In the latest edition of the "Galaxy All-Access Podcast" Joe Tutino speaks with myself and MLSsoccer.com's Scott French to give an early season assessment of the LA Galaxy. We touch on pleasant surprises on the team, disappointments, Designated Players, the CONCACAF Champions League, and a number of other topics in our discussion.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – There’s no doubt that LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane is one of—if not the most—important player on his team.
The Irish forward has tallied five goals and four assists in just six matches so far this season. When Keane is the lineup, the Galaxy have scored 15 goals—five belong to Keane—and hold a 4-1-1 record,compared to a scant six tallies and a 2-4-1 record when he’s unavailable.
Although the Galaxy clearly miss the Irish forward’s production when he's away, LA head coach Bruce Arena says that there’s simply no magic formula for replacing him.
“If you took LeBron James away from the Miami Heat, how do you think that they’d be? Those are the facts of life of sport. Good players make a difference. That’s why we pay that player a lot of money,” said Arena. “You don’t swap a reserve for Robbie and if you have a way of doing that then I’d like for you to send me that formula. I’ll go right to the lab and mix it up, and get it ready to go. Those are the facts of life."
On Saturday, the Galaxy will be without Keane yet again when LA travel to face Real Salt Lake. During their last visit to Rio Tinto Stadium, the Galaxy were without their Irish forward, but preserved as they smashed RSL 2-0 on April 27.
Despite not having Keane for a second straight match, LA midfielder Marcelo Sarvas admits that they’ll simply have to move on and preform the job themselves.
“We cannot cry and we cannot think about this. He’s not here. Omar [Gonzalez] is not here,” said midfielder Marcelo Sarvas. “The guys that step on the field know that they must take the responsibility and it is their opportunity to show to the [coaching staff] that they can play.
“If you can’t replace his technique then you can do another thing. You can fight,” added Sarvas. “If you’re not able to do the same things [as Keane] then you can find spaces and use your speed, fight, and help in the defense. Every player has their own characteristics.”
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena provided a brief update on the club’s injury situation heading into this week’s training prior to the team’s match with Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
Just three players were listed on the club’s injury report following LA’s 5-0 defeat to the New England Revolution: Todd Dunivant (left quad strain), Leonardo (left ankle) and Jack McBean (fractured left clavicle).
“Jack is not clear yet. Todd is coming around. Leonardo is going to be a little bit,” said Arena, who did not offer a timeline on Leonardo's status.
As for whether or not Dunivant could be available for this weekend’s game against RSL, Arena did not rule the defender out of action.
“Possibly,” said Arena. "It’s possible. We’ll see."
Could the LA Galaxy be searching south of the border for their third Designated Player? According to a report by ESPN Deportes' Tomas Colombo, the producer of the radio show Jorge Ramos y su Banda, the Galaxy have offered a contract to 24-year-old Mexican international Giovani Dos Santos.
According to the report, the Galaxy have offered a deal to Dos Santos, who signed a four year contract with Mallorca last summer. However, the report states that the Galaxy aren't the only team interested in the services of the Mexican midfielder as Spanish giants Valencia as well as Mexican club Queretaro have tendered offers.
Whether or not there is any validity in these reports remains to be seen, but when asked about the club's pursuit of Designated Players by LA Galaxy Insider last month, club President Chris Klein stated that the team is looking for the right fit.
“We’ll continue to be aggressive in the Designated Player market and if someone comes along and it fits us and fits what we need then we’ll be aggressive in pursuing that," said Klein.
What do you think about this rumor? Think it has a chance of happening? Could Dos Santos help the Galaxy?
Share your thoughts below.
The LA Galaxy have logged some heavy miles over the last few weeks.
Over their last five games in all competitions, LA has played just one match on the west coast with the rest taking place on the East Coast. LA's most recent trip out east ended in two defeats as the Galaxy fell 2-0 to the Carolina RailHawks in U.S. Open Cup play last Wednesday before dropping a 5-0 result to the New England Revolution
In fact, during their three trips to the east coast this season, the Galaxy are 1-3-1 in all competitions. The team’s lone win in the Eastern Time Zone came on May 15 when they demolished the Philadelphia Union 4-1. LA will not travel out east again until August when they visit Miami, Florida for the Guinness International Champions Cup and then again in September for a league match against D.C. United on Sept. 15.
“It’s tough. Going to the west and playing a game then coming to the east and playing a game," DeLaGarza told LA Galaxy Insider. I put money on it that the one that does the travel probably loses the games. It is part of playing in the U.S. it’s a big ass country and travel is part of it.”
The eastern travel over for the moment, LA forward Landon Donovan is eager to turn the page.
“This was a tough week for our team,” said Donovan. “We didn’t have the easiest time getting to the stadium [on Sunday] so it was a little bit of a rough trip. It’s nice that we’re past it and we’ll have some west coast games coming up that are going to mean a lot to us.”
LA Galaxy to face El Salvador's Isidro Metapan and Costa Rica's Cartaginés in CONCACAF Champions League
The LA Galaxy learned their opponents for the CONCACAF Champions League on Monday after a wild process in CONCACAF that included a re-draw,
LA were inititally placed in Group 8 alongside Mexican giants Cruz Azul and Cartaginés, but due to CONCACAF's rule stating that Mexican and U.S. teams could not meet in the group stage, a re-draw of three groups took place. The Galaxy were ultimately placed in Group 8 with Salvadoran side Isidro Metapan and Costa Rican club .
