adam serrano

18 March 3:45 pm

CARSON, Calif. – A.J. DeLaGarza could be back in the starting XI soon as the veteran LA Galaxy defender has made a full recovery from a nagging left foot injury.

DeLaGarza’s injury kept the center back out of commission for much of the preseason, but he was able to make a brief cameo during the team’s season opener against the Chicago Fire. A week later, DeLaGarza was an unused substitute in LA’s 2-2 draw against the Portland Timbers, but according to Bruce Arena, DeLaGarza is “very close” to returning to the lineup.

“I missed the entire preseason, but I got 60 minutes in a [closed-door scrimmage] against Galaxy II last week," DeLaGarza said. "There’s no better way to get fit then actually playing. Hopefully soon, I can get back out there, and hopefully suffer no setbacks.”

Provided there aren’t any steps backward, DeLaGarza believes that he could be ready to start as soon as this Saturday’s game against the Houston Dynamo.

“I want to get a game in as soon as possible, I want to be out there because this is my livelihood,” DeLaGarza said. “The fun part of this job is playing in competitive matches, and if Bruce calls me up this weekend then I’ll be ready to play.”

18 March 12:25 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy II forward Charlie Rugg is on the move once more as NASL side Indy Eleven announced that the 24-year-old was departing on loan for the entirety of the 2015 NASL season.

The move will be Rugg's second stint with Indy Eleven after making five appearances for the NASL club last Fall. During his time with the club, Rugg notched a goal and an assist while helping the team rack up a five game unbeaten run. 

“The 2014 season was undoubtedly an important one for the development of my professional career. I grew a lot playing with LA Galaxy II, but I feel that my short time here in Indy was equally important and a good note to end on,” said Rugg in an Indy Eleven press release.  “I'd like to pick up where I left off and use this year to continue to grow as well as help Indy Eleven stand out in the NASL.”
 
According to Indy Eleven, Rugg began training with the club on Wednesday and will be available once the team opens up the NASL season on April 4 against the Atlanta Silverbacks.
 
17 March 3:34 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Brian Rowe made his second consecutive start when he got the nod in net for the LA Galaxy's 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday, but apparently, Bruce Arena was not intending to give the youngster the start initially. 

Arena told reporters on Tuesday that he had intended to start 2014 regular starter Jaime Penedo against the Timbers, but the Panamanian goalkeeper was a late scratch. 

"Jaime was supposed to start but came down with a migraine before the game so Brian got to play," Arena told reporters. "I think that it was good that Brian got two games in the early on in the season, but Jaime is certainly going to get back in there."

Both Penedo and Rowe trained on Tuesday. 

EDSON BUDDLE STILL WORKING TO RETURN FROM INJURY

A left quad injury has kept Edson Buddle from suiting up for the LA Galaxy this season, but the 34-year-old forward is making strides with his recovery and could be back in the squad this Saturday against the Houston Dynamo.

Buddle has taken part in full training with the club for the last week, but the veteran forward still believes that he needs to work on "each aspect" of the game to improve his overall sharpness. 

"I still have a ways to go. I need to work my way back into it," said Buddle. "It's possible [to play vs. Houston]. I'm shooting for it. Maybe this week I'll be ready, but you never know." 

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena isn't so sure that the forward will be back by Houston, however. 

"He hasn't trained at all so he's just getting back into training." 

Even if the Houston match is still soon for Buddle, the forward "definitely" plans to be in the mix when the Galaxy take on D.C. United on March 28. 

DRAFT PICK ANDREW WOLVERTON STILL IN THE LA GALAXY'S PLANS

The LA Galaxy are still interested in bringing in 2015 MLS SuperDraft selection Andrew Wolverton, Bruce Arena confirmed on Tuesday.

LA selected the 6-foot-6 goalkeeper in the fourth round of the draft with the 82nd overall pick but he missed all of the preseason due to a nagging foot injury. 

16 March 11:31 am

PORTLAND, Ore.  – “Character” results are one of the most tried and true sports clichés around, but the LA Galaxy made that narrative a reality with their late 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

Amid rain and high winds that made the already difficult Providence Park turf pitch even tougher, the Galaxy dominated the match, but still needed to overcome two deficits to steal a point on the road against the Timbers. The final touch came just seconds after Portland pulled ahead in the 90th minute when an Alan Gordon header sealed a draw for the Galaxy.

