Preseason Notes: LA Galaxy nearing full fitness; Arena says CONCACAF Champions League schedule must change
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy open the 2015 MLS regular season on Friday, and will do so with a near clean bill of health.
First team regulars A.J. DeLaGarza, Baggio Husidic, Jaime Penedo and Gyasi Zardes as well as trialist Edson Buddle missed out on the Galaxy's final preseason game of 2015 on Saturday, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena says that the team will be close to full health when they open the season on Friday against the Chicago Fire.
"I think that we're in good shape heading into the first game. We've been very conservative with our players this preseason. Given that we had such a long year last year, we didn't want to kill anybody. We're just taking it in stride. We'll be fine... They're all here training."
TIME TO CHANGE THE SCHEDULE FOR THE CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SAYS ARENA
The Galaxy will not begin their CONCACAF Champions League campaign for nearly five months, but Bruce Arena says that the club will do their best to win the continental tournament.
Currently, MLS entrants D.C. United and the Montreal Impact are long shots to reach the semifinals of the now rebranded Scotia Bank CONCACAF Champions League which may force MLS to wait another year for the a team to challenge for the regional championship. During the 2015-16 tournament, the Galaxy will be joined by D.C. United, Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC who will attempt to become the first team to win the title.
Winning the Champions League has been a tall order for MLS clubs, and according to Arena, it will continue to be a challenge for MLS teams if the schedule remains the same.
“We want to win it,” said Arena. “Unfortunately for our league, it’s not fair for our teams to play this competition in February. We’re put behind the eight ball right away. It’s the job of U.S. Soccer and MLS to work with CONCACAF and provide some dates that allow us to be more competitive in the competition.
BRUCE ARENA TELLS MLS TO "BRING IT ON" AS LA LOOK TO REPEAT
The LA Galaxy will begin their MLS regular season campaign on Friday with 19 teams gunning to take away their title as MLS Cup champions. Typically that places a bulls-eye on the winning team, but that's of little matter to Bruce Arena.
When asked on Monday if the Galaxy will face considerable pressure this season to repeat as champions, the LA head coach and general manager responded in his typically glib manner.
"Yeah, bring it on. Whatever. I think that's what I signed up for," Arena said.
Even if the Galaxy will head into the season as the favorites to repeat as MLS Cup champions, Arena is eager to get the season started.
"We don't need anymore preseason," Arena said. "I'm sick of it. I'd rather be criticized right away."
CARSON, Calif. -- Edson Buddle will be a member of the LA Galaxy again by the end of the week.
Buddle has been sidelined recently with an injury, but head coach and general manager Bruce Arena confirmed that the 33-year-old forward will be joining the club by the start of the 2015 season.
"We'll get that done this week," Arena told reporters after practice on Monday.
The veteran forward will be joining the Galaxy for a third time having spent time with the club from 2007-10 and again in 2012. Buddle has a total of 99 appearances for the Galaxy in all MLS competitions, having scored 32 goals and six assists in two stints for the Galaxy.
Buddle is one of eight players in MLS history to score 100 regular goals in his career.
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The LA Galaxy were without several key pieces when they ended the preseason with a 3-2 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes, but head coach Bruce Arena expects the full team in training next week.
Galaxy regulars Baggio Husidic, Jaime Penedo and Gyasi Zardes as well as trialist Edson Buddle missed out on the club’s final preseason preseason match due to unspecified injuries, but according to Arena, they’ll be on the training field on Monday when the club ramps up their preparations for Friday’s MLS regular season opener against the Chicago Fire.
“All our guys will be back next week,” said Arena.
The Galaxy boss was also optimistic about the status of defender A.J. DeLaGarza who has missed the entire preseason with a bone bruise in his left leg.
“He’ll be in full training on Monday,” Arena said afterward.
MLS Insider has dropped a sensational piece on the LA Galaxy's "First to Five" championship run.
The video piece features interviews from players like Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan while also providing inside looks at the team during their MLS Cup final victory over the New England Revolution.
Check it out above.
LA Galaxy Academy product Hugo Arellano scores as U.S. U-17's thrash Cuba at 2015 U-17 CONCACAF Championship
LA Galaxy Academy defender Hugo Arellano scored as the U.S. U-17's demolished Cuba 5-0 in their Group A opener at the 2015 U-17 CONCACAF Championship.
Joe Gallardo scored three times while Alejandro Zendejas and Arellano rounded out the scoring for Richie Williams' squad. Midfielders Christian Pulisic and Luca de La Torre each tallied two assists in the Americans' confident victory.
Arellano needed just five minutes to put the U.S. ahead as the U-17 captain smashed a Pulisic corner into the back of the net for the opening goal. In the 40th minute, Pulisic played the distributor again as he found Joe Gallardo from close range for the irst of his three on the evening. Just three minutes later, Zendejas pounced on a failed Cuban defensive clearance and tallied his fourth goal of his U-17 career.
Once the second half began, Gallardo left no doubt of the Americans dominance as he combined with de la Torre twice for goals in the 65th and 88th minutes to seal the win.
The U.S. return to action on Monday when they face Trinidad and Tobago at 3 p.m. PT.
