adam serrano

05 September 11:24 am

With the LA Galaxy announcing the signing of Christian Wilhelmsson on Wednesday, the question that arises is just where will the Swede fit into the Galaxy's starting XI.

A winger with the ability to play on both flanks -- he was stationed on the left for 45 minutes during Tuesday's Reserve League match and the right for the remainder--, Wilhelmsson brings quite the European pedigree with a lengthy international career with Sweden and stops at clubs like Italian giants Roma and Spain's Deportivo La Coruna. With a resume like Wilhelmsson's it is no doubt that the Swede has arrived in Southern California to fight for a place in the Starting XI, but it may be difficult for him to acquire one immediately. 

When the club is in full strength, the Starting XI looks a bit like this, with a few potential changes including Marcelo Sarvas moving to either flank and Hector Jimenez sliding in on either flank for Sarvas and Mike Magee... 

------------------------Saunders---------------------

Franklin---DeLaGarza---Gonzalez---Dunivant

Sarvas----Beckham-------Juninho----Magee

--------------Donovan--------Keane---------------

However, in my opinion, the Galaxy will likely move to this lineup with the inclusion of the Swedish International...

------------------------Saunders---------------------

Franklin---DeLaGarza---Gonzalez---Dunivant

Sarvas----Beckham-------Juninho----Wilhelmsson 

--------------Donovan--------Keane----------------

While this does drop Magee to the bench role, it keeps Sarvas on the field with Juninho as the pair has formed a highly effective trio with Beckham as of late. Meanwhile, it allows for Wilhelmsson to influence the attack and use his dribbling skills to create opportunities for the likes of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane  For a player who has been praised for his ability to be a direct winger -- including in this analysis from the tactics website Zonal Marking about his substitute appearance against Ukraine during Euro 2012 -- the chance to be paired alongside a capable defender like Todd Dunivant, should allow him to become more active in the attack.  However, that being said, I would not be surprised to see Bruce Arena opt to place Wilhelmsson on the right flank thus allowing Magee to continue to earn minutes on the left while Sarvas drops to the bench. 

What is the best formation for Wilhelmsson? Where do you see him fitting in?

Share your thoughts and formations below. 

05 September 10:21 am

In a video interview with LAGalaxy.com, newly signed Christian Wilhemsson spoke about his move to the LA Galaxy.

Below is a transcript of the interview with the video embedded below:

(Welcome to the Galaxy…)

 WILHELMSSON: “Thank you very much; I’m very pleased to be here now. The deal is done and I’m very happy and very excited to join the team.”

 (On describing himself as a player to fans…)

 WILHELMSSON: “I’m not good at describing myself, but I’m a winger. A left midfielder or a right midfielder, quite fast. But we’ll see, they’ll have to see when I get on the field.”

 (On what he knows about the league…)

 WILHELMSSON: “I know that the league has been in progress over the last couple of years. I’m very excited to play in the MLS and I’m looking forward to get started and to get on the field, of course. It’s a new adventure that starts now and I’m very excited.”

05 September 9:54 am

The LA Galaxy announced on Wednesday morning that they have signed Swedish International Christian "Chippen" Wilhelmsson.

Wilhelmsson has been training with the club since last Friday, a fact that was first reported on the Insider and went 58 minutes during Tuesday's Reserve League 2-0 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes. Wilhelmsson will officially be added to the Galaxy roster pending the receipt of his P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

A winger, Wilhelmsson joins the Galaxy after a lengthy career in Europe that included stops in Sweden (Mjallby), Norway (Staebek), Belgium (Anderlecht), France (Nantes), Italy (Roma), England (Bolton Wanderers), Spain (Deportivo la Coruna), Saudi Arabia (Al-Hilal) and Qatar (Al-Ahli).  He has also made a total of 78 appearances for the Swedish national team, scoring nine goals while participating in the 2006 World Cup as well as the 2004, 2008 and 2012 European Championships. 

Wilhelmsson will wear the number 9 for the Galaxy. He'll be available to the media for the first time following Thursday's training session.

