Robbie Keane returns from international duty fit for Western Conference Championship clash with Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy welcomed back captain Robbie Keane from international duty on Tuesday ahead of this weekend's Western Conference Championship first leg clash with Seattle Sounders FC.
Keane spent the last week with the Republic of Ireland and saw limited second half action in their 1-0 Euro 2016 qualifying defeat to Scotland last Friday. The match was the first time that Keane had been left on the substitute’s bench for a competitive international match in 13 years.
“I was disappointed with the result which wasn’t what [the Irish squad] wanted, but I move on and I’m fully focused on the game on Sunday,” Keane said on Tuesday following the team’s training session. “[Coming back early] gives me six days to get back into the swing of things for Sunday after the travel back from Europe.”
The 34-year-old noted that conversations between the Galaxy coaching staff and the Republic of Ireland allowed Keane to miss out on their 4-1 defeat over the United States on Tuesday. Not only does Keane’s return aid in his preparation for the Sounders match, but the Irish striker notes that he is “90-ish percent” back from a left hamstring ailment that plagued him for the last month.
Keane returns to a Galaxy squad that is the midst of their preparations for their clash with a Seattle side that clinched the Supporters’ Shield by defeating the Galaxy on Oct. 25 at CenturyLink Field. Although the Galaxy felt the sting of that defeat after the Seattle match, Keane says that loss will have no impact on what happens on Sunday at StubHub Center.
“There’s no fear. You can’t have fear going into game like this. These are the games that you want to be playing in,” Keane said. “We can’t change about what happened in the past, but we can change what will happen on Sunday. We have to make sure that we go into the game with the right mentality and not thinking that is revenge.
“This is where we wanted to be. We wanted to have a chance to play for a championship and we have every opportunity to do so.”
The MLS Playoffs are in full swing but at the college level, the postseason has only just begun with the start of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament this week.
Local power house UCLA were awarded the No. 2 seed in the tournament earlier this weekend. The Bruins boast a considerable contingent of former LA Galaxy Academy players including goalkeepers Juan Cervantes and Alex Padilla, forward Christian Chavez, defenders Nathan Smith and Javan Torre and midfielders Grady Howe, Brian Iloski and Willie Raygoza. UCLA open up the tournament on Nov. 23 at Drake Stadium in Westwood.
UCLA will play the winner of the first round match between Cal-State Fullerton and University of San Diego which will take place on Nov. 20 at Torero Stadium in San Diego The Big West tournament champion Titans feature four former Galaxy Academy players (midfielder Mark Vasquez, Spencer Johnson, midfielder Ritchie Gonzalez and forward Dyllan Stevens).
On the other side of the bracket, former Galaxy Academy defender Matthew Tilley and UC Irvine will open the tournament at home at Anteater Stadium against UNLV. If the Anteaters defeat the Runnin’ Rebels then they will travel to Palo Alto to face Pac-12 tournament champion Stanford in Palo Alto.
Landon Donovan is used to being nominated for awards based on his skill on the soccer field, but on Tuesday, the U.S. soccer legend was nominated for an award for his acting prowess.
Univision Deportes nominated Donovan for Best Artistic Performance by an Athlete, based on his portrayal in a commercial in their annual Premio Univision Deportes (Univision Deportes Awards). Donovan is nominated for his infamous "Always in the Game" advert with EA Sports.
Fans can vote once a day here until Sunday, Dec. 14 at 8:59 p.m. PT. The winners will be announced on UniMas on Dec. 18 at 6:00 p.m. PT.
In my latest top five list for Galaxy TV, I look at the top five playoff moments in LA Galaxy history.
Check out the video above and leave your comments on the list below.
Kevin Stott to ref the LA Galaxy's Western Conference Championship first leg with Seattle Sounders FC
The Professional Referee Organization announced on Monday that veteran official Kevin Stott will preside over Sunday’s Western Conference Championship first leg between the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC.
This season, Stott called an average of 24.25 fouls per game (388 in all) while awarding a total of 42 yellow cards (2.6 per game), three red cards and calling for nine penalty kicks. The 47-year-old refereed three Galaxy games (Sept 14 v. FC Dallas, Aug. 27 v. D.C. United and Aug. 2 vs. Portland) this season and one match involving the Sounders (Sept. 12 vs. Real Salt Lake).
