COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – It was different, it was unique, and it was even a little surreal at times, but Pablo Mastroeni made his return to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, not in the burgundy of the Colorado Rapids, but the blue-white-and-gold of the LA Galaxy.
The 36-year-old midfielder went 77 minutes in the 2-0 Galaxy defeat and exited to cheers as well as few standing ovations from the Rapids faithful. It wasn’t the midfielder’s finest performance as LA’s midfield struggled to take charge of the game and Mastroeni picked up a first half yellow card from referee Juan Guzman for dissent.
Mastroeni admitted after the LA defeat that the experience was a strange one, even for a player as experienced as he is.
“After 12 years at this club, it's kind of surreal. I had a hard time sleeping thinking about it. I actually woke up in the middle of the night thinking that I had a game with the Rapids,” said Mastroeni. “It was the most bizarre, surreal kind of experience, but I think when the whistle blows, everything kind of goes out the window. It's all that anticipation stuff that's emotional and unsettling.
“Once the whistle blew, we had a job to do, and I didn't even think about it for a second,” Mastroeni added. “It was good to get out there and get through this process that was inevitable, and move on.”
As he looks ahead to the second half of the season with his new team, Mastroeni has a recommendation on what LA must fix in order to improve.
“We made our own job more difficult [against Colorado]. I think overall the effort was there,” said Mastroeni. “We've just got to clean up a few things and keep working on concentrating on set pieces.”
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- A few notes and links following the LA Galaxy's 2-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids.
Match notes are below...
*The Galaxy are 3-8-1 away from home this season. When you eliminate their match against Chivas USA, they are 2-8-1 away from StubHub Center.
*LA's last win away from StubHub Center came on May 15 against the Philadelphia Union
*LA has conceded seven goals on set pieces this year (Four off indirect free kicks and three off corners).
* Former Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni faced off against one of his former clubs (Miami Fusion or Colorado Rapids) for the first time in his 16-year MLS career.
*LA are 3-2-0 in their last five games.
*The Galaxy are 2-7-0 when allowing the first goal.
*The Galaxy take on the Rapids reserves on Sunday at 10 a.m. PT.
*LA will now take a two-week break from MLS play due to the Guinness International Championship Cup.
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- There were no smiles in the LA Galaxy locker room after their 2-0 defeat to the Colorado, but following the defeat, LA head coach Bruce Arena took a moment to hand former LA forward Edson Buddle with his 2012 MLS Cup Championship ring.
Buddle performed well against his former club in a 90 minute shift that saw him set up Dillon Powers' goal in the 41st minute. Although Buddle led his current team to victory over his old side, he admitted after the game that facing LA didn't factor into his thinking.
"I take every game seriously. It was good to see familiar faces, but it always feels good to win," said Buddle. "We did what we're supposed to tonight, which is win on our home field. I think that the team is motivated and we're glad to get three points."
A photo with Buddle and his ring is below..
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) July 28, 2013
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena’s quotes from LA’s disappointing 2-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids…
(On his overall thoughts from the performance…)
ARENA: “We got beat today. We deserved to lose.”
(On if this was the sloppiest game so far…)
ARENA: “I wouldn't say sloppy, but they physically manhandled us. They won the battles most of the day. It was a really poor goal for us to give up at the end of the first half. It was a big play and obviously not a good way to start the second half by letting them create the second goal. Overall, we deserved to get beat. “
(On his disappointment…)
ARENA: “The first half, if we go in 0-0 and we're in good position. I'm very disappointed with the defending on that set piece at the end of the half. It was obviously a big play in the game.”
(On the team's tendency to give up goals at the end of the half…)
ARENA: “We have a habit of giving up goals at the end of the half. There's no question about that. That wasn't good.”
(On not being able to slow Dillon Powers…)
ARENA: “It's because they won the first ball. The second ball sailed to him a lot. We weren't able to do enough against their three forwards. They won the battle against us all day.”
(On what he told the team after a game like this…)
ARENA: “I told them that we lost too many battles on the field today. We have to get ready for the next one.”
(On the team’s poor road form…)
ARENA: “I don’t really care. That’s not a factor at this point.”
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- The LA Galaxy dropped their second match in three games on Saturday as they fell 2-0 to the Colorado Rapids.
The Rapids took the lead in the 35th minute when Hendry Thomas cut found space on a Dillon Powers corner to head the ball past Cudicini. Just two minutes from the start of second half, the Galaxy conceded again when Powers broke free after a pass from Edson Buddle and fired a shot into the LA net.
LA is now 3-8-1 on the road this season. Their last win on the road came on June 23 against Chivas USA.
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- The LA Galaxy take the field this evening at Dick's Sporting Goods Park when they take on the Colorado Rapids.
