Ricketts doing his part in LA's playoff run

'Keeper helped shut down Seattle's potent offense with 12 saves

CARSON,
Calif. – In the Los Angeles Galaxy’s quest for MLS Cup 2009, goalkeeper
Donovan Ricketts was a vital cog on the path towards league glory.

Ricketts,
though, was unable to see the job through. He broke his hand early in
the second half of MLS Cup and had to leave the game.

With
the Galaxy hosting Sunday’s Western Conference Championship against FC
Dallas (9 pm ET, ESPN2), Ricketts has the chance to lead his team to MLS Cup glory.

But is his mind already in Toronto?

“One
game at a time,” Ricketts said. “Hopefully come next week we do the job
on the field and I’ll think about the MLS Cup when it comes, but one
more game
to go before that. We have to focus and not get ahead of ourselves, and
keep doing what we’re doing right now.”

What
the Galaxy are doing right now is winning. The Galaxy have returned to
their early-season dominance, evidenced in the way they turned away Seattle in the first
round
of the playoffs without too many problems. Save for a late goal in the
second leg, Seattle’s strong offense was punchless against Ricketts and
the defense.

Ricketts,
the 2010 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, did his part, making 12 saves
in two games. Several saves, particularly in the game at Qwest Field,
were diving, sprawling saves that added to Seattle’s frustration.

But
Ricketts has also paid the price physically. In the first leg, he hurt
his shoulder making a save. For much of the second half, Ricketts was
visibly
favoring the shoulder and pointed to it a few times. On Sunday,
Ricketts took a cleat to his right knee when Seattle’s Alvaro Fernandez
dived after a ball.

But that wasn't going to stop him from finishing the game.

“I
never leave games unless something is broken," Ricketts said. "No chance. It was painful initially, but as the game went on it got a little
bit better.”

Facing
FC Dallas, Ricketts and the Galaxy will once again have a tall task.
The challenge moves from stopping the Sounders’ speedy flank play to
containing
the likes of David Ferreira, Jeff Cunningham and Brek Shea.

However
the Galaxy plan for their Western Conference foes, Ricketts said the
bottom line is to come out with a victory, regardless of what the game
looks
like.

“At
this stage of the season, it's whatever you have to do to win,” he
said. “Maybe it's not attractive, and maybe you guys won't like it, but
once we
get the win, that's OK.”

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