Landon Donovan proved to be the hero of MLS yet again on Wednesday evening.
In a brief cameo, Donovan scored the game-winning goal in the 70th minute as the MLS All-Stars defeated the reigning German champions FC Bayern Munich 2-1 at Providence Park in Portland. For his strike, Donovan was awarded the MLS All-Star Game MVP award. Bradley Wright-Phillips added the first goal for the All-Stars while Robert Lewandowski scored the lone goal for the Germans.
With the score tied at one goal apiece, Donovan broke the deadlock in the 70th minute with stellar finish past Germany World Cup champion goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for the game-winning strike after a pass from Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri. After scoring the eventual game winner, Donovan was promptly pulled from the match after his brief 26 minute appearance.
Omar Gonzalez was not available for the match, but the Galaxy defender was present for the match as he was honored after the game along with the rest of the MLS and Bayern Munich members of the U.S. World Cup squad.
With the MLS All-Stars taking on Bayern Munich tomorrow at Portland's Providence Park, it's important to take a moment to reflect on some great moments of MLS All-Star lore.
In 2001, 19-year-old Landon Donovan was awarded the game's MVP award after scoring four goals to help lead the Western Conference to an exciting 6-6 draw against the Eastern Conference in the 2001 edition of the midseason spectacle. The highlight of the match, however, wasn't any of Donovan's goals, but rather his celebration on his fourth and final strike when he stripped off his jersey to reveal an sports bra that he donned as an homage to U.S. women's soccer great Brandi Chastain, who famously removed her kit to celebrate the USWNT's win over China at the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Now in his 14th All-Star Game, Donovan has seen the game evolve from an event where such levity was common-place to a match with meaningful implications.
"I've seen it go from a very casual, very friendly game to a very exciting, very meaningful, very real game," Donovan told reporters on Tuesday. "For us, it's better because if you're just going to go through the motions, you might as well stay home.
"We understand that it's not a game where we just go out and mess around and don't prepare well," he added. "I think we've learned over the years that the times that we do things right and we work hard and we defend and we play the game like a real game, we get good results and when we don't then we can get beat."
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez may not be taking part in Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game, but there will be an LA Galaxy player available when the All-Stars take on Bayern Munich at Portland's Providence Park -- Landon Donovan.
The Galaxy announced late last week that Keane and Gonzalez would miss out on the event due to the team's clash with their archrival San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, but Donovan -- who went 90 minutes in LA's 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday -- remained on the squad. Although Donovan will be available for the match against his former club, he expects to see limited minutes for the All-Stars.
"In the end, I don't get to make that decision [about staying behind]. I'm happy to go and I'm excited to go. I've already spoken with [MLS All-Star head coach Caleb Porter] and I won't be playing a lot, and that's okay. I understand because there has been other All-Star Games where I haven't been able to play. It's good for [our] guys to rest and it'll be fine because I'll be ready for Friday."
While Donovan will see, at least, some time in the league's showpiece event, Keane and Gonzalez will remain behind in Southern California and prepare for Friday's match against the Earthquakes. While missing out on the All-Star Game was a tad frustrating for the Galaxy's Irish captain, he sent well wishes to the league's best as they prepare to take on Bayern.
"I'm happy that I was selected, but first and foremost my priority is the Galaxy and we have an important game on Friday," said Keane. "I wish the All-Stars well and I'm sorry that I couldn't be there, but I'll be watching on TV."
CARSON, Calif. -- Red hot LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes is traveling to Portland for Monday's Chipotle Homegrown Game, but don't expect the forward to play a role for the MLS Homegrowns against the Portland Timbers U-23 team.
Zardes was selected for Monday's event along with fellow Galaxy HGP Bradford Jamieson IV, but after Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Timbers, the 22-year-old striker admitted that with the Galaxy playing the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, he's expecting to see limited action -- at most -- in the Homegrown Game.
"I'm going to play it by ear, but I highly doubt [I'll play]," said Zardes who landed in Portland on Sunday. "But I'm the guy that if they tell me to do something then I'll do it."
Keeping Zardes off the field in the Homegrown match is certainly advantageous to the Galaxy as the second-year forward is currently on a torrid scoring run that has seen him tally seven goals in his last eight games. Although he's already enjoying a career season with eight goals and one assist, the 22-year-old forward is trying his best to stay grounded.
"Now that [the game against Portland] is over, I don't look back. I'm not going to fantazise about all the goals that I've scored," said Zardes. "The next game [that I play] when I'm in that moment, I'm thinking [I have] zero goals. I have to prove myself."
Five members of the LA Galaxy Academy will join 54 other stars from MLS academies to take part in the Generation adidas ESP Event in Portland starting this Friday.
Among the five players selected are Jose Enrique Bustamante and Ethan Zubak who played a major role in the Galaxy Under-16 side that won the U-15/16 U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy title defeating Real Salt Lake AZ earlier this month. Joining Bustamante and Zubak are fellow U-16’s Kevin Diaz and Tyson Griffin as well as Under-14 academy goalkeeper Jordan Aldama.
The Galaxy players and the rest of the MLS contingent will not only face each other in a series of matches, but also take on the FC Bayern Munich U-16 team as part of the festivities that will lead up to the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game that will see the MLSers take on the Bayern Munich first team.
Robbie Keane is headed to the MLS All-Star Game for a second consecutive time.
MLS announced Keane's selection as well as the rest of the roster for the MLS All-Star's match against German giants Bayern Munich at JELD-WEN Field in Portland on Aug. 6. Keane currently leads the LA Galaxy in scoring with nine goals and six assists so far this season.
Keane joins Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez who were named to the MLS All-Star Game through the Fan XI last week.
The complete roster for the MLS All-Star Game is below.
Goalkeeper:Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders:Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders:Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards:Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC), Erick Torres (Chivas USA), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)
LA Galaxy Homegrown Players Bradford Jamieson IV and Gyasi Zardes have been selected to the roster for the inaugural Chipotle Homegrown Player Game against the Portland Timbers Under-23's at JELD-WEN Field ahead of the MLS All-Star Game on August 4 at 7:00 p.m. PT.
Jamieson has been a revelation for LA Galaxy II with five goals for the the team's USL PRO affiliate while Zardes has begun to solidify a regular place in LA's starting XI with three goals. There will be a total of 20 players from 12 teams who will participate in the match.
The roster is below.
Goalkeeper: Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Matt Lampson (Columbus Crew)
Defenders: Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Karl W. Ouimette (Montreal Impact), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Steven Evans (Portland Timbers), Wandrille Lefevre (Montreal Impact), Chris Ritter (Chicago Fire), Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire), Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
Forwards: Caleb Calvert (Chivas USA), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy), Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
CARSON, Calif. -- The 2013 season may be over, but LA Galaxy head coach and general manger Bruce Arena is already working to fine tune the team before enext year.
In this piece for LAGalaxy.com, Bruce Arena states that the Galaxy will be looking to add a "target forward", an "experienced flank player" and defensive depth.
Associate head coach Dave Sarachan agreed that LA will need to add some attacking punch.
"We have a really core that will return. We’ve solidified some things in goal, even though we didn’t do well on set piece type stuff; I think we have a deeper roster in terms of our defensive corps," said Sarachan. "I’ve always believed that you can never have enough forwards. Whether you want to label it a creative midfielder who can make a pass out of nothing, having more threats up top and speed, having speed on the field and dynamic movement will be what we need to address."
What do you think that the Galaxy need to add in 2014?
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