LINKS AND NOTES
*Saturday's match will be an emotional one for Pablo Mastroeni who will take on his former club, the Colorado Rapids. Mastroeni, who admits that he's discovered a new "spark" with LA, will be facing one of his former teams for the first time in his 16 year MLS career.
*Carlo Cudicini is quietly entering his best form this season, but can he build on it against Colorado.
*The question of who fills in for center back Omar Gonzalez has been a major one around the Galaxy camp this week, but it appears that Tommy Meyer will get the nod.
*Gyasi Zardes scored a highlight reel goal in the win against Vancouver, but he'll be asked to put in another solid performance against Colorado
*LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan offers his preview to the match.
*Lastly, my Three Points to the game
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
DILLON POWERS vs. PABLO MASTROENI
The young gun against the old salt. Mastroeni was an important mentor for Powers prior to being dealt to LA and he’ll face off against the young midfielder on Saturday. Expect Mastroeni to be physical with his former midfield apprentice as he looks to limit any chances that he has going forward.
GYASI ZARDES vs. DREW MOOR
Gyasi Zardes has displayed a penchant for getting involved in the attack as of late as he’s rattled off plenty of shots in recent starts, but with a goal under his belt last week, he may be on the cusp of breaking out. Look for Moor to attempt to limit Zardes’ chances as he is particularly astute with his positioning and will seek to cut out any potential shot opportunities.
MARCELO SARVAS vs. MARVELL WYNNE
A battle of technical ability and sheer athleticism will likely determine the Galaxy’s ability to create down the left side. Sarvas’ ball skills far and away outweigh Wynne’s but the right back’s sheer breakneck speed make him a tough challenge for the Galaxy attacker.
Cudicini; Franklin, DeLaGarza, Meyer, Dunivant; Jimenez, Juninho, Mastroeni, Sarvas; Villarreal, Zardes
In a preview for LAGalaxy.com, head coach Bruce Arena, midfielder Pablo Mastroeni, defender Tommy Meyer, and forward Jose Villarreal preview Saturday's match against the Colorado Rapids.
Check it out below...
The U.S. National Team will be without Jurgen Klinsmann for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final on Sunday against Panama after a CONCACAF Disciplinary Committee suspended the U.S. boss for his actions in the closing minutes of the Americans' semifinal victory over Honduras.
The Disciplinary Committee made their ruling on Friday evening after evaluating the referee report following the semifinal. According to CONCACAF, the suspension levied by the Disciplinary Committee can not be appealed.
Without Klinsmann, Southern California resident and U.S. assistant Martin Vasquez will take the reins for the Americans in the final.
Think the Americans can overcome Klinsmann's absence?
Share your thoughts below.
The streak is alive for Landon Donovan.
On Friday, the LA Galaxy and MLS announced that MLS Commissioner Don Garber has selected Donovan as an injury replacement for LA forward Robbie Keane. Donovan will be making his league-record 13th consecutive MLS All-Star appearances, dating back to 2001.
“Landon (Donovan) is a great addition to the MLS All-Star team. Obviously his form is fantastic right now and his impact and representation of Major League Soccer throughout his career is immeasurable,” All-Star head coach Peter Vermes said.
The fact that Keane has pulled out of MLS All-Star Game places a serious doubt on whether he'll be available for selection for this Saturday's match against the Colorado Rapids or next week's Guinness International Championship Cup matches.
Proud to see Donovan make the squad? Think Keane will play on Saturday or next week?
Share your thoughts below.
aOn Thursday, the rosters for the participating teams in the 2013 Guinness International Championship Cup were announced. The tournament will make a stop in Los Angeles on Aug. 3 when Real Madrid, Juventus, Everton, and the LA Galaxy take the field at iconic Dodger Stadium.
Each of the four teams brings their own star power to the tournament as Real Madrid will have the services of Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Iker Casillas while Italian giants Juventus boast a collection of talent that includes Italian soccer legend Andrea Pirlo and Argentine forward Carlos Tevez.
English Premier League side Everton boasts U.S. National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard, Belgian international Marouane Fellaini, and Spanish youth star Gerard Deulofeu. Not to be outdone, the Galaxy will boast a squad that includes Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, Robbie Rogers, as well as Homegrown stars Gyasi Zardes, Jack McBean, and Jose Villarreal.
The complete roster list is below. The four teams that will play at Dodger Stadium are in italics.
