Count Robbie Keane among those LA Galaxy players who have work to do in order to return to full fitness ahead of the return to MLS competition.
In addition to fellow Designated Player Landon Donovan, Keane is among the Galaxy’s walking wounded heading into their game against the San Jose Earthquakes.
“I think that I did okay playing 120 minutes [against Carolina] just four days after getting back from [Ireland],” said Keane after LA's extra time U.S. Open Cup loss to the Carolina RailHawks earlier this week. “It’s not ideal to play 120 minutes, but it is what it is, but you deal with what happens and you get on with it.
Following training on Thursday, LA head coach Bruce Arena asserted that Keane—and Donovan—are dealing with knocks ahead of the California Clasico match.
"They've been behind our group for a long time, in terms of that," Arena said. "They've got a little catching up to do."
Omar Gonzalez shined as the United States advanced to the round of 16 with a 1-0 defeat to Germany and now the defender is hoping to leave an even greater imprint on the team’s tournament hopes.
Against Germany, Gonzalez enjoyed one of his strongest performances with the U.S. as his positioning and aerial ability helped silence the agile German attack for wide stretches of the game. While Gonzalez was leading the U.S. to qualification, his family was in a far different locale, stranded due to the rain watching his performance on a small phone.
“[Omar’s wife Erica] told me that [his family] were all huddled around some phones streaming the game,” Gonzalez told reporters in Recife. “And so it was a pretty cool experience for them even they though weren’t here. They were all watching and biting their nails in front of this little phone.”
The true measure of Gonzalez’s impact will be measured on Tuesday when Gonzalez may return to the U.S. lineup in the Round of 16 match against Belgium.
Whether or not he gets the start against the Red Devils, however, Gonzalez is pleased with his first showing on the world’s biggest stage.
“My first 90 minutes in a World Cup, there was a lot of emotions there, there were a lot of things going through my head,” said Gonzalez. “But I just wanted to take it one play at a time and just move on from there and if I did mess up, focus on the next play. I was just focused on doing my job and helping this team.”
Should Gonzalez start? Vote in the poll below.
Landon Donovan may not be in Brazil with the U.S. National Team, but he was among those excited about their advancement to the knockout round on Thursday.
Galaxy teammate Omar Gonzalez started and went 90 minutes as the U.S. lost 1-0 to Germany, but still reached the last 16 as Group G runners-up to the Germans. Following Galaxy practice, Donovan spoke to LAGalaxy.com about the teams performance on Thursday.
Watch it below.
The United States will play Belgium in the Round of 16.
For finishing second in Group G, they will get to face Belgium in Salvador on July 1st. The last time the U.S. took on Belgium, they fell 4-2 last May.
The United States has not reached the quarterfinals since the 2002 edition of the tournament. If the U.S. advance, they'll take on the winner of Argentina vs. Switzerland.
Thoughts on the draw?
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LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez will be starting for the U.S. National Team against Germany.
Gonzalez will be making his first start since he picked up a left knee injury in May during a Galaxy match against the Colorado Rapids.
The complete USA lineup is below.
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) June 26, 2014
The day is here.
The United States takes on Germany in a decisive group stage match that will decide if the U.S. reach the knockout stages.
Check out the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's "By The Numbers."
The U.S. National Team will be playing for their World Cup destiny on Thursday when they take on Germany in their final group stage match.
A win or a draw assures the Americans a spot in the last 16, but even if they fall to Germany, they could still book passage to the knockout stages.
Ahead of the match, a hype video made by Ted Harrison is garnering loads of attention. Check it out below.
Landon Donovan's U.S. national team career may continue after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but the LA Galaxy forward admits that he's unlikely to represent the U.S. once the 2018 edition in Russia rolls around.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated media reporter Richard Deitsch, Donovan talked about his broadcasting prospects and his future with the U.S. National Team after the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Donovan admitted that he's unsure whether he'll continue after the tournament concludes, but regardless of his national team future, he doubts that he'll play at his fourth World Cup in four years time .
