Omar Gonzalez believes that he is still not playing at his best. And that should cause serious worry throughout MLS.
In ten league appearances this season, the Galaxy have conceded just eight goals when Gonzalez has been on the field, notching five shutouts. Although the Galaxy’s defense has improved, the centerback admits that he is still returning to full fitness.
Below Gonzalez discusses his confidence as of late as well as his inclusion by some among the front runners for MLS MVP…
GONZALEZ: “With me personally, my confidence is still not perfect and that’s understandable, but there are some plays where I might not be at my best, like the one that I whiffed and Marcelo had to save and plays like that so if I can just minimize those mistakes then I’ll be on the right way. As a group, last game, we had a few miscommunications like the throw in that led to the goal, but we still got the win so it was good that we had those mistakes and got the win as opposed to the mistakes costing us the game.”
(On being considered an MVP candidate…)
GONZALEZ: “That’s really flattering because there are a ton of guys that are doing great. If my name is being tossed out there then great, but I’m not really focused on that. My focus is on winning another championship, first and foremost.”
CARSON, Calif. -- When Toronto FC midfielder Terry Dunfield scored in the 38th minute of the LA Galaxy's 4-2 victory over TFC on Monday, Dunfield snapped LA's five game shutout streak.
Prior to TFC's goal, the Galaxy's shutout streak stood at 491 minutes spread across five matches in all competitions. The league mark was slightly smaller, spanning three games and 381 minutes.
Although LA lost their shutout streak, defender A.J. DeLaGarza said that it was of little concern to the back four as long as they continue to earn victories.
DELAGARZA: “I don’t even think we even think about it, we just go out there and play. We’re not worried about getting a shutout for seven games in a row; we’re just trying to win games. If we get a shutout, it’s a bonus for our fans that love chicken and for us. We’re able to get the win and that’s what matters.”
Last Saturday, the LA Galaxy's future met the club's past in an Alumni match.
The match was a part of the festivities honoring the 2002 MLS Cup winning side that was inducted into The Home Depot Center Wall of Legends. In the match, the Academy side composed of Under-16 and Under-18 players defeated the Alumni by the score of 2-1 with Jack McBean and Cobi Jones being among the scorers.
Following the match, I caught up with Galaxy Vice President Chris Klein, Galaxy U-18 player Oscar Sorto and former LA midfielder Dema Kovalenko.
Below are their thoughts...
KLEIN: "It was fun. We want the future of the Galaxy to beat the past. It was great, it was really amazing to see all these guys back here on the same field and talking to each other again. We all have something pretty cool in common that we played for the best club in Major League Soccer so they all feel it so it was nice to get out here and play. The whole idea is that we're trying to tie the young guys into the organization and we're trying to bring the old guys back to be a part of our organization so it works well."
(On playing against his childhood hero, Mauricio Cienfuegos...)
SORTO: "It was a dream come true. I never thought that I would be playing against him and going hard against him. I was so happy to be playing against him. He's a big role model to all Salvadorans so it was a great experience."
(On returning to the Galaxy...)
KOVALENKO: "It was nice to be back and being around the stadium brings so many memories back. It's been only a year and a half, but it seems like yesterday that I was playing for the Galaxy. It's nice to be back, but I'm humbled. I'm still in soccer coaching kids, but it nice to be back and see everyone as well as all the guys that played that used to be on the team. It's really good."
Two LA Galaxy youth players were named to United States Under-17's 20-player squad for the upcoming AGS Cup in Alicante, Spain
LA Galaxy Under-18's defender Jorge Miranda and midfielder Rolando Muñoz were called into the squad by U-17 head coach Richie Williams. The U.S. is in Group B for the AGS Cup and will face off against Azerbaijan on September 29, Georgia on Sept. 30 and the United Arab Emirates on October 1. Should the Americans advance, the U.S. will play in a playoff match against an opponent from Group A, which consists of Mexico, Canada, Morocco and Russia. The Americans would then finish the tournament with a placement match on Oct. 6.