Goalkeepers: Antonio Adan, Iker Casillas, Diego Lopez
Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa, Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Fabio Coentrao, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Nacho
Midfielders: Angel Di Maria, Casemiro, Isco, Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira, Kaka, Luka Modric, Mesut Ozil, Asier Illarramendi
Forwards: Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jese Rodriguez
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti
Goalkeepers: Christian Abbiati, Marco Amelia, Gabriel
Defenders: Luca Antonini, Daniele Bonera, Kevin Constant, Phillipe Mexes, Bartosz Salomon, Didac Vila, Cristian Zaccardo, Cristian Zapata, Mattia De Sciglio
Midfielders: Kevin-Prince Boateng, Bryan Cristante, Nigel De Jong, Urby Emanuelson, Sulley Ali Muntari, Ricardo Montolivo, Antonio Nocerino, Riccardo Saponara, Rodney Strasser, Bakaye Traore
Forwards: Mario Balotelli, Giacomo Beretta, Robinho, Stephan El Shaarawy, M'Baye Niang, Nmandi Oduamadi, Andrea Petagna
Manager: Massimiliano Allegri
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves, Vicente Guaita, Yeray Lopez
Defenders: Adil Rami, Victor Ruiz, Joao Pereira, Antonio Barragan, Ricardo Costa, Jeremy Mathieu, Aly Cissokho
Midfielders: Oriol Romeu, Sofiane Feghouli, Ever Banega, Juan Bernat, Javier Fuego, Michel, Andres Guardado, Dani Parejo
Forwards: Jonas Goncalves, Roberto Soldado, Pablo Piatti, Jonathan Viera, Paco Alcacer, Roberto Ibanez, Fede Cartabia
Manager: Miroslav Djukic
Goalkeepers: Carlo Cudicini, Brian Rowe, Brian Perk
Defenders: Todd Dunivant, Omar Gonzalez, Sean Franklin, Bryan Gaul, A.J. DeLaGarza, Tommy Meyer, Leonardo, Kofi Opare, Greg Cochrane, Oscar Sorto
Midfielders: Pablo Mastroeni, Marcelo Sarvas, Landon Donovan, Colin Clark, Robbie Rogers, Hector Jimenez, Juninho, Rafael Garcia, Michael Stephens, Kenney Walker, Laurent Courtois
Robbie Keane, Charlie Rugg, Gyasi Zardes, Chandler Hoffman, Jack McBean, Jose Villarreal
Manager: Bruce Arena
Goalkeepers: Petr Cech, Mark Schwarzer, Jamal Blackman
Defenders: Branislav Ivanovic, Ashley Cole, David Luiz, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Cesar Azpilicueta, Thomas Kalas, Ryan Bertrand
Midfielders: Michael Essien, Ramires, Frank Lampard, Juan Mata, Oscar, John Obi Mikel, Kevin De Bruyne, Mako van Ginkel, Eden Hazard
Forwards: Fernando Torres, Victor Moses, Andre Schurrle, Romelu Lukaku, Demba Ba
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Goalkeepers: Samir Handanovic, Juan Pablo Carrizo, Luca Castellazzi
Defenders: Hugo Campagnaro, Marco Andreolli, Walter Samuel, Andrea Ranocchia, Christian Chivu, Juan
Midfielders: Ibrahima, Mbaye, Jonathan, Yuto Nagatomo, Alvaro Pereira, Esteban Cambiasso, Fredy Guarin, Ricardo Alvarez, Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Patrick Olsen, Gabi Mudingayi, Diego Laxalt, Joel Obi
Forwards: Alessandro Capello, Ishak Belfodil, Rodrigo Palacio, Mauro Icardi
Manager: Walter Mazzarri
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Marco Storari, Rubinho, Leonardo Citti
Defenders: Giorgio Chiellini, Martin Caceres, Angelo Ogbonna, Paolo De Ceglie, Federico Peluso, Andrea Barzagli, Marco Motta, Leonardo Bonucci, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Pol Garcia, Filippo Penna
Midfielders: Claudio Marchisio, Paul Pogba, Luca Marrone, Fausto Rossi, Simone Padoin, Andrea Pirlo, Kwadwo Asamoah, Arturo Vidal, Mauricio Isla, Marcel Buchel
Forwards: Mirko Vucinic, Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente, Fabio Quagliarella, Alessandro Matri, Sebastian Giovinco
Manager: Antonio Conte
Goalkeepers: Joel Robles, Tim Howard
Defenders: Leighton Baines, John Heitinga, Phil Jagielka, Antolin Alcaraz, John Stones
Midfielders: Darren Gibson, Gerard Deulofeu, Kevin Mirallas, Ross Barkley, Leon Osman, Steven Pienaar, Seamus Coleman, Marouane Fellaini, John Lundstram
Forwards: Nikica Jelavic, Arouna Kone, Steven Naismith, Apostolos Vellios, Victor Anichebe
Manager: Roberto Martinez