Mark your calendars and plan the next few months of your life because MLS released the 2013 Regular Season schedule on Tuesday morning.
*LA's open the season at The Home Depot Center against the Chicago Fire on March 3, but will end the year on the road at CenturyLink Field against Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 27
*The LA Galaxy's longest homestand will stretch from March 3 to March 23 when LA will take on Chicago, Chivas USA on March 17, and then the Colorado Rapids on March 23.
*Meanwhile, the longest road trip of the year takes place from May 11 to May 19. The trip begins with a match at BC Place against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 11, before LA faces the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on May 11 with the trip concluding at Red Bull Arena against the New York Red Bulls on May 19.
*The Galaxy will play two home games in every month of the regular season except for March, when they'll play three and June when they'll play one.
*Similarly, LA will play two road games each month except for March when they'll play one and May when they'll play three away from The HDC.
*LA will play 24 games against Western Conference foes (12 home and 12 away) and 10 games against the Eastern Conference (5 home and 5 away).
*17 of the Galaxy's 34 games will be shown on national television.
*In 2013, MLS has unveiled "Rivalry Week" where club's will take on their most heated rivals, which will take place from March 16 to March 17. During that week, LA will face Chivas USA in the Superclásico.
*LA will again travel to Stanford Stadium to take on the San Jose Earthquakes on June 29.
*According to MLS' press release on the schedule, more than 90 percent of this year’s regular season games are on weekends or holidays, and none will overlap directly with FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches.
*All 323 MLS regular season matches will be televised live and 87 of them will be shown via national television partners ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NBC, NBC Sports Network, Univision and UniMás in the United States. Meanwhile 30 games featuring Canadian clubs will be shown nationally in Canada will air on TSN/TSN2 in English and RDS/RDS2 in French.
*MLS will play most summer afternoon games after 4 p.m.
*MLS Cup will take place on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 at the team with the best regular season record.
TORRANCE, Calif. –During a near 20-minute conversation with reporters on Monday, U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann confirmed that Landon Donovan is not expected to take part in the World Cup Qualifier against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Feb. 6
Following the 2012 season, the LA Galaxy captain stated that he would take the offseason to evaluate his desire to continue to his storied professional career and was not called-up for the U.S.' January camp squad ahead of their match against Canada on Jan. 29 in Houston. During the interview on Monday, Klinsmann issued his support for Donovan, but admitted that the team needed to prepare for a demanding 2013.
“Landon decided to take a break at the moment and he wanted to consider all his options and what is next in his life so we said that he can take all the time in the world to decide what is next for him personally,” said Klinsmann. “That’s why he hasn’t been invited to this camp; we don’t have him in our sheet for Honduras because if you’re not part of this camp then you basically have no preparation for a World Cup qualifier.
“Like everyone else, we’re curious about what he comes up with and what he decides to do, it’s his life; he can say if he wants to continue or doesn’t want to continue or whatever he wants to decide because it’s his career,” Klinsmann added. “At the same time, we have to prepare for a World Cup Qualifier and we have to get the next group of players together in a short period of time so we move on with work. Whenever Landon decides to tell us what is next for him then it’s good for us.”
If Donovan does decide to call time on his career, then Klinsmann and U.S. Soccer admit that they must look to the future.
“First of all, I think Landon has achieved a tremendous amount of things in his career and he’s now at a time where he wants to think about everything and decide what is next for him. As a national team coach, you can’t stop for a certain point and look back; you have to constantly move on," said Klinsmann. “We have huge games ahead of us because 2013 will be a huge year for us. We have World Cup qualifiers, Gold Cup, prestigious friendlies and all of that so if a player decides his own personal situation then he has to do that but we have to move on. "
TORRANCE, Calif. – Omar Gonzalez lives in the here and now, but the LA Galaxy defender back admits that 2013 could be one of the most important years of his professional career.
Gonzalez was among the 25 players called-up by U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the annual January camp and subsequent friendly against Canada on Jan. 29 in Houston. But breaking into the U.S. squad promises to be just one of the many challenges on tap for Gonzalez in 2013 as he enters the final season of his contract with the Galaxy and MLS.