After the match, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane was not frustrated about missed opportunities, but commending his squad on the grit that they showed.

“We kept battling. I told the lads before the game that we’re probably the best footballing team in the league, or one of, but sometimes you have to show a little bit more than that,” said Keane. “Sometimes you can’t play under difficult circumstances and today was one of those circumstances even though they allowed us to play and we dominated the second half as they dropped off a lot. It’s about battling through and showing some heart. We certainly showed that today.”

Gordon, who was once again the late game hero, agreed that LA’s show of character will help the team going forward in the season.

“To come back and steal a point is huge for our momentum going back to L.A.,” Gordon said.

16 March 10:26 am

The LA Galaxy Academy may have two players in this fall’s U-17 FIFA World Cup as the United States’ Hugo Arellano and Mexico’s Abraham Romero helped their respective teams qualify over the weekend.

Arellano and the Americans booked their ticket on Sunday with a thrilling penalty kick shootout victory over Jamaica after their playoff game ended in a scoreless stalemate. Arellano was joined on the squad by U-17 star Haji Wright who has spent time with the Galaxy Academy over the past year. Meanwhile Romero, who has suited up for the U.S. and Mexico, served as El Tri’s goalkeeper throughout the competition and helped Mexico win their second consecutive U-17 CONCACAF Championship

The 2015 U-17 World Cup takes place in Chile from Oct. 17 to Nov. 8.   

15 March 8:21 pm

PORTLAND, Ore. – Brian Rowe earned his second consecutive start in goal for the LA Galaxy in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers, but the young goalkeeper was less than pleased with his showing.

Rowe appeared confident despite tough conditions that forced the Oregon native to frequently come off his line to stifle Timbers’ forays into the penalty area. However, the wind also led to some inopportune moments as several of the 26-year-old’s clearances were brushed backward due to the blustery conditions.

Rowe’s lowest moment of the afternoon came on the Timbers’ second goal as he rushed to clear a Darlington Nagbe run, only to leave the net wide open for Fanendo Adi who easily finished his second from close range.  In the end, however, Alan Gordon’s late goal stole a point for the Galaxy, and offered Rowe some confidence after a less than stellar performance in Portland.

“I thought I did alright, I expect better of myself on that last one. We did a great job fighting back and getting the tying goal at 1-1 and just sort of as you get to those closing minutes on the road you just have to be able to close it out,” said Rowe. “So personally I expect better of myself at that second one, just to be able to clean it out and do a little better but a little magic by way of Alan Gordon and fortunately we were able to steal a point and get out of here.”

Jaime Penedo is once again expected to test Rowe for the starting job as the club looks ahead to next week’s match against the Houston Dynamo. However, Rowe has little concern about getting pulled into a goalkeeper battle.

“I feel comfortable out there. I feel confident,” Rowe said. “I’m just trying to keep it going in training every week, keep the consistency going and just try to keep pushing myself to get better.”

15 March 7:57 pm

PORTLAND, Ore. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media after the club's 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Sunday.

Arena's thoughts are below.

(On getting a point on the road…)

ARENA: We played well today. It would have been awful not to get a point out of this game. Our team was very good over the last 60 minutes today.

(On the overall game outcome…)

ARENA: “We played well. We really did. Give credit to them. They got two goals out of this, to their credit. We had to fight real hard to get a point out of this but we deserve the point.”

(On Alan Gordon’s stoppage time goal…)

ARENA: “Great goal. What else can you say?”

(On newcomer Mika Vayrynen’s performance…)

ARENA: “Mika played very well. Obviously it’s going to take him some time to get acclaimed and adjusted to our team but it was a very impressive showing on his part today.”

On Midfielder Jose Villarreal’s performance…

ARENA: “Jose was very good, very good. He got a little tired at the end. I took him off, maybe we could have kept him on a little longer but he played very well.”

(On Goalie Brian Rowe’s performance…)

ARENA: “He did a good job. I think a little bit more experience maybe he’s a little better on that second goal. He’s got to come out and jump on that ball.”

