
Various leg injuries have kept Costa from being on the field, from quadriceps to hamstring injuries.
“We’ve taken two steps back to manage some of the deficiencies, strengths, mobility deficiencies, which have left him vulnerable for hamstring issues, so I think the guys on the medical team have done a really good job, working with some specialists to balance him out,” Vanney said. “When I watch him now, he’s moving differently, that’s a positive.”
Costa was a possibility to return Saturday against San Jose, but with that game getting postponed, that has afforded him to rejoin training fully and be available against the Loons.
“The last injury he had was a very minor hamstring injury, but it was the second time that he had it. For us, it’s taking a step back or two and looking to figure out why this keeps happening,” Vanney said. “Back when he had a broken foot, he was lacking some mobility, some flexibility and strength in one of his ankles, which then was creating a deficiency on the opposite hamstring, so then you have to work out the ankle issue, get the flexibility and mobility back and strengthen the hamstring on that side so that he’s not vulnerable.
“Now, when I watch him move, he moves more smooth where before it was a little bit of compensation, little bit of limp, now he’s moving more efficiently.”
Vanney said they’ve also used this break to push Costa’s fitness level.
“So that he’s not getting fit inside of games, he’s getting fit on the training field,” Vanney said. “Now we’re ready to get him back involved.
“You can get a lot of training fitness, running and all that kind of stuff, but at the end of the day, you have to get in and compete, cover 120 yards, both sides of the ball. We want to build him in smart and not necessarily throw him out there.”
The Galaxy was all set to travel north Friday for a Saturday game against San Jose, but the game was canceled due to a power outage at Stanford University.
The Galaxy got a day off Friday and returned to training Saturday. Excluding the international break, this will be the first time the Galaxy has had a more than a week off since April 30-May 8.
“I think that cancellation helped us a bit, gave some guys more time to get back and prep with us and obviously gives us more time to prepare for Minnesota,” Galaxy defender Raheem Edwards said. “Helps us get our thoughts and the way we want to play more straightforward.”
The MLS secondary transfer window opens July 7 and Vanney said the Galaxy are looking to make two moves.
“Our goal is to try at the very early stages of the window is to have somebody in who can help the team,” Vanney said Monday. “We’re assessing a potential second move along the way and seeing what options might be available.
“I think we need another midfielder. I think we need a little more of a natural defensive midfielder, because then that frees up Rayan (Raveloson) and Marky (Delgado) to be more of the running, attacking No. 8s, two-ways. I think that gives us the opportunity to use playmakers in different parts of the field, we can use them coming off the widths, we can use them as a natural No. 10. I think it allows us to do more things in our group and it will create some balance.”
Minnesota United FC at Galaxy
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson
How to watch: Spectrum SportsNet; MLS LIVE on ESPN+