U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeff Caldwell (NC Fusion; Todd, N.C.), Paul Christensen (Seattle Sounders FC; Woodinville, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (7): Bryce Cregan (PA Classics; Dallastown, Pa.), Conor Donovan (NC Alliance; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Elijah Martin (Cal Odyssey; Fresno, Calif.), Jorge Miranda (LA Galaxy; Van Nuys, Calif.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo Jr. (Real So Cal; Carpinteria, Calif.), Tyler Turner (South Central Premier; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Junior Flores (McLean Youth Soccer; Manassas Park, Va.), Angel Heredia (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.), Christopher Lema (New York Red Bulls; Ridgefield, N.J.), Rolando Muñoz (LA Galaxy; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (5): Corey Baird (San Diego Surf; Escondido, Calif.), Rubio Rubin (Portland Timbers; Beaverton, Ore.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Wesley Wade (New York Red Bulls; South Orange, N.J.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea FC; Garland, Texas)
It was impossible to get news on MLS today without hearing about the launch of EA Sports' popular soccer video game "FIFA 13"
LA Galaxy players A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin, Bryan Gaul and Bryan Jordan took part in the festivities on Tuesday afternoon participating in a demonstration of FIFA 13 via gaming network Machinima. Earlier today, I broke down the Galaxy's ratings on the game and those who have already got a copy of the game can obtain a downloadable cover featuring Landon Donovan downloadable here.
Not being a gamer myself, I decided to ask DeLaGarza about the role that FIFA 13 plays in his connections with his teammates as well as fans and ask him about his own gaming skills.
.Below are DeLaGarza's thoughts...
(On being in a video game…)
DELAGARZA: “It’s exciting, especially as a rookie to see yourself in a video game. It’s humbling and you’re just kind of in awe that you’re in a video game. It’s awesome because everyone plays FIFA. We all get together and have tournaments and probably set it up in our [players] lounge. It should be exciting.”
(On playing against fans…)
DELAGARZA: “It’s fun to be on their level, not that it’s lower or anything, but just let them feel like I’m a part of them and they’re a part of me. It’s also fun to play against people that you know instead of random people online, who you can’t talk trash to afterwards.”
(On whether or not he wins most games against fans…)
DELAGARZA: “A couple Riot Squad guys, I beat all the time—Chris Tucker, no names, but—I’m not very good. I’m not a very good gamer. I have games, I play them, but I’m awful. Serious. I think I have ADD. That’s why."
A new feature began on Tuesday on LAGalaxy.com as I will be providing an updated look at the playoff chase as it relates to the LA Galaxy following each match.
While it is understandable for some to put greater emphasis on LA's brutal October schedule (where they'll face off against Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders), Landon Donovan told reporters after Saturday's match that the game against Colorado is just as, if not more important for the Galaxy.
“To be honest, I think the most important game is going to be the Colorado game because I don’t doubt that we’ll be ready for Salt Lake and Seattle and San Jose,” said Donovan. “Those are big games and teams we can likely play in the playoffs. But the Colorado game is a game where we’re playing a team at their home field with nothing to lose, so we’ve got to make sure that we’re ready next week to play and try to get three points there.”
CARSON, Calif. -- With his two goal performance on Saturday, Robbie Keane moved to second place on the MLS goal scoring charts behind San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski.
The Irish forward has scored 14 goals this season, which ties him with Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio and New York Red Bulls forward Kenny Cooper, but Keane holds the edge due to his eight assists. Since returning from the European Championships in June, Keane has been on fire, scoring 11 goals while tallying six assists.
Although it is unlikely that Keane will catch Wondolowski, who is eight goals ahead, the Irish forward admits that he is putting little interest in his place on the scoring charts.
KEANE: “Not really, no. It’s always nice to score goals, but I’m not one that needs to look at charts and stuff like that. I find out most of my information from you guys so thank you…I’ve never set out targets because as a player, playing so long, you can get injuries along the way and setbacks so I think when you stop jumping the gun, I’m one of these players that never thinks too far ahead.”
CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham was back at LA Galaxy training on Tuesday.
For the first time since picking up a left ankle sprain during LA’s 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sept. 1, Beckham was out at training with the entire team taking part in full training, which included a short-sided game as well as a brief jogging period. (I snapped a pic of that below)
After the training session, the Englishman took a moment to shake hands and sign autographs for the U.S. Army Men’s Soccer team that was in attendance during practice today. Beckham even offered his cleats to one lucky serviceman.
