The LA Galaxy were honored at Dodger Stadium on Monday night during the Los Angeles Dodgers game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Galaxy players Bryan Gaul, Juninho, David Junior Lopes, Kenney Walker, Sean Franklin, Marcelo Sarvas AJ DeLaGarza, Bryan Jordan, Hector Jimenez, Dan Keat, Rafael Garcia and assistant coach Dave Sarachan all took part, throwing out the first pitch before the Dodgers 7-2 loss to the Diamondbacks.
Below are quotes from DeLaGarza on the event...
(On the experience of throwing out the first pitch…)
DELAGARZA: “It was a great experience, it kind of felt like we were getting ready for a game actually with the anthem and all that. It was a great atmosphere; everyone threw a good pitch except for me.”
(On his pitch, which was the only one to bounce in front of the catcher…)
DELAGARZA (says jokingly): “They were set up all wrong so when I threw it. I didn’t want to hit anybody so I got scared so I threw it to the ground.”
(On his juggling with the baseball seen above…)
DELAGARZA: “That’s two touch, I do it every day before practice, but it’s a little bit harder with a baseball. It was fun for everyone out there to interact with guys like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and those guys that we see on TV every day.”
(On his own baseball career as a child…)
DELAGARZA: “I played T-ball growing up for like three years, maybe. If you’re even allowed to play for that long, but I was actually a pretty good t-ball player, but I lost my touch.”
(On his favorite baseball team…)
DELAGARZA: “My favorite team growing up was the Orioles and then in college, it was the Nationals, but now I’m a Dodger fan.”
Below are a few photos from the night:
Chad Barrett is Norway bound.
There's still one more day left in July, but let's look back at what was a month to remember for the LA Galaxy's three Designated Players.
The play of David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane was to spur the Galaxy to their current five game unbeaten streak -- six if you factor in a 1-1 draw in a friendly with Tottenham Hotspur -- and an overall record of 4-1-1 in league play during the month of July. With that record, the Galaxy currently sit in the fifth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference on 33 points and are just a single point behind third place Seattle Sounders and fourth place Vancouver Whitecaps. The Galaxy take on Seattle on Sunday and could catapult over the Sounders with a victory at CenturyLink Field.
For a closer look at how important the three DP's were during the month of July look at the numbers:
Beckham: Three goals and four assists in three games played.
Donovan: Three goals and three assists in five games played.
Keane: Five goals and Four assists in six games played.
That's a total of 11 goals and 11 assists for the Galaxy's star-studded trio during the month of July. By comparison, the rest of the Galaxy squad accounted for three goals and seven assists on the whole in the month of July. Meaning that 68% -- 68.75% to be exact -- of total points came from Beckham, Donovan or Keane.
Before we turn the page to Thursday's friendly against Real Madrid, a few more notes and links on the Galaxy's 1-0 victory over FC Dallas.
* With the sellout of 22,565 at FC Dallas Stadium, the LA Galaxy have now sold out all 14 road matches this season including matches in CONCACAF Champions League play against Toronto FC and the US Open Cup vs. Carolina Railhawks.
* Josh Saunders earned his fourth shutout of the season against FC Dallas.
*David Junior Lopes was not shown a yellow card against FC Dallas, meaning that if he is not booked in his next game, he will have one yellow card cleared from his record. However, if he shown a yellow card then he will be suspended.
Below is the postgame interview with goal scorer Mike Magee.
The LA Galaxy have landed in Southern California after extending their unbeaten streak to five games with a 1-0 road victory over FC Dallas on Saturday.
Above is a sign that greeted the team upon landing earlier this afternoon.
For more on the Saturday's victory, check out my "Three Points" to the win as well as my sidebar on the forward combination of Mike Magee and Robbie Keane.
FRISCO, Texas -- A enormous weight was lifted off the shoulders of Omar Gonzalez on Saturday night.
In front of more than 100 family and friends, the LA Galaxy center back -- and Texas native -- went a full 90 minutes for the first time since offseason knee surgery. In the Galaxy's 1-0 victory over FC Dallas, Gonzalez was solid while partnered alongside David Junior Lopes in LA's central defense. Amid the triple-digit temperatures at FC Dallas Stadium, Gonzalez repeatedly stifled Dallas' scoring chances and was even able to help create a scoring chance of his own in the first half.
After a difficult six month rehabilitation period, Gonzalez told reporters after the match that the Dallas match was an important -- physical and mental -- step in his recovery.
Gonzalez’s post game thoughts are below…
(On playing the full 90 minutes...)
GONZALEZ: “I didn’t think I’d come back after the first half because it was so hot and I had cotton mouth the whole time, but I’m happy I did get through it. I knew I was fit enough to get through it and we’d already made two subs. I knew that I was going to have to push through it and I’m happy to get through it for the team, I’m happy to get the three points and happy to get the shutout.”
(On playing in his home state with the intense heat...)
GONZALEZ: “I really wanted to play well here, especially because I had so many friends and family here. They were behind me throughout the whole surgery and all the rehab. I’m happy I got to play here, start the game and play well. It was crazy heat here, but I think that it was a good test and this is a good step in the right direction for me.”