The 2012 Apertura Champion Isidro Metapan faced the Galaxy in last year's edition of the tournament with LA defeating the Salavadoran side in both matches. Boasting El Salvador internationals Andres Flores, Milton Molina, Eliseo Quintanilla and Alfredo Pacheco, as well as Panamanian forward Nicolas Munoz, Metapan have become one of the most successful clubs in El Salvador as of late with seven titles in the last five years. Metapan play at the Estadio Jorge Calero Suárez, which is two hours outside of San Salvador. Last year, the Galaxy traveled for two hours by bus from the team's hotel in San Salvador to the match.
Cartaginés are making their first ever appearance in the CCL and fell in penalties in the Final of the Costa Rican 2013 Verano championship. But the Costa Ricans earned a ticket into the tournament after CONCACAF allocated a spot to Costa Rica after stripping Belize of their position in the tournament after the federation deemed that the nation did not have a stadium suitable to host a Champions League match. Cartaginés boast a trio of Costa Rican interntionals including forward Randall Brenes, midfielder Mauricio Castillo, and former New York Red Bulls defender Carlos Johnson. The Costa Ricans play at Estadio José Rafael Fello Meza Ivankovich, which is a 13,500 seat stadium with a grass field about 15 minutes outside of San Jose.
The LA Galaxy will learn their two opponents for the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League group stage on Monday evening.
The draw will take place in Miami at 5 p.m. PT and will air live on ESPN Deportes. Due to their status as MLS Cup champions, the Galaxy have been placed in Pot A alongside Mexican league champions Club America and Club Tijuana, Costa Rican champions C.S. Herediano, Guatemalan champion Comunicaciones, Honduran side C.D. Olimpia, Arabe Unido of Panama as well as the Supporters' Shield winning San Jose Earthquakes.
LA could be partnered alongside any of the following teams:
Pot B: Cruz Azul (Mexico) Montreal Impact (Canada), Alajuelense (Costa Rica), Victoria (Nicaragua) and Isidro Metapán (El Salvador).
Pot C: Luis Ángel Firpo (El Salvador), Cartaginés (Costa Rica), Guatemala 2, (pending tournament), San Miguelito (Panamá), Real Estelí (Nicaragua), W Connection (Trinidad and Tobago), Valencia FC (Haiti), Caledonia AIA (Trinidad and Tobago).
Above is a photo snapped just after the Galaxy's flight this morning of Boston Harbor and it's final approach to Los Angeles.
The arrival ends an eight-day trip for most of the contigent, who participated in both the club's 2-0 U.S. Open Cup defeat to the Carolina RailHawks as well as the 5-0 loss to the New England Revolution.
Over that period, the Galaxy flew 5,442 miles. LA will return to the road later this week when they take on Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.
International Update: Robbie Keane scores two and is poised to become Ireland's all-time caps leader
Both Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez made significant contributions for their national teams over the weekend.
Keane notched a brace as Ireland demolished Georgia 4-0 in Dublin on Sunday as he tied former teammate Shay Given for Ireland’s all-time appearance record with 125. In fact, Ireland manager Giovanni Trappatoni was incredibly complimentary of Keane’s move to MLS and said that it has revitalized the Ireland captain.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez went the distance in the U.S. National Team’s 4-3 win over Germany at Washington D.C.’s RFK Stadium. The start was Gonzalez’s fifth straight with the U.S.
Both Keane and Gonzalez will be back in action on Friday. Ireland takes on the Faroe Islands in a pivotal World Cup Qualifier while the U.S. take on Jamaica. The two LA stars aren’t the only Galaxy players who may suit up for their country this week as Homegrown right back Oscar Sorto will look to make his Toulon Tournament debut when the U.S. Under-20’s take on Korea Republic on Wednesday.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Sunday's match was a brutal one for the LA Galaxy, who fell 5-0 to the New England Revolution.
A few notes on the match including some provided by the Galaxy Communications staff below:
*The Galaxy arrived at Gillette Stadium 55 minutes prior to kick off on Sunday after traffic en route.
*The 5-0 defeat ties the club record for the biggest margin of defeat in an MLS regular season game, equaling a 5-0 loss to the MetroStars on June 15, 2002.
*This was also just the second time that the Galaxy have conceded five or more goals in a game under Bruce Arena. LA lost 6-3 to FC Dallas on September 12, 2009 at The Home Depot Center.
*The Galaxy are 0-5-0 in MLS this year when conceding the first goal and 0-7-0 when doing so in all competitions.
*This was the 17th straight game in all competitions this season that the Galaxy have made at least one lineup change.
*According to the team issued game notes: Todd Dunivant (left quad strain), Leonardo (left ankle) and Jack McBean (fractured left clavicle) all missed the game because of injuries.
*Bryan Gaul and Kofi Opare were in the 18-man squad for a regular season for the first time in 2013. Each of LA’s 29 rostered players have been on the gameday squad at least once.