“There are not many guys who play at 36 or over,” Donovan told SI.com. “I try to never say never, but at this point it is pretty unlikely that I would be a part of that team based on how my body feels and based on how good our team has been. If I am playing in four years, that means we have not progressed enough, to be quite honest. As much as I would love to be there and play in Russia, I think it is better for our national team if I am not there.”
As for a broadcasting career, Donovan told reporters last week that he was enjoying the gig with ESPN and reiterated that to Deitsch.
“Obviously I have to balance it with my real job, which is playing soccer,” said Donovan. “That takes priority now, but we have already had quite a few discussions with different people about post-career stuff. I’m not quite there yet, but it is good to know people are interested and I am hopeful that interest continues.”
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane's goalscoring prowess leads to plenty of accolades and in July, he'll have an opportunity to add yet another to his sterling resume.
On Wednesday, ESPN announced that Keane was among the four players nominated for the Best MLS Player ESPY Award. Joining Keane on the list are Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee, New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill and Montreal Impact striker Marco Di Vaio.
In 2013, Keane finished as a finalist for the league MVP award with 16 goals and 11 assists in 23 appearances. He's kept up his impressive scoring rate this season with seven goals and three assists in 11 games played.
Online voting for the award ends on July 16.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena chose not to address the media following the Galaxy's U.S. Open Cup defeat to the Carolina RailHawks instead associate head coach Dave Sarachan spoke to reporters after the loss.
His thoughts are below.
On his thoughts on the match:
SARACHAN: “When we come here it’s always a game that’s going to be a battle. Colin [Clarke] does a good job getting their guys upward. We had enough chances to win the game. When you have that many shots on goal, and chances and don’t put them away then you keep teams in it. And that team fought like crazy, kept us at a zero and they made one play, this was a one play night. It’s the way soccer is sometimes.”
On how deflating the match was, after the Galaxy was not able to find the back of the net:
SARACHAN: “Well, it’s frustrating, it’s the way I’d put it. It’s frustrating. In a competition where if you lose, you’re out. We’ve seen it a lot in soccer, where a team dominates and doesn’t win and that was the way it was tonight. It’s very deflating and frustrating. Our guys have spent and put a lot of effort into this game and it’s a quiet locker room because they are disappointed and because they put everything out there.”
On what the team’s overall goal was going into the tournament:
SARACHAN: “It’s a competition for a trophy, and anytime you have competitive athletes like we do, what we talk about is we want to win trophies. Obviously by winning this trophy, it does get you into the [CONCACAF Champions League] but you don’t shoot for that immediately you just want to continue to advance and at the end of it you win a trophy and then get the spoils at the end of that. So that’s really where we were at.”
On why the “A” team was used this year as opposed to the previous two years in U.S. Open Cup action:
SARACHAN: “Well, over the past few years we’ve played this competition with a very congested schedule, and we had other competitions. So we had to mix and match, this was the year where we had an opportunity to bring fresher guys and more of a first line guys that were able to contribute and we still have had a layoff so I think a few of our guys were rusty tonight but on paper we clearly had our strongest lineup.”
On how the team now looks ahead of the match against San Jose on Saturday:
SARACHAN: “Well we have depth this year; we’re going to have to asses guys after the trip. It’s all part of the process. I think we are going to have some sore bodies no question so we have to then see where we are at.”
On his thoughts on the play of Carolina’s goalkeeper Scott Goodwin:
SARACHAN: “Well he made, I don’t know what the stats were, but he made a lot of saves tonight. A lot were in his range. I don’t remember him being really stretched to take one out of a corner but fair play to him and not only that, it felt like an NHL hockey game. That must have been, I swear, 30 blocked shots tonight. Guys diving in front of balls, crosses picked out, so that’s a testament to the group of fighting and digging in but the goalkeeper had a good night.”
On the field and the atmosphere:
SARACHAN: I think it was outstanding except the lighting was terrible. Whether that was taken into consideration, at 7 o’clock it’s terrific; at 9 o’clockit’s not great. So if I had any complaints, or there were any complaints, is that it’s not conducive to a night game to be fair. Now, did it play into us losing? Probably not, but if you’re going to host it, you need the proper set up. But other than that I thought it was a good environment, really. The field played great.”