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  • Ricketts ready for SuperClasico

    Galaxy goalie Ricketts ready for SuperClasico

    Jamaican goalie hopes to make debut for Galaxy tonight
    By Phil Collin, Staff Writer
    Updated: 04/10/2009 11:14:21 PM PDT

    MLS: Jamaican goalie hopes to make debut for Galaxy tonight.
    It will be a game-time decision for Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. For Donovan Ricketts, there is not too much to decide: He's ready to be the Galaxy's starting goalkeeper.
    He might have been already if not for a groin strain. But for someone who is accustomed to regular playing time, as in 100 games in five years for Bradford City in England and 72 times for Jamaica in international matches, the waiting is over.
    "I'm all healthy now. I'm 100percent and have been for a while now," he said with a smile. "Mentally, I feel like 200 percent."
    Ricketts' first MLS experience could be in one of the league's fiercest rivalries when the Galaxy (0-1-1) meets Chivas USA (3-0-0) tonight at Home Depot Center.

    And it has an added flavor: Ricketts would be going against a longtime friend, fellow Jamaican Shavar Thomas, a Chivas defender.
    "Definitely, I want to have the bragging rights," the 31-year-old Ricketts said.
    Thomas, 28, was one of the league's half-dozen or so Jamaicans that Ricketts consulted before deciding to sign with the Galaxy in December. Thomas was certain Ricketts would fit in with the league.
    "We talked a couple of times about the Clasico and thought it would be a good experience for him," Thomas said. "Not saying he hasn't been in big games or big derby games before. But this one is new, we're not very far from each other from the locker rooms.

    "We've been in a lot of camps together. We talked about the league a couple of times before he came here and now he's with the Galaxy and he likes it."
    Ricketts certainly suffers no lack of confidence. Asked what he expects to bring to the Galaxy, he thought for a moment.
    "Hopefully, my presence, because look at me - I'm a big guy," the 6-foot-4, 2000-pound Ricketts said, flashing another smile. "I'm hoping that's scary out there. No, seriously, hopefully we can just organize everybody, keep some shutouts and sneak some one-nils until we get to where we want to be and that's playing good soccer."

    Actually, the rivalry match might be a draw in the goalie-intimidation department, considering Chivas' Zach Thornton is listed at 6-3, 230.
    Whatever it brings, Ricketts figures he's ready for his new league.
    "I think I knew everything because obviously there are a couple of Jamaicans playing in MLS, and when we meet for internationals we talk about the difference between MLS and the English leagues," Ricketts said. "The pace is definitely much different. It's much quicker there and it's more of a slow tempo here. In England, they never stop running."
    Ricketts, who described himself as "more chilled, more relaxed" in his preparation, won't be confused with one of the Galaxy's more popular players in their past, Jamaican Tyrone Marshall.

    "Well, hopefully I can just go in the goal and produce the way Bruce wants me to produce and hopefully we win, so if popularity comes, then it comes," Ricketts said. "If not and we still win, I'm good."
    Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else - Vince Lombardi