[MLS]The life of Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit isn't going quite the way he hoped it would. At the tail end of a 4-0 thumping in Colorado Saturday night that marked Gullit's coaching debut in MLS, the Rapids' Ciaran O'Brien crashed into Carlos Ruiz from behind. The tackle removed both players from the game; O'Brien with a red card and Ruiz hobbling from a knee injury that Tuesday required arthroscopic surgery.
Ruiz suffered a slight tear of the meniscus and a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. He is expected to miss four to six weeks, which leaves the Galaxy shorthanded during a time it hoped to pile up some points: it is home for the next four games, starting Thursday night with a home match against the reborn San Jose Earthquakes (10:30 p.m, ET, ESPN2).
Edson Buddle, Alan Gordon, Generation adidas player Israel Sesay and rookie Bryan Jordan are the other forwards on the roster who can be paired with Landon Donovan.
Gullit has used another rookie, Ely Allen, both up front and in midfield with varying success during preseason. Allen, like most of the Galaxy players, labored ineffectively against Colorado and was replaced by Gordon at halftime. Gordon did get his head to a cross but was unable to put it in the net.
Donovan, obviously drained by the altitude and a long flight after leading the U.S. to a 3-0 victory over Poland Wednesday in Krakow, lacked his usual zip and sharpness except for a few brief flurries in the second half.
Though the Galaxy is using nearly one-half of its salary cap on Ruiz, Beckham and Donovan, it does have some room under the cap since it had carved out a six-figure slot for defender Celestine Babayaro, who was waived on cap-compliance day, March 3.
There are less than two weeks remaining until the U.S. transfer window closes April 15, after which MLS teams cannot acquire players under contract to foreign teams. FIFA, though, does permit domestic moves (such as trades or loans) so the Galaxy does have options if it so chooses.
The day after the Rapids' romp, Jordan scored from a Mike Randolph cross as the Galaxy reserves tied their Colorado counterparts, 1-1.
Randolph played several strong games for the Galaxy last season and might be considered as a replacement for Michael Gavin, whose good performances at left back in preseason didn't translate to the real thing.
Ruiz missed about a month of 2006 season with a hamstring strain. The condition of his knee will be re-evaluated a few days into his rehabilitation.