LA Galaxy II player-assistant coach Laurent Courtois is retiring from professional soccer.
Courtois, 35, confirmed to LA Galaxy Insider on Friday that he has retired from soccer in order to focus on a career in coaching. The player-coach announced via Instagram earlier in the week, that he'll be returning to France as he seeks to earn his coaching credentials from the French Football Federation.
In 2014, Courtois made 11 appearances for Los Dos while tallying two goals for the Galaxy's USL PRO affiliate.
"It has been an honor to play for a great club like the LA Galaxy over the past year," Courtois told LA Galaxy Insider on Friday.
Courtois hangs up his boots after an 16-year career that included stops in the top leagues in England, Spain, France and the United States. During his time as a professional, the Lyon Academy product played for such clubs as Ajaccio, Tolouse, West Ham United, Levante, and the LA Galaxy.
In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's "By the Numbers," we look at the Galaxy's clash with the Columbus Crew on Saturday.
Check it out below.
COLUMBUS, Ohio. --The LA Galaxy kicked off their week-long road trip on Friday morning by training at the Ohio State University.
As expected, the Galaxy brought a full squad for the trip that includes new addition Alan Gordon as well as Galaxy II stalwarts Rafael Garcia, Charlie Rugg and Raul Mendiola. Following training, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the Ohio State University Men's Soccer Team, who observed the 90-minute training session.
A photo gallery of the training session is below.
The LA Galaxy will face the Columbus Crew on Saturday at Crew Stadium in Ohio.
In the latest LAGalaxy.com video piece, Robbie Rogers, Alan Gordon and Bruce Arena speak about LA's clash with the Crew.
Check it out below.
Landon Donovan will play at Columbus Crew Stadium for the final time on Saturday as he prepares to retire at the end of the season.
Donovan has enjoyed plenty of memories at the stadium for both club and country and because of his sterling career, he'll be honored prior to Saturday's match. In a video for TheCrew.com, Donovan discusses his memories of Columbus and his excitement to play in the venerable stadium one last time.
Check it out below.
Both Jones and Ruiz were both instrumental in the Galaxy's U-16 U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy title. During the Academy campaign, Jones, a center back, tallied 27 appearances for the Galaxy U-16 team while Ruiz scored 13 goals in 27 games played.
Joining the U.S. U-18's is Los Angeles born forward Haji Wright, who has been a member of the Galaxy Academy for the last several years, but is currently listed by U.S. Soccer as unattached. Wright is currently in Germany training with Schalke 04's U-17 team. Reportedly joining Haji in Germany is his younger brother Hanif, who has also played within the Galaxy Academy system.
The complete U.S. U-18 roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Klinsmann (Irvine Strikers; Newport Beach, Calif.), James Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham; Westcliff on Sea, Essex), Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls; Brooklyn, N.Y.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake AZ; Tucson, Ariz.), Malcolm Jones (LA Galaxy; Chino Hills, Calif.), Pablo Pelaez (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Mukwelle Akale (Unattached; Minneapolis, Minn.), Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire; Downers Grove, Ill.), Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire; Carmel, Ind.), Jorge Ruiz (LA Galaxy; Mission Hills, Calif.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake AZ; Casa Grande, Ariz.), Benjamin Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio), Sean Wilson (Philadelphia Union; West Chester, Pa.), Jackson Yueill (Minnesota Thunder; Bloomington, Minn.)
FORWARDS (4): Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sebastian Elney (Boca United; Boca Raton, Fla.), Victor Mansaray (Seattle Sounders FC; Des Moines, Wash.), Haji Wright (Unattached; Los Angeles, Calif.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will be up against an old friend and an unfamiliar foe when they take on the Columbus Crew on Saturday at Crew Stadium.
LA will be facing a Crew team that currently finds itself in the thick of the postseason chance with 27 points which is good enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Leading the Crew is former Galaxy center back and assistant coach Gregg Berhalter, who took the top job with Columbus in the offseason.
