Ex-Leeds midfielder Mika Vayrynen admits struggling to adapt to MLS

Leeds United

The 33-year-old Finn is still to complete a full 90 minutes since joining the Robbie Keane-led LA Galaxy in March.

LA Galaxy midfielder Mika Vayrynen has admitted to the club’s official website that he is still trying to adjust to life in MLS three months after his arrival.

Vayrynen, 33, signed for LA in March after impressing as a trialist during their pre-season tour of Europe, when he scored the game-clinching goal in a 1-0 win at Shamrock Rovers.

The Finland international has since featured in all but two of the club’s first 16 games of the season, making eight starts and six substitute appearances, but he has been dealing with a troublesome calf problem since April’s 2-0 defeat in Vancouver and failed to complete a full 90 minutes as a result.

However, after starting five of the past six matches, the former Leeds United man is beginning to feel back to his best again and, having also become more adjusted to the travel and speed of the league, is eager to hold onto his place in the line-up.

That might not be such a straightforward task with Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard set to join the MLS Cup holders next month, but the veteran still believes he can become an important contributor in their bid for a fourth title in five seasons.

“It’s a different league,” said Vayrynen. “That’s what I expected … a lot of travel, a lot of physical battles. Still you have a lot of good players here, technically.

“It takes time obviously, but I’m getting used to it now. I know what to expect every game, we as a team and I as an individual. I know what to expect now.”

LA themselves have endured somewhat of a slow start to the 2015 season, having picked up 21 points from their 16 matches after recording five wins, six draws and five defeats to sit sixth in the Western Conference.

That should not come as a surprise, though, having seen club legend Landon Donovan retire and missed an injured Robbie Keane for a seven-game stretch, and Vayryen is confident that results will pick up over the second half with Gerrard coming on board.

“Obviously we’ve had a lot of different lineups, but that’s part of the game,” he added. “With injuries and suspensions, you have to accept that. If you don’t count the Vancouver game [a 1-0 loss last Saturday] the three of four games before that we played pretty well after Orlando [a 4-0 loss].

“We got two wins and a result in New England. Obviously the last game was difficult. We’ll keep working hard and hopefully we’ll get there the second half of the season.”

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