The LA Galaxy take the field at StubHub Center for the first time in 2014 on Saturday when they take on Armenian champions FC Shirak.
The match begins at 6pm and will be televised on Time Warner Cable Deportes.
Below are few relevant links and a projected lineup for Saturday.
*Larry Morgan provided a preview of Saturday's match for LAGalaxy.com.
*I had a conversation with former Galaxy attacker Alecko Eskandarian on the Southern California Armenian community.
* Robbie Keane will not be playing on Saturday, but according to Bruce Arena, he's close to returning to action.
*It's likely that we'll see a multitude of combinations at right back where three trialists are looking to earn a roster spot.
* Earlier this week, the Galaxy signed Bruce Arena to a multi-year contract extension that club President Chris Klein states is for three years.
Penedo; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Dunivant; Ishizaki, Sarvas, Juninho, Donovan; Samuel, Friend
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane will not be taking the field for the LA Galaxy in Saturday’s preseason friendly against FC Shirak, but his return is not too far off.
After undergoing offseason surgery on both of his Achilles, Keane has been reduced to jogging this offseason while his teammates train. However according to head coach Bruce Arena, he may return to training next week.
“We’re doing all the necessary things with him in a very conservative way. If Robbie had it his way, he’d probably be training now but we’re going to let him move along accordingly,” Arena told LAGalaxy.com. “We want to make sure that he’s not rushed back too soon. There’s no reason to believe that next week with a little more work and off, he’ll be ready to go at full speed the following week.”
Next month the LA Galaxy will begin their Road to Morocco with their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals series against Club Tijuana.
Due to the proximity of the the cities of Los Angeles and Tijuana, we have decided to investigate the culture and relationship between the two cities in a series that we're calling the "Road to Morocco." In our first video, which you can see above, I take a look at what it is like to see a Club Tijuana match at the Estadio Calliente. Although there may be apprehension from many about crossing the border into Mexico ahead of the March 18 CCL second leg in Tijuana, I found the fans to be very receptive and eager to see a substantial Galaxy presence in their home stadium.
To accompany our video series, LAGalaxy.com photographer Paolo Ferrari created a photo gallery of our trip which you can see below.
The LA Galaxy's preseason friendly with Armenian league champion FC Shirak is, by all accounts, generating a great deal of hype particuarly with Southern California's local Armenian population.
Check it out.
CARSON, Calif. -- Fresh off a successful January camp with the U.S. National Team, Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez returned to training on Thursday ahead of Saturday's friendly with FC Shirak.
After being given a few days off to rest up after the month-long camp with the U.S., both Gonzalez and Landon Donovan were excited to return to the Galaxy.
"I'm feeling good. I had a successful January camp," said Gonzalez. I'm just happy to be back at camp with the Galaxy and I'm just looking forward to the start of the season."
Added Donovan: "I feel great. I feel sharp and fit and excited to get back and get started playing some games. Probably a little bit ahead of everybody as far as fitness and stuff, but it’s nice. Omar and I are happy to be back here and ready to play."
Photos of Donovan and Gonzalez's first training of the year with the Galaxy are below.
The Bruce is Back: LA Galaxy club President Chris Klein states Bruce Arena extension for three years
CARSON, Calif. – Bruce Arena will be with the LA Galaxy for three more years according to club President Chris Klein.
On Wednesday, the LA Galaxy announced that they had signed the team’s head coach and general manager to a multi-year deal, but in an interview with LAGalaxy.com, Klein revealed the length of Arena’s contract extension.
“Look at what he’s done since he came here in 2008. And we wanted to make sure he could continue to do that, for another three years,” Klein told LAGalaxy.com. “He’s the best coach our game has seen in this country, and we’re thankful he’s a part of the Galaxy.”
Klein was not the only person who was in high spirits after Arena's extension as midfielder Landon Donovan stated that he was pleased with the Galaxy's decision to keep their head coach around.
“It's well deserved," said Donovan. "We’re very happy for him. He has much as any coach in this league deserves to be taken care of. As we’ve seen over the years, this is a club that takes care of people. We’re all happy for him.”
The man that LA Galaxy fans glowingly refer to as "Bruce Almighty" will be sticking around a few more years.
