Omar Gonzalez believes that he is still not playing at his best. And that should cause serious worry throughout MLS.
In ten league appearances this season, the Galaxy have conceded just eight goals when Gonzalez has been on the field, notching five shutouts. Although the Galaxy’s defense has improved, the centerback admits that he is still returning to full fitness.
Below Gonzalez discusses his confidence as of late as well as his inclusion by some among the front runners for MLS MVP…
GONZALEZ: “With me personally, my confidence is still not perfect and that’s understandable, but there are some plays where I might not be at my best, like the one that I whiffed and Marcelo had to save and plays like that so if I can just minimize those mistakes then I’ll be on the right way. As a group, last game, we had a few miscommunications like the throw in that led to the goal, but we still got the win so it was good that we had those mistakes and got the win as opposed to the mistakes costing us the game.”
(On being considered an MVP candidate…)
GONZALEZ: “That’s really flattering because there are a ton of guys that are doing great. If my name is being tossed out there then great, but I’m not really focused on that. My focus is on winning another championship, first and foremost.”
CARSON, Calif. -- When Toronto FC midfielder Terry Dunfield scored in the 38th minute of the LA Galaxy's 4-2 victory over TFC on Monday, Dunfield snapped LA's five game shutout streak.
Prior to TFC's goal, the Galaxy's shutout streak stood at 491 minutes spread across five matches in all competitions. The league mark was slightly smaller, spanning three games and 381 minutes.
Although LA lost their shutout streak, defender A.J. DeLaGarza said that it was of little concern to the back four as long as they continue to earn victories.
DELAGARZA: “I don’t even think we even think about it, we just go out there and play. We’re not worried about getting a shutout for seven games in a row; we’re just trying to win games. If we get a shutout, it’s a bonus for our fans that love chicken and for us. We’re able to get the win and that’s what matters.”
Last Saturday, the LA Galaxy's future met the club's past in an Alumni match.
The match was a part of the festivities honoring the 2002 MLS Cup winning side that was inducted into The Home Depot Center Wall of Legends. In the match, the Academy side composed of Under-16 and Under-18 players defeated the Alumni by the score of 2-1 with Jack McBean and Cobi Jones being among the scorers.
Following the match, I caught up with Galaxy Vice President Chris Klein, Galaxy U-18 player Oscar Sorto and former LA midfielder Dema Kovalenko.
Below are their thoughts...
KLEIN: "It was fun. We want the future of the Galaxy to beat the past. It was great, it was really amazing to see all these guys back here on the same field and talking to each other again. We all have something pretty cool in common that we played for the best club in Major League Soccer so they all feel it so it was nice to get out here and play. The whole idea is that we're trying to tie the young guys into the organization and we're trying to bring the old guys back to be a part of our organization so it works well."
(On playing against his childhood hero, Mauricio Cienfuegos...)
SORTO: "It was a dream come true. I never thought that I would be playing against him and going hard against him. I was so happy to be playing against him. He's a big role model to all Salvadorans so it was a great experience."
(On returning to the Galaxy...)
KOVALENKO: "It was nice to be back and being around the stadium brings so many memories back. It's been only a year and a half, but it seems like yesterday that I was playing for the Galaxy. It's nice to be back, but I'm humbled. I'm still in soccer coaching kids, but it nice to be back and see everyone as well as all the guys that played that used to be on the team. It's really good."
Two LA Galaxy youth players were named to United States Under-17's 20-player squad for the upcoming AGS Cup in Alicante, Spain
LA Galaxy Under-18's defender Jorge Miranda and midfielder Rolando Muñoz were called into the squad by U-17 head coach Richie Williams. The U.S. is in Group B for the AGS Cup and will face off against Azerbaijan on September 29, Georgia on Sept. 30 and the United Arab Emirates on October 1. Should the Americans advance, the U.S. will play in a playoff match against an opponent from Group A, which consists of Mexico, Canada, Morocco and Russia. The Americans would then finish the tournament with a placement match on Oct. 6.
U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeff Caldwell (NC Fusion; Todd, N.C.), Paul Christensen (Seattle Sounders FC; Woodinville, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (7): Bryce Cregan (PA Classics; Dallastown, Pa.), Conor Donovan (NC Alliance; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Elijah Martin (Cal Odyssey; Fresno, Calif.), Jorge Miranda (LA Galaxy; Van Nuys, Calif.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo Jr. (Real So Cal; Carpinteria, Calif.), Tyler Turner (South Central Premier; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Junior Flores (McLean Youth Soccer; Manassas Park, Va.), Angel Heredia (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.), Christopher Lema (New York Red Bulls; Ridgefield, N.J.), Rolando Muñoz (LA Galaxy; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (5): Corey Baird (San Diego Surf; Escondido, Calif.), Rubio Rubin (Portland Timbers; Beaverton, Ore.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Wesley Wade (New York Red Bulls; South Orange, N.J.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea FC; Garland, Texas)
It was impossible to get news on MLS today without hearing about the launch of EA Sports' popular soccer video game "FIFA 13"
LA Galaxy players A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin, Bryan Gaul and Bryan Jordan took part in the festivities on Tuesday afternoon participating in a demonstration of FIFA 13 via gaming network Machinima. Earlier today, I broke down the Galaxy's ratings on the game and those who have already got a copy of the game can obtain a downloadable cover featuring Landon Donovan downloadable here.
