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11 May 2:00 pm

VANCOUVER -- The LA Galaxy begin their three-game in nine-day road trip on Saturday against Vancouver Whiteaps FC. As you prepare for today's clash, check out my links, matchups to watch and predicted lineup.

*Last time the LA Galaxy traveled to Vancouver, Jose Villarreal enjoyed his coming out party and he'll be hoping to duplicate his success on Saturday.

*Robbie Keane does not believe that he'll suit up on Saturday, but Todd Dunivant is hoping to be in contention.

*Bruce Arena offered his thoughts on this struggling Vancouver side that has not won in their last seven matches

*Hector Jimenez enjoyed a successful game for LA's reserves on Tuesday. Can it translate to the first team?

*Remember to send in tweets to Rapid Fire Tweets for my segment on Time Warner Cable SportsNet.

*LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan's preview to the match.

*Lastly, my Three Points to the game

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Jose Villarreal vs. Andy O'Brien

The young Galaxy forward will look to repeat his success against Vancouver, but he'll face a physical challenge with the burly Irish center back. 

Mike Magee vs. Y.P. Lee

Perhaps the  match up of the game as the wily Magee will take on the veteran Korean left back. Magee will likely look to use his skills on the ball to befuddle Lee and find holes behind Vancouver's defense.

Greg Cochrane vs. Daigo Kobayashi

Cochrane has done well in all three of his starts this season, but he'll face a new type of test against Kobayashi. More of a technical player than a speedster, the Japanese midfielder will look to confound Cochrane and push him down in his own box. 

PREDICTED LINEUP:

Cudicini; Franklin, Gonzalez, DeLaGarza, Cochrane; Donovan, Sarvas, Juninho, Clark; Magee, Villarreal

11 May 11:09 am

CARSON, Calif. – Hector Jimenez was one of the stars of the LA Galaxy reserves 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Blues midweek and he’ll hope to translate that success into an appearance on Saturday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Jimenez notched a goal and two assists against the Blues as he terrorized the USL Pro team and drew heavy praise from LA assistant and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo. The 24-year-old has now notched two goals and two assists in three matches in the Reserve League.

After a successful reserve stint, just how is Jimenez feeling?

“Confident,” Jimenez told reporters on Friday. “It was a fun game to get 60 minutes and I think that I did pretty well. So I’m looking forward to hopefully getting some minutes tomorrow and keep showing why I should be playing. It feels really good being able to step on the field and help my team is always good. Thanks to Bruce [Arena] and hopefully I can keep performing and keep playing.”  

If Jimenez does see the field against the Whitecaps, it would be his fifth appearance this season in all competitions. His last start came during LA’s 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake last month, where he notched his only assist of the year.

Should he slide into the right side of midfield, he’d work directly in front of right back Sean Franklin, who Jimenez has a fantastic rapport with.

“Last year we played maybe 13 games together. We’re really comfortable and he makes the game happen behind me,” said Jimenez. “Being able to room with him through the road trips definitely helps out on the field.”

11 May 7:11 am

Courtesy of LAGalaxy.com, a video preview of today's match against Vancouver Whitecaps.

Check it out below...

10 May 9:03 pm

VANCOUVER -- The LA Galaxy arrived in Vancouver, B.C. on Friday evenign in preparation for Saturday's clash against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. 

The photo above depicts a stunning view of downtown Vancouver that I snapped upon arrival. 

As you wait for tomorrow's match, check out my Three Points to the game below...

Three Points: LA Galaxy look to start road trip right in Vancouver

10 May 8:23 pm

In the latest edition of View from the Booth, Joe Tutino and Cobi Jones break down the LA Galaxy's match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Check it out below...

10 May 1:29 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The last time the LA Galaxy took the field at BC Place, Homegrown forward Jose Villarreal made the whole world stand up and take notice.

Villarreal scored the tying goal in LA’s 2-2 draw with the Whitecaps last July with a stunning strike that drew praise from across the globe. On Saturday, Villarreal will return to the scene of his goal for the first time as he looks to help LA get back to their winning ways against Whitecaps FC. 

In the club's final training session before departing to Vancouver, Villarreal admitted that he was plenty excited to return to BC Place.

"The goal I had was my first  [professional] goal and I'll never forget that. I think after those couple of games, we made a push for the playoffs and that was important and it was fun. "I'm on a roll with these Canadian teams. Hopefully this game comes down good for us and we get a win," said Villarreal, who scored his second career MLS goal against Toronto FC. "You score a goal, you get a thousand more followers on Twitter, but that's not really important. People recognize you and it's good, but you have to keep the consistency going and I'm trying to keep that going by scoring more goals. 

Although the match ended with Villarreal scoring a world class goal, he admits that he was a bit surprised that he was thrown into the match by LA head coach Bruce Arena, in what was just his second professional appearance. 