(On the play of the defense...)
GONZALEZ: “We had good shape the whole game. We didn’t really sit back. We actually put a lot of pressure on them. We actually got around [David] Ferreira and we got around [Andrew] Jacobson and didn’t really allow them to do much of anything. I thought that we brought the game to them and played really good soccer. If it was a cooler day, I think it would have been even better for us because we would have worked harder and played a little bit faster.”
(On how many friends and family, he had in the stands…)
GONZALEZ: “I don’t know, I’ll see when I get out there, but from what I saw, there was at least a hundred.”
(On if he had doubts that he’d ever reach his peak form after his injury…)
GONZALEZ: “Yeah, sometimes I still think about it. Yesterday during training, I made a boneheaded play and I thought ‘man, what am I doing?’ I got pretty down on myself yesterday, but those are just things that I have to get over and I thought I did a good job here today. Putting it behind me and just focusing on the game.”
When the LA Galaxy take on FC Dallas on Saturday evening, their next opponents, Spanish giants Real Madrid will have already arrived in Southern California.
Boasting a plethora of world-class talent including Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso and Cristiano Ronaldo, the reigning La Liga champions are expected to land in Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon in preparation for Thursday's friendly at The Home Depot Center.
Madrid will hold their first training session on Sunday morning at UCLA’s Drake Stadium.
Madrid's roster for the World Football Challenge is below...
GOALKEEPER (3) – Iker Casillas, Antonio Adán, Jesus Fernandez Collado
DEFENDERS (7) – Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeola, Fabio Coentrão, Jose Nacho Fernández, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane
MIDFIELDER (11) – Xabi Alonso, Jose Maria Callejon, Angel Di Maria, Lass Diarra, Alex Fernandez, Esteban Granero, Kaka, Sami Khedira, Mesut Özil, Jese Rodriguez, Nuri Sahin
FORWARD (4) – Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata, Cristiano Ronaldo
HEAD COACH – José Mourinho
David Beckham's role in the Olympic opening ceremonies were shrouded in secrecy, but few could have guessed the part that the LA Galaxy midfielder would play in Friday's festivities in London.
In a move seemingly out of a James Bond film, Beckham piloted a speed boat down the River Thames carrying the Olympic torch which was held by a young British basketball player Amber Charles. Beckham and Charles then passed off the torch to Sir Steven Redgrave, who carried the flame into the Olympic Stadium ahead of the lighting ceremony.
It remains to be seen if Beckham will participate in Saturday's match against FC Dallas as head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Thursday that his status "hadn't been finalized."
The LA Galaxy are back on the road this afternoon as they head to Dallas for Saturday's match against FC Dallas.
I'll have more upon landing including my "Three Points" to the match. Until then, catch up on news from earlier today including Chad Barrett's potential inclusion on Saturday and Bryan Gaul's task having to step up for the injured Todd Dunivant.
WATCH: Galaxy discuss Dallas match
CARSON, Calif. – With Todd Dunivant unlikely to play in Saturday's match against FC Dallas as the veteran defender deals with a right calf injury, rookie Bryan Gaul is poised to step up once again on the left side of the LA Galaxy defense.
After training on Thursday, head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that while Dunivant's injury is "day to day" and could play against Dallas, it was unlikely that he would. The left back is currently listed as questionable with right calf hematoma.
Since Dunivant's injury against Vancouver Whitecaps, Gaul has stepped up and performed well in appearances against Vancouver, Chivas USA and Tottenham Hotspur. Gaul will likely be forced to step up again against Dallas as he is tasked with stopping a motivated Dallas team fresh off a 5-0 thumping of the Portland Timbers.
Gaul's thoughts below...
(On his new starting role…)
GAUL: “It’s great, it’s great to be in the first XI and the guys have given me good support and I’m just glad to be in a left back position.”
(On holding the position for Dunivant…)
GAUL: “Yeah, Todd’s a great player so I’m just playing [left back] until he gets back and it’s been great. It’s been a fun two games.”
(On filling in for Dunivant again Dallas…)
GAUL: “I’m really excited. I think that they play three up top and I know it’s going to be different than when we played Chivas, who play one up top. It’s going to be different and with the humidity and the heat, it’s going to be kind of training, but I’m excited for it.”
(On the help his fellow defenders have provided…)
GAUL: “They take pressure by helping me defend especially against the quick guys that I’ve been playing against lately. It has been easier…You get advice from all the other defenders on when to step and when to drop and when to get on certain guys."
(On how much different the position is than he may have thought…)
GAUL: “It’s a lot different. It’s a lot more mentally draining because you have to be able to think about where you’re supposed to be at all times. And the players that I’ve been facing are much better than those I played against back in college.”
(On his teammates commenting on his 6-foot-5 height…)
GAUL: “Yeah, It’s funny was watching the game against Chivas on TV and the [commentators] were saying ‘Six-five left back, are you serious?’ It doesn’t bug me, but it’s funny that they think that."