CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will not be going on a postseason tour.
The team learned of the fact just before going on stage at Monday’s championship rally. Rumors had placed the Galaxy in a number of different locations, but for the first time since 2009, the Galaxy will be able to enjoy a complete offseason.
Although there had been a number of different options, Galaxy Vice President Chris Klein admitted the club’s MLS Cup title was a fitting end to the team’s 2012.
“After careful consideration of multiple opportunities, we have decided to forgo any potential postseason tours,” said Klein in a statement. “Our players and coaches have gone above and beyond for our club and we feel that capturing our second straight MLS Cup title is a fitting end to an historic year.”
After the way the 2012 season began, defender Todd Dunivant believes that the fact the team is missing the tour could be a good thing, but the one problem that arises is that the start of preseason may conflict with his planned wedding on Jan. 11 and subsequent honeymoon.
“There weren’t too many tears shed on that announcement today,” said Dunivant. “It’s nice to go to these exotic places and spread the brand and play teams in places that you’ve never played before, but at the same time, it’s the end of the season and everyone is ready for a break.
“I think that trip last year may have affected us a little bit going into this postseason and contributed to part of that haze that we had so much trouble getting out of,” Dunivant added. “The downside is our preseason starts a little early so I may have to be a little late to do with my honeymoon, but we’ll see what happens with that. All and all, I think it’s a good thing for our team."
The LA Galaxy declined the options of six players making them eligible for the Re-Entry Draft, a two process draft that begins with stage one on Friday at noon.
LA declined the options of goalkeeper Brian Perk, defenders Andrew Boyens and Bryan Jordan, midfielder Kyle Nakazawa, and forwards Chad Barrett and Pat Noonan.
The Galaxy may have declined their options, but have until 2 p.m. PT on Thursday to renegotiate their deals.That is also the moment when players can opt out of the Re-Entry Draft process.
Following the first stage, teams can once again negotiate with their own Re-Entry draft eligible players from Dec. 7 to Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. PT. The second stage of the Re-Entry draft will take place at Dec. 14 at noon PT. The Galaxy will have the 19th pick in both stages.
If a player is not selected in either stage or re-signed to their club, they will be free agents and available to all clubs.
CARSON, Calif. –Throughout the latter stages of the LA Galaxy’s season, no one was more influential than forward Robbie Keane.
The Irishman was a man possessed after returning from the European Championships in mid-June tallying 17 goals in all competitions along with nine assists. When the postseason began, Keane ramped up his production even further by notching six postseason goals—as well as the final goal in Saturday’s 3-1 MLS Cup win over the Houston Dynamo – and one assist.
An MLS Cup winner for the second time, Keane admitted that the adversity that the club faced in 2012 made his second title with LA that much sweeter.
“It’s obviously fantastic, it certainly means a lot more this year than it did last year—even though it was great last year— because this year I was here from the start of the season,” said Keane. “Full credit to the team and the attitude that we’ve shown over the last few months because people wrote us off at the start of the season, but there are two halves to the season and the second half of the season as fantastic. We certainly were the best team by far in these last few months and we deserved to win it.”
In Saturday’s triumph, Keane was once again at the forefront of LA’s victory repeatedly testing the Houston back four before eventually putting the game on ice with a penalty kick goal in stoppage time after being fouled in the box by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall.
After Keane’s stellar performance over the last five months, the Irishman received the highest compliment from his head coach Bruce Arena.
“Robbie, I think we grew up together in Brooklyn. He has the same type of mentality, he is one tough bastard,” said Arena. “[He is] skillful, competitive, a great friend of players, and a great teammate. If you look at it, last year we said we have to get a little bit better and we were incredibly lucky to acquire Robbie.
“Robbie is a clever player, there’s no question about that,” Arena added later. “I don’t think he relies on out-jumping players, out-running players. He’s a thinker, technically terrific, and he’s just extremely clever.”
Tough? Sure. But Keane was not one to get carried away with the praise heading his way.
“I don’t want to speak about myself too much to be honest with you. The most important thing in football is a team and [being] surrounded by players that help you,” said Keane. “You can't win a game on your own. I've been very fortunate to play with a good team, and we've been helping each other, and as long as the team’s helped me to score goals and I can help them ... well, great.”
