CARSON, Calif. -- Marcelo Sarvas has become an integral part of LA Galaxy midfield, but months ago, he was fighting for a playoff spot.
Following Thursday's practice session, I caught up with Sarvas' who discussed his recent run of form and the role that David Beckham's absence played in his rise.
Below Sarvas discusses the role that his compatriot Juninho has played in his rise..
SARVAS: “We solve many problems just by talking during the game. It goes two ways, he’s helped me and I’ve helped him. It’s something that is mutual and natural. We help each other with our position and if there is something that he doesn’t see during the game then I do my best to put him in a good spot. We both help one another.”
The LA Galaxy have clinched a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals and they didn't even need to kick a ball to do so.
With the Puerto Rico Islanders 3-0 victory over Isidro Metapán in Puerto Rico on Thursday, the Galaxy have sealed the top spot in CCL group 5. The Galaxy close out the group stages on Oct. 25 against Metapán in El Salvador and even though LA have qualified for the quarterfinals, their match against Metapán will still be vital in determining the club's overall seeding for the knock out round.
Unlike past tournaments, the winners from the eight groups will be seeded according to their record, with the club with the best record taking on the club with the worst, the second best record taking on the seventh best and so on. If clubs have identical records after the group stage then the rankings will be determined by the following tie-breakers, listed in order: 1. Total goal difference, 2. Most goals Scored, 3. Most Goals Scored Away from home 4. Most Wins 5. Most Away Wins 6. Drawing of Lots. Remember that the club with the highest ranking will host the second leg of the quarterfinals series.
It remains to be seen what type of squad that head coach Bruce Arena will use in the final match in El Salvador as the game is in the middle of two important league games against the San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 21 at Buck Shaw Stadium and the regular season finale against the Seattle Sounders on Oct. 28.
Based on the tie-breakers, if the CCL ended today, the quarterfinal stage would look like this:
1. Santos Laguna (MEX) vs. 8. Alajuelense (CRC)
2. Monterrey (MEX) vs. 7. Xelajú (GUAT)
3. Seattle Sounders (USA) vs. 6. Houston Dynamo (USA)
4. Herediano (CRC) vs. 5. LA Galaxy (USA)
Happy to see the Galaxy through to the quarterfinals? What type of squad do you expect Arena to use in El Salvador?
Share your thoughts below.
LA Galaxy broadcasters Mark Rogondino and Cobi Jones have provided their "View from the Booth" preview for Sunday's match against the Colorado Rapids.
Christian Wilhelmsson is providing a new attacking dimension to the LA Galaxy and it's causing teams around MLS to take notice.
In LA's 4-2 victory over Toronto FC, Wilhelmsson was active on both sides of the flank and despite starting on the right hand side, often drifted to the left when need be, causing shifts in the Galaxy midfield. Frequently when Wilhelmsson would swap flanks, it would allow midfielders Mike Magee, Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho to rotate throughout the midfield (check out the chalkboard from that match here) causing problems for the Toronto defenders.
Read more about the midfield adjustment here, but for a defensive perspective, I spoke with right back Sean Franklin about his own adaptations with Wilhelmsson on the flanks...
FRANKLIN: "It’s a little bit of adjustment; each player that has played on the wing is different. Christian is different from Magee, Magee is different from Hector [Jimenez]. Everyone is different so when we’re practicing, it’s about getting the repetitions of how the player is playing. I think that it is coming along well with Christian, not just on my side on the right, but Todd [Dunivant] as well on the left side with Magee. It’s been a good team effort."
CARSON, Calif. -- Scoreboard watching has become a regular occurrence with the LA Galaxy as they look to move up the table in the Western Conference, but on Thursday, their focus will be on the CONCACAF Champions League.
If the Puerto Rico Islanders defeat Salvadoran club Isidro Metapán (5pm/Univision Deportes Network), then the Galaxy will secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the CCL for the second consecutive season. An Islanders victory would prevent Metapán--who are currently at three points, four behind LA's seven-- from tying the Galaxy for the top spot in Group 5 even if Metapán were to defeat LA in their final CCL match on October 25 in El Salvador.
A victory would help the Galaxy in CCL, but also in MLS play as the trip to El Salvador is sandwiched in-between LA's final two games of the season--a road fixture against San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 21 and the season finale at The Home Depot Center against the Seattle Sounders on Oct. 28.
Following LA's training session on Thursday, Marcelo Sarvas and Sean Franklin admitted that they're throwing their full support behind Puerto Rico...
SARVAS: “It’s good. One of our targets is to qualify for the next stage in CONCACAF, if Puerto Rico can help us today then it’ll be good and we can be focused more on our MLS games. Of course, you save travel and game time so it can help us.”
FRANKLIN: “It’d be nice to get a little help from Puerto Rico, but at the end of the day, if we got to go down there and handle business then we got to do what we got to do. If we clinch today or we don’t clinch and we have to go down and get a win in El Salvador, the team is prepared for that.”
In an interview with Joe Tutino, the LA Galaxy's Swedish winger Christian Wilhelmsson discusses his new life in LA.
During his interview, Wilhelmsson touched upon his adaptation to Southern California and admitted that he is still on the radar for Sweden's national team heading into the next round of World Cup qualifiers.
Check out the video below...
The LA Galaxy can clinch a berth in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday without even playing a minute.
Later this evening, the Puerto Rico Islanders host Isidro Metapán at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón, Puerto Rico (5pm PDT/CONCACAF.com) and if the NASL side can defeat the Salvadorans, the Galaxy will clinch Group 5. However, if Metapán can earn either a draw or a victory in Puerto Rico then it would set up a decisive match between Metapán and the Galaxy in El Salvador on October 25.
Currently, the Galaxy are in the lead in group 5 with seven points in three games, Metapán has tallied three points in two games while Puerto Rico rounds out the group with one point in three games.
I posted my look back at last Saturday's LA Galaxy Alumni game earlier in the day and now LAGalaxy.com has provided us with a video highlights package of the evening.
Check it out below.
After missing the LA Galaxy's last four matches with a left ankle sprain, David Beckham is hopeful that he'll be able to return to the field in this Sunday's match against the Colorado Rapids.
In a phone interview with MLSsoccer.com's Scott French on Wednesday, Beckham told French that he believes his condition is improving and may allow him to participate on Sunday.
“It's better,” Beckham told MLSsoccer.com of his injury. “Still a little bit of discomfort, but it's good to be back on the field. [I was out] three weeks in the end. I wasn't expecting that, but I'm back now.“I hope [I can play in Colorado]. I hope so. Trying to get my fitness back – I was working on fitness while I was injured, but nothing, obviously, like playing games and being in training. Hopefully, I can get out on the field and stay fit this week and be involved [against the Rapids].”
Beckham's injury first surfaced during LA's 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sept. 1. The sprain prevented Beckham from participating in practice for three weeks, but the 37-year-old English midfielder made his return to the Galaxy training ground on Tuesday.
“This injury came at a tough time for me. I was enjoying playing, scoring goals, and that was a disappointing moment. But I'm back and hopefully I can get my fitness back and be back out there,” Beckham added.
Below is a video from LAGalaxy.com on Beckham's first training session on Tuesday morning.
As part of his "Between the Lines" segment, MLSsoccer.com's "Armchair Analyst" Matt Doyle breaks down Robbie Keane's goal against the Colorado Rapids on September 14.
Doyle's analysis of Keane's goal is part of his three part video breakdown on the importance of possession, titled "For love of the Long Build."
The video is below and Doyle's analysis of Keane's goal begins at the 1:46 mark...