Not being a gamer myself, I decided to ask DeLaGarza about the role that FIFA 13 plays in his connections with his teammates as well as fans and ask him about his own gaming skills.
.Below are DeLaGarza's thoughts...
(On being in a video game…)
DELAGARZA: “It’s exciting, especially as a rookie to see yourself in a video game. It’s humbling and you’re just kind of in awe that you’re in a video game. It’s awesome because everyone plays FIFA. We all get together and have tournaments and probably set it up in our [players] lounge. It should be exciting.”
(On playing against fans…)
DELAGARZA: “It’s fun to be on their level, not that it’s lower or anything, but just let them feel like I’m a part of them and they’re a part of me. It’s also fun to play against people that you know instead of random people online, who you can’t talk trash to afterwards.”
(On whether or not he wins most games against fans…)
DELAGARZA: “A couple Riot Squad guys, I beat all the time—Chris Tucker, no names, but—I’m not very good. I’m not a very good gamer. I have games, I play them, but I’m awful. Serious. I think I have ADD. That’s why."
A new feature began on Tuesday on LAGalaxy.com as I will be providing an updated look at the playoff chase as it relates to the LA Galaxy following each match.
While it is understandable for some to put greater emphasis on LA's brutal October schedule (where they'll face off against Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders), Landon Donovan told reporters after Saturday's match that the game against Colorado is just as, if not more important for the Galaxy.
“To be honest, I think the most important game is going to be the Colorado game because I don’t doubt that we’ll be ready for Salt Lake and Seattle and San Jose,” said Donovan. “Those are big games and teams we can likely play in the playoffs. But the Colorado game is a game where we’re playing a team at their home field with nothing to lose, so we’ve got to make sure that we’re ready next week to play and try to get three points there.”
CARSON, Calif. -- With his two goal performance on Saturday, Robbie Keane moved to second place on the MLS goal scoring charts behind San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski.
The Irish forward has scored 14 goals this season, which ties him with Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio and New York Red Bulls forward Kenny Cooper, but Keane holds the edge due to his eight assists. Since returning from the European Championships in June, Keane has been on fire, scoring 11 goals while tallying six assists.
Although it is unlikely that Keane will catch Wondolowski, who is eight goals ahead, the Irish forward admits that he is putting little interest in his place on the scoring charts.
KEANE: “Not really, no. It’s always nice to score goals, but I’m not one that needs to look at charts and stuff like that. I find out most of my information from you guys so thank you…I’ve never set out targets because as a player, playing so long, you can get injuries along the way and setbacks so I think when you stop jumping the gun, I’m one of these players that never thinks too far ahead.”
CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham was back at LA Galaxy training on Tuesday.
For the first time since picking up a left ankle sprain during LA’s 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sept. 1, Beckham was out at training with the entire team taking part in full training, which included a short-sided game as well as a brief jogging period. (I snapped a pic of that below)
After the training session, the Englishman took a moment to shake hands and sign autographs for the U.S. Army Men’s Soccer team that was in attendance during practice today. Beckham even offered his cleats to one lucky serviceman.
Bruce Arena told reporters following practice that while it was “nice to have David” back on the field, his status for Sunday’s game vs. the Colorado Rapids is “day to day.”
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) September 25, 2012
In honor of last Saturday's commeration of the LA Galaxy's 2002 MLS Cup winning side, I decided to write a feature about the experiences of the first Galaxy side to hoist the MLS Cup.
While the last two features that I've done have looked at players for the future, this one was a blast from the past with a three part oral history of the LA Galaxy 2002 MLS Cup title win. I spoke to various former players, media and fans to get a broad perspective of that event.
Be sure to leave your thoughts about the feature in the comments section below.
U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy play continued last Saturday with the LA Galaxy Under-16 and Under-18 splitting results.
The Galaxy U-16's fell 2-1 to Temecula-based Arsenal FC with Christian Chavez from Fontana scoring the lone goal for LA. LA's goal wasn't the only note of interest from the match as Galaxy academy starlet Raul Mendiola's brother Jonathan tallied a goal for Arsenal. Meanwhile, LA's U-18's picked up a dramatic 3-2 victory in a match that featured temperatures in the triple digits at Riverside Community College. Galaxy Homegrown player Jack McBean scored twice for the Galaxy with Mendiola rounding out the scoring for the LA U-18's against his former youth club. The match served as the season debut for right back Oscar Sorto, who has spent considerable time training with LA's first squad this summer.
Although LA's Academy players participated in tough matches in the morning, many were called into action during the Galaxy Alumni game hours later with the Academy players picking up a victory over the LA legends.