LA Galaxy stalwarts A.J. DeLaGarza and Juninho expecting to be ready for MLS Cup Final date with New England Revolution
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy are expecting to be back to full fitness -- or at least close to it, when they kick off in the MLS Cup Final against the New England Revolution on Sunday.
A.J. DeLaGarza (left hamstring strain) was the most glaring absence from the squad that dispatched Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday, but in an interview with reporters the morning after, the 27-year-old said that he expects to play in MLS Cup this weekend.
"I feel a lot better. I've been working out the last couple of days, but I didn't train too much in the buildup to the last game against Seattle so it wasn't right to go out in a situation like that especially on that turf. You saw that Osvaldo Alonso was not himself and he had two weeks to get ready for that," said DeLaGarza. "I'll be fine this weekend. I'm going to get back into full training."
Another question mark is Juninho who played the hero for the Galaxy with the series-clinching goal against the Sounders. It appeared that the Brazilian suffered an injury in the 87th minute that forced Bruce Arena to pull him from the match when a subsitution of another banged up player (Marcelo Sarvas) was already in the cards.
Despite needing to be helped off the field, Juninho insisted after the game that he'll be ready for Sunday's meeting with the New England Revolution.
"It was so cold out there and at the end of the game there is a lot of pressure so I felt a cramp," said Juninho. " I'm good though. I'll be good for the next game."
LA Galaxy feeling healthy ahead of Western Conference Championship second leg with Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy trained for the final time at StubHub Center on Friday morning and in the final session, head coach Bruce Arena continued to reiterate that team is expected to be fully ready which includes A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas who are expected to be available for selection for Sunday's Western Conference Championship second leg at CenturyLink Field.
"We think that we're good," said Arena. "Seattle has to come out in pretty aggressive and get a goal early. There's no surprises, it's the same game that you've seen for the last month."
A.J. DelaGarza (left hamstring) and Marcelo Sarvas (left leg injury) who both suffered injuries in last week's 1-0 Galaxy victory spoke on Friday and told reporters that they believe that they'll be ready come Sunday.
"If I’m called upon like every weekend I’ll go out there," said DeLaGarza who noted that he trained "a lot' this week. "I’m ready to go."
Added Sarvas, " I trained yesterday (full) and I’m feeling good. Today we just had an easy day, I feel normal...I can play, of course...This was a bruised muscle, it goes away with days, every day is better and better. Sunday will be 100 percent for sure."
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy center back A.J. DeLaGarza was awarded the 2014 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year award on Tuesday according to a league release.
DeLaGarza, who is heavily involved in the LA Galaxy Foundation's charitable works, drew considerable attention this season due to the passing of his newborn son Luca and his substantial involvement with the heart ward at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. The 27-year-old is the first-ever Galaxy player to receive the award.
A complete release about DeLaGarza's award can be found here.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez finished third in the 2014 MLS Defender of the Year voting as Seattle Sounders FC center back Chad Marshall took home the top honors.
Marshall finished ahead of D.C. United central defender Bobby Boswell who led both the media and club voting, but the Sounders defender's advantage in the player voting were enough to give him the Defender of the Year. The award is an unprecedented third for Marshall who won the honor twice in 2008 and 2009 while with the Columbus Crew.
Gonzalez was nominated for the league's top honor despite A.J. DeLaGarza winning the team's honor which is voted on by local media.
CARSON, Calif. – Injuries forced both A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas from the start of the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC, but both players are confident that they’ll be available for next week’s decisive second leg in the Pacific Northwest.
Amid a chippy and physical game that featured a total of 25 fouls, DeLaGarza was forced to make a precautionary exit in the 61st minute with what was described as a left hamstring strain—an injury that DeLaGarza told reporters afterward that he did not remember occurring.
“I don’t remember, but I’ll be fine. We have a week until our next match, so get some rest of whatever my issue is,” said DeLaGarza. “I think I could have [gone the full 90 minutes], but at that point we were winning and obviously they’re going to come at us pretty hard. I thought it was smart to let Gargan come in and have someone track back quicker than me probably.”
Meanwhile, Sarvas who left with an apparent left hip injury less than 10 minutes later also admitted that he is confident of returning to the starting lineup by the time the series shifts to Seattle.
“In that play, I don’t know, I got hit in my muscle very close to the bone. It was hard when I stepped on my left leg I felt the muscle pulling so I had to stop,” said the Brazilian who gave the Galaxy the win with his goal in the 52nd minute of play. “I spoke with the doctor and I think we’re going to have to do an x-ray tomorrow. I don’t think it’s something that would keep me out of the next game.”
Galaxy boss Bruce Arena in his own postgame media availability did not appear too concerned that both players who combined for LA's lone goal of the afternoon will miss the second leg.
“I expect them to be OK,” Arena said.