Whether Gonzalez will remain with the Galaxy or test himself on foreign shores remains a major question mark for both parties ahead of the 2013 season. With preseason weeks away, the reigning MLS Cup MVP admits that talks are ongoing with teams outside U.S., but it has not shaken his focus on the January camp.
“I think that there are, but I’m letting my agent handle that,” Gonzalez told a group of reporters in the team’s hotel. “My mind is focused here on this camp and that’s about it.
“I’m living in the now, and I’ve learned to not be thinking about those things because I can’t control them,” Gonzalez later added. “Once you start thinking about those things then your mind goes, and your game goes so I’m just excited for this camp.”
But that being said, Gonzalez expects to suit up for the Galaxy once next season rolls around.
“Yeah as of right now, I’m with the Galaxy. I love playing in L.A. and for the Galaxy,” said Gonzalez. “I love playing for Bruce [Arena], Tim Leiweke, and [Phillip] Anschutz.”
The LA Galaxy inked three players on Tuesday as the club re-signed pair of 2012 holdovers in midfielder Mike Magee and goalkeeper Brian Perk while signing Re-Entry Draft selection Colin Clark. Per league and club rules, the terms of the agreements were not announced.
Magee returns to the Galaxy after a banner 2012 that saw him score nine goals and five assists in 39 games across all competitions. Perk served as the club’s backup goalkeeper in 2012 while making seven appearances and will likely battle with Re-Entry Draft selection William Hesmer for the backup role behind Carlo Cudicini in 2013.
Meanwhile, Clark, a versatile midfielder who can play on either flank made 14 appearances for the Houston Dynamo during the 2012 regular season scoring a single goal.
The reporter cites multiple sources on both sides of the Atlantic including one within the LA Galaxy organization who admit that talks between Lampard and the Galaxy have occurred.
"It may happen as there have been discussions," The source told ESPN FC. "Nothing official yet, but the rumors are real."
On Monday, more than 40 MLS players and other prominent members of the U.S. Soccer community participated in "Soccer Night in Newtown" offering their own show of support for the citizens of Newtown, Conn. on the heels of tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December.
Nearly 1,500 Newtown residents attended in "Soccer Night in Newtown" , which was spearheaded by Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti allowing players to interact with a community that was deeply affected by December's tragedy.that Three members of the LA Galaxy traveled to Connecticut for the event as captain Landon Donovan, defender Sean Franklin and Rafael Garcia took part in the touching event.
"The opportunity to spend a few hours with the people of Newtown was something I'll never forget," said Donovan in a statement. "It was one of the best days of my life."
Garcia, himself, a father of a three-year-old son, was also touched by the experience.
“To have the opportunity to come to Newtown and meet so many great people and put smiles on the faces of these children is priceless," said Garcia. "I'm very glad I got the opportunity to be a part of this event. This is an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.”
In an interview with MLSsoccer.com, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena stated that it is "not likely" that goalkeeper Josh Saunders will return to the LA Galaxy after turning down several contract offers "in the last year."
With Saunders on the way out, it seems likely that the starting goalkeeper role will fall to Carlo Cudicini who was signed last week. Arena told MLSsoccer.com, that he had kept tabs on Cudicini for a number of years and spoke to his goalkeeper during the 2002 World Cup, former U.S. international Brad Friedel about the impact that he could have in MLS.
“I think we have a tremendously experienced goalkeeper,” Arena told MLSsoccer.com. “He's extremely fit for his age. I don't have any concerns about that. I think he's got a lot of class. I think he's an outstanding goalkeeper, and he's going to be great with our backline and helping with the communication and organization.”
Cudicini will likely be one of four goalkeepers in preseason camp for the Galaxy as Arena confirmed during his interview that the club has come to an agreement with back-up Brian Perk while third goalkeeper Brian Rowe willl return to the club. Meanwhile, the LA Galaxy continue to hold the rights to veteran goalkeeper William Hesmer.
We're a little more than a week from the 2013 MLS SuperDraft and the draft class is continuing to grow.
