Carson, CA. – Life is very good for LA Galaxy defender Rolf Feltscher.
The native of Bulach, Switzerland and a newcomer to Major League Soccer said he is adjusting well to a new city, a new country, and a new league. He admitted there is much to like about Los Angeles, from pleasant weather to various places to eat and Southern California beaches.
He does have one gripe, however.
“The traffic,” the 27-year-old said with a grin after training Thursday. “That’s the only thing I don’t like here. To go 10 miles it can take one hour. Every day you have to be careful about what time you leave.
“Traffic is crazy.”
Feltscher, who signed with the five-time MLS Cup champions on Dec. 19, has had only a few first-hand impressions of MLS – just two games, one win and one loss – but he said he likes what he has seen so far.
“Everything about MLS is good,” he said. “The league is growing. The league has good players and good teams and the stadiums are good.”
With one exception, he pointed out. Last Sunday’s pitch at Yankee Stadium was unusual, to say the least. The field dimensions are 110 yards long by 70 yards wide, the smallest in MLS and the smallest allowed by FIFA’s international guidelines. The field at StubHub Center – 120 X 75 – is among the league’s biggest.
“Very weird,” Feltscher said of the Yankee Stadium surface. “I’ve never seen a place like that. But you have to adapt.”
Feltscher said he was pleased to be in Los Angeles, especially now that those around the team finally may have his name right. It’s spelled correctly on his locker room nameplate, but he was introduced as Rolf “Fletcher” during a preseason event at L.A. Live and the name on his jersey for the season opener against the Portland Timbers read “Fletscher.”
“It wasn’t right? I didn’t know,” he said. “They always say Fletcher, everywhere. Maybe it’s just easier for them.”
In any event, he’s thrilled to be a member of the Galaxy.
“I’m really, really happy,” he said. “This is a big club and I think a lot of people want to be here.
“I’m just grateful for the chance.”
Galaxy officials have decided not to try and have the red card issued to defender Ashley Cole during last Sunday’s 2-1 loss to New York City FC rescinded. And as such he’ll be absent for the Galaxy’s March 24 trip to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps.
Cole received his second yellow, and subsequent red card, for his 85th-minute tackle of NYCFC’s David Villa. The contact on the play appeared minimal, at best.
Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid said he once made a successful appeal of a red card given to former Sounders standout Obafemi Martins when Schmid was head coach in Seattle, but last Sunday’s play won’t get any more attention.
“You only have so many challenges that you can make a year,” Schmid said. “It was a second yellow. You watch the replay angles we had and it was tough to tell whether they collided with their legs a little bit, whether they bumped each other.
“There really wasn’t enough factual evidence to say it’s very, very evident that they didn’t make contact. The only place maybe you can see contact is their legs might have gotten tangled a little bit. That was about it.”
Former Galaxy standout Gyasi Zardes, traded to the Columbus Crew during the off-season, is tied for the league lead in goals (three) with LAFC’s Diego Rossi, and Schmid said he couldn’t be happier.
“Sometimes a change of scenery is what everybody needs,” he said. “He’s a good kid and has always worked hard. I think there’s probably a re-application that took place when the trade happened, like ‘OK, I want to show some people.’
“Columbus has played well and his production is a combination and a reflection of how the team is playing.”
CoG’s Josh Guesman contributed to this report.