CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham went 45 minutes for the LA Galaxy against Real Madrid on Thursday night, but the head coach for the Spanish giants Jose Mourinho felt that Beckham should have been thousands of miles away with the Great Britain Olympic team.
After helping London win the bid to host the 2012 Olympics, Beckham was not selected to the Great Britain team by manager Stuart Pearce in a move that drew considerable hostility from the British media and public.
Although Beckham played a key role in the Opening Ceremonies and is expected to attend the closing events next week, Mourinho—who also played a role in London’s winning bid—was shocked by his exclusion from Team GB.
“I don’t understand and I know because I was also inside of that project. If now the Olympic Games are in London and because of him, because of Seb Coe and other people, but he was the most important face of that project. I don’t understand why he is not playing there. I can not understand," Mourinho said during the postgame press conference. "I think you have a group of 18 players, you have football qualities to give, human qualities to give and I think that he is one of the best soccer professionals to express what is the ideal of Pierre de Coubertin [the founder of the modern Olympics]. I’m so sorry that he is not there. For me, I was also participating in the London project and I don’t understand why such a big personality in that project is now playing in this match when he should be in London.”
We're just hours away from tonight's friendly between the LA Galaxy and Real Madrid so here are a few links and reminders ahead of tonight's clash.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early to the match due to the massive crowds expected.
Before heading to The HDC, remember to check out my Three Points to the game.
For more coverage on the match check out LAGalaxy.com's Match Report.
PREDICTED LINEUP vs. Real Madrid: GK: Saunders; RB: DeLaGarza, CB: Gonzalez, CB: Lopes; LB: Gaul; RM: Franklin, CM: Juninho, CM: Beckham, LM: Magee; F: Donovan, F: Keane
During a slow start to the season, the LA Galaxy needed someone to step up to lead the club back into the playoff chase and in the month of July, Robbie Keane delivered.
Major League Soccer announced on Thursday that Keane was voted as MLS' Player of the Month for July by the North American Soccer Reporters. After returning from European Championship duty with Ireland, Keane went on a tear during the month of July tallying five goals while notching four assists during the Galaxy's 4-1-1 run. Keane and the Galaxy's other Designated Players were integral during the club's run in the month of July as Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Keane combined for 11 goals and 11 assists in July.
The award is Keane's first MLS Player of the Month and the first for a Galaxy player during the 2012 season.
The LA Galaxy are asking fans to arrive to The Home Depot Center early for Thursday's friendly with Real Madrid as a potential record-breaking crowd is expected.
With the parking lots expected to reach capacity due to the expected crowd of over 30,000, fans are being asked to arrive early or utilize public transportation when traveling to the game. The Galaxy have also teamed up with the Artesia Transit Center and South Bay Pavilion to offer shuttles to The HDC from those locations. Shuttle buses began running at Artesia -- fine location, I've traveled from there several times -- at 10 a.m. and will do so until 3 a.m on Friday morning while shuttles will run from South Bay Pavilion from 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m on Friday.
For those fans that arrive early, The HDC will provide $2 hot dogs and $5 beers from the time that the gates open at 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
A couple of other notes and links on Tonight's game below:
* The Galaxy will be wearing their "Punjab" kits against Real Madrid, who are expected to wear their iconic all-whites.
A video preview of the match is below:
The LA Galaxy are still three weeks away from the start of their CONCACAF Champions League campaign, but the rest of Group 5 is already in full swing.
On Wednesday, A.D. Isidro Metapán (El Salvador) defeated the Puerto Rico Islanders, 3-1 at the Estadio Jorge Calero Suárez in Metapán, El Salvador.
Puerto Rico struck first blood in the 25th minute with a goal by Islanders' Nicolas Addlery, but allowed Metapán back in the match when the Islanders went down to 10 men after Jay Needham was sent off in the 35th minute. With a man advantage, Metapán's Nicolás Muñoz tallied three second half goals to lead the Salvadoran club to victory.
The LA Galaxy start CCL play when they host Metapán at The Home Depot Center on August 23rd.
CARSON, Calif. -- Todd Dunivant is on the comeback trail, but it remains to be seen when the left back will return to the Galaxy starting XI.