MLS announced on Monday that it had signed Indiana's versatile forward/defender Eriq Zavaleta to a Generation Adidas contract. Zavaleta scored 18 goals in his sophomore season for the national champion Hoosiers after scoring an impressive 10 goals as a freshman. Although Zavaleta's scoring numbers are impressive, some scouts feel that the 6-foot-1 target forward is better suited for a central defender role in MLS. Zavaleta joins a Generation Adidas list Furman's Walker Zimmerman, Louisville's Andrew Farrell, North Carolina midfielder Mikey Lopez and Virginia Commonwealth forward Jason Johnson.
Zavaleta wasn't the only signing as MLS also inked five seniors in Connecticut midfielder Carlos Alvarez, Boston College midfielder Kyle Bekker, Maryland midfielder John Stertzer and Notre Dame pair Ryan Finley and Dillon Powers.
*The Frank Lampard saga continues to turn as Lampard's agent Steve Kutner told The Guardian that the 34-year-old midfielder will "under no circumstances" sign a contract extension with Chelsea FC. Meanwhile, The British tabloid Daily Mail is looking to a far different source for Lampard's next destination, his fiancé who says that his choices are limited to "L.A.. or Italy."
*The Montreal Impact announced on Monday that Marco Schallibaum will be the club's head coach for Montreal's second season in MLS. The 50-year-old head coach is a veteran of the Swiss Super League, where he played for a decade before becoming a manager. Montreal parted ways with Jesse Marsch in November.
*Soccer By Ives is reporting that Toronto FC head coach Paul Mariner will be dismissed by TFC with New Zealand International Ryan Nelsen taking the position. Earlier in the day, the Toronto Sun's Kurtis Larson confirmed that Nelsen will have a role with Toronto in 2013, but did not specify on his role. This news comes as TFC officially announced that Bob de Klerk will not return as the club's technical manager.
*Meanwhile, ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas has reported that Portuguese International Paulo Sousa is "a good bet" to become the new head coach of the New York Red Bulls.
*The Colorado Rapids officially announced the re-signing of Honduran midfielder Hendry Thomas.
*D.C. United confirmed that Andy Najar will go on a month-long loan to Belgian side Anderlecht.
*FIFA held their annual Ballon d’Or gala in Zurich on Monday and U.S. women's national team forward Abby Wambach was named Women's Player of the Year while former USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage was selected as Coach of the Year. Argentina and FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi was awarded the Men's Player of the Year for the fourth year in a row while Spain manager Vincete Del Bosque was awarded Coach of the Year. FIFA also unveiled the world First XI which was a strictly La Liga affair. The complete XI is below...
GK: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid).
DEF: Dani Alves (FC Barcelona), Gerard Pique (FC Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid).
MID: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi (FC Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (FC Barcelona.
ATT: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Falcao (Atlético Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).
Three LA Galaxy players took part in "Soccer Night in Newtown" on Monday in an event spearheaded by Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti as a way to help out those members of the Newton community who were deeply affected by the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementry in December.
LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan, right back Sean Franklin and midfielder Rafael Garcia were among the dozens of MLS and former U.S. soccer players who took part in the event which allowed Newton residents to meet the soccer players and participate in small sided soccer games, among other activities.
"To be able to put smiles on the families and kids faces again in Newtown, it's truly special. This is a community that experienced a terrible tragedy, but for one day we get to help them turn away from that and focus on something fun and positive," Franklin said in a statement. "It makes me feel honored and privileged to be a part of impacting these lives."
We'll have more on their participation in the event after its conclusion.
Landon Donovan is still deciding his playing future and for that reason, it was no surprise that he was not called up to the U.S. national team's January camp roster ahead of a Jan. 29 friendly against Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
The U.S. national team boss announced his 25-man roster on Sunday, which included LA Galaxy defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez, but Donovan was not included. Following LA's MLS Cup victory, Donovan told reporters that he was interested in taking some time this offseason to determine if he was still interested in continuing his storied playing career that includes 144 appearances for the U.S. and 49 goals.
Here is what Klinsmann said on Fox Soccer's Goals on Sunday about the LA Galaxy captain.
"Well, Landon has not been invited, because, obviously, he is taking his break. He is thinking about his future, " said Klinsmann. "And he is not at a point yet where he knows what he wants to do. So it is as simple as that. That is why we didn’t invite Landon. We are as curious as everybody else about what his decision will be in the future time, but right now he is not part of this camp."
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