A.J. DeLaGarza reveals the final sneak peak of the new LA Galaxy blue on blue secondary kit on Twitter
— AJ DeLaGarza (@AJD_20) February 27, 2015
LA Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza has provided us with our final sneak peak of the club’s new Blue on Blue secondary jersey.
In the final reveal of the week, DeLaGarza’s photo depicts the jersey’s sleeve which contains the new Major League Soccer logo color-coordinated in the club’s colors and on a field of blue.
The Galaxy’s new secondary kit will be revealed on Monday at 10 am PT
— Daniel Gargan (@HeyDanGargan) February 26, 2015
LA Galaxy defender Dan Gargan has provided us our latest sneak peak of the new Galaxy secondary kit via Twitter on Thursday.
Gargan's photo displays the LA Galaxy logo on the new kit's crest. The new "Blue on Blue" jersey will be officially unveiled by the club on March 2 through a digital campaign.
The final jersey sneak peak will be revealed on Friday.
Preseason Notes: Daniel Keller and Ramon Martin Del Campo released from preseason camp; Galaxy II win scrimmage
CARSON, Calif. -- Ramon Martin Del Campo and Daniel Keller were released from the LA Galaxy's preseason camp, LA head coach Bruce Arena confirmed on Thursday.
Keller, 22, was drafted by the Galaxy out of the University of Louisville with the 62nd overall selection in the MLS SuperDraft and appeared in four preseason matches. Meanwhile, Martin Del Campo was an undrafted trialist out of UC Davis and played in two preseason games for the Galaxy. Martin Del Campo also trained with Galaxy II brief, but has since departed to pursue opportunities abroad while Arena said that Keller "wasn't interested" in playing for Los Dos.
The Galaxy boss also told reporters that the club's final SuperDraft selection goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton is still dealing with an injury that is preventing him joining the club's preseason camp.
TRIALIST ANDRE AURAS STILL TRAINING WITH THE LA GALAXY
LA Galaxy II stalwart Andre Auras remains in training with the Galaxy first team, but don’t expect a decision on the 2014 Los Dos breakout star any time soon.
Auras has appeared in all but one Galaxy match this preseason, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena says that the club is still undecided on whether the Frenchman will be offered a first team deal.
“He’s signed with Galaxy II right now so that’s not that critical at this point,” Arena said.
LA GALAXY II DEFEAT CAL STATE DOMINGUEZ HILLS IN PRESEASON SCRIMMAGE
LA Galaxy II picked up another preseason victory by defeating Cal State Dominguez Hills 5-2 on Wednesday.
Galaxy Under-18 player Mark Cruz scored two goals while Adonis Amaya, Travis Bowen and Jason Bli scored for Los Dos.
First teamers Ignacio Maganto, Oscar Sorto and Jose Villarreal played in the scrimmage.
BRUCE ARENA: TALK OF MLS CUP "COMICAL" IN PRESEASON
The LA Galaxy may be a week away from starting their 2015 campaign, but don’t tell LA head coach Bruce Arena about repeating just yet.
When asked if his team has the mettle to repeat as champions, Arena scoffed at reporters talking of titles in February.
“It’s certainly not a thought at this point. I think it’s comical when I see teams talk about that It doesn’t make any sense to talk about winning the MLS Cup because it’s a long way away.”
LA Galaxy midfielder Baggio Husidic revealed the latest sneak peak of the club's new secondary jersey on Wednesday afternoon.
Husidic's photo shows the new kit's back collar which is emblazoned with the Galaxy name in dark blue while the letters “LA” are prominently displayed in gold font.
Another sneak peak is expected on Thursday for the jersey that will be officially unveiled on March 2.
What are your thoughts on the latest sneak peak?
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Bruce Arena says LA Galaxy hoping to sign Edson Buddle; claims team still interested in Mika Väyrynen
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is close to finalizing his roster for the upcoming 2015 campaign, and trialists Edson Buddle and Mika Väyrynen appear to be closing in on roster spots for the year ahead.
Buddle, 33, has trained with the club since the start of the preseason, but missed out on the team's 1-0 preseason victory over Shamrock Rovers due to injury. Although Buddle missed out on the club's penultimate preseason match, Arena still seems set on bringing the veteran forward back for a third stint with the Galaxy.
"Buddle is here training and we hope to be able to sign him," said Arena after the club's first training session in Southern California in two weeks. "We haven't done anything else on any other [trialists] yet. When we have an answer, we'll let you know."
Väyrynen was not present on Wednesday as he remains in Scandinavia after spending most of the Galaxy's European trip training with the club. The 33-year-old former Finnish international played in both LA preseason matches in Europe, and scored the game-winning goal in the team's win over Rovers last weekend.
Even though Väyrynen is not currently training with the club, Arena is open to bringing the midfielder to Southern California for another look.
"He's a good experienced player," said Arena. "It's a possibility [he could return]. We haven't finalized anything yet."
After training, Arena's captain Robbie Keane echoed his manager's sentiments on both trialists.
"I was impressed by [Väyrynen]He was good and he's technically very, very good," said Keane. "And we know what Edson is about. He'd certainly be a good addition to the squad."