CARSON, Calif. -- The road to a top three finish got considerably more diffciult for the LA Galaxy, but the club remain confident that they can finish among the Western Conference's top three.
With their 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC's 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers, LA fell into fourth place in the Western Conference. The Galaxy still have two league games remaining against the San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 21 and against Seattle on Oct. 28, but must win out to remain in contention.
Following the loss to Salt Lake, centerback Omar Gonzalez admitted that the Galaxy are still in the hunt for a top three spot, they must first learn from the mistakes that prevented them from getting three points against RSL.
GONZALEZ: “This game didn’t go the way we wanted it, but we’re still in the playoffs. I think we certainly want the wins, but now is the time to start get the little things right. Just like tonight we got punished on those plays, next game we can’t make those mistake and we’ve got to be on the entire game. So even though we didn’t get the win tonight, I think we can still take a lot from it and grow from it because there’s two more games left in the season and then the true test comes. We’re not going to win Supporters’ Shield so that doesn’t matter, now it’s all about getting it right for the playoffs.”
(On how much the Galaxy are thinking about playoff positioning...)
GONZALEZ: “We certainly don’t want the play-in game. I think right now we’re just trying to get in second or third and it’s looking right now like it’s kind of tough to be second so we’re fighting for that third spot. I think Seattle plays Salt Lake next so hopefully they can help us out there, but we’ve just got to win out.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy confirmed on Monday that they will be releasing their new third jersey next season.
LA had planned to reveal the winner of the fan contest that led to the creation of the uniform during the October 6 match against Real Salt Lake, but were forced to push the announcement back to next season.
A club spokesman provided me with the following statement on Monday afternoon, "The contest winner has been informed of the club’s selection, but because of production timeline issues in producing the uniform, we’re unable to have a complete uniform to unveil at this time."
Jurgen Klinsmann says that Landon Donovan is ready to play an important role for the United States upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The Galaxy captain was called into the United States' 24-man squad for a pair of World Cup qualifiers on October 12 against Antigua and Barbuda and on Oct. 16 against Guatemala at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. That Donovan would participate seemed surprising as he was forced to come off in the latter stages of last Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake due to an apparent knee injury.
During a conference call with the members of the media, Klinsmann touched upon a few questions regarding Donovan.
(On Donovan's condition...)
KLINSMANN: "We were in touch over the last few days, obviously. He was supposed to do an MRI this morning in LA and he skipped it because it improved a lot during the day. We spoke last night and he said that if [the knee issue] is even better in the morning then he would skip the MRI and come straight to Miami, which is the case."
(On what role Donovan plays with the USMNT...)
KLINSMANN: "Definitely as an attacking player. If he comes wide or if he comes behind two strikers, what we need in these two games is to create chances and we need to score goals. Obviously, we are happy that Landon is part of these two games. He kind of shook off that knee issue that he experienced on Saturday night so he's ready to go. If he plays wide or comes through the middle, as long as we create chances and we score goals then it's all fine with me."
(On Donovan's injury...)
KLINSMANN: "We have been in touch with [the Galaxy] medical team, our trainer Ivan Pierra knows everybody really well so they communicate back and forth. We communicated with Landon Back and forth so first thing, he comes in here this afternoon, we'll check him out, but as he said to us, the reason why he's on the plane [to Miami] is because it looks really good."
Robbie Keane is up for goal of the week honors yet again.
Keane scored a magnificent strike in the 17th minute of LA's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Real Salt Lake last Saturday. The forward will be away on International duty over the next two weeks for a pair of World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Faroe Islands.
The fears of LA Galaxy and United States national team fans can be assuaged, Landon Donovan has been called up to the U.S. national team.
Donovan was selected for Jurgen Klinsmann's squad for a pair of World Cup qualifiers on October 12 against Antigua and Barbuda and on Oct. 16 against Guatemala at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. The Galaxy captain suffered an apparent knee injury during the latter stages of last Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake, but was deemed fit enough to participate.
The complete roster is below...
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8) : Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland)
MIDFIELDERS (8) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (5): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders)
The LA Galaxy may not be in action for the next couple of weeks, but five members of the Galaxy squad were called in by their respective national teams.
Landon Donovan (United States), Robbie Keane (Ireland), Dan Keat (New Zealand), Jose Villarreal (United States Under-20) and Christian Wilhelmsson (Sweden) were called in for the upcoming international period. Whether or not Landon Donovan is added to the U.S. squad will be determined at 12:30pm this afternoon.