Dunivant has been on the shelf since suffering an injury that was diagnosed as a right calf hematoma during the Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 19th. In the meantime, the left back position has been manned quite successfully by rookie defender Bryan Gaul.
The 31-year-old left back returned to full training on Tuesday and while Dunivant is optimistic about his recovery, he has not set a clear timeline for a return to action. Following Wednesday’s practice session, I caught up with Dunivant and discussed his recovery process.
Dunivant’s quotes are below…
(On his condition…)
DUNIVANT: “I’m feeling a lot better. I had a good day of training for the first time and yesterday was a hard day since it was really my first day of doing anything substantial on the field. I did some fitness work and some ball work so now two days back and I’m feeling stronger and I’m hoping to be back soon.”
(On how the injury happened…)
DUNIVANT: “It was a really freak play, it was the four minute mark in the Vancouver game. I kind of caught tangled up with Dane Richards and I think he just ended up kicking me in the back of my lower leg right beneath my calf. Just immediately when I took a step down, I could feel extreme pain in the back then in the front, it felt like shin splints and felt like a bad strain in the back. I pushed through it for another 20 minutes, but it was painful and by halftime, I could hardly walk to the locker room. It turned out to be a hematoma with all the blood and swelling filled up in the different compartments in my lower leg. It was one of those things where we just had to get rid of it. And it took about ten days to do it. All in all, compared to what I was doing a week ago when I couldn’t put weight on it running, today I was training and I’m pretty happy about that.”
(On his timeline to return to the field…)
DUNIVANT: “We’ll see. So far, we’ve been taking it day by day and even yesterday, we didn’t know that I’d be able to train as much as I did today so that’s a good sign. We’re targeting as soon as possible, but we’ll see about the weekend and so far so good in training.”
(On Bryan Gaul’s performance filling in for him…)
DUNIVANT: “He’s stepped in and done a great job. We knew that he would, he’s been training all year, but he’s still new to the position so from that standpoint, he’s done fantastic. He’s just picking it up as he goes and it’s not easy when you go up against guys like Jackson [FC Dallas] and Ryan Smith at Chivas so hats off to him because he’s done great.”
(On whether or not Gaul’s performance spurs him to return faster…)
DUNIVANT: “We got to have people step up and we’re starting to see that with our team. Earlier in the year, nobody was performing up to their capabilities and now everyone is. That’s why we’re doing well and guys are going to be out with injuries and various things so people are going to have to step up. I think you saw that in Dallas with a Landon [Donovan] out and David [Beckham] out, that’s a sign of a good team and we need that.”
Despite "terrible" timing of Real Madrid friendly, Keane motivated to lead Galaxy over Spanish giants
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are ready for Thursday’s friendly against Real Madrid, but admit that the friendly could not have come at a more difficult time for the club.
In the middle of their league schedule—with their third game in ten days—and with CONCACAF Champions League dates on the horizon, the Galaxy will host the Spanish giants while simultaneously preparing for a vital league game against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday. Although each Galaxy player admitted that the friendlies serve a valuable purpose for the club, when asked about the timing of the friendly, forward Robbie Keane provided an honest response.
“Terrible. That’s being totally honest with you,” said Keane. “We have a game on Sunday, which is obviously more important than [Thursday’s] game. The timing in these situations are never great because we have games on the weekend so the only time that we can fit them in during the week.
“It’s a friendly game, this game is probably more for Real Madrid then us to be honest with you. It’s for them for the preseason,” Keane added later. “We’re not going to win the championship by beating Real Madrid tomorrow. For us, it’s a great honor and great privilege against a massive club and great players, but like I said our bread and butter is Sunday against teams that we can do something, which is Seattle. If we get three points, it pushes further up the table.”
However, despite the difficult scheduling, Keane told reporters that he and the rest of his Galaxy teammates are not planning to just roll over for Real Madrid.
“Of course, every player wants to win regardless of when you’re playing,” said Keane. “Listen, we’re not going into tomorrow’s game thinking that we’re going to do Real Madrid a favor and just let them pass the ball around and get their fitness out in preparation for their season. The players that haven’t been playing a lot of minutes, it’ll be good for them. Listen, every game that we want to play, we want to win.”
