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Galaxy's Lineup Is Unsettled

Soccer: Schmid will have decisions to make when Marshall is ready to start.

April 06, 2002|GRAHAME L. JONES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In the first week of Major League Soccer's seventh season, the Galaxy defeated D.C. United, 2-1. In the second week, Los Angeles was idle, but D.C. United rebounded to shut out the Chicago Fire, 2-0. Tonight, the Galaxy plays host to the Fire and, based on the above results, logic suggests that the Galaxy should win.

"You can never go by that," Galaxy Coach Sigi Schmid said Friday, laughing at the idea. "If it worked like that, there'd be a lot of results we could predict and bet on and we could make a lot of money. But it never works like that."

Schmid was in good spirits after using the brief break in Los Angeles' schedule to make a quick trip to England and Germany to scout players. He returned empty-handed but upbeat.

"Like I said before I left, [adding new players] is something we're going to be patient about. We want to get Tyrone [Marshall] back [in the starting defense] and see how it looks."

Marshall, acquired by the Galaxy in the off-season, played 45 minutes at El Paso Tuesday night in a 2-0 Los Angeles victory over the El Paso Patriots, the Galaxy's A-League affiliate.

He was expected to start tonight, but Schmid said the Jamaican national team player has not fully recovered from a right ankle sprain.

"He's able to play, but he's not able to start," Schmid said. "Fitness-wise, I think he's probably [good for] 30 minutes or so."

Marshall was acquired when the Miami Fusion folded.

He was supposed to replace Paul Caligiuri, who retired, but became even more valuable once Greg Vanney decided to pack his bags and move to the French league.

The Galaxy's starting back four in the season opener featured Ezra Hendrickson, Alexi Lalas, Danny Califf and Adam Frye, and the same four will start tonight, with Marshall and Craig Waibel as backups.

Once Marshall is fit, Schmid will have to make some tough choices about whom to start on defense.

"We'll have to see how people are playing," he said. "We have different options. Tyrone and Craig are able to play any of the [back four] positions."

Hendrickson is a fixture at right back, and Lalas has not only raised his game but is the vocal leader on defense.

"Alexi has played well this season, much better than he played last year," Schmid said.

That would seem to indicate that it will be Califf or Frye who might be bumped, but it could be that both remain starters--Califf staying alongside Lalas in the center and Frye moving upfield to make room for Marshall.

"Adam has been an invaluable player for us because he's been able to fill in for us up front when we've needed it and also in the back," Schmid said. "He always brings a good energy level to the game. He's never going to hurt your team in terms of effort."

Marshall said Friday that his ankle "is feeling better and better every day," adding that he hoped to play a few minutes tonight.

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