CARSON, Calif. – In his first season in MLS, Gyasi Zardes has not only adapted to a new league, but also a new position.
Zardes has been stationed out wide on the left multiple times this season, but the 21-year-old has started LA’s last two league matches and their 2-0 victory over C.S. Cartaginés on Tuesday. The rookie’s speed seems to make him a natural option on the flanks and despite being stationed farther away from goal; he has still managed to continue to be a threat in the attacking third for the Galaxy.
Following LA’s 2-0 victory over the Costa Rican side, Zardes told reporters that he’s begun to settle into the left midfield position.
“I’m starting to get the hang of it and to be honest, I like it out there,” said Zardes. “You have a lot of freedom, no defender up your back so it’s kind of like a different point of view out there.”
Want to see more of him on the flanks?
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CARSON, Calif. – Look at the statistics and the highlight reel goals and you can see that Robbie Keane is an extremely effective forward, but according to his fellow attacker Landon Donovan, his influence goes even deeper.
Following LA’s 2-0 victory over C.S. Cartaginés in their CONCACAF Champions League Group 8 opener in which Donovan assisted on a pair of Keane goals, the U.S. international was asked to discuss how the Irishman was different than other forwards that he has played with throughout his career.
“His biggest attribute is his movement. His movement is sublime. You don’t always see it and there are a lot of times that he makes good movements on the field where he doesn’t get the ball, but the times that he does, you see it. He’s very sharp, very active and he’s always playing with the defender’s mind,” said Donovan.
“One time he’ll come short and then the next time, he’ll get behind him. The next time he comes short and the next time he’ll get behind them. As a defender, it’s impossible to know where he’s going to go and if you’re on the same page with him then he’s going to make them pay.”
The LA Galaxy opened up CONCACAF Champions League play with a victory on Tuesday after defeating C.S. Cartagines 2-0 at StubHub Center.
My Three Points to the match can be found here. Also, my sidebar to the game that focuses on the partnership of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane is here.
A few notes:
*The Galaxy are tied with Cartagines for the lead in Group 8 with three points, but are ahead on goal difference with a +2 differential.
*LA are now 6-0-0 at home all-time in the Group Stage of the CONCACAF Champions League and 7-3-0 all-time at home in the tournament.
*Robbie Keane is now tied with Juninho and Jack McBean for the Galaxy's all-time goal scoring lead in the CONCACAF Champions League with four goals apiece.
*Due to television issues many were unable to watch the match, but courtesy of LAGalaxy.com, you can see Keane's goals below:
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy may be without the services of midfielder Robbie Rogers after the 26-year-old suffered a left hamstring injury during LA’s 2-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory over C.S. Cartaginés on Tuesday.
The injury is a challenging one for Rogers, who was making his first appearance for LA since their Guinness International Champions Cup Third Place match against AC Milan on Aug. 7 after failing to make the game day roster in two consecutive league matches. To date, Rogers has made nine MLS regular season appearances for LA since joining the club in late May.
Rogers earned the start for LA against the Costa Rican side and had a few dangerous runs up field, but was forced to come off just a minute before half time after feeling a “pinch” in his left hamstring just moments earlier. The midfielder told reporters after the match that he is expected to receive an MRI in the next few days, but admitted that the injury was a frustrating one in light of his recent form.
“It’s really frustrating. I always think that things happen for a reason so sometimes you think, ‘what is the lesson in this.’ But, I don’t know,” said Rogers. “I’m just going to keep my head up and hopefully the MRI isn’t too bad so I can continue to train and do fitness. I don’t think that I’ll be out too long, maybe just a couple of weeks.”
CARSON, Calif. – Following the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over C.S. Cartagines, LA head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media.
His comments are below...
(On whether the match was a fair result…)
ARENA: “I think that it’s a fair result. I think Cartaginés is a very good team and played very well. They’re going to be a different team to get through this competition.”
(On Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane’s partnership…)
ARENA: “Great. He and Landon are fabulous combination working together. Their last goal was huge and Landon gave us an outstanding 30 minutes. Those two are in great rhythm with each other and continue to be a threat.”
(On Kofi Opare’s showing…)
ARENA: “He had a very good game. Not an easy game for a young player. This is his debut and he did an excellent job. He’s looked really trained and played in reserve games. He’s a player with a lot of potential and I thought that he had a good game.”
(On Jose Villarreal…)
ARENA: “He’s a good young player. He played a good 60 minutes tonight. He has a good future at 19-years-old and he’s got a lot ahead of him. We want to try to move him along the right way and give him as many opportunities as we can. I thought that he played well tonight.”