Below is a complete schedule of all the matches involving the five players
*United States Under-20 (Villarreal) vs. Canada Under-20 in Marbella, Spain. -- 8:30 am PDT
*United States Under-20 vs. Scotland Under-20 in Marbella, Spain -- 6:30 am PDT
*Faroe Islands vs. Sweden (Wilhelmsson) in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands at 10 am PDT
*Ireland (Keane) vs. Germany in Dublin, Ireland at 11:45am PDT
*Antigua and Barbuda vs. United States (Donovan) in North Sound, Antigua at 4pm PDT
*Tahiti vs. New Zealand (Keat) in Pepeete, Tahiti at 11:00pm PDT
*United States Under-20 vs. Azerbaijan Under-20 in Mamrbella, Spain -- 8:00 am PDT
*Ireland vs. Faroe Islands in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands at 11:00 am PDT
*United States vs. Guatemala in Kansas City, Kans. at 4:00pm PDT
*Sweden vs. Germany in Berlin, Germany at 11:45 am PDT
*New Zealand vs. Tahiti in Christchurch, New Zealand at 11:35 pm PDT
A couple of notes to get you through your Sunday evening...
*With their 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers, the Seattle Sounders moved two points clear of the LA Galaxy for third spot. Seattle have 52 points to LA's 50 and have played one fewer match. The two teams face off against one another on October 28 at The Home Depot Center.
*Hearing that there is no update on the status of Landon Donovan yet, but there should be an update on Monday when the club returns to training.
*With Sporting Kansas City's 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew, the Chicago Fire clinched a playoff berth.
CARSON, Calif. -- For the second straight week, the LA Galaxy took the lead inside of 20 minutes and for the second straight time, they were unable to come away with three points.
After going up in the 17th minute on Robbie Keane's 15th goal of the year, two Fabian Espindola goal's in the span of three minutes, put LA down for good. The loss snapped LA's ten game unbeaten run in all competitions and allowed RSL to create a five point cushion on the Galaxy for the second spot in the Western Conference.
Whether, it was LA's inability to mark Espindola on his second goal of the game or poor finishing, head coach Bruce Arena had one word for LA's performance, "sloppy."
This is the second week in a row that one of the Galaxy players described LA's performance as sloppy as David Beckham referred to LA's showing after taking a lead in last week's 1-1 draw in Colorado.
Below are thoughts from defender Omar Gonzalez on how LA can improve in their next match in two weeks against the San Jose Earthquakes...
GONZALEZ: “I think we’ve just got to be tighter on them, we can’t let them get so many entry balls because they were just collecting balls coming into them and we were just being too easy on them and that just can’t happen. We’ve got to go from here and be a little bit more aggressive, make it harder for forwards to collect balls and then from there just be better on second balls.”
(On the performance with two new starters in the lineup...)
GONZALEZ: “I don’t really think it matters who you put in there, we’ve got to be better. That’s it, we’ve got to put a better effort out there. We started the game off great and then we just shut off for a couple plays and they punished us.”
CARSON, Calif. -- There was no 45 yard stunner goal on Saturday, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was full of praise for the performance of Brazilian midfielder Juninho in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake.
Juninho's play in the midfield was at the forefront of an early deludge by the Galaxy in the opening stages of the game as LA put considerable pressure on RSL as they searched for an early goal. The Brazilian provided the spark that led to Robbie Keane's goal in the 17th minute when he launched a pinpoint cross towards the Irishman that Keane fired on a left-footed volley into the back of the net.
RSL would take the lead for good minutes later when Fabian Espindola tallied a pair of goals in the 25th and 28th minutes, but that did not prevent Juninho from trying to do his part in getting LA back in the game. Juninho rattled off four shots on the night, including one shot that rattled the cross bar in the sixth minute and another in the 87th that was saved by Nick Rimando.
However, that was not the only place on the stat sheet that showcased Juninho's impact as he made a total 72 successful passes out of his 78 attempts along with an impressive ten recoveries and two interceptions.
Below are Arena's thoughts on Juninho...
(On Juninho’s performance..)
ARENA: “I think Juninho played quite well for us tonight. If we had nine other players who played like Juninho tonight I think we would have won the game.”
(On the defense against Juninho...)
ARENA: “I’m not sure [they were pressing Juninho]. He got a little space when he hit that crossbar. I don’t think that was an issue, but I think they did play well, they did defend well; they deserved to win the game.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Josh Saunders discussed the LA Galaxy's 2-1 loss on this interview with LAGalaxy.com.