CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane makes the LA Galaxy offense go, but LA may be without the Irish forward for Sunday’s clash against FC Dallas.
Keane was not present during the final 15 minutes of training on Saturday as the club wrapped up preparations for their match against FCD on Sunday. If Keane is unable to start his third match in nine days, then head coach Bruce Arena is likely to turn to either Jack McBean or Jose Villarreal to start alongside Gyasi Zardes.
Villarreal is the frontrunner as the forward drew a penalty in 29 minutes of action during LA’s 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew on Thursday. If he does step into Keane’s boots on Sunday, the 19-year-old forward insists that he won’t allow the pressure get to him.
“I wouldn’t take [playing in place of Keane] as pressure," said Villarreal. "[I just have to] what I’ve been doing lately and what the coaches know that I can do. Just play well and provide as much for the team as I can."
As for what makes his pairing with Zardes different then when he partners up with Keane or Landon Donovan, Villarreal has a simple answer—pure youthful exuberance.
“It’s just a bunch of energy,” said Villarreal. “[You know that if] you’re not running then the other guy is running for you. It’s good to have that. That doesn’t happen a lot. It’s good to have people that you know and people that you grew up playing with.”
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez was announced among the top 10 vote-getters in the 2013 MLS All-Star Fan Best XI on Sunday afternoon.
The All-Star selection is the third of Gonzalez’s career as the 24-year-old center back was selected for the squad in 2010 and 2011. Joining him on the list is former Galaxy and current Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee, who has scored 11 goals this season.
Those players selected for the Fan XI received the most votes through three platforms—online at MLSsoccer.com, via text message, and via Twitter. Only 10 players were named to the team as an 11th player—a forward—will be selected as part of the AT&T MLS All-Star ‘In the Game’ Challenge. The player will be chosen based on the number of goals that fans score with that player in FIFA Soccer 13, with one goal equaling one vote. That forward will be announced on July 11.
The MLS All-Stars will face Italian club AS Roma at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. on Wednesday July 31 in the 2013 MLS All-Star Game. It is worth noting that just because a player is selected to the Fan Best XI, he is not necessarily included in the game day roster for the game. Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes will select players based on his own considerations and individual availability, but all players selected by the fans count as All-Stars.
The complete list of players is below.
2013 MLS All-Star Fan XI
Goalkeeper: Raul Fernández (FC Dallas)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
Midfielders: Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), AT&T ‘In the Game’ forward (TBA – July 11)
CARSON, Calif. – Every time that Omar Gonzalez takes on FC Dallas, the spotlight on the LA Galaxy center back shines just a little brighter.
After all, as a Dallas native, he draws considerable attention from the media in Texas for his success with the Galaxy and the U.S. National Team. But on Sunday, he'll have plenty of attention on him for a totally different reason as he's immortalized in a bobblehead that will be given to the first 10,000 fans at StubHub Center.
However, Gonzalez isn’t too worried about the goings-on off the field; he’s simply focused on stopping a strong Dallas team that sits four points ahead of LA in the Western Conference standings.
“Dallas has had a pretty good first half of the season. They’re a team that’s really hard to beat. Their goalkeeper [Raul Fernandez] is playing really great and saving them in a lot of games. They’ve had a couple comeback wins so they have a lot of character and a lot of fight,” said Gonzalez. “This is a game where we have to have a lot of focus for 90 minutes plus. If we do have the lead, we have to keep them from scoring and play good football.”
For LA to keep Dallas off the scoreboard, Gonzalez must stop FCD’s ultra-physical Panamanian forward Blas Perez, who currently leads the club in goals with six.
“Blas Perez is a typical goal scorer. He likes to be in the box waiting for crosses and he’ll do anything to get his head on the ball,” said Gonzalez. “I think he’s very cheeky in box; he likes to make those little smart runs, so you just have to be aware. Make sure that he doesn’t get in behind and attack the ball before he does.”
As for that bobblehead of his, when asked about the figurine on Thursday, Gonzalez said that he had yet to see his own little-mini Omar.
But now that a few days have passed, what are his impressions?
“I’ve seen it maybe once. I didn’t really get a chance to exam it fully to make sure everything is correct,” said Gonzalez with a smirk. “It’s pretty funny to have a bobblehead…maybe I’ll give the guys from Dallas a bobblehead of their own.”
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) July 7, 2013
CARSON, Calif. -- In the latest edition of View from the Booth, Joe Tutino and Cobi Jones preview the LA Galaxy's match against FC Dallas.
Check it out below...
Three young LA Galaxy players are on their way to Sweden.
Forward Charlie Rugg, midfielder Kenney Walker and defender Bryan Gaul are off to Sweden to train with Swedish Superettan side Hammarby, a club official confirmed on Saturday. The 22-year-old Rugg, who was selected by the Galaxy with the 19th overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, announced his move via his verified Twitter account on Saturday afternoon.