(On what is more important MLS or CCL…)
ARENA: They’re both important priorities. We want to defend our MLS crown for sure. We have a lot to do in MLS to get ourselves in playoff position, but this competition is an important for sure. We want to advance into the quarterfinals next year.”
(On what the game in Costa Rica will be like…)
ARENA: "It’ll be a difficult game. They will be in position where they have to beat us in Costa Rica. They will be aggressive and attack with numbers.”
CARSON, Calif. – New LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo is quite familiar with the manager who will be leading LA’s CONCACAF Champions League opponent C.S. Cartaginés on Tuesday.
Penedo played for current Cartaginés manager Javier Delgado Prado for one and a half seasons with Guatemalan club Municipal from 2011 to 2012 before he departed to join Los Brumosos. Delgado has been immensely successful with the Costa Rican side and led them to the championship final and the CCL.
Ahead of his match against his old boss, the Galaxy ‘keeper shed a little light on his coaching style.
“He’s a coach that builds good groups football-wise and chemistry-wise,” said Penedo. “It’s a team that brought him over to save them from relegation and he went there and built a team reached the championship game and is now in the Champions League. Costa Rican teams are teams that fight a lot. They run a lot, but I trust God that tomorrow we will get a positive victory.”
Ahead of tonight's clash with C.S. Cartagines, several LA Galaxy players preview their CCL match.
Check it out below...
CARSON, Calif. -- No one on the LA Galaxy is more familiar with Costa Rican soccer than midfielder Marcelo Sarvas.
Sarvas spent two tournaments with L.D. Alajuelense helping Liga win the 2011 Invierno (summer) title and 2011 Verano (winter) title. During that time, he became a major celebrity in the land of Pura Vida as evidenced by his incredible reception when the Galaxy took on Herediano in the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League.
During his time with Alajuelense, Sarvas was able to take on the Galaxy in the 2011-12 CCL tournament and is very familiar of what will be going through the minds of the Cartaginés players on Tuesday night at StubHub Center.
“I expect a team that’s going to come with a lot of energy. It was the same for me two years ago when I came here,” said Sarvas. “You want to show yourself to the Galaxy and look for new options [to play]. Costa Rican players are good on the ball, not too much organization in the field. I expect a good game.”
Sarvas is also very familiar with the culture at Costa Rica’s oldest club.
“They a good history in Costa Rica, but they went almost 70 years without a championshi," said Sarvas. "They have a good fan base, a good city around them, and they’re a good club. They used to be a big club.”
Will the Costa Ricans opt to bunker against a stronger Galaxy side? Unlikely says Sarvas.
“I think that they’ll be a little bit scared when they see the size of the field because it’s not usual for them to play on this type of field. It’s hard to think about that. In Costa Rica, they don’t have that much organization, so if they sit back, it’s not the best for them because they don’t keep the lines and it’s not what they normally do.”
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has enjoyed yet another stellar season but is he an MLS MVP candidate?
The 31-year-old has been fantastic in his season with 10 goals and nine assists in just 14 appearances -- that means that Keane has scored in just over 72 percent of the matches that he has played in. That percentage is similar to another MLS MVP frontrunner Mike Magee, who has scored in eight of his 10 matches with the Chicago Fire while it is better than Vancouver Whitecaps FC's Camilo, who has 14 goals in 23 appearances or goals in 61 percent of his matches.
Not only has he scored goals, but he's also been a fine distributor with a team-leading nine assists. Currently Keane is third in the league in assists and when/if he gets his 10th, he'll become just the fifth Galaxy player to score 10 goals and 10 assists in a single season.
The Irishman's performance this season has already made Galaxy history as Keane is just the fourth Galaxy player in club history to score 10 goals in consecutive seasons joining Landon Donovan, Carlos Ruiz, and Welton.
The most significant numbers for this argument? The Galaxy's record when he is on and off the field: when he is in the lineup, the Galaxy are an impressive 8-3-3, but when he is unavailable, they are 3-6-1.
So you make the call, is Keane an MVP candidate or not? Vote below and leave note in the comment section.
CARSON, Calif. -- There is plenty of speculation surrounding LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan's future with his contract expiring at the end of the season and in an interview with Fox Sports 1, he addressed his future.
Donovan said in the interview that he has received some offers abroad, but stayed true to course by admitting that he simply needs to be happy no matter where he plays next.
Watch the interview below.