"Bruce was like, 'you're going to come in," and I just thought 'wait, what? what is going on?' He put me and just said do your thing and I wasn't going to say no, so I just jumped in there. I got a chance and I put it away," said Villarreal. "That boosted [my confidence]. All my teammates were around me supporting me and for them to be there and have my back was nice." 

10 May 1:02 pm

The must read for Friday comes from MLSsoccer.com's Nick Firchau, who wrote a fantastic piece for the league's website on the growth of the LA Galaxy Academy.

A few of relavant statistics from the article:

* The LA Galaxy and Chivas USA share a 75-mile radius from The Home Depot Center in which to recruit potential Academy players.

* According to Kentaro Group, an international sports rights agency that compiled statistics for MLSsoccer.com, there are roughly 141,000 registered young male soccer players eligible to play in the Galaxy’s academy system.

* According to club President Chris Klein, the LA Galaxy spend 1.5 million and 1.7 million on the academy. 

Read the piece below...

How Jose Villarreal explains the future of MLS youth development

As well as the comapnion piece on how small market teams are dealing with their own youth academies.

09 May 4:13 pm

Looks like U.S. National Team supporters in Southern California may get a chance to see the U.S. team take the field prior to the 2013 Gold Cup.

According to a report from Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the U.S. will take on Guatemala in a pre-tournament friendly at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. The match would serve as the final tune-up for the U.S. before they open the Gold Cup in Portland against Belize on July 9. 

The U.S. National Team will open a training at The Home Depot Center on May 22, in preparation for World Cup Qualifiers in June.

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Will the LA Galaxy have any representatives on this U.S. team?

Share them below. 

09 May 3:58 pm

CARSON, Calif.—It was a long time coming, but LA Galaxy veterans Robbie Keane and Todd Dunivant were back at training on Thursday.

Both have missed LA’s last two games with injuries as Keane has dealt with a left ankle issue while Dunivant has suffered through a left leg strain.  Keane and Dunivant explain their own injury situations in this piece that I wrote for LAGalaxy.com. Keane stated that playing against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday is "not realistic," but he's hoping to appear on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Union. 

Dunivant was particularly pleased with his first day back and is already aiming to be in contention to start in Saturday’s clash against Vancouver.

“Today was my first day of training and it went well so we’ll go from there, but it was a good first day. I felt it in the first half [against Kansas City] and again pushed through the rest of the game,” Dunivant said. “I knew that it would need a little time so it’s one of those things that needed some time and I was able to give it. It’s nothing that you can do about muscles sometimes.

“I’d like to be available [for Saturday],” Dunivant later added.  “There will be a decision up to Bruce, but today was my first day and we’ll see how it responds, but everything felt good.”

Dunivant’s case is an intriguing one as rookie left back Greg Cochrane has excelled in his two starts filling in for the LA veteran.  With the rookie performing so well, Dunivant understands that he’ll have to earn his way back onto the starting XI.

“You always have to prove something that never changes,” said Dunivant. “It’s no different last year and it’s no different than the year before that. There’s always guys pushing you and that’s what you want on a good team. If we didn't have that then we’d have some issues.”

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Expect Dunivant to be in the starting XI on Saturday? 

Share your thoughts below. 

09 May 3:52 pm

CARSON, Calif. –The news that legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was stepping down from his post after 26 years at Old Trafford shook the soccer community and it is no surprise that there were plenty of thoughts about his departure at LA Galaxy training on Thursday.

LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and captain Robbie Keane each had their run-ins with the Manchester United head coach, albeit in considerably different contexts.

Arena was familiar with Ferguson having managed against him in the 2011 MLS All-Star Game while making trips to Manchester United to visit the United boss during his time at the helm of the U.S. National Team.  

“Certainly, we’d all be fortunate to coach as long as he has. Arguably the best manager of all-time with a legendary career. I actually sent him a note today, I don’t know if he’ll get it, but I congratulated him on his career, his retirement and everything that he’s done, and offered him the opportunity to visit L.A. any time that he wanted,” Arena said. “I think that he had a remarkable career and I’m kind of happy to see him go out as a winner winning the Premiership in his last year. That’s great. He certainly put the time in and he deserves a break.”

Meanwhile, Keane often dueled with Ferguson’s United sides during his lengthy career in the English Premier League.  

“What can I say that hasn’t been said? To be honest with you, he’s a true legend and I’ve had the pleasure of playing against him over the years and he always goes out of his way to say hello. He’s one of the greats, but probably the greatest manager there’s ever been in English football or in the world,” said Keane, who was quick to mention that Ferguson’s departure will hardly be the end of United’s dominance in England. “He’s going to be a big loss to the game, I’m sure in Manchester everyone will miss him. I’m sure the Premiership, it’s the same thing because they’re such respect from every coach, every player around the world. We wish him well for whatever he does after this and he’s going to be known as the greatest manager of all time.”