A team official confirmed the training stint, but did not provide a timeline for the moves. It is worth noting that neither Gaul nor Walker were present during the final 15 minutes of training on Saturday.
Of the trio, only Rugg has seen time during the 2013 MLS regular season with one goal in his three appearances. Walker, 24, missed the entire preseason after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot, but started along with Rugg in LA’s U.S. Open Cup defeat to the Carolina RailHawks on May 29.
After making 19 appearances in all competitions a year ago, the 24-year-old Gaul has yet to feature for the Galaxy in first team competition in 2013.
Coached by former Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter and co-owned by AEG, Hammarby are currently in seventh place in the Superettan and nine points out of a berth in the promotion playoffs.
CARSON, Calif. – Ahead of Sunday’s clash with FC Dallas, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena discussed the team’s mindset heading into their 19th match of the year.
Arena’s comments from Saturday’s training session are below…
(On his impression of FC Dallas…)
ARENA: “They’ve been one of the top teams in the league to date. Obviously, [they] had a great start to the season. Their win against us at home is important for them and they’ve had some good wins. They’ve slowed down as of late, but they’re going to be one of the teams that are certainly going to be battling for the five playoff spots and possibly the first place position in the league.”
(On how he expects FC Dallas to come out to start the game…)
ARENA: “No idea. If you know, write it down for me and help me out a little bit. We never know these things.”
(On Blas Perez…)
ARENA: “He’s been good. He’s been pretty solid for his two years in the league. He has a good presence in the penalty area.”
(On how the team will do on the short rest…)
ARENA: “In this case, it’s the same for both teams, so we’re certainly not at a disadvantage. I think that we’ll be fine.”
(On the U.S. win over Guatemala….)
ARENA: “I only watched the first half; I thought that it was a terrible game to be honest with you. I don’t know who Guatemala had playing with them. It was an awful game on the field.”
(On Donovan bypassing the 50 goal mark for the U.S. team…)
ARENA: “That’s great for him. That’s a great milestone. Congratulations to Landon.”
Landon Donovan signaled his return to the U.S. National Team with a bang on Friday.
Playing in his first match for the U.S. since last August, Donovan scored the 50th and 51st goals of his international career in the Americans’ 6-0 victory over Guatemala at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. The goals were Donovan’s first with the national team since scoring a hat-trick against Scotland in May of 2012.
The U.S. dominated the young Guatemalan team from start to finish in front of a crowd of 25,080 in San Diego.
Jurgen Klinsmann's squad was up 1-0 at the half off a goal by former LA Galaxy forward Herculez Gomez in the 42nd minute, but once the second half began, Donovan truly got going. The Galaxy midfielder became the first American male to score 50 international goals in the 55th minute when he drew a penalty and then converted to put the U.S. up two. Donovan bagged his second of the night and 51st internationally in the 73rd minute when he expertly finished a well-placed cross by Stuart Holden cross. Sandwiched in-between those Donovan finishes, the Galaxy midfielder played the role of distributor as he helped set up Chris Wondolowski's first international goal in the 71st minute.
Donovan exited the match in the 77th minute, but the U.S. did not take their foot off the gas as they rattled off two more goals from Clarence Goodson and Alejandro Bedoya to seal a 6-0 victory.
The U.S. begins their 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign on June 9 against Belize at JELD-WEN Field.
Video of Donovan's goals are below...
The LA Galaxy will be without the services of Landon Donovan for the month of July as he looks to lead the U.S. National Team to glory at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but they aren’t alone as 31 other players from 16 MLS teams will be taking part in the tournament’s group stages.
That number could grow after the group stage as the teams that advance to the knockout stages will be able to amend their rosters with players from their 35-man preliminary rosters—a prime example of this type of player is LA’s own Omar Gonzalez, who is considered likely to join the U.S. after the initial round.
Although the Galaxy are expected to feel the sting of the tournament, they may capitalize on it as two of their remaining four opponents in the month of July will be without key members of their respective squads.
On Thursday, the Columbus Crew were without the services of Costa Rican winger Jairo Arrieta during LA’s 2-1 victory. A third team would have been included in the list if the Galaxy’s next opponent FC Dallas had not reached an agreement with the Panamanian Federation to keep forward Blas Perez through Sunday’s match at StubHub Center.
After the Dallas match, Bruce Arena’s squad will take on the Portland Timbers on July 13 at JELD-WEN Field, who will be without captain Will Johnson (Canada), left back Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica), and forward Frédéric Piquionne (Martinique). The Timbers can make a case for the team most affected by the tournament as they will be without their leader in goals (Johnson), leader in assists (Wallace), and an emerging offensive contributor (Piquionne). With LA aiming to make a run up the Western Conference standings, they may be making the trip up to Portland at just the right time.