LA hold a 10-0-0 record in the last 10 games with Stott officiating—a list that includes playoff victories against San Jose in 2012 and Real Salt Lake in 2013—while Seattle are 5-1-4.
The refereeing team for Sunday’s match is below.
REFEREE: KEVIN STOTT
AR1: Adam Wienckowski
AR2: Greg Barkey
4TH: Ricardo Salazar
A.J. DeLaGarza went 90 minutes but Guam’s dreams of reaching the 2015 EAFF Asian Cup took a major hit on Sunday when the Pacific Island nation fell 5-1 to North Korea at the Taipei Memorial Stadium.
The North Koreans took an early lead on a goal in the 13th minute by Jong Il-gwan but Guam pulled one back in the 58th minute when Jason Cunliffe tallied. However, the 2010 FIFA World Cup participants soon took charge soon after.
In the 69th minute, Jong put the Chollima ahead for good with a half-volley before Ri Sang-Choi added to the lead less than 10 minutes later. Ri added another in the 85th minute before Song Hyok tallied in stoppage time to complete the rout.
North Korea needs only to avoid defeat in their match against winless Chinese Taipei to clinch a berth in the competition. Due to the upcoming Western Conference Championship, DeLaGarza is not expected to be available for Guam’s final match against Hong Kong on Wednesday.
The LA Galaxy have long been one of the banner clubs in MLS and it’s no surprise that they were well-represented in MLSsoccer.com’s All-Time Playoff XI.
The league’s website released their list on Monday with the Conference Championships starting later this week. Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy MLS Cup champion in 2005, 2011, 2012) leads the charge for the Galaxy contingent which includes Chris Armas (LA Galaxy MLS Cup finalist in 1996), Todd Dunivant (LA Galaxy MLS Cup champion in 2005, 2011, 2012), and Brian Mullan (LA Galaxy MLS Cup champion in 2002).
Included in the list of honorable mentions are LA legends Mauricio Cienfuegos, Kevin Hartman and Cobi Jones as well as Galaxy MLS Cup winners Robbie Keane, Omar Gonzalez and Ned Grabavoy.
If you disagree, feel free to leave a comment below.
Robbie Keane sees limited minutes as Republic of Ireland fall 1-0 to Scotland in Euro 2016 qualifier
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane went 12 minutes as the Republic of Ireland fell 1-0 to rival Scotland in their Euro 2016 qualifying match at Celtic Park in Glasgow.
Keane started off the match on the bench as the two teams played to a tense scoreless draw until Shaun Mahoney's remarkable curling shot put the Scots up in the 74th minute. The Galaxy captain came on 74th minute, but was unable to help the Irish earn a draw. With the result, the Irish are now second in Group D behind top ranked Poland.
The Republic of Ireland return to action next week when they take on the United States on Wednesday, Nov. 19. Whether or not Keane participates in that match or returns to the Galaxy remains to be seen.
A weighted lottery was held on Monday with FC Dallas winning the top selection in next week's Dispersal Draft. Following the top selection, New York City FC and Sporting Kansas City will hold the second and third picks in the draft which will distribute former Chivas USA players around the league.
According to MLSsoccer.com, picks in the Dispersal Draft can not be traded.
Chivas USA Dispersal Draft order:
- FC Dallas
- New York City FC
- Sporting Kansas City
- DC United
- New England Revolution
- Montreal Impact
- Orlando City SC
- Colorado Rapids
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Real Salt Lake
- Houston Dynamo
- Portland Timbers
- Chicago Fire
- Toronto FC
- Columbus Crew SC
- LA Galaxy
- Philadelphia Union
- New York Red Bulls
- Seattle Sounders FC
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC
LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers made American sports history a year ago when he became the first athlete in a major professional sport to come out as a gay man.
The announcement led to considerable scrutiny and media pressure in his difficult first season with the club, but now a year later, things have changed consdierably. Rogers has solidified himself as one of the top left backs in MLS and on Thursday, he was rewarded with a new multi-year contract extension by the Galaxy.
As his professional life has come together, Rogers' has personal life has flourished as well as the 27-year-old will be releasing his biography "Coming Out to Play." on Nov. 25. On Thursday, Rogers celebrated the book's release with a private event in West Hollywood.
"It was an amazing event and I'm so happy to see the support from everyone," Rogers said.
Photos of the event are below.