CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy rookie Kofi Opare gave a confident performance in LA’s 2-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory over C.S. Cartaginés and showcased LA’s depth at center back.
In a piece for LAGalaxy.com, I speak to Opare about his competitive debut for LA, which left me incredibly impressed with the rookie defender, but Opare did not just impress me, but also Galaxy associate head coach Dave Sarachan.
Ko“We learned a lot from that game knowing now that we have even more depth in that position,” said Sarachan. “Opare was a little bit of a wildcard because we hadn’t seen him. Knowing now that he pulled through it with high marks, gives us good flexibility and depth.”
Opare is the latest young Galaxy center back to step in and perform well for LA, joining Tommy Meyer who shined down the stretch run last season after A.J. DeLaGarza went down with an injury. Meyer started LA’s final four MLS Regular Season matches and then throughout the MLS Cup playoffs.
After Opare’s performance, the Sarachan is confident the rookie is continuing to progress in his development.
“We’ve seen this now and this is a function of being together for a while that these guys grow and develop in the system and gain confidence through reserve games and good training,” said Sarachan. “I think when he got on the field, I’m sure internally, he was a little nervous, but externally, he showed a lot of confidence and having Omar next to him and veterans near him helped.”
In the latest edition of "View from the Booth" Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino analyze the LA Galaxy's match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Check it out below...
In an interview with Time Warner Cable SportsNet’s Chris Mcgee, Landon Donovan stated that he'd like to remain with LA despite his contract being up at the end of the season.
The Galaxy forward has impressed since returning from an impressive performance with the U.S. National Team at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. In his two matches since returning, Donovan has tallied three goals an assist to help LA to a 1-0-1 record. When Mcgee pressed him on his contract expiring, Donovan mentioned that his choice would be to remain with the Galaxy.
“I would like that,” Donovan said. ” Obviously as you get older, you only have so many more opportunities to do things you want to do. Financially, things come into play. All things being equal, I would love to be here and we’re working towards that, and I’m hopeful that will happen.”
At a press conference last week for the unveiling of Omar Gonzalez as the club's new third Designated Player, Galaxy President Chris Klein told reporters that the club is currently working to keep Donovan with LA.
As for what could prevent him from remaining with the Galaxy, Donovan answered bluntly.
“Them telling me they don’t want me,” said Donovan.
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Salvadorian football was rocked to its core on Wednesday as 22 players were suspended for 30 days by the nation’s federation for their role in an alleged match fixing scandal. The suspension was placed at 30 days due to the fact that the investigation remains ongoing.
"With the investigations which have been conducted up to this point, evidence has been collected which suggests that offences have been committed connected to so-called match-fixing," FESFUT said in a statement on Tuesday.
The matches in question are as follows: El Salvador's 5-0 Gold Cup loss to Mexico on July 5, 2011, a 2-1 loss to the United States on Feb. 24, 2010, a 1-0 loss to D.C. United on July 19, 2010, and a 4-1 loss to Paraguay on Feb. 6, 2012. In addition to banning the players, the Salvadorian national team will not play more games until the investigation is complete.
The ban extends to all competitions including the CONCACAF Champions League, which will have a direct impact on the LA Galaxy’s CCL opponents Isidro Metapan. Los Caleros will lose out on two players Eliseo Quintanilla and Alfredo Pacheco for their Sept. 18 match against the LA Galaxy -- and possibly beyond. Not only will these players not play with the team, but Metapan issued a release on their official Facebook page that the players will not be allowed to train with the rest of the team.
The complete list of players suspended is below:
Luis Anaya, Osael Romero, Ramón Sánchez , Christian Castillo, Eliseo Quintanilla, Miguel Granadino, Miguel Montes, Dagoberto Portillo, Rodolfo Zelaya, Víctor Turcios, Carlos Romeo Monteagudo, Dennis Alas, Alfredo Pacheco, Mardoqueo Henríquez, Marvin González, Carlos Carillo, Darwin Bonilla, Rodrigo Alejandro Martínez, Reynaldo Hernández, Ramón Flore, Benji Villalobos, Emerson Umaña
LA Galaxy youngsters Bryan Gaul and Kenney Walker are off to a new NASL club.
The Galaxy announced on Thursday that they have recalled the two 2012 MLS SuperDraft selections from the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers to the club and have subsquently loaned them to the Carolina RailHawks. Walker was the only player to make an appearance for the Strikers as he saw time in their match against Minnesota United FC.
Both players will be eligible to make their RailHawks debut this weekend against Minnesota.
CARSON, Calif. – In his first season in MLS, Gyasi Zardes has not only adapted to a new league, but also a new position.
