CARSON, Calif. -- It was quite the debut for the newest member of the LA Galaxy, Swedish midfielder Christian Wilhelmsson.
In 61 minutes of action, Wilhelmsson scored his first career MLS goal and was active on both sides of the ball in the Galaxy's 2-0 victory. Playing on the right flank, Wilhelmsson combined well with right back Sean Franklin, but it was clear that there were still kinks to be worked out in the pair's partnership.
Below are Wilhelmsson's thoughts on his debut and a video of his goal...
(On his debut...)
“I didn’t think that I would score today and it was a pleasure. I’m just happy that we got the three points and I that got the goal of course is great.”
(On how he felt he connected with his new teammates...)
“From time to time alright and there was some misunderstanding sometimes, but it’s been two weeks and we’re getting to know each other more and more every day so it will be better absolutely.”
(On his goal...)
“It was a great feeling, a big relief. Of course a goal in my first game is amazing. I’m just glad that we could get the three points. … A goal is a goal. I have to thanks the keeper; he helped me a little bit though.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane's thoughts from tonight's LA Galaxy victory.
Keane has now scored nine goals in his last 14 league appearances.
Below are Keane's thoughts on his performance and his video interview with LAGalaxy.com after the match...
(On his scoring run...)
KEANE: I feel the same as aI always do. You get chances, you put them away. So lucky enough the team is doing well, that's the most important."
(On the buildup to his goal...)
KEANE: "It was a good play from us, we kept a few passes and then Landon played me in and lucky for me, I got the goal."
(On Wilhelmsson's debut...)
KEANE: "He did well. It's his first game, obviously it's going to be difficult. He got tired towards the end, which is natural coming from where he came from and he's only here, what ten days or os? He did well. It's good that he got the goal, even though the goalkeeper should ahve saved it. But they all count so he'll benefit from these minutes."
We're just hours away till tonight's match between the LA Galaxy and the Colorado Rapids.
If the Galaxy pick up a victory, they will move into a tie with Real Salt Lake for the third spot in the Western Conference, a place that LA are clearly gunning for heading into the final months of the season.
Ahead of the match, be sure to check out LAGalaxy.com staff writer Larry Morgan's preview on tonight's match as well as Scott French's brilliant piece on Juninho, who was ranked sixth in MLSsoccer.com's 24 Under 24.
Last but not least, be sure to check out my Three Points to the match.
PREDICTED LINEUP: Saunders; Franklin, DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Dunivant; Wilhelmsson, Sarvas, Juninho, Magee; Donovan, Keane
Ahead of tonight's match against the Colorado Rapids, MLSsoccer.com correspondent Scott French published a telling interview with LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan.
Donovan, who expects to play tonight, told French about the Galaxy's ambitions to qualify among the Western Conference's top three seeds and avoid playing in MLS' play-in round.
Below are Donovan's thoughts:
DONOVAN: "We've done a lot of hard work to get back in the mix. All we can control is to keep winning our games. We're hopeful Portland and Dallas and Colorado and Chivas can steal points off some of these guys down the stretch, but if not, all we can concentrate on is trying to win games and keep putting points on the board and then see where we end up. From where we were, top three would be a fantastic result, but we're pretty greedy around here and we want to finish as high as we can. ... “We're definitely not getting ahead of ourselves. The chance to be in the playoffs after 13 games [and a 3-7-2 start] was pretty slim at that point, so we're happy where we are, but we want to keep going and keep pushing.”
LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho has finished six in MLS' 24 Under 24.
CARSON, Calif. -- Finally off the LA Galaxy injury list for the first time since June, Edison Buddle is targetting an expanded role in LA's match on Friday against the Colorado Rapids.
Buddle, who underwent right knee surgery in June, made his first appearance since May 26thduring the Galaxy's victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on September 1st. While the forward admits that he's still working his way back to full fitness, he believes that he can contribute against Colorado.
“I’m ready to play. I’m available and ready to play,” Buddle said following Thursday's training session. “I think that my knee is about 90 percent. Fitness and strength are still to come with the last 10 percent though.”
Buddle may not be completely healthy, but the forward has aspirations of re-gaining a spot in the Galaxy's starting XI.
“I think that it comes with training. I’m pushing hard each and every day in training and I will need to apply that to the games. I don’t expect to go into the games right away unless something happens, but with these guys a little bit fitter than me right now, I have to push myself every day.”
Christian Wilhelmsson is now officially eligible to make his LA Galaxy debut in Friday night's match against the Colorado Rapids.
The club confirmed on Thursday that they have received Wilhelmsson's International Transfer Certificate, clearing the final hurdle for him to become eligible for Friday' game. Wilhelmsson has already received his P-1 visa after traveling to the American Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico on Tuesday.
Wilhelmsson, who has been training with the club since last Friday has already made a pair of Reserve League matches for the Galaxy, but will now be officially eligible to play in MLS and CONCACAF Champions League matches.
LA Galaxy broadcasters Mark Rogondino and Cobi Jones provided their "View from the booth" preview for Friday's match against the Colorado Rapids.
Check out the video below. We'll have more later today, including another exciting feature.
A few other notes to end your day...
*MLS announced the eight teams involved in the lottery for Marcus Tracy. The Galaxy are not included.
*Toronto FC have been officially eliminated from postseason contention with their 2-1 defeat against the Chicago Fire.
Below is Todd Dunivant's All-Access interview with Joe Tutino.
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane is back from a successful International stint with Ireland and eager for further success with the LA Galaxy in Friday's match against the Colorado Rapids.
The Irish forward was a focal part of Ireland's dramatic come from behind victory over Kazakhstan as Keane earned a penalty and then scored to help Ireland earn a 2-1 victory. Keane will hope that he can pick up where he left off before leaving for International duty as he scored either a goal or an assist in his last five appearances -- in MLS and CONCACAF Champions League -- prior to leaving for Dublin.