“They started off pretty strong, but they hit a little bit of a lull and have come back as of late and have played better,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “They’re a certainly a team that goes forward and attacks. As you look at them, you can see that their attacking scheme is built around [Fredrico Higuian] and rightfully so because he’s a terrific player and a great play maker.”
While Arena focused on the specific strengths that Columbus boast, Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan made a broader claim about the difficulties of facing Eastern Conference competition.
“The east games present a different challenge [because] stylistically [because the team’s play is different and we have to make sure that we are well prepared which we will be for Saturday,” said Donovan. “I think inn the west, teams put more emphasis on possession while the teams in the east are more direct.
“When I watch the [Eastern Conference] games, there’s not the same flow to the games as there is in the Western Conference games, it’s different, but we have to adjust.”
LA must use the match against Columbus as a chance to adapt to a different style of play as the club will play five of their last 14 games of the season against Eastern Conference opponents. As Arena’s side seeks to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield, the Galaxy boss believes that taking full points from their Eastern Conference is vital.
“It’s important that we take advantage of those kinds of games,” said Arena. “Because it’s likely that most of our opponents in the west are not getting three points. That’s just probability.
Such recognition ceremonies are common place in the MLB and NBA, but Donovan will be the first retiring MLS player to be honored by an opposing team. Donovan’s honor comes as no surprise as the forward has enjoyed plenty of success at Columbus Crew Stadium with the U.S. National Team, the Galaxy and the MLS All-Stars.
Although Donovan doesn’t expect tributes prior to each match like retiring New York Yankee great Derek Jeter, he is honored by the gesture.
“It’s very respectful and it’s not necessarily my personality to want that stuff, but it still feels good. It’s nice as a human being. I’m very grateful that they’re going to do that,” said Donovan. “I just think that when teams around the World do it for their own players, it’s nice and it’s respectful.
“I think that we live in a society where we’re always so quick to move onto the next and we forget about what people have done so that to me is a big statement and I appreciate it. They certainly aren’t obligated to do so and it’s a nice gesture. I certainly hope that it is a trend that continues. When guys spend their career here and grow the league then they deserve it, there are guys that deserved it before I came into the league and I’m sure there will be guys who will deserve it after.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Alan Gordon is back with the LA Galaxy and he's expecting to find the back of the net for his new club.
In my latest story for LAGalaxy.com, I speak to the new Galaxy forward, who was acquired on Monday in a swap with the San Jose Earthquakes. It was in San Jose that Gordon revitalized his career as one of the chief weapons of a physical Earthquakes' attack, but with the Galaxy, the 32-year-old forward expects to have plenty of room to attack.
“I think that there are so many weapons [in LA] that there is less focus [on players like me]. With San Jose, there was so much focus on “the Bash Brothers” and you had to mark them tightly in the box,” said Gordon. “Here, every attacking quality and I wouldn’t be the guy that [defenses] are marking up. That should free me up a bit and these guys are serving up great balls and I’m sure that if I’m at the right place at the right time then I can get some goals for this team.”
Omar Gonzalez, who has dealt with marking the tenacious forward in the past, agrees that Gordon’s presence in the penalty area should be a major boost for the Galaxy.
“If you guys whipping in balls then he can get to a lot of things that most guys can’t get to because of his size. It’s definitely exciting to have him in here and hopefully he can get some more goals,” said Gonzalez. “When teams are sitting deep on us and putting 10 guys behind the ball, hopefully we can put the ball out wide and find him inside the 18-yard box.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Count LA Galaxy right back Dan Gargan as the latest Galaxy player to complete the ALS ice bucket challenge.
Gargan completed the challenge which is designed to bring awareness to the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis on Tuesday along with Equipment Coordinator assistant Igor Pierra and challenged a number of U.S. Soccer luminaries including Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. Pierra also issued his own challenge as he called upon new Galaxy addition Alan Gordon to complete the task.
The video is below.