(On how this game may look down the stretch…)

ARENA: “Don’t worry about September and October. We’re worried about next Saturday now. I’m happy you all have us ready for September and October but we have a lot of games ahead to make our team better.”

15 March 12:27 pm

PORTLAND, Ore. –Ahead of the LA Galaxy’s match with the Portland Timbers (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes 4 p.m. PDT), let’s take a look at some required reading, matchups to watch, and my prediction for Sunday's match.

LINKS:

*The biggest question of the week is who plays in goal for the Galaxy on Sunday? Brian Rowe or Jaime Penedo.

*Jose Villarreal made a major mark along the left side of midfield in the Galaxy's win against the Chicago Fire, and he'll be aiming to do the same against the Timbers.

*Could the LA Galaxy have a new Scanadivanian connection? As newcomer Mika Vayrynen looks to make his debut against the Timbers, Stefan Ishizaki is hoping to have a great sophomore season with the Galaxy.

*LA bolstered their squad this week with the signing of rookie midfielder Ignacio Maganto who is eager to make an impact for the first team.

*In the latest edition of By the Numbers, we take a look at LA’s frustrating record in Bridgetown.

*LAGalaxy.com reporter Larry Morgan checks in with a preview on the Galaxy’s trip to Portland.

*The 2013 MLS Referee of the Year Hilario Grajeda will serve as the head official for Sunday's match.

*In the latest edition of 90 in 90, Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino provide their insight to the game in Portland.  

*Lastly, check out my video for LA Galaxy TV previewing the match.

THEY SAID IT:

"It's always a tough place to go. Great fans and great atmosphere. I'm sure, it will be raining again, like it is every year we’re there. I really enjoy the atmoswphere there."

- Robbie Keane on the trip to Portland. 

QUESTIONS AHEAD OF THE MATCH:

WHO WINS THE BATTLE IN THE MIDFIELD: JUNINHO OR DIEGO CHARA

The midfield battle will be decided between the two international stars who will look to set the tempo for their respective club. Expect plenty of hard challenges on the small field at Providence Park

CAN ROBBIE KEANE KEEP UP HIS SCORING STREAK IN PORTLAND?

The LA Galaxy may have only one win all-time in Portland, but the Rose City has proven to be a boon town for Robbie Keane. The Irishman has three goals and one assist in four career matches at Providence Park, and will look to find the back of the net again on Sunday.

WHO STARTS IN GOAL FOR THE LA GALAXY?

The biggest question for the Galaxy, however, is who starts in goal for Bruce Arena’s squad. Brian Rowe was rarely tested during LA’s 2-0 shutout of the Fire, but 2014 incumbent netminder Jaime Penedo will be eager to get the nod in goal.  

PREDICTION:

LA Galaxy 2 (Robbie Keane, Baggio Husidic) Portland Timbers 2 (Darlington Nagbe, Fernando Adi)

14 March 7:17 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Drama is par the course when the LA Galaxy travel to the Rose City to take the Portland Timbers, and LA expect another barnburner when the two teams face off on Sunday.

 The last time the Galaxy set foot on the turf pitch at Providence Park, the two teams saved the scoring for the dying moments as a Diego Valeri strike in stoppage time negated a Robbie Keane goal moments later. Late game flare-ups are common when the two teams face off as 15 of 39 goals scored in the series all-time have been scored between the 61st and 90+ minutes.

With those late game goals common especially when LA travel to Portland, the question has to be asked, why the added intrigue every time the Galaxy head to Bridgetown?

“When you add a short field with a big crowd, it makes a difference,” Juninho said. “Portland is very good at home. They know that they have to play well at home, and against us, they want to give everything.  We need to be aware of that.”

As his team prepares for the challenge ahead, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena says his group must be calm and smart to prevent any further dramatics. 

“One of our objectives this season is to be a better team on the road,” Arena said. “Hopefully, we can set the tone, play smart and bring home three points.” 

14 March 3:49 pm
The annual trip to the Rose City has not been kind to the LA Galaxy, but the defending MLS Cup champions will look to turn their luck around on Sunday when they take on the Portland Timbers at Providence Park.
 
In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com’s By the Numbers, I take a look at LA’s record all-time in Portland. Even though it may be a bit grim, there is a silver lining as Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has three goals and one assist in four total games in Portland.