A week later, the Galaxy will take on a Vancouver Whitecaps FC side on July 20 that could also be missing three players: midfielder Russell Teibert and goalkeeper Simon Thomas (Canada) as well as defender Carlyle Mitchell (Trinidad and Tobago). The latter two may be fringe players for the Whitecaps, but LA fans remember Teibert, who notched a brace against the club in their last meeting on May 11 at BC Place. Teibert may not be the only player missing from Vancouver's roster when the Whitecaps come to visit, however, as center back Johnny Leverón was named to Honduras’ 35-man preliminary roster and could be called up after the group stage.
The Galaxy wrap on their July slate on the 27th at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park when they take on a Colorado Rapids side free of Gold Cup entanglements. Colorado is one of three teams (New England Revolution and Montreal Impact being the others) who will not be affected by the tournament during the group stage.
Can the Galaxy capitalize on this opportunity? Will LA make a run up the table in July?
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy erased a one-goal deficit late on the heels of a pair of Robbie Keane penalty kick goals on Thursday, to seal a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew.
But while the Galaxy were jovial after the match, Columbus was left fuming about the calls made by referee Sorin Stoica.
“Unfortunately for us, the referee called [the penalties],” Columbus coach Robert Warzycha told reporters after the match. “From my point of view, it’s difficult to judge. What I can tell you is [Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum] said he didn’t initiate contact [on the first penalty], then on the second penalty [Bernardo Anor] said he was just going for the ball. The referee called both of them, and that’s the game, unfortunately.”
The second penalty, which was drawn when Keane was fouled in the box by Anor in the waning moments of the match, drew the most contention postgame for Crew and Galaxy players alike.
But what did members of the LA Galaxy think of the calls? Reporters asked Keane, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, and center back Omar Gonzalez about the penalty calls after the match, and all seemed to bring up the second penalty.
Their responses are below…
KEANE: “The second one I’m looking at the ball and someone comes into the back of you. If someone runs into the back of you without you knowing the fact is you’re going to fall over. I didn't see him behind me when I wanted to take the ball down and he just ran into me. When you’re in the penalty box you obviously have to be very careful.”
ARENA: “The second one—we might have been fortunate on. I haven’t seen them on tape. The first one I think Jose was taken down, but I think there wasn’t any of them you could say 100 percent penalty. The Crew is going to feel a little disappointed, for sure.”
GONZALEZ: “Several times this season, I think we’ve played great games but have let up late, or things just don’t go our way. Tonight, maybe the second PK wasn't such a great call, but hey, it went in our favor and I can’t ask for anything more than that. It was a great call by the referee, especially at home, and getting the win for the fans, it was great. It just showed a lot of character, going down 1-0 after dominating the entire game. Showing the character to come back and win the game 2-1 was great.”
What are your thoughts?
Watch the video of the second penalty call below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy earned a dramatic comeback victory over the Columbus Crew on Thursday as two Robbie Keane penalty kick goals sealed a 2-1 win for LA.
Post game notes can be found below...
*The victory was the Galaxy's first win when allowing the first goal. LA is now 1-6-0 in that situation. LA's last come from behind victory in the MLS Regular Season came on July 14, 2012 vs. the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field.
*LA outshot the Crew 23 to eight.
*Robbie Keane is now the LA Galaxy's 2013 MLS Regular Season goal scoring leader with seven goals. Keane was already the leader in goals among current Galaxy players, but bypassed Mike Magee's mark of six with two strikes on Thursday. Keane has scored four of his goals on penalty kick attempts. Keane now has 25 goals in 42 career regular season games with the Galaxy. He is the eighth different player to score 25 or more regular season goals for LA.
*LA has completed five of their seven penalty kicks this season.
*LA’s seven penalty attempts this year are tied for the second most in club history. Only in 2003, when the Galaxy drew eight penalties, did they attempt more spot kicks. The last time LA had seven penalties in a single season was 2007, when they also went 5-for-7.
* The Galaxy have now scored eight times in the final 15 minutes during regular season play while conceding 14. Additionally, of the nine goals scored and allowed in the Champions League, six came in the final 15 minutes.
* 28 of the 60 goals scored in Galaxy games in all competitions this year have been scored in the final 15 minutes.
*The Galaxy are now 10-5-3 all-time on the Fourth ofJuly. LA has played at home on Independence Day for 18 consecutive seasons, which according to Elias Sports Bureau is an American sports record.
*LA is currently in fourth place in the Western Conference with 27 points. They sit seven points back of MLS Supporters' Shield leaders Real Salt Lake with a game in hand.