04 September 6:33 pm

When the LA Galaxy Academy coaching list was finalized several weeks ago, one name stood out above all. Current LA Galaxy defender and long-time New Zealand International Andrew Boyens would take up an assistant position coaching the LA Galaxy Under-15 side alongside head coach Alex Yi.

Despite taking the assistant coaching job with the Galaxy Academy, Boyens shows no signs of slowing down in his professional career as evidenced by a strong performance during his strong showing in LA's 4-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory over the Puerto Rico Islanders.

Recently, I caught up with Boyens to discuss his new venture...

BOYENS: "Coaching is something that I’ve always been interested in. I got the opportunity to work alongside Alex Yi who is a good man and I get there as many days a week with our schedule. I’m really enjoying it."

(On whether he approached the Galaxy for the chance to coach...)

BOYENS: "I definitely approached them. I went and saw Chris Klein and said that it was something that I was interested in and we kind of went from there. I went along a few times just to check it out and they needed to take that role and it just so worked out that I could do it."

(On whether he plans to pursue coaching after his playing career...)

BOYENS: "I’ve always really enjoyed coaching and I’ve done it for a long time ever since I was 16 and it’s something that I really enjoy. Whether I pursue it or not is  a question up in the air, but it’s definitely good to get some experience especially with some quality young kids."

04 September 5:03 pm

 

LA Galaxy Youth Academy product Alexander Ramos has been called into the United States Under-15 Boys National team.

Ramos-- a defender for LA's Under-15 side from Reseda-- joined the U.S. U-15 team on September 1st for a week long training camp with 36 other prospects at The Home Depot Center. The U.S. U15's, which are coached by Tony Lepore will train at The HDC from Sept. 1st to Sept. 8th. 

Although Ramos is the only Galaxy player listed, nine of the 36 players called up come from Southern California. 

The complete U.S. U-15 roster by position is below:                                       

GOALKEEPERS (4): Christian Hererra (Real Salt Lake AZ; Casa Grande, Ariz.), James Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.), Kevin Silva ( Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.), Justin Vom Steeg (Santa Barbara SC, Santa Barbara, Calif.)

DEFENDERS (10): John Antunez (New York Red Bulls; Fairfield, N.J.), Hugo Arellano (Southbay Gunners; Norwalk, Calif.), Guillermo Bermudez (Albion SC; San Diego, Calif.), George Braima (Columbus Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), David Chavez (Juventus Sport Club; Redwood City, Calif.), Henry Martin (New York Red Bulls; New York, N.Y.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Quentin Pearson (Colorado Storm; Longmont, Colo.), Alexander Ramos (LA Galaxy; Reseda, Calif.), Maximilliano Stiegwardt (Minnesota Thunder; Maple Grove, Minn.)

MIDFIELDERS (16): Coy Craft ( FC Dallas; Glade Spring, Va.), Lucas De La Torre (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire; Downers Grove, Ill.), Haji Abdulkadir (New England Revolution; Manchester, N.H.), Cameron Lindley (Indiana United Fire; Carmel, Ind.), Maduabuchi Obinwa (Chicago Magic PSG; Lake Forest, Ill.), Adolfo Ovalle (Real Salt Lake; Layton, Utah), Pablo Pelaez (Albion SC; San Diego, Calif.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Martin Salas (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Kyle Scott (Chelsea FC; Winterbourne, England), Orestis Sousonis (New York Red Bulls; Dover, N.J.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake AZ; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Alejandro Vergara (Chivas USA; Long Beach, Calif.), DJ Villegas (Davis Legacy; Sacramento, Calif.), Sean Wilson (Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.)

FORWARDS (6): Malcolm Dixon (New York Red Bulls; Glenridge, N.J.), Joe Gallardo (Nomads SC; San Diego, Calif.), Christian Lucatero (Houston Dynamo; Pasadena, Texas), Joshua Perez (Chivas USA; La Habra, Calif.), Christian Ramirez (FC Dallas; Farmers Branch, Texas), Jorge Ruiz (Chivas USA; Mission Hills, Calif.)

04 September 4:34 pm

Much of the focus of the LA Galaxy's 2-0 Reserve League defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes centered on the performance of Swedish international Christian Wilhelmsson, but the Swede wasn't the only attacking talent being evaluated on Tuesday. 