On Thursday, the Galaxy announced that they have signed head coach and general manger Bruce Arena to a new multi-year contract extension. Arena, who is one of the most successful coaches in U.S. history has led the Galaxy to two MLS Cups and three MLS Cup finals since joining the club in 2008. Heading into his seventh year at the helm of the Galaxy, the three MLS Coach of the Year and four-time MLS Cup winner has compiled a 82-46-44 regular season record with LA.
“I’m honored to remain in this role with the preeminent soccer club in the United States,” said Arena in a statement. “I appreciate the continued support and confidence from Mr. Anschutz, Mr. Beckerman, Chris Klein and my staff and players as we head into the 2014 season.”
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) February 6, 2014
Thoughts on the deal?
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CARSON, Calif. – At the moment, the competition between right backs Matheau Hall, Dan Gargan and James Riley is a friendly one –they do carpool to the stadium every morning after all—but each has a simple goal: prove to the LA Galaxy coaching staff that they deserve a spot on the team’s roster in 2014.
With Sean Franklin and Hector Jimenez departing in the offseason, the Galaxy have sought out cover at the right back spot which led to camp invitations for Hall and 31-year-old Gargan at the start of preseason, and Riley a week later.
Hall, 26, went 45 minutes in strong performance during LA’s 2-2 draw with Chivas USA in a closed-door scrimmage, repeatedly challenging the Rojiblancos defense as he pressed forward early and often. Neither of the veteran defenders appeared in the scrimmage on Wednesday, but Riley, 31, expects to return see time during LA’s preseason friendly against Armenian side FC Shirak this weekend.
HALL: “The camp has been going great. I’ve been given a lot of work in short period of time, but it is going really well. Every day is a challenge because you have come ready to play since it is a position that everyone is hungry to earn. … I think that I add pace out of the back as well as versatility."
GARGAN: “Bruce is looking for competition in the backline and I’m an experienced guy with a lot of games in this league. I think that Bruce is looking for quality players who can compete every day, and this team has a lot of them.”
RILEY: “LA tries to set the bar and I think that’s a fantastic environment to come into. I love the challenge and I love the opportunity, and I am prepared for it. … I just want to build on my first two days [in training]. It’s definitely a marathon and not a sprint. The tortoise won that race, not the hare so I keep that in mind.”
Which of the three players will earn a spot on the roster?
Share your thoughts below.
Below are a series of photos from LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari from their 2-2 scrimmage draw with Chivas USA on Wednesday.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy battled to a 2-2 draw with cross-hall rivals Chivas USA in a preseason scrimmage on Wednesday.
The Galaxy were dominant in the first half and needed just five minutes to pull ahead when Rob Friend finished a side-footed volley off a Juninho free kick. The Brazilian midfielder scored a goal of his own in the 20th minute after finishing a brilliant strike from beyond 25-yards that curled past the Chivas USA goalkeeper.
However, in the second half, Chivas USA was able to capitalize on a Galaxy lineup that went through a near complete change at the half and was totally different 10 minutes into the second stanza. Chivas leveled the score in the 72nd minute with a finish by Jacob Barron before equalizing less than 10 minutes later after Matthew Fondy buried a header past Brian Perk.
The result may not have been ideal, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena affirmed that it was simply part of the process of getting the team ready for their MLS season opener which is a little more than a month away.
“It was just another day of practice in all honesty. It was about getting guys in a full field situation,” said Arena. “The group we played in the first half did a good job of pressuring and creating some chances while the group in the second half was definitely outplayed and it was a sloppy performance.”
LA Galaxy Starting XI First Half: Penedo; Hall, DeLaGarza, Opare, Cochrane; Ishizaki, Husidic, Juninho, Zardes; Friend, Samuel
LA Galaxy Starting XI Second Half: Perk; Sorto, Leonardo, Venter, Gaul; Jamieson IV, Sarvas, Garcia, Hoffman; Rugg, McBean
LA Galaxy XI at the Final Whistle: Perk; Sorto, Leonardo, Venter, Gaul; Mendiola, Sarvas, Garcia, Hoffman; Rugg, McBean