What’s next for the Irishman now that he has won his second MLS Cup? He has repeatedly deflected talk that he will go on another offseason loan due to a few knocks over the last couple weeks, but he will be playing soccer in Ireland, albeit in a different setting.
“[I’ll go] back to Dublin, play five-a-side with me brother and people like that to keep myself fit – that's all I usually do in the offseason,” said Keane. “I shouldn't really say that to Bruce, in case I get injured.”
However, there was no condemnation from the head coach of Keane’s offseason activity.
“He might have a pint as well,” said Arena with a grin.
“A couple probably,” Keane answered.
California was the place of champions this weekend no matter if you were in Alta California or Baja California.
On Sunday, Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente defeated Toluca 2-0 in their Liga MX Apertura Grand Final second leg to claim the franchise's first-ever Liga MX title, 4-1 on aggregate. In the starting lineup for Los Xolos were a pair of U.S. Internationals, San Diego native Joe Benny Corona and New Mexico's Edgar Castillo.
Below are a few more notes from the weekend as rare swirling around MLS as the silly season begins on Monday with club's finally able to announce and process trades...
*The biggest rumors surround Real Salt Lake, who are reportedly in the process of trading Fabian Espindola and Jaimson Olave to New York Red Bulls according to Scocer By Ives.
* Another big team that looks to be active is the Portland Timbers according to this piece in the Oregonian.
* Talented Columbus Crew midfielder Dilly Duka is being shopped.
*One note that is not a rumor is that Chivas USA and Guadalajara owner Jorge Vergara dispatched his sporting director Johan Cruyff on Sunday evening.
Well, the Galaxy and the folks and Livestream have you covered as tonight's event will be streamed live on the Livestream website beginning at 7 p.m.
More info below..
The LA Galaxy will stage championship rally on Monday at The Home Depot Center to celebrate their victory over the Houston Dynamo that sealed the organization's fourth MLS Cup championship.
Gates open at 6 p.m. for the rally takes place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Home Depot Center tennis stadium. Parking and admission is free. Attendees will be able to take photos with the 2012 MLS Cup trophies as well purchase a patch of grass from The HDC playing surface for a $5 donation to the LA Galaxy Foundation. The rally will also feature discounted food and drink including $2 beer and $1 hot dogs.
The entire LA Galaxy team and coaching staff will be on hand for the event.
The Houston Dynamo gave a far better showing of themselves in MLS Cup 2012, but in the end, the result was the same as the Dynamo fell 3-1 on Saturday.
Houston was competitive from the outset and took the lead in the 44th minute when Calen Carr made a darting run behind the Galaxy defense off a through-ball by Adam Moffat for the opening strike. After the goal, Carr was consistently testing the Galaxy defense at the start of the second half, but in the 57th minute, the forward was forced to leave the match after a collision with Omar Gonzalez left him unable to continue.
Three minutes later, the Galaxy would level on a goal by Gonzalez and in the 65th minute, a handball by Ricardo Clark set up a Landon Donovan penalty kick to put LA ahead for good. The Galaxy would add a third in the fourth minute of stoppage time on a Robbie Keane penalty kick after a Tally Hall foul in the box on the Irishman.
For a look at the match from a Houston perspective, check out these links:
*From Houston Chronicle's Jesus Ortiz: Better effort by Dynamo, but a worse loss
From Ortiz again: Kinnear and the Dynamo have much to be proud about their 2012 season
*From MLSsoccer.com's Andrew Wiebe: Dynamo come undone after frightening Carr injury
*From MLSsoccer.com's Darrel Lovell: Dynamo question referee calls that led to LA goals
*From Lovell again: Houston GK Tally Hall: Gonzalez should get called to USMNT "every time"
Below is a video with interviews of Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear and midfielder Brad Davis:
Below are a selection of photos as well as video of the LA Galaxy's postgame locker room celebration after winning MLS Cup with a 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
If you look closely in the video, you may catch me getting absolutely drenched in champagne during the Galaxy's celebration video. Even more photos can be found in the new LA Galaxy Insider Instagram account and the club's Facebook page
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) December 2, 2012
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) December 2, 2012
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) December 2, 2012
Bruce Arena, David Beckham, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan reflected on the LA Galaxy's 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo that sealed the club's fourth MLS Cup title.
Check out the video of the press conference below...
From the folks at MLSsoccer.com, a look at Omar Gonzalez's goal in the 60th minute of play from all angles.
Check it out below.