Forward Edson Buddle went 45 minutes and nearly tallied a goal during LA's 2-0 loss. Buddle's Reserve League stint comes after the 32-year-old forward made a pair of brief appearances as a substitute in a pair of games last week , the forward's first since undergoing right knee surgery in June. During a conference call with reporters following the match, Galaxy reserves coach Curt Onalfo commented on Buddle's performance. 

ONALFO: "Edson was good, he looked fine. He held up the ball, he was fairly good at times, but it was good for his progression to get those minutes under his belt." 

04 September 4:00 pm

Sweden International Christian Wilhelmsson went 58 minutes as the LA Galaxy fell 2-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes in Reserve League action on Tuesday at Nutrilite Training Facility in San Jose.

The Swede, who joined the club in training last week was a consistent threat for the reserves playing primarily on the left flank, but was whistled for four offside calls during his 58 minute stint including one that negated a goal early in the first half. In a conference call with reporters following the match, Galaxy reserve league head coach Curt Onalfo described the offside calls as "controversial", but was quick to praise the Swede. 

"I thought that he created some things. He's a pure wide player so was able to get into some situations that were good for our team," said Onalfo. "Like I said, there were four controversial offside calls that we didn’t think were offside that would have turned the terms of the game...he had a good performance.”

The match was the first performance for the Swede -- who has reportedly already signed with the Galaxy according to reports in Sweden -- since an August 15th international friendly against Brazil. Although Wilhelmsson was unable to find the back of the net in his first match, Onalfo was encouraged by his showing in his first match in several weeks.

"For him it’s about getting minutes and utilizing this as an opportunity to advance He played fine, he played well," said Onalfo. "You can tell that he has a lot of quality and that he’s a very quality wide player. He’s a good and very clever wide player." 

03 September 4:47 pm

According to Swedish reports, Forward/Midfielder Christian "Chippen" Wilhelmsson has signed with the LA Galaxy. 

In an interview with fotbollskanalen.se, Wilhelmsson states that he has signed a six month contract with the Galaxy with a team option for three years. A Galaxy spokesman said on Monday that the 32-year-old attacker is in San Jose with the Galaxy Reserve League squad and is expected to participate in that match. The Galaxy confirmed their interest in the Swede following Saturday's 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps. 

During the interview, the Swedish International states that he believes playing with the Galaxy will help him re-gain a spot on the Swedish national team and that he turned down offers from clubs in Russia and the Middle East before deciding to join the Galaxy. Wilhelmsson joins the Galaxy after stops in the Middle East as well as a 14-year career in Europe and 78 appearances for his native Sweden, having tallied nine goals. 

Wilhelmsson, who is currently a free agent last played with Saudi club Al Hilal,  but his last competitive game came on August 15th when Sweden hosted Brazil on August 15th in Stockholm at Råsunda Fotbollstadion. The match was the last game for the site of the 1958 World Cup Final as the primary stadium for Sweden ahead of the opening of the new Friends Arena. 

As stated when it was revealed that the Wilhelmsson was training with the club, the Galaxy currently have seven international players, but one is occupied by Brazilian defender Leonardo, who is currently on the disabled list. Thus opening up a potential spot for Wilhelmsson.

03 September 4:12 pm

Swedish International Christian Wilhelmsson, who joined the LA Galaxy in training last week, will suit up for the Galaxy in Reserve league action on Tuesday.

A Galaxy spokesman confirmed to me on Monday afternoon that Wilhelmsson will travel with LA's Reserve League squad for their match against the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday. The match will take place at 11am PDT on San Jose's Nutrilite Training Facility. 
 
The decision to have the Swede play in Tuesday's Reserve League game comes as no surprise after Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed on Saturday that the Swedish international was training with the club. All trialists are eligible to play in Reserve League matches.
03 September 3:37 pm

Juninho and David Beckham each tallied impressive trademark goals during the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps and are both up for MLS' Goal of the Week.

The Brazilian opened the scoring in the 41st minute with a 28-yard blast for his fifth goal of the season and his sixth in his last five games over all competitions. Beckham would score in the 79th minute off a curling free kick for his sixth goal in eight games. 

View the two goals below and vote for them here

Juninho:

Beckham: