CARSON, Calif. -- Stop the presses, the LA Galaxy have finally scored from a penalty kick.
Robbie Keane scored from the spot in the 85th minute of the LA Galaxy's 3-1 victory over the Portland Timbers after Juninho was brought down in the penalty area by Diego Chara. The goal may have simply padded the scoreline of the team's win over the Timbers, but it was significant as LA had previously failed in three prior attempts to score on a penalty kick.
Although Robbie Keane shrugged off the fact that the Galaxy were the only team in MLS yet to convert from the spot, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena admitted it was good for his team to -- at long last -- find the back of the net on a penalty.
"Robbie [Keane] takes the penalties [for us] and that’s the first one we’ve made this year," said Arena. "We were the only team in the league which hadn’t converted a penalty this year, so it’s nice to get that monkey off our backs.”
CARSON, Calif. – For the first time since April, LA Galaxy left back Todd Dunivant made his return to a game day roster as he looks to return to the starting XI.
Dunivant has been sidelined since early April after suffering an abdominal injury during LA’s match against Chivas USA that later required surgery. For the 33-year-old left back, the chance to sit on the team’s bench during their 3-1 victory over the Portland Timbers was a joy as he looks to inch closer to game fitness.
“It was good to get back in with the guys. I’m obviously training now so it’s awesome,” said Dunivant. “An ideal world, I’d love to get some time with Galaxy II and build my way in, but I’ve had a week of training and I just want to build on it. Fitness and soccer fitness are different things.
“We’ll see how the week of training goes, but we need to talk to Curt [Onalfo] and get his assessment, but I’d love to get a game there.”
Said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, “He’s coming back. He’s been out since early April. We have to start to get him moving again and maybe even get him a game with LA Galaxy II.”
But whether he’ll start once he does returns to full fitness is still a question mark due to the stellar play of Robbie Rogers. Rogers put in yet another strong performance on the left side of defense adding an assist on the team’s opener while also earning plenty of praise from Arena.
“I think that coming from a deeper position is good for him,” said Arena. “But the thing about Robbie in that position is he’s an excellent defender, which is the number one box you need to check when you are going to play as a defender. He does that exceptionally well. The other stuff like going forward is icing on the cake.”
But Dunivant acknowledges that despite Rogers’ success, he won’t be ceding the position.
“He’s done really well,” said Dunivant. “That’s great and that’s what you want to see. No complaints from me. It’s a good problem for Bruce to have.”
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) August 2, 2014
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena spoke to reporters following the team's 3-1 victory over the Portland Timbers.
Check his thoughts below.
(On the team’s performance in the win….)
ARENA: “It wasn’t similar to the other day. We fell behind a goal. It’s good for our team to be in a hard game against a good team. We prevailed, obviously. The goal at the end of the first half was big. Second half, they came at us with a little bit more energy and created a couple of chances. Obviously, the Keane goal was the difference. But I thought overall it was a good 90 minutes for our team. We were sloppy at times in the first half. We could have been a little bit cleaner. Technically, in and around the goal area, we could have create another goal or two, but overall it was a good performance. We are on a good run, and hopefully we keep getting better.”
(On success of Gyasi Zardes…)
ARENA: “He’s doing well. Big goal obviously. A lot of little things, he’s getting better. He’s running off the ball better .He’s holding the ball better. He’s passing better. Everything’s improved and I think playing next to Robbie [Keane] is important. Robbie’s doing a good job helping him move along .Landon [Donovan] had another good effort tonight. Backline performed well.”
(On Robbie Rogers playing left back…)
ARENA: “I think that coming from a deeper position is good for him. But the thing about Robbie in that position is he’s an excellent defender, which is the number one box you need to check when you are going to play as a defender. He does that exceptionally well. The other stuff like going forward is icing on the cake.”
(On coming back from behind to win…)
ARENA: “I think anytime you win a game when you are trailing is important. It shows character. The goal came against run of play. [Stefan] Ishizaki got his head onto the ball and deflected it. Then end up getting a goal. Probably their only shot of the first half. It was a little bit against run of play.”
(On the team’s performance so far this season…)
ARENA: “We are, what, second place now in the Western Conference, against teams that have a couple games in hand on us. We have the best defensive record in the league. We are probably in the top three or four in attacking categories. We are getting healthier. I give the team a B plus. [For] the coach [i give] a C-minus goes with my grade point average in college.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Jose Villarreal is returning to the LA Galaxy.
The Galaxy announced on Friday that Homegrown Player Jose Villarreal is returning to the team from his loan to Liga MX side Cruz Azul and is being loaned to USL PRO affiliate Galaxy II. Villarreal is in Pittsburgh and will be available for the team's match against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. PT.
Villarreal, 20, was reduced to appearances for the Cruz Azul Under-21 side and Cruz Azul-Hidalgo during his stint with La Maquina during an unsuccessful loan stint with the Mexican club. Villarreal made 22 appearances with 12 starts as well as two goals and one assist for the Galaxy in 2013.
He'll join his younger brother Jaime, who is also with Galaxy II.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will take on the Portland Timbers on Saturday in a brunch time 11:30 a.m. PT match.
In the latest edition of "By the Numbers," we look at the Galaxy's success against Portland at home.
Check it out below.
LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Oscar Sorto has been selected for the U.S. Under-23 team's upcoming training camp in the Bahamas which will run from Aug. 3-7 in Nassau and feature a match against the Bahamas senior team on Aug. 6.