Zardes has been stationed out wide on the left multiple times this season, but the 21-year-old has started LA’s last two league matches and their 2-0 victory over C.S. Cartaginés on Tuesday. The rookie’s speed seems to make him a natural option on the flanks and despite being stationed farther away from goal; he has still managed to continue to be a threat in the attacking third for the Galaxy.
Following LA’s 2-0 victory over the Costa Rican side, Zardes told reporters that he’s begun to settle into the left midfield position.
“I’m starting to get the hang of it and to be honest, I like it out there,” said Zardes. “You have a lot of freedom, no defender up your back so it’s kind of like a different point of view out there.”
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CARSON, Calif. – Look at the statistics and the highlight reel goals and you can see that Robbie Keane is an extremely effective forward, but according to his fellow attacker Landon Donovan, his influence goes even deeper.
Following LA’s 2-0 victory over C.S. Cartaginés in their CONCACAF Champions League Group 8 opener in which Donovan assisted on a pair of Keane goals, the U.S. international was asked to discuss how the Irishman was different than other forwards that he has played with throughout his career.
“His biggest attribute is his movement. His movement is sublime. You don’t always see it and there are a lot of times that he makes good movements on the field where he doesn’t get the ball, but the times that he does, you see it. He’s very sharp, very active and he’s always playing with the defender’s mind,” said Donovan.
“One time he’ll come short and then the next time, he’ll get behind him. The next time he comes short and the next time he’ll get behind them. As a defender, it’s impossible to know where he’s going to go and if you’re on the same page with him then he’s going to make them pay.”
The LA Galaxy opened up CONCACAF Champions League play with a victory on Tuesday after defeating C.S. Cartagines 2-0 at StubHub Center.
My Three Points to the match can be found here. Also, my sidebar to the game that focuses on the partnership of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane is here.
A few notes:
*The Galaxy are tied with Cartagines for the lead in Group 8 with three points, but are ahead on goal difference with a +2 differential.
*LA are now 6-0-0 at home all-time in the Group Stage of the CONCACAF Champions League and 7-3-0 all-time at home in the tournament.
*Robbie Keane is now tied with Juninho and Jack McBean for the Galaxy's all-time goal scoring lead in the CONCACAF Champions League with four goals apiece.
*Due to television issues many were unable to watch the match, but courtesy of LAGalaxy.com, you can see Keane's goals below:
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy may be without the services of midfielder Robbie Rogers after the 26-year-old suffered a left hamstring injury during LA’s 2-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory over C.S. Cartaginés on Tuesday.
The injury is a challenging one for Rogers, who was making his first appearance for LA since their Guinness International Champions Cup Third Place match against AC Milan on Aug. 7 after failing to make the game day roster in two consecutive league matches. To date, Rogers has made nine MLS regular season appearances for LA since joining the club in late May.
Rogers earned the start for LA against the Costa Rican side and had a few dangerous runs up field, but was forced to come off just a minute before half time after feeling a “pinch” in his left hamstring just moments earlier. The midfielder told reporters after the match that he is expected to receive an MRI in the next few days, but admitted that the injury was a frustrating one in light of his recent form.
“It’s really frustrating. I always think that things happen for a reason so sometimes you think, ‘what is the lesson in this.’ But, I don’t know,” said Rogers. “I’m just going to keep my head up and hopefully the MRI isn’t too bad so I can continue to train and do fitness. I don’t think that I’ll be out too long, maybe just a couple of weeks.”
CARSON, Calif. – Following the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over C.S. Cartagines, LA head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media.
His comments are below...
(On whether the match was a fair result…)
ARENA: “I think that it’s a fair result. I think Cartaginés is a very good team and played very well. They’re going to be a different team to get through this competition.”
(On Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane’s partnership…)
ARENA: “Great. He and Landon are fabulous combination working together. Their last goal was huge and Landon gave us an outstanding 30 minutes. Those two are in great rhythm with each other and continue to be a threat.”
(On Kofi Opare’s showing…)
ARENA: “He had a very good game. Not an easy game for a young player. This is his debut and he did an excellent job. He’s looked really trained and played in reserve games. He’s a player with a lot of potential and I thought that he had a good game.”
(On Jose Villarreal…)
ARENA: “He’s a good young player. He played a good 60 minutes tonight. He has a good future at 19-years-old and he’s got a lot ahead of him. We want to try to move him along the right way and give him as many opportunities as we can. I thought that he played well tonight.”
(On what is more important MLS or CCL…)
ARENA: They’re both important priorities. We want to defend our MLS crown for sure. We have a lot to do in MLS to get ourselves in playoff position, but this competition is an important for sure. We want to advance into the quarterfinals next year.”
(On what the game in Costa Rica will be like…)
ARENA: "It’ll be a difficult game. They will be in position where they have to beat us in Costa Rica. They will be aggressive and attack with numbers.”