A.J. DeLaGarza's Guam defeats Chinese Taipei in 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary round semifinal
LA Galaxy center back A.J. DeLaGarza started and went 90 minutes as Guam defeated host nation Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) 2-1 in their 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary round two match.
A penalty kick goal by former Santa Clara soccer star Jason Cunliffe in the 14th minute gave Matao an early advantage that was doubled just three minutes before half time when Shane Malcolm scored. Chen Hao-wei scored for Chinese Taipei in the 57th minute, but the DeLaGarza-led Guam defense held firm to prevent a comeback.
Guam will take on group stage favorite North Korea on Sunday in a match that will likely decide which team advances to the 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup. North Korea started the qualifying group off on a high note on Thursday with a 2-1 victory over Hong Kong.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy begin their 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs campaign on Saturday evening against Real Salt Lake and if LA will advance past the club that eliminated them a year ago, they’ll need to shutdown RSL’s dynamic attacker Joao Plata.
The speedy and diminutive Ecuadorian led the charge for head coach Jeff Cassar’s side throughout the 2014 season with 13 goals and six assists. In three games against the Galaxy this year, Plata notched a goal and an assist including a goal in RSL’s win over LA in the season opener.
“Plata has been an All-Star quality player this entire season. He’s been scoring goals for club and country and he’s a very dangerous player,” said defender A.J. DeLaGarza. “He’s fast and an incredibly player who is only helped by the influence of Saborio. They create a real threat.”
If the LA can slow down Plata, DeLaGarza believes that the Galaxy will be able to get revenge on RSL for their 2013 playoff exit.
“This year we have home-field advantage, but we’ll see if that means anything,” said DeLaGarza. “It’ll be a great match-up. It’s two teams that really like to play and it’ll be a good challenge for us.”
CARSON, Calif. -- On the date that MLS officially disbanded Chivas USA, the LA Galaxy went along with business as usual.
There was no talk of the fact the Rojiblancos had been officially disbanded earlier that morning or that they will be replaced by a new team at a new location in the greater Los Angeles area in two years’ time. The Galaxy simply went about the task of preparing for their Western Conference Semifinal first leg with Real Salt Lake – who entered the league in 2005 alongside Chivas – on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“The decision to sell Chivas and rebrand it and bring it back in the marketplace can only be a positive,” said Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said of the Chivas USA news. “I’m sure that it will make for an exciting time in the Los Angeles soccer market.”
While the yet unnamed second Los Angeles MLS team will return in 2017, most players who suited up for Chivas USA will be distributed across MLS in a dispersal draft that will take place in December. The only possible exceptions for the draft may be forwards Erick “Cubo” Torres and Felix Borja who may find new teams through other means according to a league conference call on Monday afternoon.
As the players prepare for the dispersal draft, Galaxy right back and longtime leadership member of the MLS Players Union James Riley said that he trusted the league and the union to assure a seamless transition for those affected.
“It’s unfortunate news and I want to thank the fans for supporting the team and I still have a lot of good friends on that team,” said Riley who admitted that he wasn’t surprised by the announcement. “We just hope that the process goes smoothly and the players are taken care of and given options to play elsewhere. Obviously, the players union and the league will do their due diligence in making sure that the process goes smoothly for those players.”
But although the sentimentality of losing the Rojiblancos as a rival was felt, the Galaxy were focused on the ways that Monday’s announcement will affect them in the immediate future. With Chivas USA exiting the league, MLS revealed the realignment of the new 20-team league that will feature Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo moving west while expansion sides Orlando City SC and New York City FC join the Eastern Conference.
"As if the Western Conference wasn't tough enough already," chuckled defender A.J. DeLaGarza upon learning that the last five MLS Cup winners will be in the new Western Conference.
But even amid the loss of a rival and the introduction to a pair of new teams in the Western Conference, DeLaGarza said that the loss of the Rojiblancos will only help the Galaxy truly make the StubHub Center their true home.
"It'll be weird not playing Chivas USA because we looked forward to that rivalry. But now we get to have our own stadium and we can do things for us with our $15 million dollar investment in the stadium. We’ll have a chance to upgrade the facilities for the entire club.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy announced that the club has signed defender A.J. DeLaGarza to a multi-year deal on Wednesday.
DeLaGarza, 26, told reporters on Wednesday that his new deal will keep him with the Galaxy for the next four years. In 2014, the versatile defender has enjoyed yet another strong season that has included him winning the team's Defender of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year honors.
"There's no other place that I'd rather be," DeLaGarza said bluntly after training on Wednesday.
CARSON, Calif. -- After the LA Galaxy's 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC, the club announced their 2014 end of the season award winners.
Robbie Keane took home LA Galaxy Player of the Year while A.J. DeLaGarza earned Defender of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year honors.
DeLaGarza's late son Luca Wyatt DeLaGarza was also honored by the LA Riot Squad supporters group as their "LARS Player of the Year."