Sorto has been loaned to USL PRO side LA Galaxy II since the start of the season and has been a vital role in the plans of head coach Curt Onalfo. To date, the native of South Central Los Angeles has made 16 appearances for Galaxy II.
In addition to Sorto, there are several other Southern California connections on the squad as Pasadena's Daniel Flores (Leon), Garden Grove's Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake) Chula Vista's Ramon Del Campo (San Jose Earthquakes), and Riverside's Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca) were selected.
The complete roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7): AJ Cochran (Houston Dynamo; St. Louis, Mo.), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Ramon Martin del Campo (San Jose Earthquakes; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bryan Gallego (Arizona United; Kinnelon, N.J.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside, Calif.), William Packwood (Birmingham City; Concord, Mass.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Dennis Flores (León; Pasadena, Calif.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Chicago Fire; San Jose, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): Daniel Cuevas (CF Lobos BUAP; Sacramento, Calif.), Alfred Koroma Shams (Internacional; Southlake, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Indy Eleven; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; El Paso, Texas)
Training Update: Bruce Arena impressed with Omar Gonzalez performance against Seattle; says Todd Dunivant returning from injury
CARSON, Calif. -- Ever steadily, the LA Galaxy are returning to full fitness.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez and left back Robbie Rogers each made their return from ankle injuries in LA's 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC on Monday. Both players were instrumental in the shutout, but Gonzalez's performance, in particular, was impressive as the central defender was making his first appearance since the U.S. National Team's Round of 16 defeat to Belgium on July 1.
Steady when he was tested, Gonzalez drew high marks for his performance against the Sounders from head coach Bruce Arena who was impressed by the defender's fitness.
"He played well," said Arena. "I think that a couple more games would be good for his fitness, but he played better than I anticipated."
Arena also provided an update on the status of left back Todd Dunivant, who recently returned training as he looks to overcome an abdominal injury that he suffered in April that forced him to undergo surgery, but did not confirm if he'll suit up for USL PRO affiliate LA Galaxy II before making his return to action.
"He’s doing well," Arena said. "He had a good training session, but I haven't decided yet [when he'll return]."
Think Dunivant will play for Galaxy II? Will he make the Galaxy first game day roster before then?
Share your thoughts.
CARSON, Calif. - LA Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena offered no comment on the reports linking the Galaxy with U.S. international Sacha Kljestan, but he did shed some light on the team's actions ahead of the Aug. 6 transfer deadline.
Following training on Thursday, the Galaxy boss revealed that the team has been in talks with the two teams ahead of them on the allocation order -- the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas -- about moving up from the third spot that they acquired in a deal with D.C. United for defender Kofi Opare and a draft pick.
"I don't make public how I go about doing our business, but, obviously, you talk to those teams; isn't that common sense?" Arena told reporters.
Although Arena offered some clarification on what the Galaxy may do, he did not offer a timeline for when any deal might get done.
"If we make a move and get it accomplished," said Arena. "[People] will know."
SEATTLE – Robbie Rogers has been searching for a position to call home with the LA Galaxy after a vagabond first season with the club, but it appears that the defender has, at last, found his place at left back.
Back for the first time since early-July after overcoming an ankle injury, Rogers provided needed width along the left side of the defense while also aiding the Galaxy attack with piercing runs forward. After playing his sixth match across all competitions along the left side of defense, Rogers went as far to admit that he feels as though he has become a full-fledged left back.
“It felt great, especially the first half. My ankle still feels sore, so I didn’t know if I was going to be ready to play, but I’ve played through injuries and I really wanted to play in this one,” Rogers told LA Galaxy Insider. “I really wanted to play in the Kansas City game, but I wasn’t ready and I tried to train and be ready for that but I’ve really enjoyed playing left back and right back when I played against Chicago.
“I feel more comfortable [at the [position] the more games I play,” he added. “I was happy to participate and contribute, but I still think that I can improve a lot more.
In arguably his best performance along the flank, Rogers worked well with midfielder Landon Donovan to shut down the Sounders right sided attackers while also making overlapping runs that pinned Seattle back in their own end. Following the match, Rogers’ stat sheet was indicative of his efforts as he finished the game with an impressive stat line that included seven interceptions and seven recoveries.
Rogers’ quick ability to adapt to his new defensive role has led some to compare him to DaMarcus Beasley, another former midfielder who extended his career several years by making the move to the back line.
Quite familiar with Beasley’s game due to their time on the U.S. national team, Rogers admits that the move may look similar to the new Houston Dynamo Designated Player’s change on the surface, but he shrugged of any comparisons.
“DaMarcus and I are just different. Even when we played left wing we were different,” said Rogers. “Even though they are the same position, I wouldn't compare the way that we play. I don’t think that the way that we play is similar.”
Five members of the LA Galaxy Academy will join 54 other stars from MLS academies to take part in the Generation adidas ESP Event in Portland starting this Friday.
Among the five players selected are Jose Enrique Bustamante and Ethan Zubak who played a major role in the Galaxy Under-16 side that won the U-15/16 U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy title defeating Real Salt Lake AZ earlier this month. Joining Bustamante and Zubak are fellow U-16’s Kevin Diaz and Tyson Griffin as well as Under-14 academy goalkeeper Jordan Aldama.
The Galaxy players and the rest of the MLS contingent will not only face each other in a series of matches, but also take on the FC Bayern Munich U-16 team as part of the festivities that will lead up to the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game that will see the MLSers take on the Bayern Munich first team.