Bruce Arena told reporters following practice that while it was “nice to have David” back on the field, his status for Sunday’s game vs. the Colorado Rapids is “day to day.”
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) September 25, 2012
The biggest news in the soccer world this morning is the release of extremely popular video game, FIFA 13.
The soccer video game that was created by Vancouver-based Electronic Arts was released at midnight and is immensely popular among players, coaches, media and fans alike. I have never been much of a gamer, but I decided to see how the video game rated the LA Galaxy and a few other key players in Major League Soccer.
As a team, the Galaxy are ranked three stars out of five and hold MLS' highest rating in attack (74 rating), midfield (72 ranking) and defense (68 rating) categories. All of FIFA 13's rankings for team categories and players are all out of a hundred. While the Galaxy are at the top in all three categories, a different MLS team has come in second in each category New York Red Bulls (attack rating:73), Seattle Sounders (midfield rating: 71) and Real Salt Lake (defense rating: 67).
In terms of player ratings, the Galaxy's complete ratings in order by position are below:
GK: Josh Saunders (69), Brian Perk (62), Brian Rowe (56)
DEF: Omar Gonzalez (74), Sean Franklin (71), A.J. DeLaGarza (70), Todd Dunivant (68), DJ Lopes (64), Leonardo (64), Bryan Gaul (63), Tommy Meyer (61), Andrew Boyens (60)
CM: David Beckham (79), Christian Wilhelmsson (77), Juninho (75), Marcelo Sarvas (70), Mike Magee (67), Hector Jimenez (66), Michael Stephens (64), Kyle Nakazawa (60), Kenney Walker (59), Dan Keat (58), Bryan Jordan (58), Rafael Garcia (56)
FWD: Landon Donovan (81), Robbie Keane (78), Edson Buddle (66), Jose Villarreal (63), Jack McBean (60), Pat Noonan (60)
NY's three highest rated offensive players are Thierry Henry (77), Tim Cahill (76) and Rafael Marquez (73)
Seattle's three highest rated midfield players are Osvaldo Alonso (78), Mauro Rosales (77) and Steve Zakuani (74)
RSL's three highest rated defense players are Jamison Olave (73), Nat Borchers (71) and Nick Rimando (71)
What are your thoughts on the ratings? Are you going to buy the game? Have you done so already?
Leave your thoughts.
Good Evening, it's time for the ninth edition of Ask the Insider.
Monday's question is from: Eddy Saar Now that we're in the playoffs. Do you think the Galaxy play the young bench players, or get the starters and make a run for the #2 seed
The LA Galaxy may have clinched a berth in the Western Conference playoffs , but the work is far from over for the defending MLS Cup champions.
With the San Jose Earthquakes likely to win the Supporters' Shield, the Galaxy have put their emphasis in locking down a spot amongst the top three in the West. Currently, LA sit in second place in the West, tied with Real Salt Lake -- albeit leading them in the total goals scored tiebreaker -- and a single point ahead of the Seattle Sounders, who have played one fewer game than both LA and RSL. The spot in the top three is vital as the teams that finish on top will be able to avoid a taxing play-in game against likely either the Vancouver Whitecaps or FC Dallas on either October 31st or November 1st. With the play-in game, teams that finish fourth or fifth would have to play five games in order to reach MLS Cup rather than four.
Finishing in the top 2 would certainly be nice for the Galaxy as they would have the ability to host the second leg of their Western Conference semi-final series, but it is avoiding the play-in game that is most important. As LA looks to accomplish this, they are in firm control of their own destiny as they have games against RSL (Oct.6th), San Jose (Oct. 21st) and Seattle (Oct. 28th) on the docket as they close out the season. Expect head coach Bruce Arena to allow his starters to log heavy minutes in these matches while choosing to save his reserves for their CONCACAF Champions League date against Isidro Metapán on October 25th.
Thanks, Eddy. You can get your tickets by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For everyone else, remember to leave your questions on the LA Galaxy Facebook page following the club's next match against the Colorado Rapids on September 30th for the chance to have your question featured and win tickets to an upcoming Galaxy game.