While Keane admitted that the timing of the friendly is difficult for the Galaxy, he is confident that head coach Bruce Arena will regulate minutes to ensure that players do not overspend themselves with the important match against Seattle looming.
“It’ll be one of those things that I don’t think anybody will be playing 90 minutes so a lot of players will play 45 minutes,” said Keane. “So I’m sure that it won’t be too bad.”
CARSON, Calif. – Slowly but surely, LA Galaxy forward Edson Buddle is making his way back to full fitness.
Buddle has been unavailable since undergoing surgery in his right knee on June 5th to repair damage to his meniscus, which was suffered during the Galaxy's match against the Houston Dynamo in late May. Over the past couple weeks; Buddle has gradually returned to action, but on Wednesday, the forward admitted that he is feeling better than ever.
“I’m feeling good. It’s the best my knee has ever felt right now,” Buddle told LAGalaxy.com on Wednesday. “I did a series of shots and it feels pretty good. It’s the best that I’ve ever felt today and I’m really happy about that.”
Buddle told LA Galaxy Insider on Wednesday that while he has not undergone a full training session with the team, he expects to train fully with the club at the end of the week. As far as returning to the field, however, Buddle is optimistic that he’ll be able to take the field on August 7th during a reserve league match against Chivas USA.
“I’m looking to play in the reserve match against Chivas,” said Buddle “We’re going to start there and then work our way up to more minutes.”
LOS ANGELES— A pair of Arizona Diamondbacks got a chance to take in a Real Madrid training session on Monday and test the baseball skill of the Spanish giants.
Diamondbacks players’ catcher Miguel Montero and outfielder Gerardo Parra observed Real Madrid’s training session on Monday prior to their game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. After taking photos, both players played a game of baseball with several members of Los Blancos.
For the two natives of Venezuela, the chance to see the Spanish giants was an exciting experience.
Quotes from Montero below…
MONTERO: “It was great, I grew up watching a lot of soccer and I was checking the website and the schedule because I know that every year, they do a US tour so it worked out pretty good. I saw that they were going to come [to Los Angeles] the same time that we do and I talked to our PR guy to see if we could go see them and [Monday] it was a great experience.”
(On what he and Parra did during the Madrid training session…)
MONTERO: “We got to meet the guys, take a couple of pictures and they played around with a baseball bat, a glove and a baseball. It was great just to be there and shake their hands.”
(On the Real Madrid player with the best baseball skill...)
MONTERO: “Xabi Alonso. He was pretty good man, he impressed me. We talked and he said that he had been in a baseball game one time and after that, he got to hit a bit then he went to find a batting cage. He went there and he took some extra swings and it looked like he did. I didn’t get him a deal, but he’s pretty good.”
(On the player that he was most excited to see…)
MONTERO: “Iker Casillas. My family is from Spain, my dad and mom were born and raised in Spain so I always followed soccer. I played a little bit, but I was born in Venezuela and the national time is baseball, but I always kept watching. I always watch the World Cup, Euro Cup and growing up; I watched Real Madrid and Barcelona.”
LOS ANGELES --The members of the LA Galaxy are excited to face Spanish giants Real Madrid this Thursday at The Home Depot Center and according to Madrid's star defender Pepe, the excitement goes both ways.
Thursday's match will be the third consecutive year that Los Blancos have faced the Galaxy in Southern California and according to the Portuguese International, the Spanish giants are increasingly impressed with the rising level of MLS. During Tuesday's press conference on the campus of UCLA, Pepe told reporters that he is excited about the chance to face the Galaxy.
Pepe's quotes below...
PEPE: “It’s the third year that I’ve come here [for preseason] to the United States and the truth is that every year that goes by, the players here have more quality and are much more competitive. Soccer is a universal sport and with certainty, this [match against the Galaxy] will be a difficult game for us."
(On an apparent injury to Xabi Alonso in a Tuesday morning training session...)
PEPE: “It is normal that these things happen in a training session. There has been a test and he is already with the doctor, but I believe he will be in the afternoon session."